Inside the construction shed with Heesen's latest 55m Project Serena

17 March 2022

Heesen’s design for its 55M Steel superyacht is one that continues to evolve. The range consists of now eight yachts, each better and different than the last. 

For example, delivered in 2020, Moskito's interior layout was bigger, better and completed with panoramic windows – a feature not fully optimised in previous units. Before her, the 55M Steel design featured smaller social areas and a reconfigured five-stateroom layout. After one stateroom was moved onto the upper deck as a VIP suite, each cabin was able to be extended.

Then came Project Apollo. Due to be completed in 2023, she will differ from Moskito in terms of her larger skylounge and altered wing station. However, Heesen’s creative ideas for the 55M Steel didn’t stop there, and the yard has since revealed Project Serena (YN 20555) who is set to hit the water during Q4 2024 as the eighth unit of the 55m Class.

Read More/5 ways Heesen’s 55M Class yacht design is set to evolve

With exterior lines from designer Frank Laupman of Omega Architects and an interior by Italian studio Luca Dini Design & Architecture, Project Serena has her own standout image. With the hype around Project Serena still high, members from Heesen’s top team and the yacht’s designers share what’s new about this version of the 55M Steel design.

Fast delivery time

Heesen is the only Northern European yard currently able to offer a 55-metre steel-hulled yacht with a fast delivery time. “The big advantage of buying a fast delivery yacht built to Dutch quality is that all the big decisions have been removed from the equation,” says Robert Drontmann, Heesen’s sales director.

While the delivery times are fast, the date can alter depending on when the owner enters the equation. The earlier an owner buys the project, the more scope they have for customisation. “Our new boats in the 50-55 metre range are all able to be built as hybrid vessels if the client joins the construction stage early enough,” explains Heesen’s CEO, Arthur Brouwer. As the interior design has room for any prospective owner to personalise the yacht as they wish, other bespoke amendments can include furniture, materials, colour schemes and interior outfitting.

Suited to any cruising region

While Heesen’s fleet is predominantly located in Europe, the Dutch builder’s superyachts can be seen all over the world both as perfect private homes and popular charter yachts. As Project Serena was unveiled as part of the 28th edition of the Dubai International Boat Show, the builder has highlighted how well-suited the yacht is to the warmer climates of the Middle East. “It’s hard to think of a more suitable location for Heesen to present Project Serena,” says Drontmann, who confirms that the Middle East is an exciting market for Heesen.

As more and more superyacht owners begin to see the beauty of cruising in the Middle East – particularly from Oman and the Red Sea to Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah – there has been a rise in enquires for the Dutch shipyard. “We’ve seen an overall trend in growing enquiries this past year, and that includes clients from the Middle East,” Drontmann adds.

“The region went through significant developments that have made it more attractive as a destination to travel to for leisure. And the construction of new marinas certainly adds to the likeability of the cruising grounds, creating an extra boost effect,” he adds. “Plus, our speculation programme is a big success and a key selling point for owners in the Middle East and North African regions.”

Exaggerated exterior

The uniform of a Heesen yacht is the fuel-efficient Fast Displacement Hull Form, long ocean-crossing range and huge interior volumes – and Project Serena is no different. What is different, however, is her zig-zag exterior design. Similar to the muscular lines on her sistership Project Apollo, Project Serena’s lines cleverly stretch along the optical length and balance the air draft. “As much as we love our original 55m Steel design with the vertical windows, we felt it was time to make an evolutionary step,” says Frank Laupman of Omega Architects.

Compared to her sisterships, Serena features a slightly more aggressive profile thanks to the continuous sheets of tinted glass that in turn, provides a very light environment. “We opted for a larger expanse of floor-to-ceiling glass, without mullions, in the main saloon and sky lounge,” Laupman adds. “Frank did a great job with the windows and the way they have been treated. As a result, you get a huge amount of natural light and many vistas,” said Brouwer. Another notable addition to the exterior design is the fully-equipped bar surrounding the whirlpool spa on the sundeck.

Owner’s balcony

In terms of onboard accommodation, Project Serena houses a sizable VIP cabin on the wheelhouse deck and four well-sized guest cabins on the lower deck. In addition, the owner is granted a large suite on the main deck complete with new walk-in wardrobes and a French balcony. The addition of the balconette allows owners to open up the windows, invite fresh air into the space and feel closer to the sea. “This is one of the most impressive innovations on the latest version of the 55m Steel. It’s something truly unique that fundamentally changes the space,” adds Visser.

With six rooms in total, the number of staterooms is expected to be one of the attractive selling points for the Middle Eastern market. “She is perfectly suited to Middle Eastern owners who appreciate plenty of guest accommodation,” explains Heesen CCO Friso Visser. The space on board is also appreciated by those who have turned to yachting post-pandemic as a way to spend quality time with family and friends in a safe environment. “Yachting has always been a life-affirming way to discover new places and enjoy new experiences, and that has never been truer than now,” says Visser. “It is one of the great freedoms and feeds the nomadic soul that exists within us all. I think that today more than ever, a yacht represents a safe place to gather with loved ones.”

Enhanced lifestyle

The 55M Steel’s exterior deck spaces have been enhanced, not just for looks, but for functionality. Most notably, additional stairways have been incorporated into the design to provide ease of access and circulation for the crew, meaning owners and guests are given better service and a more private and comfortable setting. “Project Serena is a great example of an ideal family yacht, with guaranteed privacy and a fantastic sundeck with ideal access for the crew,” says Drontmann. Plus, the guest stairways have been made wider between each deck. The exterior layout has also benefitted from a casual al fresco setting to the aft of the yacht to encourage a more relaxed lifestyle at sea.

Having already sold nine yachts to date since early 2020, Heesen is seeing that the 50 to 60-metre yacht sector and the speculation builds within this size range are selling fast. To find out more about what the Dutch yard has in the shed and what is to come from the 55M Class, including Project Serena, click here.