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  • El Mahrousa

El Mahrousa Yacht (ex: El Horriya, Mahroussa)

El Mahrousa Luxury Motor Yacht by Samuda Bros.

Motor Yacht El Mahrousa

Launched in 1865, this 145.72 metre long egyptian presidential yacht is not only one of the world's largest but also one of the oldest..

Built in 1865 by the Samuda Brothers in London, the yacht was intended for the King of Egypt.

El Mahrousa, which translates into English as 'The Protected', was for a period officially named El Horreya - Freedom.

Originally named Mahroussa, El Horriya was extended in 1872 and again in 1905.

She features external design by the British naval architect Sir Oliver Lang, who designed some of the finest British navy ships of the 19th Century.

Nowadays she is berthed in Alexandria and is used as a presidential yacht and a training ship by the Egyptian Navy.

El Mahrousa is currently not available for Charter on Superyachts.com. Click here to view similar Yachts Available for Charter.

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  • Specifications

Builder: Samuda Bros.

Exterior Designer: Sir Oliver Lang

Naval Architect: Sir Oliver Lang

M/Y El Mahrousa

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A General Description of Motor Yacht MAHROUSSA

Samuda Brothers finished building motor yacht MAHROUSSA in 1865. Accordingly, she has the distinction of being built country of the United Kingdom. MAHROUSSA had yacht design work completed by Samuda Brothers and Oliver Lang and Samuda Brothers.

SS MAHROUSSA (Guarded by God's blessings) is a graceful 478 ft iron hulled yacht built in England in 1865 by the Samuda Brothers of Poplar, London for the ruler of Egypt, Khedive Ismail Pasha and was the Egyptian royal yacht until the monarchy was overthrown in 1952. After the abdication of the King she was used as a naval training ship by the Egyptian government and renamed El Horria (Al Horreyya) and has since served in that role and also as the presidential yacht. The yacht is considered to be an historical shrine by the Egyptian Navy at Alexandria. Her greatest claim to historical fame - she was the first ship leading the procession through the brand new Suez Canal in 1869. During the 19th century she was cut in two and had approximately 40 ft added to her length. She was rebuilt in 1905/6 in Italy and became one of the earliest ships of any size to be fitted with steam turbines. She was more recently refitted in the late 1940s/early 1950s in Italy and was recently reboilered in Alexandria.

The New Build & Yacht Design with respect to Luxury Yacht MAHROUSSA

Samuda Brothers was the naval architecture company involved in the professional superyacht plans for MAHROUSSA. Also the company Samuda Brothers and Oliver Lang expertly collaborated on this project. In 1865 she was actually launched with celebration in London and post sea trials and finishing touches was afterwards delivered to the new owner. muda Brothers completed their new build motor yacht in the United Kingdom. The core hull was crafted from iron. The motor yacht superstructure component is fabricated mostly with ironwood. With a beam of 13 metres / 42.6 ft MAHROUSSA has beamy internal space. A fairly deep draught of 5.3m (17.5ft) selects the amount of certain marinas she can enter, contingent on their individual characteristics. She had refit maintenance and modification completed in 1987.

Engineering And The Speed/Range The M/Y MAHROUSSA :

Coupled to the MAHROUSSA engines are 3sc. She is fitted with 2 engines.

For Superyacht MAHROUSSA There is Passenger Accommodation For Guest:

Under normal conditions she utilises around 160 capable yacht crew to maintain and sail.

A List of the Specifications of the MAHROUSSA:

Miscellaneous yacht details.

This motor yacht has a teak deck.

MAHROUSSA Disclaimer:

The luxury yacht MAHROUSSA displayed on this page is merely informational and she is not necessarily available for yacht charter or for sale, nor is she represented or marketed in anyway by CharterWorld. This web page and the superyacht information contained herein is not contractual. All yacht specifications and informations are displayed in good faith but CharterWorld does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the current accuracy, completeness, validity, or usefulness of any superyacht information and/or images displayed. All boat information is subject to change without prior notice and may not be current.

