What sets apart the world's most expensive superyachts?

Length, tonnage and shipyard pedigree all determine a superyacht's cost. But what makes some of the world's most expensive superyachts truly stand out? BOAT takes a closer look, starting with the explorer formerly owned by Paul Allen...

Octopus | 126.2m

The tender garage

Lying at the centre of Octopus' go-anywhere design is a two-storey wet dock that functions as the explorer yacht's very own mini-marina. Two main tenders are stored and launched through a giant transom door, while the floodable dock is accompanied by rows of smaller toy garages. The list of paraphernalia includes (but is not limited to) a Triton 3300/6 submersible; a 9.3-metre Vikal limousine tender; a custom 8.7-metre Zodiac for diving; an array of WaveRunners, Jet Skis, kayaks, surfboards, wakeboards, kitesurfers, windsurfers and electric foil Fliteboards.

Read More/ Octopus: Behind the build of Paul Allen's 126m Lürssen explorer

Ahpo | 115.1m

The nature-inspired spa
Credit: Guillaume Plisson

Curves, leaves, waves and bamboo – Ahpo's impressive spa was designed by interior outfitter List but guided by all things Gaia. Found on the lower deck, it encompasses a plunge pool, a Himalayan salt sauna, a Hamman and a massage room, each decorated with nature-themed mosaics and twinkling fibre optics in the ceiling. The wellness space also features its own hair salon, a fountain carved from ivory and onyx and a backlit statement wall, made by pressing artificial bamboo between two glass panes.

Read More/ Ahpo: Behind the build of Lürssen's striking 115m superyacht

Faith | 96.6m

The snow room
Credit: Burgess

Originally commissioned for Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, Faith is one of Feadship's largest launches to date. Up on the bridge deck, her spa centre is a crowd-pleaser with its massage room, Hammam and walk-in snow room (with a porthole view). The snow room is Captain Luke's personal favourite: "Where else can you build and dress a [1.2-metre] snowman during winter in the Caribbean when it’s 35 degrees outside? Not only is it loads of fun for everyone, the health benefits are also amazing." Said benefits include metabolism stimulation, improved sleep and pain relief.

Savannah | 83.5m

The Nemo Lounge

Savannah's semi-submerged Nemo Lounge provides a view like no other. Delivered in 2015 by Feadship, it also represents one of the most technically impressive feats of yachting engineering to this day. The underwater glazing is fixed in one of the most stable parts of the yacht and flanked by stadium-style seating for spotting marine life above and below the waves. It also functions as an indoor cinema, fitted with a drop-down screen that covers the glass wall.

Leona | 80m

The Ancient Greek pool

Leona's beach club leans into an extravagant Hellenic aesthetic with its marble features and gilded-gold details. Reproductions of statues of Aphrodite of Milos and other nymphs and goddesses, made by a local sculptor, stand tall above the 8.7-metre by three-metre pool. Set underneath fibre-optic lights to give the appearance of a starlit sky, the statues sit on water outlets and complement the geometric Greek key pattern, which serves as a fresco on the walls of the beach club. In 2024, Leona won at the BOAT Design & Innovation Awards in the category of Outstanding Exterior Design. 

Excellence | 79.9m

The glass atrium

One of the most distinctive yachts delivered in the past five years, Excellence's extreme reversed bow and extensive use of glass make for a spectacular sight on the water. Her interiors are airy and bright as a result, with natural light filtering through Winch Design's beautiful, triple-height glass atrium. Enclosed by five metre-tall vertical glass panels, the atrium rises from the main deck all the way up to the owner's deck. 

M5 | 78.4m

The owner's library
Credit: Giuliano Sargentini

Owning the largest single-masted sailing yacht in the world has its advantages. Attached to the owner's cabin is M5's dedicated, L-shaped library, whose rows of books (and complementary L-shaped sofa) provide a cozy, residential feel. In 2019, the room underwent a refit, receiving new overheads, floors, and an updated colour scheme.

Joy | 70m

The basketball court

With teak decks wide enough to jog around, Joy is all about exterior living. And the superyacht makes great use of the space with some top-tier sporting facilities, including a basketball and badminton court set forward on the owner's deck. She was built for a "young owner" with an active lifestyle and so also features a large gym and dedicated spa (for some post-exercise restoration).

Grey | 49.8m

The outdoor cinema setup

Per her owner's wishes, Grey's foredeck features a glass-sided superyacht swimming pool made complete with a high-luminosity cinema setup worth around  $298,000. Flanked by sofa seating, the area also includes integrated speakers and a surround-sound system courtesy of British-French brand Focal and Naim. The screen is also capable of completely retracting and folding away.

Read More/The 50 most expensive yachts for sale now

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