We have entered a new era of luxury. The gigayacht.
A recent ranking by Bloomberg of countries with the most superyachts within two miles of their coastlines between April 15 and April 18 2019 revealed that the U.S. topped the list with 158 (down from 162 from April 9-13, 2018) with Monaco rank- ing seventh with 41 yachts, up 59% from last year. Spain and Greece saw the biggest gains, from 113 to 133 and from 62 to 82 respectively.
Yachts are getting bigger and so are the yards and build- ers, and if the ratings were to track the period from Septem- ber 25 to 28, Monaco—where yachting is the country’s fourth largest sector—would certainly cruise to the top of the listing, with the Monaco Yacht Show alone bringing 125 superyachts to Port Hercules.
Since 1991, the Monaco Yacht Show has evolved from an annual trade show geared towards brokers and showcasing superyachts over 20 meters (66 ft) to the world’s most extraordinary yachting event, with craft averaging 49.5 meters LOA and a median price of €27 million.
More than 30,000 visitors—some happily dishing out €300 for a day pass— are eager to ogle the line up that includes eight 80-meter-plus and four gigayachts in the 90-meter plus segments. A sign that shipyards and builders are straining to escape the bounds of common sense to appeal to larger-than-life personalities from emerging powers in Russia, India, Brazil and China, who now lead the exclusive list of new gigayacht buyers.
Unprecedented in the industry, the Italian superyacht shipyard Benetti successively launched three different gigayachts— each over 105 meters, nearly the length of a football field — earlier this year. One reportedly being snapped up by casino tycoon James Packer for $200 million, the 5-deck EJI that includes 11 guest cabins (plus 15 for a 29-strong crew), a cinema, a massive heated pool and over-sized fire pit, plus a foredeck space to accommodate two 45-foot tenders.
Who will be the fifirst Monaco resident to boast his or her giga?