There’s a lot you expect from a megayacht, but where the Atlante triumphs over others of its kind is in all the ways you do not expect
More battleship than luxury boat; more black than white; more clean-lined than curvy—when the megayacht Atlante was unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show last year, it was very much the ‘anti-yacht’. At an event where every gleaming liner is a standout, the Atlante—with all its gunmetal edginess—seemed more shark than ship, as it silently sliced through the inky waters of the Monégasque marina. If ships were people, the Atlante would be a renegade James Bond, with state secrets casually tucked into the pocket of his razor sharp suit; or a pirate in Prada.
What strikes you about the Atlante—besides its unexpected colours—is its appearance. This is because the yacht’s owner, a European business magnate, wanted his liner to have the stylistic identity of military ships. To fulfil this rather unusual need, he partnered with three separate think tanks: the engineers and builders from Italian shipyard CRN to construct the yacht; naval architects Nuvolari Lenard to design the exterior of the yacht; and interior designer firm Gilles & Boissier to custom-make everything inside the yacht.
In contrast with the electric vibe on the main deck, the upper deck is all about coffee and conversations. Sectioned into intimate seating areas, many overlooking the water, the deck is meant to inspire long tête-à-têtes, or at least long siestas. The copper tones of the deck’s aft salon are offset with J-shaped cream sofas. Dark parquet floors, larch wood wall panels and ceiling, and large side windows with leather seating lend the space a log-cabin-like vibe. A short corridor leads guests to the bow of the ship where they can enjoy sundowners around a hydraulic table that becomes flush with the deck when not in use. For guests arriving on the Atlante by air (because of course, sometimes, one has to make an entrance), the stanchions lining the bow are removed and the loungers stowed to clear the area for choppers to land.
Still in its first year, the Atlante has been sailing mainly on the Mediterranean. For someone who had seen the yacht when it was just sheets of aluminium and steel, Gilles is a satisfied man. “For us designing the Atlante was a continuity of our long collaboration with the owner. Our main concern was to be sure we understood what he wanted, and our main challenge was to make something he would love.” To that end, he knows his studio has aced the test. The Atlante is the cynosure of its owner’s eyes, and as he takes it out for a spin around Greece, the French Riviera, and, of course, Italy (where it was made), it continues its game of smoke-and-mirrors with the sea.
Fifty-five metres long and eleven metres wide, the Atlante is similar in size to other megayachts, but that’s where the similarity ends. Unlike most yachts—which you enter via a flight of stairs at the stern leading to the main deck—here the ‘beach club’, the area on the lower deck, acts as the craft’s entrance. This unconventional entry was at the behest of the owner. “Usually the beach club isn’t used much on yachts, except when the guests want to go for a swim. But on the Atlante, it is their introduction to the yacht,” says Gilles. To make the first impression of the Atlante a lasting one, the beach club is equipped with a solarium, a sunbathing area, a Turkish bath, a gym, and lounging tables and chairs for the ultimate R & R. It helps that this area is just a few steps away from the four guest cabins on board. The rooms all have a different layout, but a common design thread of smoked oak and brushed silver fir interiors, custom-made furniture by Gilles & Boissier, and lavish bathrooms in Calacatta Vagli and Carnico marble. All the marble was sourced from different parts of Italy, and a colossal 20 tonnes—approximately the weight of a 17-metre-long yacht—were used for the interiors.
A white Carrara marble staircase in the lobby rises up to the main deck: the pièce de résistance of the Atlante. Towards the bow of the ship is the owner’s suite, a full-beam stateroom (spanning the greatest width of the boat) that includes a spacious bed, a sofa, a desk, and a huge bathroom. Brushed black oak and eucalyptus, leather and marble, and linen specially designed by the owner’s wife come together to create a sense of quiet, understated, and indisputably masculine luxury. The stern of the main deck is the Atlante’s party central. When guests are on board, the tenders are lowered, the space cleared, the side hatches opened and the area transformed into a discotheque, a bar, or a home theatre. Wide sink-in couches give guests the feeling of being almost on level with the water. “You ‘feel’ the water on the Atlante,” says Gilles. “That is typically a sensation you have if you’re in a sailboat; not so much on a motorboat. On a yacht you are at a considerable height, but on the Atlante, you can feel the sea.” And if “feeling” the sea makes the guests too hot or too cold, they can retreat into the yacht’s main salon—an enclosed living and dining room with dark parquet floors, an abaca rug, sofas upholstered in a Loro Piana fabric, Christian Liaigre lamps and a leather ceiling.