Written by By Princese Reynolds, CNN
At the moment, the biggest ship in the world belongs to Germany’s Sailing Yacht Club , which carries 1,123 people on board its 139-meter (484 feet) “Basel”.
But the Sailing Yacht Club will have competition in coming years. Its 34-meter (112 feet) neighbor, the non-guest-carrying “River Cottage”, sailed into Changi Marina in Singapore on Tuesday. It’s the second-biggest ship in the world and by next year it could be overtaken by a new neighbor too.
The waters off Singapore have become a playground for the world’s biggest superyachts. Chinese entrepreneur Wu Yuzhou is the latest to join the ranks, after buying the $600 million “Chun Zi” last year for an undisclosed sum.
When it starts sailing, the vessel will carry 2,700 guests and 1,360 crew members — a record for superyachts. It’s expected to reach speed of 14 knots (15.8 mph) when it is first seaworthy.
Chinese entrepreneur Wu Yuzhou has built a £320 million ($509 million) superyacht. Credit: Lu Xiang
“It will probably be the world’s biggest (superyacht),” Weng Guan, the ship’s chief designer, told CNN in May, ahead of its official launch . “We had to increase the volume of the interior, and there’s more in the interior than there is in the exterior.”
With so many passengers, Guan says the 210-meter (733-foot) vessel will have its own kitchen, a gym, a bar, a swimming pool, a spa and a cinema. Despite being huge, the vessel will have a very intimate feel, he added.
Designed by Spanish architect Juan Montes and Swiss architect Hans-Josef Albrecht, the yacht consists of two 89-meter (311-foot) monohulls.
As big as the boat, the inside measures a vast 43 meters wide. Credit: Courtesy of Miguel Fernandez
“At sea, you can feel everything. You can feel the wind, the waves, the gale,” Guan told CNN.
“If we also have 2,700 guests aboard, the floor will collapse, so we will construct eight (floors) one after the other,” he added.
Perfect for racing
Compared to its more than 150-meter (460-foot) family rival, “River Cottage” will have less space, but Guan says the vessel’s main advantage is “the speed.”
“By flying so high, a lot of doors will be open, which is the advantage of being able to move quicker in the water,” he said. “That’s why it’s called River Cottage.”
The double-hulled superyacht is almost identical in size to the 181-meter (550-foot) “Stardust” , which also boasts a massive capacity of 2,350 passengers.