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SS MAHROUSSA 1994 Photo by and copyright Kevin M. Anthoney

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El Mahrousa Specifications

  • Name El Mahrousa
  • Model Custom
  • Hull Colour -
  • Naval Architect Sir Oliver Lang
  • Exterior Designer Sir Oliver Lang
  • Interior Designer
  • Length Overall 145.7m
  • Length at Waterline -
  • Draft (min) -
  • Draft (max) 5.3m
  • Gross Tonnage 4561
  • Cabins Total -
  • Hull Configuration -
  • Hull Material Steel
  • Superstructure -
  • Deck Material Teak
  • Fuel Type Coal
  • Manufacturer Parsons
  • Power 6500 hp / 4100 kW
  • Total Power 6500 hp / 4100 kW
  • Propulsion Triple Screw
  • Max Speed 16 Kn
  • Cruising Speed 13 Kn
  • Fuel Capacity -
  • Water Capacity -
  • Generator -
  • Stabilizers -
  • Thrusters -
  • Amenities -
  • Yacht Builder Samuda Bros. No profile available
  • Naval Architect Sir Oliver Lang No profile available
  • Exterior Designer Sir Oliver Lang No profile available

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The 25 Largest Yachts in the World

The list runs from lürssen's 592-foot 'azzam' to fincantieri 439-foot 'serene,' with a fascinating group of bespoke vessels in between..

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Top 25 Superyachts Now

The new arrivals in 2024 knock the mighty 436.4-foot  Al Mirqab   and  Koru , Jeff Bezos’s sailing yacht, off the list. The “smallest” yacht— Serene —measures a whopping 439.3 feet. A raft of behemoths didn’t make it, including Feadship’s 290-foot Project 821 that is launching this year, the largest build from the Dutch shipyard to date.

Two of Lürssen’s 2024 deliveries also fell short, including Project Deep Blue and Project JassJ. That said, the German yard remains top of the leader board with the immoveable 592.6-foot  Azzam . It also claims 13 of the 25 world’s largest yachts, two of which are new entries.

The list is interesting because most were built in the last 15 years, but there are several historical yachts, including  Savarona , launched in 1931, and  El Mahrousa , launched in 1865, that withstand the test of time. Others like  Yas  and  OK are conversions from other types of vessels. The inimitable  A  is a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated sailing superyacht.

Here are the world’s top 25 yachts by length.

Azzam | 592 feet, 6 inches

Lürssen Azzam

Lürssen could never really boast about Azzam after its launch in 2013 because of the owner’s penchant for privacy, though it did describe the interior by Christophe Leoni, which features a 95-foot-long main salon, as “inspired by the Empire style of the early 19th century.” Owner Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi directed a team of designers and engineers who started with the bare concept, worked through the technical challenges of what might be the most complex superyacht ever, and finished with an unusually large vessel that can top the 30-knot mark when operating in “sprint mode”. Its gas turbines, connected to water jets, also give it the ability to operate at high speed in shallow waters. Nauta Yacht’s exterior features a long, sleek forward area, with well-proportioned tiers moving up to the skydeck. It took an impressive six million man-hours—or four years including engineering—to build.  Azzam  accommodates up to 36 guests, and a crew of 80.

Fulk Al Salamah | 538 feet, 1 inch

"Fulk Al Salamah," Mariotti Yachts

Little information has been released about the world’s second-longest superyacht, the custom-built Fulk Al Salamah , and it has been shrouded in mystery since it was first announced in 2014. Even the overall length of 538.1 feet has been estimated from AIS data. However, the imposing vessel, built and delivered by Italian builder Mariotti Yachts in their Genoa shipyard in 2016, is believed to be owned by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of Oman. Last refit in 2021, the yacht has an exterior design by Studio de Jorio, and it is considered by some to resemble more of a support vessel than a superyacht. Nonetheless, aerial photography shows an impressively large helideck, raked masts, and a bathing platform.

Eclipse | 533 feet, 1 inch

Superyacht Eclipse

The 533.1-foot stately  Eclipse , one of two yachts on this list owned by sanctioned billionaire Roman Abramovich, took five years to design and build. When it left the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg in 2010, it was the world’s largest yacht. The interior has 17 staterooms and a palatial primary suite, with the capacity to carry 85 crew. Both the interior and exterior are designed by Terence Disdale. A proportional profile is defined by tiered decks that sweep upward and bend ever so slightly at the aft ends. Eclipse  has a 185-foot-long owner’s deck, the capacity to hold three helicopters, a sophisticated stabilization system, six tenders, and an enormous spa, gym and beach club, not to mention one of the largest swimming pools on any superyacht. Hybrid diesel-electric engines are connected to Azipod drives that give Eclipse a top-end speed of 21 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles.

