Known today as Indian Empress, this giant 312-foot yacht was built during the late 1990’s by the Dutch shipyard Oceanco and designed by Richard Hein from the A Group studio. At a cost of about $116 million, the royal family of Qatar commissioned the ship and named it Al Mirqab. Then in 2006, the Indian businessman Vijay Mallya bought the splendid vessel for an undisclosed figure, and in 2008 he had it remodeled to its current configuration and contemporary style.
Large enough to accommodate up to 32 guests, the Indian Empress offers facilities and amenities worthy of the best 5-star hotels. With four primary levels, the ship has 14 cabins with private ensuite bathrooms for guests, plus two master bedrooms on the upper level. The master suites have private balconies with a Jacuzzi, outdoor lounge and spectacular panoramic views of the ocean. The third level houses several beautiful lounges and living rooms with low armchairs, a dining area and bar, all with an elegant decor typical of Hindu palaces. Azzam: The World’s Largest Private Superyacht and Topaz.
The yacht´s interior features numerous artworks from the private collection of the billionaire mogul, as well as some of its aesthetic whims, like a small grand piano that belonged to the celebrated British musician Sir Elton John. Guests can enjoy plenty of amenities onboard including a spa, sauna, gym, cinema, beauty salon, massage room, elevators that connect the different levels and a large outdoor relaxation area, which can be transformed into a helipad.
The lower level houses the service quarters for the 30 crew members, along with ample spaces to accommodate the additional motor boats, jet ski and aquatic sports equipment, as well as a garage with its own ramp for two cars.
However, the Indian Empress doesn’t offer just luxury, comfort and fun, it also boasts an amazing boating ability thanks to its sleek design and ultra-powerful engines. With an aluminum frame and steel hull, the yacht has a distinctly sporty layout, with aggressive lines that allow navigation at high speeds despite its large size: 312 feet long and 49 feet wide. It also has three 10,000 horsepower engines and diesel propulsion, capable of generating a maximum speed of 26 knots and 22 knots of cruising speed.
This vessel has an enormous range and is capable of reaching 6,700 miles at a cruise speed of 18 knots. This allows it to reach the southern European shores from the Caribbean Sea without technical stops.
The owner of this gem of naval engineering often uses it to hold exclusive parties for celebrities, tycoons and international athletes. But when not in use, the Indian Empress can be chartered at a cost of over $780,000 a week. ■