The UK capital may not be quite as picturesque as France's sparkling shores or Italy's beach-lined coasts - but evidently, there's still a certain appeal among yacht-owners as an increasing number of yachts set a course for London.
Some of the largest yachts that have cruised the Thames recently include 98.4 metre Aviva, a superyacht that is home to a padel court, and 74.5 metre Elandess, with her semi-submerged Neptune lounge.
If you're yacht-spotting on the Thames anytime soon, here are some yachts to look out for...
The third unit in Benetti's highly popular Oasis 40M series, named Phoenix, has spent a significant amount of time cruising the coastline of Great Britain. Since her delivery in 2021, she has paid visits to Southampton and Ireland as well as to Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge. Key features include the signature Oasis deck, which boasts a glass-fronted dipping pool and unfolding bulwarks. The design of this model was so popular it inspired a smaller 34 metre series, with Zlatan Ibrahimović buying the first unit.
The 49 metre Reef Chief has been spotted docked in the heart of Canary Wharf. The yacht was delivered by American yard Trinity in 2009 and has been designed with entertainment its core. She is crowned by a large sundeck with exterior bar, shaded dining area and TV screen, along with a Jacuzzi. Ten guests can be accommodated in five cabins, which are styled in classic polished wood and cream tones.
The 33.7 metre Van der Valk Blue Jeans made her maiden voyage to London after departing the shipyard in the Netherlands. Her cool blue hull added a touch of brightness to a dreary London day, and she spent her time cruising up and down the river showing off her custom Guido De Groot exterior. The all-aluminium yacht is one of the builder's most complex undertakings to date, and is home to a foredeck "chillout lounge" with sun pads tucked into the bow, a U-shaped sofa and a dining table that pops up from the deck.
Fresh from a comprehensive refit and extension, the 44 metre motor yacht Brazil paid a visit to the River Thames in December 2022. The yacht was spotted moored outside St Katharine Docks Marina enjoying some winter sunshine in front of Tower Bridge. She was originally delivered by Heesen in 1993 and was relaunched in October following an extensive refit courtesy of a collaboration between three Dutch firms – Snijders Yachts, Zwijnenburg and Dutchflows. Work was primarily focused around the stern area, where the yacht was given a new beach club. The yacht is listed for sale with IYC.
Slipstream was delivered in 2009 as one of two 60 metres models from French shipyard CMN, Both exterior and interior were curated by Winch Design and the British studio has given her a smart navy hull with a distinctive grey superstructure. She features generous living and entertainment areas with an outdoor cinema on the sundeck and a hand-carved 4.5 metre totem pole at the centrepiece of a feature staircase. Owned by Canadian businessman Jack Cowin, Slipstream is currently available for charter by Burgess.Read More/On board Slipstream with owner Jack Cowin
Having recently completed a cross-planet navigation that included Norway, the Maldives and Australia, 62 metre Stardust was spotted cruising up the Thames and into Canary Wharf in July 2022. The Amels build was handed over to her owners in 2020, and is the first and only hull in the Dutch yard's Limited Editions 206 series. Interior design comes from Laura Sessa, while Tim Heywood is responsible for the yacht's distinctive exterior, which is characterised by long lines of circular portholes and a cut-out segment in the hull line.
75.6 metre Boardwalk is one of the newest deliveries from prestigious Dutch shipbuilder Feadship, and she caused a big buzz when she moored up on the Thames against the backdrop of Tower Bridge. Her aft deck helipad, generous beach club and huge TV screens were on full display to lucky onlookers who were able to catch a glimpse of her.Read More/On board the 77m Feadship superyacht Boardwalk owned by Tilman Fertitta
Delivered in 2010 from Lürssen, 60 metre Bella Vita paid a brief visit to London, where she was seen along Butler's Wharf, just in front of Tower Bridge. Launched under the name Katie Sue II, the yacht became one of the top 50 most expensive yachts for sale in the world prior to her sale in January 2021. No doubt her new owner is enjoying her Glade Johnson interior and well-equipped sundeck.
As one of the most recent deliveries from German shipyard Lürssen, 55.5 metre Moon Sand made waves when she cruised up the Thames shortly after delivery. The yacht has a number of innovative features on deck, including a recessed pool that can be drained and raised flush with the deck when not in use. The yacht's crisp profile and clean, soothing interiors are by legendary yacht design studio Bannenberg & Rowell.Read More/Moon Sand: Inside the 55.5m Lürssen that made waves in London
Oceanco's 109 metre Bravo Eugenia has visited the Big Smoke many times, showing off a chiselled Nuvolari Lenard exterior and dazzling underwater light display. A sharp plumb bow and extended waterline make her one of the distinctive superyachts on the water, and she certainly cuts an elegant profile whenever she arrives in London. With her hybrid propulsion engine, she offers a quiet electric mode which allows her to consume 30% less fuel than other motor yachts in her size class, making her one of the more eco-friendly yachts in the world.
With her sky-blue hull and buttercup yellow exterior accents, the Abeking & Rasmussen-built 98 metre motor Aviva added some colour to the city when she visited. The yacht is home to an onboard paddel tennis court - the first of its kind ever installed - which had to be carefully engineered in order to create the correct level of bounce.
Heesen's largest steel superyacht to date was spotted in London displaying her new name Lusine. The yacht hit the water in 2021 sporting a masculine exterior courtesy of Omega Architects and an interior by Sinot Yacht and Architecture Design. A glass elevator lies at the heart of the design while a touch-and-go helipad forward allows guests to come and go in complete privacy.
With her "champagne and caviar" interiors and two-deck video walls in the lobby, 95 metre Kismet is all about the wow-factor. Her interiors are by Reymond Langton, while her exteriors are the work of Espen Øino and she features an impressive jaguar statue on the bowsprit. She marks one of the most expensive yachts for charter in the world, asking a cool €1,200,000 for one week.Read More/The story of Shahid Khan's 95m superyacht