Different people achieve the feeling of being on cloud nine in different ways. For the Australian owner of the 243-foot (74-meter) CRN Cloud 9, spending time aboard his high-tech home afloat does the trick. “A perfect state of happiness,” he says, “exactly describes how we feel when we are on board.”
The owner is constantly on the go with multiple international businesses, but when Cloud 9 launched last year, he took a sabbatical with his wife and their two children, ages 6 and 9. They brought along a nanny and a tutor, who used the yacht’s dual-purpose gym/ schoolroom for morning lessons—the gym equipment tucks easily out of sight and the TV becomes an interactive “chalkboard.” Afternoon activities included exploring new ports of call, with a good measure of playtime and swimming for recess.
“He not only works hard, but he also likes to play hard,” says Andrew Winch, founder of Winch Design, which handled interior design on Cloud 9.
Cloud 9 was conceived with maximum flexibility to suit the owner’s life aboard, and to cater to the top end of the charter market. Having chartered many yachts himself, he knew that healthy-living features command a premium these days, which is why a gym, spa, beauty salon and massage room were part of his brief. Toys and fun were also high on his list.
“There is a glass-bottomed pool and lounging area that leads into the main salon/cinema, and with the large beach club immediately below, the recreational area spans several spaces with close proximity to the sea,” he says. “Adults and kids alike love it.”
Cloud 9 is the second-largest yacht that CRN has built. Constructed in Ancona, Italy, she represents a collaboration among the shipyard, Zuccon International Project, Winch Design and Burgess.
“The owner’s expectations were unrelenting, and the attention to detail critical,” says Ed Beckett, who was the owner’s representative from the start. “Quality control for the project was top of the agenda, and if something needed redoing, it was redone.”
Burgess and Winch also were deeply involved in the owner’s former Cloud 9, a 197-foot (60-meter) CMN built in France.
“The difference is incomparable,” the owner says, “not just by virtue of the extended length overall, but because the new Cloud 9 has extraordinary volume, giving the sense of a yacht far larger than 74 meters.”
Cloud 9 is designed to be informally elegant. The owner wanted a casual, beach-style home away from home,” says Winch. “He did not want it to seem like a Claridges or Hotel de Paris.” To achieve that goal, Winch Design gave the owner visuals of everything.
“If you compare the initial design renderings with the finished product, they are identical,” Winch says. “His vision did not waver.”
Sand- and linen-colored tones with subtle gold accents complement the prevalent navy, cobalt, cerulean and indigo hues. Warm wood adorns soles, ceilings and bulkheads.
“Oak reigns throughout all decks, from the bleached oak of the main salon, with its one-direction grain that creates a continuum of lines, to the hammered oak that lines the guest cabins, creating an opulent leather effect,” says Stefano DeVivo, chief commercial officer of CRN and its parent company, the Ferretti Group.
Zago, the Ferretti Group’s carpentry arm, created the custom woodwork. Shells, corals, mollusks and found sea objects are intrinsic to the décor, liberally incorporated in the textile designs and as objets d’art. In keeping with the nautical theme, patterns in the custom beige silk carpets resemble sand ripples.
All the staterooms, too, follow the restful décor theme. They are not differentiated by a color theme, and all are sized to make sure everyone has enough private space.
“Whether we are cruising on board with invited guests or whether the yacht is chartered,” the owner says, “it’s much more equitable to have comparable guest accommodations.”
In addition to a dedicated owner’s deck, there are six guest staterooms on the main deck, and a VIP stateroom on the upper deck with full-height starboard-side windows that slide open.
“The owner wanted all the space inside and out to be free-flowing with maximum views and easy access to the sea,” says Ignaco Olivia-Velez, head of interiors at Winch Design.
Common rooms have multiple functions, while private spaces are more intimate. For instance, the main deck’s salon can double as a cinema for 20, and the owner’s deck has a media room for a handful of people.
The technical specifications stipulated a touch-and-go helipad on the foredeck, but that space instead was configured to include shaded lounging, dining and karaoke. Winch designed a portable 12-seat table with folding legs for the area, and it can be used elsewhere, too.
“I like to spend time down on the beach club for water activities and time with the family,” the owner says, “so we’ll sometimes also dine there by the water’s edge when in a calm anchorage.”
With so many options, the owner has a hard time choosing his favorite spot.
“The teppanyaki bar on the sundeck is a fun place at lunchtime,” he says. “For quiet times, I enjoy the seclusion of the private owner’s deck, which is entirely self-contained. There are great views forward across a terrace through full-height windows from the cabin. The owner’s suite also has outside access from the bedroom, port and starboard, as well as a lounge/office.
“We entertain a lot on board,” he adds, “so a private haven with plenty of space and all the amenities is a great concept.”
CRN also looked to enhance the guest experience through the yacht’s seakeeping, maneuverability, fuel efficiency and stabilization. Special attention was given to the crew’s quarters, as well; the owner knows that even with the best yacht in the world, the crew make or break a cruise.
The owner, his family and their guests spent nearly 100 days straight on board following the yacht’s delivery. By all reports, he not only was on cloud nine, but also was in seventh heaven.
Have a closer look at the 243-foot (74-meter) CRN Cloud 9 in the gallery below: