A heartbreakingly pretty 55.9m (183.4ft) yacht that beautifully evokes the mid-20th century's commercial maritime heritage, BLUE II won the Displacement Motor Yachts, 500GT to 999GT category.
'It's fantastic news and the award is richly deserved,' said Charter Manager Elina Vitola. 'She is a genuinely unique yacht and a labour of love for her owners that has paid off incredibly well. She is such a popular yacht with guests looking for something different, something that honours yachting's past while giving guests all the modern amenities they expect and this award gives her the spotlight she deserves.'
Judges congratulated the owner's visionary approach in choosing 'modern-classic sailboat designer Andre Hoek to draw an eminently seaworthy, world- roaming, expedition yacht packed with tech for use in high latitudes.' The 'elegant profile with bluff bow and canoe stern, which both emphasise her seaworthiness, topped by a modest yet practical superstructure' won the admiration of the judges, as did 'her classically panelled interior, designed and decorated by Hoek and John Vickers Studio,' which 'complemented her exterior styling and exactly met the needs of an expedition yacht.'
Her nostalgic looks belie state-of-the-art engineering and technology to minimise emissions. 'With her owners being passionate conservationists, BLUE II had to be as environmentally friendly as possible, with diesel-electric propulsion and exhausts fitted with an advanced Selective Catalytic Reduction system to meet tough emission regulations.'