Attractively-priced motor yacht Northern Sun and the New Zealand-built super sailboat Bliss are also in the Burgess portfolio, and it is worth noting that the former holds a charter licence for Myanmar, otherwise known as Burma, which is primarily used for voyages into the Mergui Archipelago north of Phuket.
Rates for the 51m Northern Sun range from US$133,000 to US$147,000 a week, but keep an eye out for occasional “specials”, as we noticed one at nearly a 10 per cent rebate recently.
The vessel accommodates up to 12 guests in six well-appointed cabins, including a large master cabin, three double cabins and two twins, so at an average of only US$22,000 per couple per week, experiencing a passage on one’s own superyacht becomes relatively affordable.
Tariff for Silver Fast, for example, is a top-of-the-range US$650,000 a week, but she is a just-launched 77m Espen Øino design, capable of fast passages at economic costs, a leader among the world’s current crop of big boats.
A reason why Northern Sun is such a comparative bargain is that she was built over 40 years ago in Japan, then completely refitted at Subic Bay in the Philippines in 2015. Since then she has become a popular “local” charter yacht, well-known and affectionately regarded in home-base Phuket, in other parts of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean where she roams.
Facilities are not as “super duper” as the very latest designs and interior decors, but they are “homely”, and she has comprehensive audio-visual systems, satcom and cellular communications, and wifi internet access.
Watersports include 1 x 7m rigid jet tender with 165 HP engine, 1 x 7m RIB tender with 180 HP engine, 2 x Laser sailing dinghies, 2 x SeaBobs, 5 x SeaScooters, 9 x kayaks, 4 x stand-up paddleboards, scuba diving and snorkelling equipment, waterskis and wakeboards, various inflatables, a water slide, and to offset this, a gym with running and rowing machines, exercise bike, yoga mats, assorted weights, Bozu balls and so on.
Not bad for the price, so obviously charterers can make of their chosen voyage what they will, and have the options to do what anybody else on a superyacht may do for a week, complemented by a friendly captain and crew.
“Northern Sun”, says Burgess Yachts, “will escort you through the world’s remotest oceans in absolute luxury. Impressive leisure and entertainment systems make her the perfect charter yacht for socialising with family and friends.
“The principal deck is entirely dedicated to entertainment, with a vast light and airy main salon, and an entertainment salon with games table and piano. For those looking for relaxation, there is a further salon with an open air dining area overlooking the aft deck.
“This is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon or romantic evening, and it boasts ample seating and dining areas. A central staircase leads down to the extended swim platform and fabulous assortment of water toys.
“While the aft deck is a favourite spot for al fresco dining, the foredeck lounging area is perfect for cocktails during quiet evenings at anchor while sharing a beautiful sunset. The private sun deck offers a jacuzzi, panoramic views, and most importantly, sometimes complete solitude.
“Northern Sun has a welcoming Asian-inspired interior, featuring sumptuous tropical woods, hand woven rugs and a warm colour palette of soft furnishings. The lower deck features an impressive formal dining salon and an adjoining library.”
Bliss built by Yachting Developments in Auckland and launched in 2009 is a 37m sloop designed by Ed Dubois, in one of his forays away from Alloy Yachts and Fitzroy Yachts, the yards that constructed most of his formidable New Zealand collection. Interiors are by Design Unlimited.
Being a super sailboat, charterers are likely interested in a sailing experience, although the ability to handle such a vessel is not essential as she comes with five crew. One can sit back and relax in the cockpit and savour a fast ride as the vessel lopes across the wave tops, and later, after a scenic voyage taking lesser-known parts of say the Andaman Sea, a quiet protected anchorage and dinner on deck or below awaits.
Chartering Bliss is US$85,000 to US$100,000 a week, so she is the least expensive of the Burgess Yachts offerings, but can only carry ten guests in a 1 x double, 2 x double or twin, 4 x additional berths combination, so either a group of dedicated sailors or family and friends in an adults-plus-children combination is the likeliest line-up.
One would need to negotiate particular passages, but if Bliss was in the Indian Ocean, for example, sailing between the fabulous coral atolls of the Maldives would be most memorable, or the lovely islands of the Seychelles could provide a fascinating and many-storied route.
Bliss has Apple TV and Kaleidescape movie server with movies and music, including iPod docking, accessible in each cabin. iPad controls are used in the guest areas, and Wifi and 3G access is available depending on location. The vessel has VSAT Fleet 77 communications.
Watersports include a Castoldi 16 diesel 120 HP jet, 2 x inflatable paddle boards, 2 x kayaks, 3 x surfboards, diving compressor and gear, kite surfing equipment for experienced users only, sport fishing rods, 2 x waterskis, wakeboards, inflatable tows and snorkelling masks and fins.
Chartering Saluzi, at US$480,000 a week, really requires studying the vessel to obtain optimum results from the exercise, and we think the extra effort involved will pay huge dividends, because she is simply unique in waters anywhere in the world.
From a distance, one’s view may be coloured by whether or not the emperor’s horse motif prominently implanted across her exterior facade is found to be attractive artwork or perhaps a little “over the top”, and Eastern and Western senses of art come into play here too.
But once one steps aboard, and fully understands the concept, some remarkable possibilities open up.
Saluzi is a 69m former French Polynesian boutique cruise ship, and even in her refurbished format, she can carry a stupendous 32 guests over five decks, which would be unthinkable for most modern superyachts, let alone the 32 crew also accommodated aboard to serve them.
Interiors have been redone in venturesome modern styling in the public areas by Florida-based Luiz de Basto, who was aboard when we last visited the ship, but his cabins are more modulated and varied so that guests can literally be matched up, and the spa is really something else, pictured in the layout here.
Relatively shallow draft enables the vessel to embark on adventurous voyages that others may regard as too hard, and she has already achieved some quite startling exotic charter requests.
Wealthy individuals with a large entourage, for example, could find Saluzi ideal for both family and staff, and what a way to hold a convention with a difference. Divide US$480,000 by 32 and the result is US$15,000 a head, about the same as a week at a luxury resort.
Owners are a luxury Beijing property group which has other interests in places like Monaco, so if one can get used to the emperor’s horse, Saluzi really has quite a lot to recommend it.
Silver Fast is a different vessel again, at 77m the world’s largest and fastest aluminium motor yacht. Recently launched and available for sale, we are aware of possible buyers circling, so chartering now may be the last chance to experience the crème de la crème of superyacht society.
Earlier Silver Yachts offerings, all designed by much-accomplished Espen Øino, have been bought by Middle East and American IT owners – 73m Dragonfly was on the East Australian coast, after a year or two in Asia and the South Seas, when this was written – and the next one, Silver Loft, is a luxury exploration yacht, so it will be interesting to see what happens to Silver Fast this year, and whether a few charters can indeed be fitted in.
“At 77 meters, Silver Fast is the world’s largest and fastest aluminium motor yacht with conventional propulsion”, says a Burgess Yachts spokesmen.
“Delivering a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 18 knots, her powerful MTU engines can carry her to a top speed of 27 knots in optimum conditions, and her long-range cruising speed is 20 to 22 knots.
“Proven for long ocean passages in all sea states, her slender hull cuts through the waves with ease and she is quiet and vibration free for night-time passages at 18 to 20 knots. Quantum zero speed stabilisers keep her equally comfortable at anchor. Her shallow draft (2.6m) makes her perfect for cruising the shoal waters of the Gulf, the Maldives, the South Pacific and the Bahamas.
Words Ross Wolfe | Images courtesy of Burgess