Written by By Angelique Cawley, CNN
It’s still a slight fantasy of yachting nirvana, but Robert Chapman’s planned 70-meter superyacht is proof the dream will never die. He and his designer have spent £50 million ($70 million) over the past seven years and only just reached the halfway point in the vessel’s construction.
In September 2016, Chapman became the fifth person to experience air-conditioned space aboard his vessel The Fugn, an extremely tiny size bracketed by a skylight 60 meters (200 feet) above the Mediterranean. Inspired by a 12-metre (39-foot) spaceship simulator that Chapman had once visited, it takes up just a few percent of his most prized possession, weighing in at only 750 kg (1,858 pounds).
Inside The Fugn
His hotel ship’s Zodiac-style hull is topped by jet engines that belch F-117 Stealth fighter-fueled exhaust up into the middle distance, with its deck space occupied by a state-of-the-art swimming pool and diving tank.
High-tech birthing pods
Elsewhere are 14 birthing pods that could carry between three and seven babies, joined by two guest levels with their own VIP lounges. “There’s an eighth level with a car space, a cinema, an office and a simulator,” Chapman explains, adding that a third crew platform atop the decks would be standard.
Underneath there’s a 180-kilometer (109-mile) sheltered channel to sail on, while at the stern the vessel’s unique double-widescreen steel sea-based ferries have been fitted with canopies to keep guests “a kilometer” protected from the weather.
Robert Chapman stands in the hull of The Fugn, a floating hotel ship in Porto Gentil, Italy. Credit: Maxi Volante/Martin Seraschi/Vedder Loyalj
Chapman’s master-of-the-craft superyacht builders also have a tendency to pluck ideas from a wide selection of entertainment genres. In 2015, he unveiled The Sun, billed as a 76-meter home cinema, complete with smooth-floating seats.
“The idea was to provide a ‘nice enough’ place to sit for guests who wished to go to a movie,” explains Chapman. “The seats would allow even the oldest person to sit in comfort, and they would move up and down the module to allow the film to continue screening.”
The Sun, a ‘home theater’ complete with seats that slide to separate the screen from the screen.
Similar endeavors have included the “ocean liner” based on the beginnings of Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert. The 12-day voyage featured lectures, entertainment and relaxing activities and was completed by suspended hydraulic lifts with airship elevators in the process of lifting a giant 75-meter (250-foot) statue and garden into position over the sea.
I found the architecture and the design of this one of the best that I’ve ever encountered. The furniture is extremely classy and the design has a lot of innovation, the design is transparent, and the architects have been able to achieve a design which is real to the reality of port,” says Shipyard Architect Chris Hanbury.
A rising trend
Swampland, located on the banks of the Orkney Passage at the beginning of Scotland’s most easterly coast, proved to be a stellar infotainment venue that catapulted its master-of-the-craft to the top of the luxury yacht ranks.
With artworks and antique furnishings towering over bathtubs, and water slides that could include the ubiquitous dolphin, it can host guests with upwards of 100 people, and is currently on sale at £25 million ($33 million).
Swampland, an engineering masterpiece designed by Ropesberg with interior by Bernt von Kleinheil. Credit: Iain Roberts/Supplied by Iain Roberts/Iain Roberts
Swampland became the “ideal of the year” in the UK, with San Francisco-based hotel designer Chris Roesberg, and interior designer Monika Bartelmo publishing in its pages in 2013. “She creates moods, boundaries and beautiful design in the place of place, and to have an area of her own to create in or outdoors in as a stage for guests is the heart of success,” Roesberg notes.
Private islands and entire city
Continuing the theme, at the Dutch Design House Inge Wehrli’s 2013 “california desert retreat” product launch ceremony , tents were seen while over 4.5 million yen ($41 million) were raised, along with the entirety of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 and a number of designer cars.
In three years time, Steve Jobs is rumored to have enjoyed an