Boat of the Week: Meet the 459-Foot ‘Flying Fox,’ the Largest Superyacht Available for Charter
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Three times is magic for the owner of Flying Fox. Not only did he want hearts to beat faster when guests came aboard this magnificent 459-foot Lürssen, the owner also wanted to make sure that he included every whim and imagination for his own enjoyment. Think features like the two-deck spa, a professional dive center, two helipads for corporate helicopters, the world's largest cross-swimming pool, and of course a cryotherapy center. He also manned former Olympic athletes and British ex-military personnel to provide a first class crew.
The good news is that Flying Fox can be shared by the rest of us - or some of us - for around $ 4 million a week. The length makes it the largest yacht available for charter. It was delivered in 2019 and has almost all conceivable luxury amenities. In the truest sense of the word, it not only raises the bar - it sets a new one.
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The first look at the turquoise exterior of the Espen Øino quickly reveals the size of the six-story ship. At the far end, the 40-foot pool immediately catches the eye. It is the largest transversal pool of a yacht and has a retractable wall that can split the water in two. So guests have the choice between fresh water or salt and temperatures from steaming to icy.
The yacht's two helipads offer owners and guests a degree of flexibility. The 60-foot point at the stern is the main landing site for the owner's H175 Airbus helicopter with a second 49-foot heliport on the bow. The H175 can accommodate 12 guests and is one of the few VIP configured models on the market. It is also the owner's preferred mode of transportation.
Flying Fox was built for private use, but designed with the potential for charter. The development took three years. The owner wanted to make sure that he included everything he had missed on his two previous yachts. Imperial Yachts has managed the construction and is now overseeing the charter.
"The initial design process was about finding a balance between customer expectations and technological capabilities," said Eric Lepeingle, Imperial sales and charter manager, Robb Report during an exclusive virtual tour. "He was very pleased with the idea of having a carefully designed yacht that also met technological requirements."
Beyond its size, it is the interface between technology and amiable life that distinguishes Flying Fox. A large sundeck turns into a dance floor at night and offers live music, private dining, and fireworks for the ultimate shindig. The 1,300-foot, two-story wellness spa is one of the outstanding achievements of design. The “sea lobby” with heated limestone floors and oak wood paneling, one of the inspirations of interior designer Mark Berryman, is a beautifully inviting area, while the sauna, hammam, whirlpool and relaxation room (with a fold-down balcony at sea) level set the tone on.
Flying Fox also has the first cryo sauna ever installed on a yacht to take the spa experience to the next level. The vestibule is set at -40 ° F, followed by a main chamber at -116 ° F. Cryotherapy is usually preferred by top athletes for muscle regeneration. "When on board, the owner enjoys kite surfing, jet skiing and diving," says Lepeingle. “He wants to be able to recover quickly. He also wants charter guests to enjoy every activity, so the yacht is designed to anticipate all requirements. "
Adjacent to the Zen Spa is the dive center, which includes a three-person decompression chamber and the option to dive to depths of up to 328 feet. "To date, our charter guests have enjoyed diving depths of no more than 30 meters," says Lepeingle. "But if people want to cross their borders, we can help them do it in the safest way."
This ethos is supported by the 54-strong crew. The sport, fitness and diving instructors are either former Olympic athletes or former British military personnel. The helicopter is serviced by a dedicated pilot and engineer, and the on-board hospital (which is directly connected to a mainland hospital around the clock) has a permanent medic. "Most of the crew are usually former military personnel because the owner believes that military personnel have discipline and experience that the normal crew does not have," said Lepeingle.
Another requirement of the owner is the rear kitchen. Five different types of ovens - tandoor, pizza, barbecue and two rotisseries - are complemented by two teppanyaki grills and an outdoor dining area for 24 guests. The five cooks offer different diets and kitchens, all freshly prepared. “One of the rotisseries fits an entire lamb,” says Lepeingle. "The banquet options are exceptional."
As a PYC-classified yacht, Flying Fox offers space for up to 25 guests with a crew-to-guest ratio of two to one. The 328-square-meter master suite on the main deck spans the full width of 30 meters and has its own salon, gas fireplace and private hot tub (one in three on board). Even the 20-foot watered trees on board are well watered.
Flying Fox has mainly traveled to the eastern Mediterranean, with Turkey and Greece being the owner's preferred cruise area. The yacht was in the northernmost atolls of the Maldives last winter. Currently in the Mediterranean port, she will travel to Croatia this summer and can be chartered through Imperial.
Here is an exclusive video tour of the yacht. Check out other images below.
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