Renaming a vessel is often seen as a misfortune, yet in the world of luxurious superyachts, it's an easy way to identify a change in ownership. However, this doesn't hold true for charter yacht CARINTHIA VII. This motor yacht's legacy is so deeply rooted that to call it anything else would be a sacrilege.
After two decades of singular ownership and just 4,000 original engine hours, the infamously private 97.2m (318ft) superyacht was purchased by a new owner in 2022. She then went through a swift 300-day transformation by the German shipyard Lürssen, and subsequently became the star of the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show. Despite retaining its original name, CARINTHIA VII emerged as a dramatically different yacht and an exciting addition to the official listing of yacht rentals.
Many changes have taken place for CARINTHIA VII, like the sundeck which has been revamped to cater to charter clientele, with a barbecue, wet bar, and lounging area. The original glossy wood-paneled ceilings were painted white, and the sea-level wellness area includes a hammam, treatment room, and beauty salon. A foldable balcony brings charter guests closer to the water.
Adorned with fabrics crafted by Venetian artisans, interiors transition from a deep ocean blue on the lower deck to a pale sky blue on the bridge deck.
The most striking modifications are a 36-foot glass-encased swimming pool on the main deck aft and a 968-square-foot air-conditioned gym on the bridge deck, enclosed by six tons of foldable glass doors, creating a winter garden. The area is further enhanced by a sizable cinema screen.
Lürssen also implemented a series of technical upgrades including a new water power treatment, a comprehensive sprinkler system, 18.6 miles of cable for a fresh AV/IT system, new exhaust filters, and completely refurbished engines and zero-speed stabilizers. The yacht also had to comply with new SOLAS stability requirements to qualify as a luxury crewed charter yacht.
In 2002, when Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten commissioned Project Faberge, as CARINTHIA VII was formerly known, anticipation was high. The yacht was a tribute to her late husband Helmut Horten's fleet of Carinthias, three of which were designed by Jon Bannenberg.
Engaging one of Bannenberg's protégés, a young Tim Heywood, for the design, Heidi Horten instantly knew she wanted something similar to Heywood's designs for the 115m (377ft) superyacht PELORUS for CARINTHIA VII. Thus, Heywood had to design a vessel that embodied the spirit and meticulous attention to detail of PELORUS, but with a unique identity suitable for indulgent Caribbean yacht charters.
The new owner of CARINTHIA VII is an art enthusiast, like her previous owner, and specifically made two primary requests for the renovation: to blend the old and new seamlessly, and for the shipyard to complete the work within 300 days to enjoy the winter cruising season around St Barts, Antigua, and other areas around the Caribbean. Italian firm Bizzozero Cassina Architects was tasked with overseeing the design.
The firm, which had previously completed only two yacht projects, brought a similar aesthetic to CARINTHIA VII's 8,800-square-foot interior, including revamping all eight guest cabins, drawing from their experience on residential projects for the owner.
The walls are adorned with fabrics crafted by Venetian artisans, and the central staircase is embellished with handmade, laser-cut tiles in an ombré pattern, transitioning from deep ocean blue on the lower deck to a pale sky blue on the bridge deck. Each floor's lobby artwork matches the staircase's color, and traditional gold elements have been substituted with a more modern silver.
Externally, the hull was repainted in Majestic Blue, with the superstructure in Matterhorn White and the deck walls in Shark Grey. Following minor adjustments at the shipyard, CARINTHIA VII is set to make its charter debut in the Caribbean.