Four Seasons is launching a series of ultra-luxury branded yachts, with each of its 95 onboard suites costing US$4.2 million to build. Jenny Southan reports
Four Seasons is joining the likes of Ritz-Carlton and Aman with the debut of own-brand yachts that are an extension of the hotel experience offered on land.
Itineraries will likely include stays at Four Seasons properties en route (probably in the Mediterranean initially), and yachts will have an “industry-leading staff-to-guest” ratio to deliver an “unmatched standard of highly personalised service”.
With the first vessel setting sail in late 2025, Four Seasons Yachts are being built by Fincantieri, one of the world’s leading shipbuilding groups. The order, which was announced last July, includes the option for two additional vessels and amounts to approximately €1.2 billion.The first Four Seasons Yacht will feature “bespoke craftsmanship, personalised service and a dedication to excellence, appealing to discerning guests looking to reimagine their love of travel by experiencing the splendour of modern sea voyaging”, says Four Seasons.
The first Four Seasons yacht will be 207 metres long and 27 metres wide with 14 decks. (It’s interesting that it’s not being called a cruise ship – but that is actually what it sounds like.)
At a cost to build of US$4.2 million per suite, no expense is being spared in terms of the design. The first Four Seasons Yacht will offer nearly 50 per cent more living space per guest than typically available, in a residential setting providing “privacy, flexibility and spaciousness”.Veteran luxury travel industry expert Larry Pimentel is responsible for leading the new enterprise. He says: “In partnership with Four Seasons, we are creating a new category of luxury lifestyle travel that appeals to discerning guests. We are bringing together the very best across industries to create the pinnacle yachting offering through world-class design, curated experiences, and truly exceptional service.”
Catering to large families and groups, it will be possible for many of the vessel’s 95 suites to be inter-connnected to create villa-like residences. Interiors will be by Tillberg Design of Sweden and London-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Creative direction will be from Prosper Assouline.Each suite will offer floor-to-ceiling windows and access to expansive terrace decks. Four Seasons says that the “combination of generous indoor and outdoor private guest space and ceiling heights of more than 2.4 metres will achieve a new level of guest comfort”.
Suites will start at an average of 54 sqm of indoor/outdoor living space but more than half (60 per cent) will be in excess of 76 sqm. The biggest will be the “Funnel Suite”, which will occupy four levels and cover more than 892 sqm. It will also have a private wading pool and dedicated private spa area.The Four Seasons Yacht will also have a full-service spa, sushi bar, salon and wellness programming. The canoe-shaped aft will be home to a pool deck that can also be transformed into an outdoor movie theatre.
The elegant and industry-first “transverse marina” will allow people to jump off and swim in the sea, as well as play with specially-designed aqua leisure toys.
Christian Clerc, president of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, says: “Four Seasons Yachts represents the next chapter of our long history of industry leading innovation, and a milestone moment for our company as we continue to capitalise on new opportunities to extend the world of Four Seasons.
“True vision rests in the ability to imagine the possibilities while always remaining loyal to one’s values. Our vision for this new venture does exactly that. We are creating something extraordinary that combines their expertise with what Four Seasons does best – delivering unmatched quality and excellence, surrounded by beautiful acts of service and love for our guests.”