I nibbled on a pineapple skewer as the rain fell in a hush against the gray hull of Kismet. At 223 feet LOA with a beam of 42 feet and towering 66 feet to the top of her radars, she turned heads from the 17th Street Causeway during last year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. At the behest of Peter Lürssen, whose yard built the $130-million yacht in 2006, journalists were allowed to inspect Kismet, whose name means destiny—maybe doubly so for anyone with the means to either buy or charter her. What I found, as I made my way through all six decks, was a vessel finished with extraordinary detail and care, which explains, for instance, why the gold- and silver-leaf murals of the New York skyline in the dining room had to be redone twice. But there was more.
As I slipped on my protective booties and entered the main saloon, smooth jazz trickled off the baby grand Steinway player piano in the aft-starboard corner. The room's soft-toned linen walls are accented with floral designs in pearl embroidery, while the couches and chairs are arranged like a box in the center of the cream carpet. A forward partition can block off the lounge for family movie screenings, but with the push of a button, its center lowers, tucking away the projection screen and opening up the saloon to accommodate the flow of large parties. Beside the lounge, two Portuguese-made, man-size alabaster vases stand as sentries to the more private interior.
As the saloon indicates, the owner can use this yacht for any occasion, whether it be a family gathering or a large corporate meeting. This dual-purpose design philosophy emanates throughout Kismet, from her formal but welcoming decor to her thoughtful engineering. Rooms like the disco—with its massive round skylight centered over the dance floor—are constructed to meet the demands of versatilty. It's just the right size to feel full with ten or 12 friends milling about, but with the addition of a bar in the back and glass doors opening onto the large sundeck, it's just as capable of being the dance floor at a crowded black-tie function.
When it's time relax, guests can take the midships glass elevator down to the massage room on the yacht's lowest level. Grouped around it are four identical, 323-square-foot guest staterooms, where the main points of interest are not so much the gold-embossed moldings as the engineering. With the push of a button, the king berth in each stateroom splits in half and slides apart on a track to become two berths. Another button turns on the TV embedded in the mirror in the head, so a guest can brush his or her teeth while watching CNBC or SpongeBob Square Pants. And instead of a "Do Not Disturb" placard that dangles from the square golden doorknob, he or she can depress yet another button, and the staff is alerted to the request for solitude.
Perhaps the only area on the vessel that doesn't cater to dual use is the master suite—it's devoted strictly to personal luxury. After retiring past a door that resembles a bank vault, the owner can doze off in the king-size centerline bed, where instead of counting sheep, he may be inclined to count impalas, like those painted above the headboard (the VIP on the deck above has cheetahs). Forward, the full-beam bath has a centerline tub carved from a single block of marble. (It reportedly took the designers three tries to locate the perfect block.) The owner can also walk around the peacock feathers painted on frosted glass and Grecian pillars to the shower, then grab a robe and sit for breakfast on either the port or starboard private terrace.
This article originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.