A world of complete and utter euphoria awaits aboard the 74m/243ft superyacht ‘Cloud 9’, a ground-breaking CRN delivery with an emphasis on family relaxation and meeting the needs of the modern charter guest.
When Cloud 9 hit the water in January 2017, she sent a surge of excitement across the industry. As the result of a close collaboration between three yachting greats - Italian shipyard CRN, Rome-based naval architects Zuccon International Project and British studio Winch Design - expectations were high. But, it soon becomes clear Cloud 9 is a yacht that lives up to, if not surpasses, the hype.
The motor yacht seduces from the moment eyes are laid on her good looking profile. A gently tiered superstructure and gracefully curved exterior lines ensure Cloud 9, despite measuring 74 metres, does not intimidate and this innate approachability continues across the deck areas and into the interior, putting all who step aboard immediately at ease.
When it came to the interior, Winch Design had free reign apart from two provisos: it had to be both family and charter friendly. Fulfilling such a brief presented a challenge as what an owner requires when spending long periods of time on board contrasts significantly to what guests need for a one- or two-week charter.
The realisation of these two demands is something CRN's CCO Stefano de Vivo describes as Cloud 9's 'double DNA', while Andrew Winch, creative director of Winch Design, describes the interior style as 'driftwood beach chic', pinpointing her unique feature as being 'consistently relaxing throughout'.
To achieve the look and feel, the design studio brought together sand tones, vivid blues and a treasure chest of decorate shells and corals. Brushed Douglas fir and limed oak makes up the majority of the woodwork, but these are just two of some 50 surface materials used on board.
Also key to Cloud 9 is the free-flowing layout, where comfortable spaces neatly merge into the next and she even picked up the ‘Best Layout on a Yacht’ award at the World Yacht Trophies 2017.
Entering through the sliding doors on the main deck aft, guests are immediately immersed in the heavenly oasis brought to life by Winch Designs. Open, bright and luxuriously laid-back, the main salon presents the perfect atmosphere in which to unwind.
Abandoning conventions, there is no dining option here. Rather, a bar lined with high back stools provides the ultimate welcome as, further forward, a sumptuous seating area lures guests to sink into a 1.5-metre-deep sofa. Matching armchairs add to the social setup, while lone couches in alcoves to port and starboard offer intimacy if required.
A 3D porcelain panel by British artist Fenella Elms along with two vortex-shaped sculptures by Tim Royall capture attention on the central bulwark and, when not admiring the art, guests can take advantage of the salon's cinema setup for movie nights at sea.
What’s also noticeable is the absence of sharp edges and angles. From sphere-shaped coffee tables to cylindrical pillars, the bespoke furniture and cabinetry ensures Cloud 9 fulfills her child-friendly ethos. But, from an aesthetic standpoint, the resulting curves create an extremely soothing ambience.
Forward of the main salon is a foyer where a striking glass and steel elevator takes centre stage. According to the design studio, it represents ‘a waterfall from sundeck to beach club, connecting the exterior blue stripe to the interior’.
A hair salon and massage room is also found on the main deck. The attention to detail on the motor yacht shows no limits as even this relatively small space has its own remarkable qualities, including beautiful oak finishes and a fold-down hull door for alfresco massages over the water’s edge.
As there is a whole deck dedicated to the owner – or principal charter guest – the remaining forward section of the main deck on Cloud 9 is free for the guest accommodation, as well as two staff cabins.
Spanning off a wide, central corridor, the six staterooms are made up of two double cabins, two convertible cabins and two twin cabins. Each has a nameplate on its door engraved with the name of a Star Wars character, but these can be removed if a charter party isn’t a fan of the franchise.
The principal charter guest, meanwhile, has the domain of the upper deck. Making the most of its prime position, the magnificent suite's crowning feature is the full-length, wrap-around window, which looks out onto a private terrace forward and the cruising grounds beyond.
Ridges in the thick carpet imitate the ripples of sand in shallow waters, and a vanity and chaise lounge showcase the curves of the bespoke furniture to perfection. These details are accentuated further by the natural light that floods in through the expanse of glazing.
Backing onto the sleeping quarters to port is a ‘her’ bathroom with access to a large dressing room, and opposite to starboard is a 'his' shower room and a dressing room, which can also serve as a study.
The overall feel is extremely soothing. There could be no better way to start your day than waking up to panoramic views of the ocean and enjoying an alfresco breakfast just metres away on the secluded terrace. There is also a media room and office aft for watching television and catching up on business.
