YSA Design Partner Trond Sigurdsen was recently quoted in the Royal Institution of Naval Architect publication Ship & Boat International, likening the designing of a yacht to “designing a house for somebody – it’s so personal.” Nevertheless, Trond and YSA Design industrial designer Jonas Aabel went on to offer some deeper insights into what distinguishes the superyachts and mega-yachts of today from their forebears.
While the defining characteristic separating the cruising yacht from the passenger ship continues to be the number of cabins allotted to guests on board, there has nonetheless been convergence between mega-yachts and luxury cruise ships in terms of the experience anticipated on board.
Regardless of their IMO classification, some yachts are as complex as small cruise ships, including not only cinemas, jet-skis and helipads, but extensive medical/health-related facilities, space for business and conferencing, and even activities for kids. Furthermore, demand for ‘explorer yachts’ has been just as much a phenomenon of the luxury construction market as the ‘expedition cruise ship’, with several projects calling for mega-yachts meeting Polar Code standards.
Trond described the way these exploration yachts increasingly call for flexible platforms aft, and how choosing and positioning the right types of glass to disperse natural light below deck effectively is now a routine challenge. “There has also been a lot of progress in bow design: we are incorporating designs that can cut through the waves at high speed with minimal pitch.”