How about literally living on-board the planet’s largest superyacht? Sounds fabulous ain’t it? Well, the unthinkable is gonna be happening in a couple of years time, courtesy, the Somnio Yacht. Communications from the Somnio office doesn’t reveal much. It’s still a very hush, hush thing! However, one message is crystal clear and in the words of Captain Erik Bredhe, Co-Founder of Somnio –
“She will be the largest yacht in the world, by length as well as volume. The spectacular scale of the yacht has allowed for a design that ensures she will be considered amongst the most beautiful modern superyachts ever built”.
In spite of the ravages of the Corona pandemic, work is on at war-footing at the world-renowned Norwegian shipyard VARD. Somnio has entrusted two of the world’s top-notch architectural ship designers – Sweden’s Tillberg and UK’s Winch Design to come up with a never-before-attempted designing module.
Rubbishing all the pandemic-induced negative mindset of the uber-luxury yacht industry, there is a buzz going around that Somnio will have stricter than thought health protocols in place, and owners of the uber-cool yacht residences onboard the Somnio will have access to “world-class medical healthcare.”
Once ready, the 728 foot-long Somnio, is scheduled for launch in 2024. According to yacht industry experts, the estimated cost of building this one-of-a-kind ship is pegged at a staggering $600 million. The opulent apartments spread over six decks will come fully equipped with a state-of-the-art gym, a kitchen, library and intimate dining spaces both inside as well as on the terrace.
And Oh God! Any guess how much an apartment on board the Somnio is gonna cost? A whopping $11.2 million, and even then it ain’t gonna be that easy as one can only buy if one has received an invite from Somnio.
Who would have ever imagined owning a residence-on-sea? The very idea sounded outlandish. The concept of residence-on-sea probably occurred due to the penchant of the ultra-rich to once in a while escape from the spotlight – the constant glare of the media and the paparazzi, those strenuous billion-dollar business negotiations, signing of MOUs and what have you……….
According to Captain Erik Bredhe , Co-Founder of Somnio –
“Super-prime living doesn’t have to be relegated to dry land anymore: Developers have launched sales for apartments aboard the world’s largest yacht, offering a select 39 luxury condos starting at $11.2 million. Expected to launch in mid-2024, the 730-foot superyacht Somnio (from the Latin for “to dream”) will sail the “four corners of the globe,” per a press release, including excursions to New York, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, and even Antarctica”.
Being the only residential superyacht in the world, a lot of thinking has gone behind the operational aspects of the ship – the promise of a unique marine lifestyle at sea, exclusive hand-picked crew and global itineraries consisting of voyages to destinations that will offer immersive and transformational experiences befitting a superyacht of such great magnitude.
When it comes to “Responsible & Immersive Tourism”, one Indian lady who shines so bright – Ms Shoba Mohan, the dynamic and visionary Responsible Tourism activist and the founder of RARE India – www.rareindia.com who has been championing for the cause of Responsible Tourism in the Indian subcontinent.
According to her – “Every trip taken evokes many emotions in us. Memories of food flavours, paths explored, conversations, breathtaking vistas, stories of people and their journeys, that first sighting in the wild – each having the power to move us even after many years. The future of travel lies in being truly exceptional and authentic in terms of experiences – real, mindful and transformational”. I am sure, Somnio will offer all these and much, much more.
Having been a Travel Journalist for more than two decades, what impresses me the most is the “responsible” attitude of the Somnio yacht management and their decision to confer the rights of designing annual itineraries to the apartment owners.
Somnio will come fully equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment to aid marine biologists and scientists to further explore the fascinating world of oceans and who knows! They might even come up with startling revelations on issues like global warming, climate change etc…
Consider for instance Alaska – World’s Last Frontier, which is all about icy wilderness, fjords and mountain peaks that almost touch the sky and is undoubtedly mother nature’s most blessed revelation.
This icy region used to be and still is the benchmark for nature explorers, mountaineers and glacial climbers. However, the passage of time and stupendous human excellence in science and technology has meant that today we have been able to tame even the extremely icy contours of this rather secluded frozen zone. I for one for sure would be waiting with bated breath to hear exciting new scientific revelations from Somnio’s scientific crew, post the 2024 launch.
Imagine, for instance, you are onboard the Somnio with your loved ones and you are passing through Norway – a country blessed with glaciers, magnificent Fjords and majestic mountains. This country has been on the radar of adventure tourists for a long time now and the temptation of blissfully resting in the midst of the awesome Northern Lights, for instance, has lured many a visitor to this fascinating country in Scandinavia. And the best part of visiting Norway is that it is “UNSPOILT”.
What a superlative, if not a transcendental experience it would be for you and your family onboard the Somnio during the “Blue Hour” – a period characterized by the sun going below the horizon, which offers a stunning natural ambience wherein this unusual light phenomenon creates a magical panoramic setting. This experience is mythical, the stuff of legends and there are places like Svalbard – the only place in the world where the Northern Light is permanent.
Somnio is going to be a giant technological leap and will penetrate areas that are beyond the ordinary guest experience, like making the ship more energy-efficient, improved ship management and offer more options to crew members than it used to be in the past. It is hoped that Somnio would be at the forefront of safeguarding and protecting the oceans.
The upbeat mood at Somnio finds an echo in the words of the energetic Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing in VARD, Rune Rødset thus: “During my 37 years in VARD, I have had many dreams. However, the satisfaction of bringing home the contract of Somnio clearly exceeds all of what I was hoping for.”
Long back Ted Turner was once quoted as saying – “Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with ourselves, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.”
What an outstanding summation of the watery world! And, Somnio epitomises all that!