The world’s 10 most secretive superyachts

There are some luxury yachts that make their presence known the moment they ...

The world’s 10 most secretive superyachts

August 31, 2019

Written by Rachael Steele

There are some luxury yachts that make their presence known the moment they arrive in their cruising ground… and yet remain a complete enigma to onlookers: German shipyard Lürssen is notorious for keeping its builds secret throughout production, while some Owners are waiting for the right moment to capture the world’s attention.

Al-Lusail. photo credit H2 Yacht Design

As the Monaco Yacht Show and other major yachting industry events approach, so too does the anticipation of fresh information on these mysterious motor yachts. And sometimes – but not always – followers are rewarded with a glimpse of the luscious interiors and life on board. From current launches to long-established names, these are 10 of the world’s most secretive superyachts.


2015-built mega yacht DILBAR is the world’s 5th largest motor yacht and drone footage at marinas reveals just how much other luxury yachts are dwarfed by her 156m/512ft size. Yet despite her imposing presence, few details have been made public about life on board.

Mega yacht Dilbar

What is known is that Espen Oeino designed her beautiful ivory white exteriors that are accented by teak decks and bronze accessories. Two helipads are located on the sundeck aft and foredeck, and a 25m/82ft swimming pool is also on board.

The accommodation provides for 36 guests across 20 en-suite cabins, all serviced by a crew of up to 96.

On paper her technical specs boast an impressive beam of 23m/75ft as well as 3,800m2/40,902ft2 of space dedicated to the Owner and guests as part of an interior volume of 15,917 GT, which makes her the largest yacht by volume for private use. It is also believed that there is a lower deck and tank deck hidden below the waterline due to her draft of 6m/19.8ft

30,000kw diesel-electric engines allow her to reach a top speed of 22.5 knots, allowing her to make excellent time from one location to the next through the Mediterranean cruising grounds.


147m/482ft mega yacht A+ (ex.Topaz) from 2012 still holds the no. 8 spot within the world’s largest motor yacht rankings and remains almost as mysterious as motor yacht DILBAR: The exterior styling comes from Tim Heywood while the interiors are the work of Terence Disdale – two prestigious names within the luxury yachting industry associated with quality.

Mega yacht Topaz. Photo credit Luis Pérez Contreras

Her wide beam of 21.5m/70.5ft makes for spacious guest cabins for up to 64 guests, who have at their disposal a Jacuzzi, swimming pool, helipad and gym as well as myriad indoor and outdoor lounges as well as sunbathing areas.


Launched in 2019, 135m/442.9ft motor yacht CRESCENT (ex.PROJECT THUNDER) from Lürssen is on the cutting edge of technology and has attracted the eyes of luxury yacht aficionados and curious holidaymakers by her sheer size, stately black hull and on-trend raked bow.
Espen Oeino designed the exterior while Zuretti Interior Design produced the atmospheric indoors surroundings, among which is a two-tier atrium amidships that has full-height windows. There are two helipads on board and the one located on the upper deck has its own hangar.

Mega yacht Crescent

Al Lusail

Another prestigious and enigmatic luxury yacht from Lürssen is the 2017-launched AL LUSAIL, measuring 123m/403.5ft and boasting the naval architecture and exterior styling of British studio H2 Yacht Design and interiors from March & White. A raked bow and curving aluminium superstructure give her a unique appearance that fuses together the appearance of the decks.

Mega Yacht Al Lusail


The sleek and sophisticated Abeking & Rasmussen luxury yacht EXCELLENCE was launched and delivered in 2019 and while her side-on profile is certainly modern sophistication – her two-tier glass panels are just one understated element of her design – it’s the view of the simple and clean lines from flying overhead that show her true beauty. With exterior lines by Winch Design, the engineering to make these glass panels seamless is the work of the shipyard’s engineering team.

Abeking and Rasmussen superyacht Excellence on sea trials. Photo © DrDuu

The wealth of amenities on board includes a main deck aft swimming pool, an Owner’s aft deck Jacuzzi, a sundeck Jacuzzi and a tender garage close to the water containing the limousine tenders.

She is expected to make an appearance at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019 (25-28 September) and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2019 (30 October – 3 November), where more details may be revealed.


77.3m/253.5ft superyacht SYZYGY 818 (ex.PROJECT 818) from Feadship was launched in June 2019 and therefore one of the newest yachts on this list. The exterior styling comes from designer Jarkko Jämsén while the interiors are the work of Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design.

Feadship superyacht SYZYGY – side view. Photo credit Feadship

The name refers to an astrological event when three celestial bodies align such as a lunar or solar eclipse, while the number 818 refers to the Owner’s birthday on the 18th of August.


From Nobiskrug comes 80m/262ft superyacht ARTEFACT, one of the first luxury yachts to be built to IMO Tier III emissions regulations and designed for a technologically-minded Owner who wanted to minimise their environmental impact. The irregular shapes of the large windows in the hull are instantly recognisable, and in some sections the glass exterior spans across three decks. Gregory C. Marshall produced the exterior styling, while the interiors are the work of Reymond Langton Design. More information is expected to be released at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019.

Nobiskrug Superyacht ARTEFACT

Project Lightning

This secretive build from Lürssen has been scant on details from the start, however what is known is that 130m/427ft mega yacht PROJECT LIGHTNING is built with a steel hull and aluminium superstructure and contains a beach club with a spa, a Jacuzzi, barbeque and foredeck and sundeck aft helipads.

Mega Yacht PROJECT LIGHTNING on sea trials. Photo credit DrDuu


Lürssen has had a busy year so far and 95m/312ft superyacht MADSUMMER was spotted recently on her maiden voyage in the Western Mediterranean. Harrison Eidsgaard and Laura Sessa Design worked on her exterior and interior styling respectively.

Madsummer will make her first appearance at the MYS 2019. Photo credit ®KlausJordan

On board is a 12m/39ft swimming pool, a spa and Jacuzzi, plus a helipad on the bow. The accommodation sleeps a maximum of 20 guests over 10 spacious en-suite staterooms.


The final yacht on this list is another launch from 2019: Benetti flagship mega yacht IJE. At 108m/354ft there is plenty of room on board for guest amenities, including a sizable selection of tenders and water toys which include eight jet skis.

Benetti giga yacht IJE – side view

The naval architecture comes from Pierluigi Ausonio and the exteriors from RWD are furnished with a 1.5m/4.9ft fire pit on the bridge deck, a private alfresco dining area on the Owner’s deck and additional dining for the group on the main deck.

The accommodation sleeps a maximum of 22 guests and a crew of 29 will ensure that everyone on board receives first-class service.

M/Y IJE draws on 345,000 litre fuel tanks and uses a pair of MTU engines each of 2,880 kW to travel at a top speed of 18.5 knots and cover up to 6,500 nautical miles.

Her interiors were styled by Benetti and have yet to be revealed.

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