On the bridge deck below, one lucky guest will be treated to the VIP suite. Situated just forward of the lobby, the stateroom’s entire starboard bulwark has been replaced with a sliding glass door, providing magnificent views, as well as direct access onto the side deck.
Mirroring this cabin to port is a gymnasium stocked with Technogym equipment. The full-width glass doors ensure guests can work out in a semi-alfresco setup while being rewarded with ocean vistas.
Enhancing the effect of the full-width glass doors – whether they are open or shut – are the glass panels on the exterior bulwarks. Such detail guarantees guests sleeping or exercising on this deck can revel in unencumbered views at all times.
Taking up the aft section of the bridge deck is a celestial-like skylounge. An undulating silver panel shimmers on the ceiling above a sociable seating area, while a scene of white fluffy clouds is painted onto the aft bulwark, with the blue hues of the sky matching the scatter pillows and lampshades.
Despite the salon’s ethereal looks, the feel is even more laidback than the main salon, and it makes a tranquil and cosy setting in which to hang out with all the family.
The space then narrows to frame an indoor dining area, which is semi-enclosed by a curve of glass. Guests can sit at the round table on chairs adorned with a coral motif and indulge in a delicious feast cooked up by the on-board chef while soaking up views of the cruising grounds.
Winch Design worked closely with Zuccon International Project to blur the boundaries between indoors and out and, as a result, the deck spaces across luxury yacht Cloud 9 capture the casual elegance and holistic ethos of the interior.
On the main deck aft, a showpiece 10,000 litre spa pool elevates the space into an attractive recreation area. Another 1.5-metre-deep sofa adjoins the pool, coaxing guests to lie down and dry off after a dip, and forming part of a larger seating area shaded by the overhang of the deck above.
The goal to merge the interior and exterior spaces, however, is best realised on the bridge deck aft. Flanked by sliding glass panels to offer protection from the wind is the primary outdoor eating area, just steps away from the indoor dining table of the skylounge.
It may seem an odd choice to have two dining areas situated so close together but the setup is, in fact, incredibly versatile and can suit a variety of occasions. For example, both of the large, circular tables can be expanded, meaning even more family and friends can be invited on board for dinner during a yacht charter.
Alternatively, the tables can be removed completely, leaving a brilliant space for a dance floor or a meeting area for a corporate yacht charter.
Wraparound decks lead forward from this aft area on the bridge deck to meet the bow, where the outdoor offerings continue, proving Cloud 9 to be suitable for a whole variety on-board events.
Shaded seating and a sunning station overlook what was originally intended to be a helipad. The owners, however, had other ideas and now the space serves as a grand entertaining area.
A large tent can be installed, shielding guests from the weather as they dine alfresco. Loose furniture is on hand for these occasions, as is karaoke and disco equipment for party nights.
The aft section of the owner’s deck is reserved for an alfresco cinema. Guests can lie back here and watch movies under the stars, while the sundeck above, in comparison, is the ultimate daytime hangout.
A spa pool flanked by sun pads takes up the forward position. Charter guests can relax here soaking up the sunshine as well as the views, with respite from high temperatures just a few steps away.
Tucked under the navy blue radar arch is a bar and teppanyaki grill, ensuring refreshments are always close at hand. There is also a seating area for sipping cocktails or feasting on freshly grilled snacks.
Yet, a lunch can also be enjoyed around a circular table in the aft half of the deck. A retractable Bimini shade is on hand if required, while a line-up of sun loungers and another seating area remain open to sun.
One of the most unforgettable features aboard Cloud 9, however, is the lower deck beach club. A huge door drops down forming a swimming platform large enough to host modular seating, parasols, sun beds and even a circular dining table.
Through glass sliding doors, guests enter a chic lounge with an expresso bar and sunlight streams down through the glass bottom spa pool on the deck above, creating a magically luminous effect.
A corridor connects to the port garage, giving ready access to the water toys. These are launched from drop-down platforms to port and starboard, which means guests hanging out in the beach club aren’t disturbed.
Another unique characteristic of this deck is an entrance lounge, where guests arriving by tender first step aboard. Quiet and soothing, the teak and holly-clad space is designed to allow guests to gradually adjust from the bright light and offers a fitting introduction to the rest of the superyacht.
|Gross Tonnage2200 GT|
|Max Speed16.5 knots|
|Crusing Speed15 knots|
|Range 6,000 nm|
|Range at 12 Knots|