Holland’s Giant — By Kim Kavin —
The Giant Experience
|Part 2: “For this boat to cross the Atlantic is like for another boat to go from Palma to Cannes.”|
Misiag’s interior design is the result of Rene’s requests for a classic look. Giant has mahogany veneers and black-trimmed ivory marble throughout, along with overheads that in some places are eight feet tall and resemble molded plaster. An impressive addition is the staircase with wrought-iron railings and gold leaf details that connects the main- and boat-deck saloons.
The 50 to 60 handpainted masterwork reproductions that hang throughout the yacht give each space its identity within the sea of same-colored wood and marble. Brigitte helped choose the paintings based on her experience selling similar works in her Fort Lauderdale gallery for an average of $3,500 apiece. “We had to buy some more because we didn’t have enough,” she recalls. “It was hard, but wonderful to see it coming together.”
A stunning copy of Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” adorns the second VIP suite, to starboard on the main deck. One deck up, a Magritte reproduction rests near an original-looking copy of a Michelangelo sketch. Down the companionway, sunflowers leap off the canvas in the Van Gogh suite, and waterlilies give the Monet suite its identity.
“These are real fakes,” Rene says as we continue our tour. “They’re so good, a specialist couldn’t find out.”
Some of the most interesting reproductions are of Paul Gaughin’s work. In the boat-deck saloon, the copies are painted onto coffee bean bags—just as the originals were when the artist ran out of canvas during a trip to Tahiti.
Gaughin portraits also adorn the main-deck’s starboard-side VIP suite, known as the Queen’s Apartment. It’s the size of a condominium, with a queen-size bed, a full-size desk, a full bathroom suite, two loveseats, and a dining table that seats up to six people. Talk about a well-lit room: The portholes, in my quick estimation, are nearly the size of windshields on Mini Coopers.
“In the beginning, we used all the rooms, slept in each for a couple days, just to get the bugs out,” Rene says. “Now, I usually use the VIP (Queen’s Apartment). It’s just more practical.”
More practical, that is, than going up to the bridge deck, which is almost entirely devoted to the owner’s suite. Named after the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Hermitage suite has its own saloon with an electric fireplace, sitting area with flat-panel TV; a bar as big as any in the saloon of a 100-footer; an office with a full-size desk and oversize leather couch; a full-size bathroom with two showers separated by a two-person Jacuzzi tub; his-and-her cedar closets; and a king-size bed with reproductions of Michelangelo sketches hanging nearby. Unbelievably, because of the way the spaces in the owner’s suite are designed, it seems like a posh, cozy apartment. “We feel okay if we’re only the two of us,” Rene says with a smile.
Forward on the bridge deck is the wheelhouse, which includes a sitting area about the size of a “typical” motoryacht’s country kitchen. I sat down and looked out the windows to starboard, where the tips of sailboat masts were swaying wildly in the wind. I couldn’t make out the boats themselves, as they were well shorter than Giant’s gunwales, and I was surprised that they were rolling so violently. Giant felt like she was embedded in concrete.
“For this boat to cross the Atlantic is like for another boat to go from Palma to Cannes,” Rene quips. “Boats like that, they’d simply sink.”
Through the windows forward, I could see the two-car garage designed to carry cars for Giant’s guests. Rene specified that it fit a Dodge Durango and a Bentley, to suit just about any land-based desire.
If those toys aren’t cool enough for you, the top deck’s helicopter pad is sized to hold a twin-turbine chopper, according to Rene. Forward of the landing area is a pair of 22-foot Novamarines (one rigged for fishing) and a 17-foot Novamarine. Giant also carries a pair of 40-foot sporfishermen, each of which can be taken for overnight trips. Rene figures that on a boat the size of Giant, charter parties will span the generations, and some of the younger guests may want to get away for a while. Guests who stay aboard will undoubtedly enjoy the cinema with three plush yellow couches on the main deck, as well as the full fitness room one deck below. It includes a group-size Jacuzzi and separate sauna.
With all she offers for so many guests, Giant’s $300,000-per-week charter rate somehow doesn’t sound terribly steep. She was bound for the Bahamas last fall, with a projected arrival in the Mediterranean this summer and possibly a trip through the Northwest Passage thereafter. That is, unless the Herzogs sell her first. Giant’s price tag is $38 million, but as she was a labor of love, Rene says he hopes to enjoy her for at least a little while.
He looks around with pride and says, “I don’t feel the boat is too big. I feel it is comfortable. If I go on other boats now, they seem small.”
I would imagine that given the perceived lack of running room on most 100-footers, little Giant shares the sentiment.
Giant does not have a central agent for charter, so contact your preferred broker. For sales information, contact Camper & Nicholsons International Phone: (305) 604-9191. www.cnconnect.com.
This article originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.