‘Sorry, Roman Abramovich': Meet the New World’s Biggest Superyacht

NEW YORK | Thursday, August 15th, 2013 2:25pm EDT

The Azzam yacht is the largest superyacht in the world, being close to two football fields long and is bigger than a US Navy Destroyer.

Sorry Roman Abramovich Meet the New Worlds Biggest Superyacht 01

The superyacht took one year to design and three years to build. Lürssen Managing Partner Peter Lürssen says that the Azzam “represents a milestone in yachting history.” Photo: mick_masters1/Flickr

When Friedrich Lürssen, founder of the German yacht firm said, “Leading in quality and performance, that should be my company’s reputation,” he really meant it. Lürssen has been at the forefront of the superyacht industry since its foundation in 1875.

The company, which launched the world’s first motor boat Lürssen REMS, continues to push boundaries in the boating world by recently breaking a new record.

So, Meet Azzam.  At 590- feet long, the Azzam is 57-feet longer than Abramovich’s mighty Eclipse – previously the largest yacht on the waves.

Abramovich’s yacht features 25 guest cabins, a dance hall, two swimming pools, two helipads, a movie theater, a disco and a mini-submarine that can be deployed to explore the oceans. The superyacht also features a missle defense system and bullet proof glass around the master bedroom.

At present, very little is known about the interior detailing of the vessel. A spokesperson for Lürssen said “the yacht is still under construction, and I doubt that we will get permission to shoot her even when she is ready.”

French interior decorator Christophe Leoni said: “(I am) confident that the final yacht is everything and more the owner expects.”

However, Yachts France has claimed that Azzam features six bridges and a 550-sq-metre lounge, in addition to a vast number of suites and other expected lavish touches.

The hulking superyacht is significantly longer than a football field, larger than the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and more capacious than many popular cruise ships.

Having an estimated construction cost of more than £400m, Azzam is a surprisingly fast vessel despite its size.

Yachting executives say that Azzam recently went through its first set of sea trials in the North Sea. The boat hit a staggering 31.5 knots, or about 37 miles per hour. At that speed it’s believed to be the fastest yacht longer than 300 feet.

And that’s not even top speed. Engineers say Azzam—with 94,000 horsepower driving giant water jets instead of propellers—can go even faster in deeper water. The 31.5 knot speed was recorded in water only about 60 feet deep, reports CNBC.

Last month, the behemoth eased cautiously out of its shipyard in Bremen, Germany, ushered by a team of powerful tugboats which were dwarfed by its enormous scale. The yacht has been kept under wraps throughout its construction for the past three years, says CNN.

Azzam was officially launched in April but won’t be delivered to its owner until sometime this fall since it still needs to undergo further tests and finish work.

The identity of the huge boat’s owner remains a mystery, but some speculate that it belongs to a powerful Middle Eastern billionaire.

Not surprisingly, such a beauty comes with an astounding price tag of $609 million, as a 29m main salon and a beam of 18m with an open plan are part of her numerous features.

Azzam is nearly 30 percent faster than similarly sized yachts. Eclipse, the second-largest yacht at 536 feet, hits a top speed of about 22 knots. Rising Sun, the 453 foot megayacht built for Larry Ellison and now owned by David Geffen, hits top speeds of about 28 knots.

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