Dubai | 531 feet, 5 inches

DUBAI UAE - DEC 16: Dubai - yacht of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. December 16 2014 in Dubai UAE

Even at 531.5 feet, Dubai ’s all-white Winch-designed exterior belies the dramatic and vibrant interior within. Colorful mosaic floors, a spiraling glass staircase, 70-foot-wide atrium, and bursts of red, blue, and green create a carnival of scene. Originally commissioned for Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei as a joint project between Blohm+Voss and Lürssen . Known as “Panhandle,” the project was halted in 1998 with just a bare hull and skeletal superstructure. The hull was sold to the government of Dubai, and, under the direction of the country’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, work on the 531.5-footer began again, though this time by Platinum Yachts. Dubai delivered in 2006 and is now the sheikh’s royal yacht, with accommodations for 24 guests and quarters for 88 crew. The SOLAS-certified seven-decked yacht has a landing pad for a Black Hawk helicopter, submarine garage, disco and cinema, and can reach a top speed of 26 knots. There’s also a waterfall that cascades from the yacht’s pool, located aft of the main deck. The yacht’s range of 8,500 nm at 25 knots gives it the potential to cruise around the world in record time.

Blue | 518 feet, 3 inches

Lürssen Superyacht Blue

Lürssen’s newest entry on the list, Blue , which delivered to its Middle Eastern owner in July 2022, may rank at number five out of the world’s largest yachts, but its diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system goes a long way to minimize emissions. The yacht also features an electric Azimuth pod drive that can be used independently or in conjunction with the twin propeller shafts. There is a waste-water treatment system and an advanced exhaust treatment system to help reduce NOx levels, as well as cut down on vibration and noise pollution. Interior and exterior design is by Terence Disdale, Blue is defined in profile by a raked bow with a helipad, an aft deck pool, and twin balconies forward either side of the owner’s full-beam suite. There is a second, smaller helipad aft. The British designer has reportedly penned a feminine and elegant interior, though no images have yet been released.

Dilbar | 511 feet, 8 inches

Espen Øino Dilbar yacht

The 2016 launch of Dilbar gave Lürssen the distinction of not only building the longest yacht ever ( Azzam ), but also the largest in terms of volume. Espen Øino designed the exterior, creating a full-bodied superstructure of long, flowing decks, along with two helicopter pads,two helicopter pads, one of which has a hangar with an H175 helicopter always on standby.  Dilbar  also has an oversized garden and an 82-foot swimming pool that can hold an incredible 6,357-cubic-feet of water and according to Lürssen, is the world’s longest on a yacht. The interior by  Winch Design  is defined by its “rare and exclusive luxury materials,” says the builder, declining to go into detail. Despite  Dilbar ’s volume, the designers did a masterful job making the yacht look relatively svelte. In June 2020, Dilbar returned to Lürssen for a significant refit, where the yacht remains following U.S. sanctions placed on the owner, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, in 2022. The yacht’s value is estimated to be $600 million.

Al Saïd | 508 feet, 5 inches

Al Said measures 508'5" and was built by Lurssen Yachts

Another 500-plus-foot yacht from Lürssen, the original Project Sunflower gained its official name of Al Saïd following its launch in 2016. Espen Øino’s exterior is akin to a classic cruise liner, complete with the twin-exhaust stacks in the center of the superstructure. Owned by the Sultan of Oman, the yacht was listed for the sale for the first time in April 2022 for an undisclosed sum, but a buyer has yet to be confirmed. The six-decked  Al Saïd  can carry 154 crew and an estimated 70 guests across 26 suites. Lürssen reports a top speed of 22 knots. The London-based Redman Whiteley Dixon studio designed the interior, which includes a concert hall that can hold a 50-piece orchestra, a private cinema for 50 people; you’ll also find a medical room and dental care on board.

