First Impression: Aurelia
Date toured: May 2012
You can imagine how relieved I was when I stepped onboard and saw Aurelia’s interior—which is elegant, contemporary, and in my opinion really, really cool. The owner is, indeed, a fan of racecars, but the interior décor is much more muted about that passion than the exterior’s screaming hull colors. Inside, Aurelia has things like carpeting patterns based on tire treads, carbon-fiber wall detailing meant to look like a dashboard, and even door handles meant to invoke a metal gearshift. The design team at Bannenberg & Rowell managed to incorporate all of these whimsical elements without making the yacht feel cartoonish. In fact, if I hadn’t been shown a few of the items, I wouldn’t have even noticed the racecar theme. Much of the interior detailing simply looks beautiful.
Capt. Guy Booth has 14 years of experience in the industry and had been aboard Aurelia just three weeks at the time of my tour. Some of the charter yachts he worked on previously include the 94-foot Peri motoryacht Bibich, the 144-foot MMGI motoryacht H2OME, and the 136-foot Concordia sailing yacht Mirabella III.
Booth told me that he is working hard to make sure Aurelia stands out as a charter option in her class, not only because of her styling but also because of the services she offers charter clients. He is a PADI dive instructor and is in the process of having Aurelia certified as a Jet Ski licensing center. Chef Charlotte Millet previously worked in charter aboard the 144-foot Heesen motoryacht Bliss, and Aurelia’s chief engineer was involved in the build, so understands the yacht inside and out.
Paula Barber of management company Ocean Independence told me that even though the May 2012 MYBA Charter Show in Genoa, Italy, was the first time the industry was seeing this 2011 launch, Aurelia already had several charter bookings—which means her memorable styling isn’t a deterrent to clients. The owner is considering keeping Aurelia year-round in the Mediterranean, depending on how many inquiries come in.
The lowest weekly base rate to charter Aurelia is €108,000 for eight guests with six crew. Any reputable charter broker can tell you more or help you book a week onboard.—Kim Kavin