Photo by Daniela Federici

This past September, marked the 27th edition of the Monaco Yacht show. The show features the most incredible concentration and presentation of super yachts. This year’s attendance was highest to date, the show brought in 36,400 participants from all around the world, which is an 8% increase from past shows. With 580 exhibitors, there was sure to be a yacht for all. Aside from the showing itself, there were over 150 private events during the four days and nights of the event.

“Yacht Show has become a brand with a strong identity, clearly defined since the first edition in 1991. The MYS is unique in being the only “hybrid” show in the world exclusively dedicated to the universe of superyachting. We are proud to host both the B2B community and today’s and tomorrow’s superyacht purchasers. They make a perfect fit. A new yacht order generates important business activity for all sectors in the yachting industry. Owners are more and more involved in the building of their yachts. At the MYS, future buyers also meet the nautical suppliers to discover the latest interior designs, cutting-edge equipment or brand-new gadgets. And they love it!” Stated Gaëlle Tallarida, Managing Director of the Show.

Contributing journalist and photographer Daniela Federici documented her personal diary of this years events and highlights at the show.

Daniela Federici at the Monaco Yacht Show

A few weeks ago I was invited to 2017 Monaco Yacht Show by a colleague who asked me to collaborate on a Top Secret project for Aston Martin. He thought it would be good to meet Marek Reichman, the head designer and the Aston team as they were launching their new, super chic submariner titled Project Neptune. Being raised on a well-nourished diet of James Bond, a passion for sailing and scuba diving, and an appreciation for exotic sports cars and boats, how could I refuse? So I packed my most glam outfits and headed to Monaco with excited anticipation.

I’d been to Monaco on a few occasions and was always frustrated with the visual mess and the ugly building boom of the 1980s. Casino Square and the area around the Palace are elegant Bell Epoque style, but the rest of the city is a mish mash of ugly 80s condos. So in the Belle Epoque spirit, we stayed at the Hermitage Hotel, near Casino Square, with great views of the port and walking distance to the marina and the fabulous Monaco Yacht Club designed by Norman Foster. – The architectural gem and saving grace of Monte Carlo.

Photo by Daniela Federici

It’s a stunning building that has simple linear lines and looks like a magnificent cruise ship. The interiors are beautifully finished and the furniture by Fendi Casa. I had been there working a there a year ago, photographing a fashion shoot and it’s extremely photogenic. Our first morning was the Aston Submariner Launch at The Oceanographic Museum. The Aston Martin VIP Car, painted with the Union Jack picked us up – what a Brexit statement!  Our lovely young Dutch driver was a business student studying in Monaco and for 4 days he was behind the wheel of a sexy powerful car picking up celebrities-  He was in heaven.

The Wheel of Time, Damien Hirst

Winding up through the picturesque narrow streets and courtyards of the castle district in the Aston Martin I was feeling very Blondish! We pulled up to red carpet at the grand entrance of the Oceanic Museum, where a huge Damian Hurst bronze scull and butterfly sculpture stands guard.  We were greeted by the Aston staff and walked up the steps to the huge lobby gallery where another Damien Hirst sculpture. “The Wheel Of Time”, filled the room. The juxtaposition of the building’s Belle Epoque style architecture and the Damien Hirst’s sculpture was a fantastic mix of the old and the new. We were ushered into a big hall with seating and a huge presentation screen. I was introduced to Marek, who’s a tall handsome beautifully spoken English man. We learned that Aston was putting its brand to other products like the submariner and a condominium in Miami deigned with in Aston style. Like many established design brands, Aston is joining the ranks of extending their design in other areas and joining forces with Triton to create a very sexy submersible that is battery charged and fits a captain and two passengers.

The presentation was great and I learned that a submarine can recharge itself underwater allowing it to stay submerged for unlimited time and thus why a battery powered version with limited power was called a submariner. The Aston submariner is titled Project Neptune. There is a new generation of Super Yacht owners who like the idea of exploring and there is a trend towards the exploration Super Yachts that can cut through ice and visit remote areas. Thus the submariner is a 4 million dollar, sexy addition to any luxury Super yacht.

Photo courtesy Aston Martin and Triton 

We next visited the Marina with its display of 125 Super yachts starting at US$15 million and upwards towards US$500 million.

The abundance of yachts was overwhelming and after visiting many yachts parked in the Marina, the exteriors are all quite similar and there were few interiors that were impressive from a design point of view. This is due to the owners often designing the interiors themselves. We even boarded a huge Yacht that was designed with a ‘pharaoh’ theme and looked more like the interior of a Vegas hotel.  I was left with the impression that money doesn’t buy style or taste.

We met the Rolls Royce team and creative director Giles Taylor for lunch at the yacht club. A great group of young designers mentored by Giles himself. The yacht club is a hard ticket to get into and there was lots of security at the door. The inside was buzzing with buyers, seller’s ad yacht enthusiasts.

Norman Foster Yacht

In the afternoon we were invited by the Rolls Royce team on a launch to visit the bigger Super Yachts in the outer Harbor, that wouldn’t fit in the marina. Our speedboat was super powered and we zipped around the various monumental yachts to be most impressed by the Norman Foster yacht that stood out for its unique design and style. As we rounded to head back we had a view back of all the boats leading to the port and we all gasped in unseen as it looked like a gigantic armada. With mega Yachts as far as the eye could see. It was quite breathtaking and we boggled at the billions of dollars worth of yachts in view.

The later part of the day was spent in the Quai Antoine visiting an exhibition accurately titled, ‘Toys & Tenders’.

Photo by Daniela Federici

There was an exhibition of classic vintage cars that had some of the most stunning vintage cars including Lamborghini, Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin, Hemmels, and Hoffman & Bentley. Then, there were all the fun toys, the most eye catching being the helicopter car hybrid called the PAL V and the spider like Glider speedboat raised up out of the water by two huge blades-very James Bond! There were lots of other great toys, but all in all I feel the show was an eye opener to the extravagant wealth and the remarkable technology and some of the talented designs moving this industry to another level. I was surprised that there was no movement towards alternative fuel. That night was the star studded Inaugural Monte Carlo Gala of the Oceans. Leonardo Di Caprio was awarded  Prince Albert the Foundation Prize. The event raised $US14 million. The funds will be used to back initiatives aimed at sustainable ocean management. Tickets averaged $US 20,000 per head and I couldn’t help think what all the fuel being burned by thee super yachts was contributing the oceans.

Pal V

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