BOAT International lifts the lid on board the 85m Lürssen superyacht Valerie, famously chartered by Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.
When she was delivered in 2011, the 85.1 metre Valerie was one the four largest yachts built that year. And yet in spite of her size, very little was known of the new Lürssen, formerly known as project Firebird, other than the name of her exterior designer, Espen Øino International, and interior designer, Reymond Langton International.
Now her owners have allowed the broker tasked with finding a buyer for the yacht they’ve enjoyed for nearly 10 years to share pictures of her amazing interior features.
“Valerie has a timeless design and is in turn-key condition. Forward-thinking throughout the project, the build process and various refits means that even nine years after her launch she ticks all the boxes demanded by today’s owners,” says Dynamiq Sales & Charter’s broker Maria Dobroserdova, who attributes the yacht’s remarkable appearance to a stable crew and regular upkeep.
The yacht has always been used privately, travelling mostly through the Mediterranean except for a season in the Caribbean in 2012.
Discretion and privacy are at the very heart of her flowing exterior design, which conceals her impressive volume, shields guest spaces from onlookers and hides all technical areas. “Valerie is still considered by many one of the most beautiful boats we have done with Lürssen,” says Espen Øino.
Long overhangs provide shade and privacy as well as accentuate long lines. At night, 39 underwater lights combine with deck lighting to underscore the yacht’s curvaceous design.
Her volume of 2,755 gross tonnes is distributed among six decks culminating with a multifunctional sun deck topped by an enveloping structure that holds the mast and domes.
This structure creates a cocoon for a central bar. Just forward of the bar is a six metre pool and a Jacuzzi. It is one of five outstanding exterior spaces.
From up there, views are amazing. “You have a really low sill and all the railings are glass,” says Dietrich Kirchner, the project manager that handled the construction at Lürssen. She was among the first yachts built to use glass for railings and a trendsetter in this area.
As a bonus the sundeck is connected to the wellness area just one deck below via exterior stairs and a lift clad in leather. The panoramic gym equipped with Technogym equipment opens onto an outdoor space with room for dining and a fountain that lights up at night. Back inside is a cosy room for massage and beauty treatments. Rounding up the theme of wellness are the steam room and the Hamman, finished with mosaics in soothing natural colours.
“Details reveal themselves as you walk around the yacht,” says interior designer Pascale Reymond who compares the interior to a beautiful jewellery box.
The London-based designed firm drew inspiration in part from the iconic Claridge’s of London and incorporated Art Deco motifs throughout. Although, just like the style itself, the decor relies on strong contrast between light and dark, the overall feel is sunny.
“It’s not heavy art décor, we wanted to keep the interior airy and light,” she says, “We used a lot of light timber such as fiddle back sycamore and macassar ebony for contrast.” Among the stones used, crema marfil, travertine and antique brown granite, is a rare white onyx.
The main deck is designed for hosting. A deco-style hand-carved bas-relief finished in silver by DKT Artworks covers a TV screen in the formal dining room while doors on both sides are decorated with skyscrapers made from walnut, macassar ebony and honey sycamore wood and metal inlays. In the lounge, the centrepiece is a Schimmel Pegasus Piano designed by Luigi Colani, a stunning musical instrument with an ergonomic curved keyboard, hydraulically operated top and crystalline sound.
The upper deck is a palatial owner’s apartment with light-filled upper saloon that works as a lounge and cinema and several cabins. A panoramic bedroom enjoys a private deck with Jacuzzi and breakfast corner. Two more cabins are perfect for children and a nanny. This owner’s apartment is connected via a private staircase to a second master suite on the main deck.
With three more guest suites are on the main deck and two on the lower deck, Valerie has a total of nine cabins. In private mode the yacht accommodates 17 guests who are catered to by a crew of 27.
“The layout is very well balanced between owners and guests and crew circulation,” says Kirchner, who despite having worked on a series of complex projects at Lürssen since remembers Valerie well.
Technically speaking, Valerie was one of the first to be fitted with at rest stabilization, two Quantum fin stabilizers.
At the heart of the yacht, which was built to Lloyd’s LY2, is a two-level engine room. Two recently overhauled 2000kW MTU 16V4000 engines allow Valerie to reach a top speed of 17 knots. She cruises comfortably at 12 knots, a speed that gives her a range of 6,000 nautical miles.
For shore excursions, she carries two custom-built 10 metre Royal Denship tenders, one a limo, the other a landing craft. There is also the option to land a helicopter. The foredeck is a clean open space that has enough room for an Airbus H30 helicopter or similar to land.
From the time she was designed in 2007 to her delivery in 2011, it took four years to create Valerie, which is typical of a yacht of this magnitude. But there is no wait now. Valerie, for sale and charter exclusively via Dynamiq Sales & Charter, is ready for her next adventure immediately.