What do the following billionaires – Roman Abramovich, Paul Allen, Larry Ellison, David Geffen, and Steve Spielberg, have in common? They are all part of the rare world of superyacht owners. A superyacht is a commercially operated luxury yacht (motor or sail powered) and is professionally crewed. According to a 2016 Wealth-X report, those buying superyachts spend upward of $22B per year for these nautical essentials.  And, a recent Forbes article states that on average a 100 meter (328 foot) superyacht with a top speed of 25 knots and 50 crew members should cost around $275 million.

In Florence, The World Superyacht awards

In Florence, Italy .The World Superyacht awards

This is a small, ultra high net worth enclave, where, again according to Wealth-X, only 4476 billionaires are members of the superyacht owners club. And, like in all bespoke and elite worlds, there are awards for the best of the best.

The Neptune Awards, Given To The World's Best Superyachts, 2016

The Neptune Awards, Given To The World’s Best Superyachts, 2016

The awards – called the Neptunes –were given out this month in Florence, Italy and presented by Boat International Media, a major global authority on superyachting. A total of 24 Neptunes were given to 19 yachts that combined the best in cutting-edge technical expertise coupled with great design. Forty-seven superyacht builders from 15 countries entered, with 70 nominated.

Here are some of the most memorable winners.

The Latitude, Winner Of The Voyager's Award. photo: S/Y Topaz

The Latitude, Winner Of The Voyager’s Award.
photo: S/Y Topaz

 The Voyager’s Award – Went to the Latitude, and to the owner, Anil Thadani, an adventurous superyacht owner who has taken long distance voyaging and exploration. In this case, the Latitude took an 11,000 mile cruise, beginning in Florida, and taking the legendary Northwest Passage around the top of Canada to Alaska and the Pacific.

Sailing Yacht Of The Year Award

The Unfurled, Sailing Yacht Of The Year photo: Stuart Pearce

The Unfurled, Sailing Yacht Of The Year
photo: Stuart Pearce

The Unfurled, a 46-meter vessel, was given this award, due to its unique technological advances: retractable pods for greater propulsion, a carbon rig and roller system, and more. These advancements allowed it to be used as a luxurious cruising as well as a substantial racing vessel.

Motor Superyacht Of The Year

The Savannah, Motor Yacht Of The Year

The Savannah, Motor Yacht Of The Year

The Savannah was honored as the most innovative yacht  – and was awarded the Displacement Motor Yacht of 1,300 (gross tonnage to 2,999 gross tonnage (gt), after the vessel impressed the judges with a design craftsmanship that included an underwater lounge, and from a technical standpoint, a first its kind propulsion system.

The Best Refitted (restored or renovated) Yacht Of The Year Including a Saloon

Mirage, Exterior, Winner Best Refitted Yacht Of The Year

The Mirage was judged to be the best of the Refitted Yachts, as all areas of the yacht were redecorated or restored and a new gymnasium, saloon, and spa pool were installed, also.

 The Best Rebuilt Superyacht Of The Year

Malahne – Best Rebuilt Superyacht, 2016

The Malahne was honored with this award, as it was originally created in 1937, and had been previously ruined by an initial rebuild, that proved insensitive to the original plans. The new owner requested the vessel be restored as close to the original as possible. During the course of the refit, the team displayed a high level of understanding of the original ship’s era, especially in regard to the new Salon, as seen below:

The Malahne Main Salon

Judges’ Commendation For Great Design: Motor Yacht Below 500gt (gross tonnage)

The Ruya, Judge’s Commendation For Great Design

In the case of Rüya, the judges were enthusiastic about the interior design created by Sam Sorgiovanni. He combined the rich tones of the Australian Outback and other uniquely Australian textures, harmonious colors, and timbers throughout.

The Displacement Motor Yacht Of The Year, Under 500 gross tonnage

Genesi, Exterior
Photo: Moowe

The Genesi — Launched in late 2015, the judges saw this vessel as the epitome of a modern yacht, admiring the bright interior spaces, and with an innovative ‘beach club’ – an all-round waterfront entertaining venue with a seven-metre (22 ft) long pool.

Large Yacht Award: In The Class of Displacement Motor Yachts, 2999 gross tonnage and above

This is the class where the largest yachts are entered into the World Superyacht Awards. The Symphony won, as its 101.5-metres has beautiful exterior lines, perfect detail and exceptional division of interior spaces. This yacht combines the best of design and technological innovation.

For further information, click here to find out the latest from the event.