While the world stood still, shackled by the Covid-19 pandemic, many found refuge on the high seas and spent time on board yachts to see it out and make isolation bearable. In theory it’s the ultimate escape – isolated, tranquil and safe – but superyachts aren’t traditionally built to safeguard against a pandemic, with limits as to how long one can feasibly reamin on board. Enter Vripack, which has taken the notion of isolating at sea, and applied this to a new 40 metre superyacht concept.
A "pandemic proof" superyacht is how the Dutch design studio envisioned this new 40 metre concept, one that could provide boundless options for those who wish to spend long periods of time on board, shielding from some form of biological threat.
The new explorer concept unites the convenient spoils of shoreside hospitality with the comfort of a home on the water. The studio has also aimed the design at a first-time yacht owner with no idea where to start but can choose a yacht that ticks all the boxes. The 40 metre blends the idea of Mediterranean cruiser and go-anywhere trooper – think European family holiday-home and a global mobile bolthole.
The idea of shielding from a pandemic is manifested in the exterior aesthetic, which is masculine, angular; and emanates a no-nonsense explorer that would not look out of place in an arctic ice field.
Inside, things are a little softer, as the studio has opted for a laidback beach hose vibe, with a Scandinavian edge. The vision includes, minimalist free-standing furniture and a light colour palate, infiltrated with natural textures and plenty of light. French oaks and tan leathers also call to this theme, and there’s even a nest chair, a piece that was developed in Vripack’s design innovation hub, the Vripack Brewery.
Storage on board is also a key consideration, given the lengths of time the owner could spend on board, and additions include and a smoked-glass wine cabinet, to ensure wine stocks remain high for extended isolation periods.
"This design started out as a floating hotel room and evolved into a boat that could deliver safe passage at sea for an unlimited time period" says Vripack co-creative director, Marnix Hoekstra. "It's a home, hotel and yacht rolled into one."
Vripack has opted for an open-plan saloon, keeping spaces drawn out and uncluttered. This area includes a dining area and a socialising workspace, for those who need to keep their land-based affairs in motion. Family-friendly details can also be found on board, including a children’s zone.
In-keeping with the pandemic-proof theme, the owner’s deck has a glass-encased full-beam amidships suite, with a large gym forward that looks out onto the raised main deck and is connected to a relaxation area with bow seating. A full-sized bathtub can also be found in the owner’s bedroom, with a walk-in wardrobe concealed behind the four-poster bed. Four further guest cabins reside on the lower deck, each continuing the specious and contemporary theme.
True to Vripack form, and a feature that can has been successfully executed on other of the studio’s creations, the bridge deck has an elevated wheelhouse and a dedicated boat deck for a 12 metre Axopar tender, bikes and large toys. There is also a sun deck with viewing seats and jacuzzi atop the bridge.