A+ | 483 feet, 1 inch

Lürssen Topaz largest yachts in the world

Very little is known about A+ (formerly Topaz) , which was launched by Lürssen in 2012. Tim Heywood Designs did the exterior, which features helipads on the foredeck and amidships on an upper deck. A lower aft deck includes a swimming pool. The German yard has not released any images of the Terence Disdale interior. Reported to be owned by Manchester City Football Club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan—Emirati royalty and deputy prime minister of the UAE— A+  is equipped with a 40-foot Vikal catamaran beachlander and is powered by six Wärtsilä engines to reach a top speed of 22 knots. It can carry 62 guests and up to 79 crew and was last refit in 2022.

Prince Abdulaziz | 482 feet, 3 inches

Prince Abdulaziz

The 5,200-tonne Prince Abdulaziz is one of the Saudi Royal family’s yachts, its first owner being King Fahd. Designed by Maierform, the yacht was the longest and tallest in the world at the time of its launch, a title the 482.3-foot  Prince Abdulaziz  held for 22 years until  Dubai  launched in 2006. The late David Nightingale Hicks, known for his use of bright colors, was the interior designer. The lobby is said to be a replica of the Titanic . The yacht is also rumored to be carrying surface-to-air missiles, though that may be an urban legend. Launched by Helsingør Værft in Denmark in 1984, it was last refit in 2023.

OK | 479 feet

Ohima Shipbuilding's OK

Originally built by Japan’s Oshima Shipbuilding in 1982, the semisubmersible heavy lift ship was used for decades by DYT Yacht Transport as float-on yacht carrier. In 2022, the vessel underwent a private conversion at Karmarine shipyard in Turkey, turning it into a luxury, though highly unusual, yacht named OK . Modifications include a matte-black paint job, gold-tinted glazing, and teak decking. The vessel’s 328-foot submersible aft deck—a feature that first attracted her new owner, who uses OK to transport their 150-foot ketch—is now covered in a carpet of artificial grass. A 40-tonne crane allows for the safe and easy launch and retrieval of a vast range of toys, including a seaplane. The interior by Bozca Design is reported to include accommodation for 20 guests, a botanical garden, and a crazy Willy Wonka–inspired glass elevator that operates outside of the yacht’s superstructure.

Opera | 479 feet

Lürssen Yacht Opera

Very little is known about Lürssen’s mysterious superyacht Opera , though it’s thought to be a rebuild of Project Sassi, which was destroyed in a fire in 2018 at the German shipyard. Now four feet longer than the first iteration, the superyacht became the 11th largest yacht in the world when it delivered to its patient owner in 2023. Exterior and interior designed by Terence Disdale, Opera has a whopping 66-foot beam and an interior volume exceeding 10,000GT. No interior images have been released yet, though judging by its two swimming pools, one with a lifting floor, and two helipads—one on the bow and one on the upper aft deck—it seems no expense has been spared.

El Mahrousa | 478 feet, 1 inch

"El Mahrousa" Yacht, Samuda Brothers

El Mahrousa , which means “The Protected” in Arabic, is currently Egypt’s presidential yacht, though the 478.1-footer has a separate history as that country’s royal yacht. The London-based Samuda Brothers began the build in 1863, and it was launched in 1865. The world’s oldest superyacht—and formerly the world’s biggest—was originally built for the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Khedive Ismail, and later carried three Egyptian kings into exile. The yacht was also at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. It features external design by the British naval architect Sir Oliver Lang and has had multiple modifications over the years, including a lengthening by 40 feet in 1872 and another 17 feet in 1905. During the second refit, the owners replaced its paddle-wheel engines with turbine-driven propellers. The yacht, in care of the Egyptian Navy, occasionally goes to sea for a day or two. In 2015, it was used to inaugurate the new Suez Canal.

Project Luminance | 475 feet, 7 inches

Superyacht Lumaniance

Delivered in 2024, Project Luminance (the real name is yet to be confirmed) is Lürssen’s newest entry on the list. Exterior designed by Espen Øino, the yacht has a raked bow, a contrasting paint job in a dark blue hull and silver superstructure and a whopping 8,999 gross tons of interior volume. Few details are yet known about the gigayacht owned by Ukrainian mining and financial services mogul Rinat Akhmetov, including the interior by Francois Zuretti, but aerial shots reveal twin helicopter pads—one on the foredeck and another high up aft—a large beach club, and an infinity pool, with a private spa pool area on the foredeck.

