Buying in to the Lürssen Lifestyle
“To those who have never owned a yacht, but who have the means, you don’t know what you are missing,” says John Risley. It’s a decisive statement from someone who certainly speaks from experience: Risley is the ex-owner of the 63-metre Polar Star and the 75-metre Northern Star, now called Bella Vita, both highly capable superyachts built by the family-owned German yard Lürssen. But what does owning a Lürssen entail, and what is it about the superyacht lifestyle that attracts such a wide variety of individuals?
Ask a selection of owners what they love best about their yacht and they will invariably give you a range of answers, but a common theme is always the peace and privacy that a yacht affords. Privacy is a crucial factor in making a yacht feel like a home away from home – rather than a hotel – a place where you can relax and let your guard down with friends and family.
“A luxury hotel is a commercial establishment. A yacht is a home and a place to welcome and entertain family and friends. The two don't compare,” says Risley. By its very nature, a yacht affords an isolation from the outside world, something increasingly rare in this digital age. “I love the feeling of being removed from the stress of traffic and the urban pressures. The whole pace of life slows down on a boat,” adds Risley.
Shahid Khan is a well-known businessman and sports club owner, but in the superyacht industry he is also known for being a repeat Lürssen owner, and currently owning one of the most talked-about yachts since her launch in 2015, Kismet. “I wanted to own my own yacht because it’s an expression of freedom and adventure that cannot be equalled, and the experience you get is one you can share with family, friends and business associates,“ he says. “One of my favourite parts of being on board is knowing that anything is possible, whether it’s a beautiful journey with loved ones or a celebration with hundreds of friends, old and new.”
Lürssen is a well-known name in the superyacht industry, having built some of the most famous yachts over the years, and, recently, many of the largest. The pedigree of a shipyard is certainly a top consideration for many would-be buyers. Kismet’s 95.2 metres make her one of the largest superyachts in the global fleet today, but the German yard can also lay claim to some even more impressive figures, such as building Azzam, at 180-metres the largest superyacht by length in the world, and Dilbar, 156-metres, the largest by total interior volume, at 15,917 gross tonnes. However, size isn’t everything, and the yard builds yachts from 50-metres in length.
“We chose Lürssen because we wanted safety, stability, quality and lasting value,” says the owner of Lady Kathryn V, a 61-metre yacht launched by the yard in 2011. “Our family always had smaller boats, and after a yachting trip as a guest, we decided we wanted our own yacht. Our times aboard Lady Kathryn V are the best times of our lives, especially when family and friends join us.” Positive feedback about building a custom yacht is not hard to come by, but it can still be a long and sometimes daunting process, which is where choosing the right shipyard to build the right yacht comes in to play.
“Owning a yacht, any yacht, is a very personal experience,” says Risley. “Custom yachts more so, as that experience extends to the design, the construction and the use. A yacht becomes a part of the family because it brings family together, and produces wonderful memories and happy times. I want to build my yachts with a family, and a yard owner whose handshake means something. I want to do business with people who take pride in what they do, who have a long attachment to the business, so it's not just a business, it's a passion and a source of great satisfaction.”
Like a number of owners before him, Khan has once again put his trust in the family-owned business and built more than one yacht with the German yard, the current Kismet replacing a smaller yacht launched a few years ago.
Kismet has travelled extensively, including to London on a number of occasions. This has to be one of the main draws of yachting: the ability to see so many new places. “I have many ‘favourite places’, so I cannot choose which I prefer,” says Khan. “The way I look at it, cruising to any destination on Kismet is special. Wherever we end up, it’s my favourite place in the world at that time.” And when it comes to onboard spaces, the choice is equally difficult. “The great thing about Kismet is that Lürssen made it possible to have multiple favourite places on board, depending on the environment, guests or event. If I were alone, I’d say it’s the eagle’s nest on the very top deck. When we have a party or 300-plus guests, then it’s the main saloon with the two-story lounge videos. However with family, it’s the bridge deck aft with the open air, beach deck and outdoor cinema.”
For the owner of Lady Kathryn V, the bridge deck is also a preferred spot to relax in. “We love the bridge deck salon and bar with its 180 degree floor to ceiling views. This is one of the best parts of owning a yacht: the ever-changing view. And of course the relaxation and privacy.”
Owning a superyacht is certainly luxurious, but that isn’t just down to the first class service or the inherent privacy; there is also the luxury of choice in how to spend your time. Whether relaxing in the world’s hotspots or travelling to the remotest points around the globe, spontaneity is your friend if you so choose, as is deciding to wake up in a new place every day. “Being on a yacht is adventurous and truly dazzles all of your senses,” says Khan. Owning a superyacht truly is an infinitely rewarding experience for those who value time with friends and family away from the eyes of the world.
The German yacht-builder Lürssen has earned an international reputation as the No. 1 specialist in exclusive, custom-built yachts. The privately run company was founded in 1875 and remains solely in the hands of the 4th generation of the Lürssen family. With a workforce of 2700, Lürssen maintains eight state-of-the-art facilities at Bremen-Aumund, Lemwerder, Berne, Rendsburg, Wilhelmshaven, Wolgast and two yards in Hamburg. Its main headquarters are located in Bremen.