9 mins read

I am fortunate enough to spend a considerable amount of time looking at superyachts across the luxury yachting market. It is a fair comment that each one is unique or, indeed, they definitely have a ‘something special about them’. Many superyachts tend to have a very clean and modern look, somewhat reflecting a luxury show home; using generic colours and metals . Don’t get me wrong, they look absolutely amazing, but perhaps just don’t feel like home if that’s what you are looking for. 


Whilst browsing the most recent superyachts available, I received an email from Ocean Independence announcing that they have a new yacht available for charter named LAUREL. When I first saw the image of the yacht, it certainly made me stop and look – LAUREL radiates a stately feel, she is very much a superyacht for grown-ups.

Built by Delta Marine, this elegant superyacht is the second largest yacht to be built in North America since the Great Depression. One of my favourite details on LAUREL is the blue hull, which exudes so much style and presence whilst offering a vast amount of exterior space, perfect for relaxing with family and friends. The hull is made from traditional steel, but LAUREL has the latest stabilisation system, minimising any roll motion and ensuring guests enjoy a silky-smooth ride. Extensive travelling on board LAUREL is a breeze – thanks to her range of 6,000 nautical miles plus a cruising speed of 15 knots. If you are a keen diver, aft of the tenders located on the lower deck, is a convenient diving room that opens onto the large bathing platform, created by opening the stern door.

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When embarking LAUREL for the first time, you will notice the vast amount of space available. With three external decks, there is ample room for you and your guests to have their own areas.. The main deck is where the hub of the yacht for guests, the Sundeck  complete with fabulous Jacuzzi and sunbed area is a top spot for relaxation, whilst and you can dine in luxury overlooking the sea from the  Bridge Deck.. The Bridge Deck is also a perfect location to socialise or entertain, but also a great place to watch the sunset with a freshly-made cocktail. 

. With one of the largest beach clubs that exist on a superyacht, Laurel offers a plethora of toys, including an inflatable slide, a 16’ inflatable trampoline, two wakeboards, a diving board, two giant water balls (hamster wheels) and even four mountain bikes for when you want to explore one of the many beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. One thing I can guarantee is that – you and your guests will never be short of  activities on board Laurel!   

Moving on to the interior, is it equally as amazing as the exterior? Yes, it is! LAUREL can accommodate up to 12 guests in 7 staterooms  

Let’s start with the owner’s suite. Located towards the bow of the yacht, this is the perfect place to enjoy some ultimate R&R in a haven of tranquillity. It is the grandest of all the staterooms and rightly so, with access to your own private lounge and office, but when you want to take the weight off your feet, enjoy the large king size bed and  an impressive, oversized shower in the en-suite bathroom. The key highlight is that you have your very own veranda on either side of the master suite for use whether you are anchored or cruising.
Between the different levels, stunning glass artwork showcases underwater scenes, cleverly highlighted by fibre optic lighting.
How about the guest accommodation? There are four identical king size staterooms, each having their own unique accent and colour schemes and additional seating area. All have en-suite bathrooms crafted with precision, featuring granite counters, marble showers, wood inlays and striking Alchemy gold and silver leaf glass under mounted double sinks. The sixth stateroom is well suited for perhaps a nanny and/or children, with a queen bed and single bed plus Pullman option, together with en suite Jacuzzi bathroom. Finally, the seventh stateroom is optional, depending upon guests’ requirements, it can serve as a massage/spa room upon request, or as accommodation for staff or security with a convertible queen/twin bed layout and en suite.  For fitness fanatics, there is a fully equipped gym onboard, with the addition of a spa zone too. 

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The Crew
At any given time, LAUREL has 22 permanent, professional crew who look after her throughout the year and ensure that when you step onboard every aspect of the exterior and interior are immaculate. When LAUREL is chartered, an additional two crew members are allocated, to ensure guests are given nothing but six-star plus service. 

At the helm is Captain Roy Hodges, who has been in the marine industry from the tender age of 13 and at 19 obtained his first Captain’s license. This sort of pedigree is hard to come by: you can rest assured that you are in the hands of an experienced individual who knows his way around every inch of the yacht. Over the last four vessels that Roy has captained, most of the crew under him have subsequently transitioned across to continue working with him – true testament to this seasoned professional. It is however not just the open sea where Roy feels at home, he is also a private pilot, and with a passion for speed, loves his motorcycles.
To welcome you to LAUREL, settle you in and ensure all charter requirements are met, is Chief Stewardess Nicole Topping. Hailing from South Africa, her adventurous spirit and wanderlust led her to leave the corporate world and pursue a career in yachting. With an enthusiasm for new places, people and culture, Nicole is a well-travelled, warm individual who makes sure cruising on LAUREL is completely unforgettable. 


Prepare for tantalised taste buds, thanks to LAUREL’s classically trained Executive Chef, Patrick Matthews. Bringing to the table over 35 years of extensive experience, including award-winning 5-star establishments, his culinary arts background and formal training at The Culinary Institute of America have served him well. Guests can prepare to be delighted by his delicious and innovative creations from the galley!

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My concluding thoughts:
There are many superyachts to choose from with each one offering something different, but LAUREL really is special. From the moment you set foot onboard, you’ll know that she is guaranteed to give you an experience of a lifetime.

Contact: Ocean Independence | Europe +41 44 508 74 38 | USA +1 954 256 5405 | enquiries@ocyachts.com

By Karl / CEO

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