A mega yacht measuring 88.8 meters—the largest ever built in China—announced its sale in a press release on Monday. The yacht, built by Pride Mega Yachts, is part of the company’s bid to spur interest among China’s ultra-rich. The yachtmaker spared no expense customizing the yacht to Chinese tastes, from luxurious wood and natural stone finishes to specifying the yacht length to 88.8 meters (the number eight, or ba is auspicious in Chinese culture because it sounds like the word for “prosper,” or fa).
Neither the buyer nor the price of the yacht was mentioned, but the press release “thanked” yacht charter and brokerage Blue Water Yachting and yacht broker Jan Jaap Minnema of Fraser Yachts “for their help throughout the course of this transaction.” It was not mentioned what role both entities played in the sale of the Illusion.
The Illusion is a six-deck vessel, replete with multiple lounges, an ocean deck, a helicopter landing pad, and VIP and guest suites. The ship was sold even before it is completed. And it is expected to be delivered by October 2015.
Pride Mega Yachts, previously known as “Pryde” and “Raffles Yacht,” is owned by China International Marine Containers Group Ltd. The mega-yacht Illusion and its eventual 115-meter successor Estatement are part of the group’s plan for a shot at posterity among international luxury yacht builders.
Yachts are still a novel luxury among China’s ultra-rich, and yachtmakers are increasingly turning their eye to this young market. According to a spokesperson from Pride Mega Yachts, “[The] success of such a significant sale is proof that the superyacht industry is buoyant and that sales of large yachts are flourishing once again. I believe the sale is another sign that the market as a whole is doing very well. The interest from potential buyers is on the rise, particularly for large mega yachts, evident by the increased number of inquiries.”