A | 468 feet, 5 inches

Nobiskrug sailing yacht A.

Undoubtedly one of the most visionary projects ever delivered by German shipyard Nobiskrug, the Philippe Starck-designed A is a wild fantasy of the future. Delivered in 2017, the futuristic look of  sailing yacht  A includes smooth, silver-metallic surfaces and windows that look nearly invisible, a 26-foot draft, three composite masts that bend slightly, and a deck hidden by high bulwarks. The Philippe Starck–design is a wild fantasy yacht of the future. The 468-foot sailing yacht is a technical victory for Nobiskrug , which developed composite fashion plates to create the unusual shapes without compromising any strength or fluidity. It has the tallest freestanding composite masts on any sailing vessel, a diesel-electric propulsion system, and state-of-the-art navigation systems. The boat also reportedly has an underwater viewing platform in the keel. Starck’s traditional interior features dark wood, copper accents, and cozy patterned carpets. The split-deck main salon is divided into zoned seating areas with integrated bookshelves. A remains today the world’s largest sailing yacht six years after its launch, though many argue it is better defined as a sail-assisted yacht.

Nord | 466 feet

Lürssen OPUS Launch

Nord was announced in 2015 but didn’t hit the water until its 2020 sea trials in the Baltic Sea. The 466-foot yacht features interior design by Italian studio Nuvolari Lenard and was Lürssen’s first yacht launched from its floating shed at its facility in Vegasack. Boasting top-tier amenities, the yacht includes a sports and diving center on the lower deck, multiple tenders ranging in size up to 50 feet and a large swimming pool. The two helipads support the yacht’s long-range cruising capabilities for autonomous exploration, and a retractable hangar means a helicopter can slide neatly into the superstructure for storage when not in use. A generous 20 staterooms accommodate 36 guests across six decks, while a sleek aft-sloping superstructure gives Nord an individual profile on the water.

Yas | 462 feet, 6 inches

Superyacht Yas in Barcelona

As a converted yacht, Yas is one of the most interesting vessels on this list. The dolphin-like exterior was originally a former Dutch Navy frigate that launched in 1978 and eventually sold to the navy of the United Arab Emirates, where it was renamed Al Emirat . The yacht underwent its dramatic conversion in a facility in Abu Dhabi’s main port, emerging as a gleaming superyacht in 2011, with one of the most interesting profiles on the water. It was eventually delivered four years later. Reportedly owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan, half-brother of the president of the UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the design by Paris-based Pierrejean Vision is defined by massive glass surfaces. Yas can accommodate 60 guests and 58 crew members. Mated to a steel hull, the superstructure is the largest composite edifice ever built.

Solaris | 459 feet, 3 inches

Russian oligarchs yachts continued to be seized

Owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, the 476-foot  Solaris  was one of the largest yachts to deliver in 2021. Last refit in 2022 at MB92 in Barcelona, the vast, highly private explorer is built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft and features a displacement steel hull with bulbous bow and steel superstructure with teak decks. The eight-deck exterior by Australian designer Marc Newson houses a large helipad, sundeck, spacious beach club aft and 21,527 square feet of glass, the largest panes to ever be built into a yacht. Lloyd Werft also built the Russian billionaire’s previous explorer yacht Luna , which he reportedly sold for $360 million to his close friend Farkhad Akhmedov in 2014.

Ocean Victory | 459 feet, 3 inches

Fincantieri Yachts’ 459-foot Ocean Victory Photo by Trevor Coppock / TheYachtPhoto.com

The largest motoryacht ever built in Italy, Fincantieri’s Ocean Victory is owned by Russian billionaire Viktor Rashnikov, who was sanctioned in 2022. The seven-deck exterior by Espen Øino includes two helideck platforms and a hangar belowdecks, as well as exceptional outdoor social areas and a floodable tender dock. Ocean Victory has accommodations for 28 guests as well as quarters for 56 crew. The interior by Alberto Pinto remains a secret, aside from the yacht’s six pools, a 3,300-square-foot spa, and an underwater observation room.

