Antique Persian carpets and loose modern furnishings blend effortlessly and serve to define and distinguish the two areas. Recessed trays raise the overhead and further differentiate the two rooms, while recessed fixtures provide both general and accent lighting. In the galley, art is displayed, both ceramic and framed under glass to protect it from the inevitable reality of cooking fumes and humidity. From the dining room to a spacious winding stairway leads down to the exercise area and three guest staterooms.
The aft guest stateroom is a full-beam spread that defines the "very important" in VIP. Here again, as in the saloon, an eclectic mix blends perfectly. Much as Alice through the looking glass, I felt transported to another world, yet provisions for the familiar necessities of daily life aboard kept me anchored. The spacious head, separated from the sleeping room by a wall of mirrored hanging lockers, does indeed have two lavatories, a toilet, bidet and whirlpool tub, but the room's artwork, lighted by recessed eyeballs in the tray ceiling, take mundane experiences to a new level.
Two more en suite guest staterooms, one with twin berths and one with a queen, are smaller than the VIP, but every bit as luxurious in their detailing and furnishing. Centered to port, with its own bath and shower, is a mirrored exercise area. Even here, the carpets and paintings are immediately at hand.
Back on the main deck, I ventured forward from the entry foyer, past the day head, to the owner's suite. First is the anteroom-this is not an office!-with its large abstract oil and its-one, two, three, four!-small Old Masters pen and ink portraits of VIPs from another century. Onward past the walk-in closet to starboard and the huge bathing area to port, into the main room of the owner's suite, and I had another blow-me-away moment. Whenever first-timers join me aboard superyachts, I warn them to refrain from Gomer Pyle impersonations, uttering the nearly inevitable "Gaaaaawlleeee!"-but I came near it myself. Large but not overwhelming in size, the room is nonetheless an exquisite jewel, a miniature gallery within the whole.
Returning to the foyer, with too brief a pause for one more look at the anteroom, I climbed the stairs to the bridge deck. Forward, past the captain's cabin, pilothouse and Portuguese bridge, is a pair of lounges for sunning or watching as dolphins dance in the bow wave. Aft of the pilothouse is the skylounge. The requisite bar and large flat-screen TV are present, but they don't intrude on the space. The TV remains out of sight in a side cabinet unless in use, and the bar is behind a room divider at the forward end of the skylounge. With shades drawn, the room invites quiet conversation or solitary contemplation of the large Kandinsky that dominates the space.
Open the shades and the aft doors, and the skylounge functions beautifully as a complement to the spacious open aft deck, whether for small dinners or larger parties. From here a spiral stairway leads to the open top deck, where a fixed canopy hung from the radar arch shades a circular dining table and a flanking snack bar/grill area. Aft is an open lounge area, and forward, a whirlpool spa and twin seating areas are served by a bar to port. How many museums do you know of offer you a warm soak after a private tour?
Contact: CRN Yachts, (011) 39 071 501 1111; www.crn-yacht.com