Feadship has launched the 69-metre Samaya, a pure custom Feadship designed for luxurious diving expeditions around the world. The brief called for a yacht capable of remaining autonomous for long periods while exploring uncharted areas. This remarkable project was completed less than three years after the signing of the first agreement, itself reached after only three days of meetings.
“After joining us at the 2014 Monaco show, the client came straight to the Netherlands with Joshua Lee from Lee Marine to see our facilities on the Sunday after the event and discuss a high-speed motoryacht with a large open sun deck,” remembers Feadship director Bas Nederpelt. “They then spent Monday and Tuesday with the in-house design and naval architect team at Feadship De Voogt translating the client’s fascinating ideas into the initial design. After several design iterations a Letter of Intent was signed on the Tuesday evening.
“This is the clearest possible example of how Feadship can embark on a project guided solely by the inspiration of a client and our unrivalled experience. Confident of the stellar reputation of the Feadship yards, owners can rest assured that everything will go smoothly from that point on. We also have the flexibility to continue engaging with their ideas as a design develops: Samaya, for instance, grew by some five metres over the early months. This is the only way to ensure a truly bespoke motoryacht.”
The owner of Samaya was hugely involved throughout the project, taking part in regular monthly meetings that lasted several days. This process ultimately led to a superyacht that is meticulously based on the client’s personality and the desires of the family. Their ultimate goal is to explore the underwater world in safety and comfort while contributing towards the conservation of the oceans and the wonderful but vulnerable species contained within.
Samaya’s intriguing colour palette was a major part of this creation. The primary coating is a subtle lunar white, which reveals hints of a warm pink hue during the sunset hours and will truly come alive in the different shades of light found around the world. This scheme is offset by a teal-coloured waterline based upon the colour of a rare blue-green fish the owner once spotted on a diving excursion.
The maritime theme continues with a giant backlit manta ray symbol on fashion plates which reflects the owner’s commitment to conserving this endangered species. The overall exterior profile is also inspired by the primary purpose of Samaya, Feadship De Voogt designer Jan Schaffers explains. “The owner shared stories about diving adventures as we studied shapes together to discover what it is that makes these underwater creatures so fascinating. Our conclusions were included in the design. A good example is the gentle yet powerful muscular shape of the side bulwarks, which echo the pronounced slender muscles seen on a bull shark.”
The owner will soon have many more diving tales to tell, most of which will begin in the dedicated dive room in the stern. Finished to the highest degree of sophistication (including a teal-coloured floor and metallic/wood ceiling), this space houses all conceivable facilities (including a nitrox-enriched air system) and is characterised by bespoke placement of everything from seats to equipment shelves.
While occasionally diving directly off the stern, the occupants will make lots of trips to outlying reefs using Samaya’s 8.8-metre and 7.2-metre tenders. Decked out in the same colours as the mothership and custom-designed for purpose, these large tenders are housed in a dedicated garage in the main deck and launched via convenient large doors.
Lots of thought has also been given to the divers’ return to the yacht. The main deck aft features a bespoke flat-bottomed plunge pool which will be filled with hot water to speed up post-dive recovery from the coldness of the depths. In a similar vein, all luxury areas on the yacht can be heated up to 30 °C rather than the normal 25 °C mark.
Brimming with attractive details, Samaya’s interior was designed in partnership with RWD and showcases the owner’s affection for a variety of international cultures. The guest suites have been designed for and by the owner’s children, with highly distinctive colour schemes and furnishing of their own. Another bespoke area is the ethnic lounge on the bridge deck where friends and family can spend time watching their newly recorded diving movies.
Samaya’s outdoor facilities are also very impressive, ensuring that this Feadship will be enjoyed just as much while en route to the many places she visits as she will upon arrival. The fabulous sun deck, with a range of dining and relaxation areas, is a case in point. Large enough to become a true party deck, it also contains intimate features such as the two comfortable ‘top of the world’ resting beds nestled against the mast arch. Featuring their own ventilation system, these snugs can be closed off with a curtain to create a tranquil spot for watching the world go by or simply taking an afternoon nap.
As the European owner often resides in Asia this will be one of the many areas which Samaya will explore on her planet-spanning travels. Many will take her to isolated regions where little or no infrastructure is available on shore, which is why the yacht was designed for an incredible degree of autonomy and no limitations on cruising ability. The client made a sacred promise during the keel laying ceremony to cruise wherever it is possible to experience encounters with special and rare species – and to use Samaya as a platform that enables scientists and the media to produce material which will educate people and help protect the endangered species and damaged locations in our beautiful oceans.