Scheherazade | 459 feet, 3 inches

Russian oligarchs yachts continued to be seized

The 459.3-foot, Lürssen-built Scheherazade (formerly known as Project Lightning) was delivered in June 2020, with exterior design by Espen Øino and interior design by Francois Zuretti. Two helipads, forward and aft, and a large beach club aft are visible from aerial photographs, but aside from the yacht’s reported seven-foot beam, 40 crew and unique drone-crashing system for privacy, further details have not yet been released. The reason may lie with the yacht’s unofficial owner, believed to be Russian president Vladimir Putin. In May 2022, Italian authorities froze Scheherazade in the port of Marina di Carrara following an investigation conducted by Italian financial police who found the ship’s beneficial owner had “significant economic and business ties” to high-ranking Russian government officials, though the results of the investigation to date remain inconclusive.

Al Salamah | 456 feet

Lürssen Al Salamah gigayacht

When Lürssen launched Al Salamah in 1999, it was the third-largest yacht in the world. Its number 20 ranking shows how much has changed in the last 20 years. Code-named MIPOS, or Mission Possible, the yacht was designed by Terence Disdale . Originally owned by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the yacht was put up for sale for $280 million in in 2013 before it was reportedly given to Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa as a gift. The large imposing exterior is primarily protected space, with an upper deck exposed to the elements. Al Salamah has staterooms for 40 guests, including two owner suites, 11 VIP staterooms, and eight twin cabins. The yacht can carry up to 96 crew and has a top speed of 22 knots. Al Salamah was last refitted in 2009.

Rising Sun | 454 feet, 1 inch

Lürssen Rising Sun superyacht

Designed by the original guru of yacht designers, Jon Bannenberg, Rising Sun was built by Lürssen for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and is currently owned by billionaire David Geffen, who reportedly paid $590 million for the yacht. The yacht comes with a gym, a grand piano, multiple swimming pools, a beauty salon, and a spa with a sauna. Delivered in 2004 and last refit in 2022, the yacht’s exterior is defined by banks of windows across the superstructure. Rising Sun has 86,000 square feet of living space in 82 rooms. It can accommodate 18 guests in nine cabins, with the capacity to carry up to 46 crew. The interior by Seccombe Design includes a gym, cinema, and wine cellar, and the rear cockpit deck was designed as a basketball court. Geffen received global media backlash in 2020 for his “tone deaf” social-media posts that pictured himself on board his yacht during Covid-19 lockdown.

Flying Fox | 446 feet, 2 inches

Lürssen's Flying Fox superyacht.

The 446.2-foot  Flying Fox is arguably the most high-profile yacht on this list, primarily for being the largest yacht available on the charter market. In 2022, it was also singled out as “blocked property” by U.S. authorities in 2022 due to its previous management Imperials Yachts, which was on the US sanctions list. The yacht’s owner, however, Russian billionaire Dmitry Kamenshchik, is not sanctioned, so the yacht was turned over to him and returned to charter in 2024. Key features of the Espen Øino-designed exterior are a curvaceous dove-gray hull and a 3.7-foot swimming pool that runs athwartship on the main aft deck, the largest ever found on board a yacht. A two-decked spa also gives guests access to a cryosauna, hammam, and relaxation room with a fold-down balcony at sea level. Packed to the rafters with the latest amenities, the yacht holds a diving center, a decompression chamber, and two helipads. Flying Fox is PYC compliant and can accommodate 25 guests.

Savarona | 446 feet, 2 inches

Savarona superyacht 25 top yachgts

Launched in 1931, and by far the largest and fastest private yacht of her day, Savarona was built for American heiress Emily Roebling Cadwalader and is easily identified by its two mustard-colored funnels. The yacht was eventually acquired by Turkey to be the presidential yacht of Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey. Jane’s Fighting Ships described the yacht in 1949 as “probably the most sumptuously fitted yacht afloat.”  Savarona was later converted to a training ship for the Turkish Navy and, in 1978, destroyed by fire. The yacht laid in tatters for 10 years. A Turkish businessman spent around $45 million refurbishing Savarona , commissioning Donald Starkey for the interior and replacing the original steam-turbine engines with modern Caterpillar diesels. Savarona became Turkey’s official presidential yacht again in 2014, accommodating up to 34 guests in 17 suites and carrying up to 48 crew. Amenities include a swimming pool, a Turkish bath, a 280-foot grand staircase, a movie theater and a library dedicated to Atatürk.

