10 of the biggest superyacht conversions

25 October 2021• Written by Holly Overton

SUPERYACHT DIRECTORY

Motor Yacht

DUBAWI

Cantieri Navali Ferrari ·  90.6 m ·  1989
Motor Yacht

MARYAH

Elefsis Shipyard ·  125 m ·  2014

It's not easy to transform a vessel built for function into a thing of beauty. But, if done right, the results can be magnificent. From naval frigates to ice-breaking tugs, we take a look at the top ten largest superyacht conversions to date...

1. Yas | 141m

Yas

Yas was first delivered in 1978 as a naval frigate named HNLMS Piet Hein. After two decades of service in the Dutch Royal Navy and a decade serving the UAE military, she was released from duty and converted into a private yacht under the codename Swift 141. Jacques Pierrejean is the man behind her futuristic design which includes a giant glass dome. The entire project was carried out in Abu Dhabi and the vessel was extended by 12 metres to accommodate a new pool deck. In 2011, she was relaunched in Port Zayed in Abu Dhabi and is the 11th largest yacht in the world.

2. Maryah | 125m

Maryah
Credit: Tom Van Oossanen

The 125 metre former Russian research vessel sailed under the names Dalmorgeologiya, Fortune and Czar, before she was converted into a SOLAS-compliant superyacht by Greek shipyard Elefis in 2015. Details of her interiors have been closely guarded but are said to feature a cinema and accommodation for 54 guests across her six decks.

3. Alexander | 121.95m

Alexander
Credit: The Yacht Photo

Alexander first splashed in 1965 and served as a cruise liner until 1985 when, after several changes of ownership, she was converted into a superyacht by Greek shipping tycoon John Latsis. She was extensively refitted in 1985 and then again in 1998, with accommodation for up to 80 guests in 40 staterooms. Highlights include a swimming pool, hospital, gymnasium, a 27-seat cinema and a helicopter landing pad.

4. Project Y910 | 120m

Project Y910

Built in Poland in 1990, the 90 metre vessel served as an offshore supply ship named after the Russian writer Vladimir Chivilikhin. The ship was in service until 1998 when its owner decided to convert the vessel into a luxury per-cabin charter yacht under the project name KAY. Work on the hull began at Keppel Singmarine before the yacht made its way to Italy for outfitting at Fincantieri. The half-built project was put up for auction in November 2021. Currently lying at the Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, she patiently awaits a new owner. 

5. Turama | 116.41 m

Turama

Christened Delfin Caravelle, the 116 metre vessel was delivered as a passenger ship in 1990 by Finnish shipyard Rauma and converted into a luxury charter yacht in 2004. Little is known about the conversion of Turama.

6. Dream | 106.5m

Dream

The 106.5 metre Dream was born into the world as a humble passenger vessel before she embarked on a near decade-long conversion project to fulfil the lifelong dream of an ambitious new owner. Under the project name Poseidonos, work began in 2008 at Chalkis Shipyards in Greece with exterior design by Studio Vafiadis and an all-new interior by  Ciarmoli Queda Studio. The team's efforts were rewarded when Dream picked up a Neptune for Best Converted Yacht at the 2019 World Superyacht Awards

Read More/Dream: Inside the Breathtaking Conversion of the 106.5 Metre Superyacht

7. Christina O | 99.15m

Christina O

Christina O was built for the Canadian Navy as an anti-submarine frigate under the name HMCS Stormont.  After surviving in the second world war, she was purchased for scrap value by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who then converted her into the legendary Christina O. A six-year conversion ensued and she was reborn in 1954 as an ultra-luxury private yacht that was regularly seen to host royalty and the Hollywood A-list with the likes of Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Sir Winston Churchill, Grace Kelly, John F Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor welcomed on board.

Read More/Iconic yachts: On board Christina O, the superyacht once owned by Aristotle Onassis

8. Voyager | 91.4m

Voyager

Previously known as Danah Voyager, the conversion of this former offshore supply ship is the largest to take place on American soil. First delivered by Swiftships in 1997, the 63 metre commercial vessel arrived in Dania Cut in Florida in 2016 and emerged from the sheds three years later as a 90 metre explorer with five decks, 70 crew and a dive centre.

9. Dubawi | 90.6m

Dubawi

Dubawi began life in 1989 as a small passenger ship built by Cantieri Navale Ferrari before she was converted into a private yacht two decades after her launch. The project was awarded to Dubai shipyard Platinum Yachts and remains one of its biggest projects to date, second only to the 162 metre Dubai. Work included a five-metre extension, a restructuring of the top deck and an entirely new interior.

10. Lauren L | 90m

Lauren L

Built by Cassens-Werft in 2002, Lauren L began life as a cruise ship sailing under the name Constellation. After four years in service, she was bought by Liveas Yachts who converted her into a modern charter yacht with the capacity to carry a maximum of 40 guests. 

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