First Impression: Kingfisher
Date toured: December 2006
Anyone who follows the worldwide charter market will recognize KingFisher as the popular yacht that used to be called Silver Cloud. She’s a Feadship, one of the marquee brands in luxury motoryacht construction, built in 1987 with refits in 2003 and 2006.
I got onboard in late 2006 just after that most recent refit, which included interior soft goods like carpeting and linens following the yacht’s sale to a new owner. He also added Baccarat crystal, Limoges crockery, and a wireless audio system with iPod connections. The post-refit boat was in beautiful shape with the classic elegance for which Feadships are known. As you can see in the accompanying photos here on CharterWave, this is a yacht full of elegance and timeless beauty.
The folks at Yachting Partners International, who manage KingFisher for charter, like to call her vintage. “She’s bringing back into the industry what it used to be known for: strong, solid cruising where you don’t feel seasick,” said Catherine Ambrogi, a broker I know and like with YPI. “Plus, now, she also has zero-speed stabilizers.” They prevent yachts from moving under way or at anchor, as I explained in a recent blog posting.
One of the things I liked best about KingFisher was her cabin layout. The master cabin is on the main deck, but the other four guest cabins are all in the same space below—two cabins with queen beds, and two cabins with double beds plus a twin. That means four or five couples can share this boat and have almost equal accommodations.
“Our last charter of the [summer 2006] season, we had four couples and they split the bill equally,” chief stewardess Hazel Anderson told me. “They drew straws for the master, and one of the couples used two staterooms because the husband only slept four hours a night.”
Hazel also told me that even though KingFisher can take 12 guests, the ideal number onboard is 10, especially if all 10 are adults. “Twelve just puts a lot of pressure on the laundry service,” she said, explaining that this yacht offers full laundry service (except dry cleaning) every single day—a rarity onboard charter yachts at any price.
“She’s just a fantastic boat,” Hazel added. “She’s a home on the water. She’s your home on the water. We are here to service you.”
I like the crew’s attitude, I like the management company, and I like the looks and layout of the boat. Should be a winning combination in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, based on my first impression.