Crescent | 443 feet

Lürssen Crescent superyacht Larry Ellison

Last refit in 2021, Espen Øino’s dark hull and tiered superstructure was one of the most exciting launches of 2018. Called Project Thunder internally at Lürssen, the custom-built yacht features cutouts along the hull sides that allow full ocean views from the saloon on the primary deck, as part of Crescent ’s distinctive curved superstructure. Its most noteworthy feature is the jaw-dropping bank of three-deck-high windows in the center of the yacht. This architectural feature serves as the centerpiece of a very compelling design. The yacht has accommodations for 18 guests in nine staterooms. Little is known about the François Zuretti-designed interior, other than Lürssen describing it as being “traditionally styled.” If it lives up to Crescent ’s brash exterior, the complete yacht promises to be an entirely groundbreaking design. In March 2022, Crescent was detained by Spain as property of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, who is sanctioned in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Serene | 439 feet, 3 inches

Fincantieri Serene superyacht

Serene  is the yacht that launched Fincantieri into the superyacht segment, and what a debut it was. The largest yacht ever launched in Italy when it was delivered in 2011 (surpassed three years later by Ocean Victory ), the Espen Øino seven-deck design features a long, sleek blue hull crowned by a white superstructure. Pascale Reymond of Reymond Langton Design created the 43,056-square-foot interior for a Russian owner, which includes a double height atrium with a piano lounge at the top and a vast open-plan main salon below. Sunken LEDs and bright pink and purple neon lights create a modern party vibe in the social areas, which contrast with the elaborate yet more traditional guest suites. A spiral staircase with intricate metal banisters soars through the heart of the yacht. The open stern area has a winter garden (enclosed glasshouse) that allows dining in all seasons. Serene also has two helipads and a hangar, a big swimming pool, and a tender garage large enough for a submarine.

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Sisi sails into Suez on swanky yacht

SUEZ, EGYPT - AUGUST 06:  The Mahrousa pulls away from the dock at during the opening ceremony of the new Suez Canal expansion including a new 35km (22 mile) channel on August 6, 2015 in Suez, Egypt. The new channel of the Suez Canal was finished in a year at a cost of 8 billion USD and is designed to increase the speed and capacity of ships.  The new branch is being celebrated as a major nationalist project. (Photo by David Degner/Getty Images).

It should have come as no surprise that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi chose to board the former royal yacht al-Mahrousa  to inaugurate the New Suez Canal . Al-Mahrousa is one of the longest, largest and most prestigious yachts in the world, leading Sisi to deem it appropriate for the occasion, one of the biggest events in Egypt’s modern history. The president had to assume the ceremony would make international headlines, displaying Egypt’s greatness to the world.

On July 31, al-Mahrousa set sail from Alexandria for Port Said to await the Aug. 6 inauguration of the waterway's new lane . It was the first vessel to pass through it. Al-Mahrousa is the only vessel to have been present at the inauguration of both canal lanes. Khedive Ismail Pasha  was on board the yacht Nov. 16, 1869, along with invited  European leaders , when it became the first ship to pass through the original canal  at its  opening ceremony . The ship would traverse the canal again 146 years later, the first after the canal's reopening  on June 5, 1975, following its closure in 1967 as a result of the June War against Israel.

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145.72m  /  478'1 | samuda bros. | 1865.

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  • Monday, 20 May 2024

El-Mahrousa yacht: A history entwined with the Suez Canal

Zeinab el-gundy , thursday 6 aug 2015.

The presidential yacht was the first ship to cross the Suez Canal in 1869, and will be the first vessel to pass through the new extension on Thurdsay

Mahrousa yacht

At the heart of the preparations for the upcoming inauguration of the new Suez Canal waterway on Thursday the 150-year-old presidential yacht, El-Mahrousa, stands out because of its long association with the Suez Canal. 

The yacht earned its spot in Egyptian history when it became the first ship to pass through the Suez Canal after the waterway was opened in November 1869. Aboard the ship were Egypt's ruler Khedive Ismail and a number of royal guests.

Mahrousa yacht 1

The ship is the oldest active yacht in the world, and the seventh largest.

El-Mahrousa is still in service, and on Thursday it will carry President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his guests from all over the world along the new waterway, the largest-ever addition to the canal.

Many Egyptians still associated El-Mahrousa with the Suez Canal and with Egypt's former royal family, but the history of the ship goes beyond those associations. 

The story of the yacht began in 1863 when Egypt's ruler, Khedive Ismail, ordered the British shipbuilding pioneers the Samuda brothers, who were based in London, to build him a royal yacht. The luxurious vessel was designed by Oliver Lang, who designed Queen Victoria's first steam yacht, with the aim of being a state-of-the-art ocean-going steamer.

In August 1865 , the 411-foot and 5-floor vessel was handed over to its Egyptian crew, who sailed it from the River Thames to Alexandria.

Two years later the yacht embarked on its first official mission, transferring Egyptian troops to aid the Ottoman forces that were cracking down on the Cretan revolt in Greece.

The strong historical bond between the yacht and the Suez Canal began in 1869, before the canal was opened. Early in the year Khedive Ismail took his yacht on a tour of Europe to invite kings, queens and emperors of the continent to attend the inauguration of the Suez Canal. 

In November 1869, El-Mahrousa became the first ship to officially pass through the newly inaugurated waterway.

Onboard alongside the khedive was Eugénie de Montijo, empress of France and wife of Napoleon III, who gave the khedive a piano as a gift. It is still located on the yacht today.

Other well-known figures who have been on board include Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran; King Abdelaziz Al-Saud, the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Josip Tito, ruler of Yugoslavia, and Menachem Begin, Israeli prime minister.

Mahrousa yacht

A witness to Egypt's modern history

In a small note of historical irony, the yacht in 1879 carried the man who commissioned its construction, Khedive Ismail, to his exile in Italy, after he was ousted by his son Khedive Tawfik.

In 1914, the ship played the same role once again, taking Khedive Abbas Helmi II to his exile in Turkey. 

The biggest irony of all was on 26 July 1952, when El-Mahrousa carried the last king to rule Egypt, Farouk I, and his infant son, Ahmed Fouad II, in favour of whom he abdicated, to their exile in Italy, thus witnessing the final chapter of the royal dynasty of Mohamed Ali.

Mahrousa yacht

In the newly founded republic, El-Mahrousa was renamed El-Horreya, meaning freedom, but the new name was little-used by ordinary people. Assigned to the Egyptian navy where it was docked at Ras El-Tin naval base in Alexandria , El-Horreya continued to play an active role, including transporting president Gamal Abdel-Nasser to many places.


The yacht was also frequently used by president Sadat on important events and trips.

In June 1975, the ship was once again the first to pass along the Suez Canal at the huge celebrations marking the reopening of the channel for naval movement following its closure after the 1967 and 1973 wars.


The following year the ship took part in the celebrations marking the bicentennial of the US, crossing the ocean.

In September 1979, Sadat made a famous trip to Yafa on board the El-Horreya, during the peace talks between Egypt and Israel.

In December 1980 Sadat made one final trip on board the ship, as it was the first vessel to pass through the newly inaugurated expansion of the Suez Canal.

Under former president Hosni Mubarak, the ship was less active. Instead, the Egyptian navy would use it in ceremonies to mark the graduation of students from the naval academy.

In 2000, Mubarak decided to changed the name of the ship back to El-Mahrousa.


Renovating El-Mahrousa

The five-floor yacht has undergone major alternations in its 150 years.

In 1872 , it was lengthened by 40 feet. In 1905, it was subject to a major rebuild in Scotland where it was lengthened by another 16.5 feet and its two paddle-wheels were replaced by steam turbines.

In 1912 , a telegraph was installed on the ship.

In 1919 El-Mahrousa underwent another major alternation in UK, so that it was powered by diesel oil instead of coal. This required that the ship be lengthened for a third time, this time by 27 feet.



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