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On Board the 24K Gold Superyacht AK Royalty

On Board the 24K Gold Superyacht AK Royalty

Ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night on a golden charter boat? Olivia Michel steps on board 24K gold superyacht AK Royalty to find out.

A freshly refitted superyacht has splashed onto the charter scene – and its striking appearance makes quite the first impression.

The 41.4 metre motor yacht named AK Royalty is coated from bow to stern in a custom paint made from real 24K gold dust. Afloat outside the city of Dubai, her exterior glistens under the Arabian sun.

The Midas Touch has spread to the Jet Skis and SeaBobs stowed in her toybox and continues throughout the boat – from gilded bathroom fixtures, to golden champagne flutes and wine glasses accompanying every meal. Morning cappuccinos are even served with a sprinkling of edible gold leaf.

The decision to drench AK Royalty in a precious metal was made knowing she was destined as a charter yacht in Dubai, where her owner Aaron Fidler currently resides. Sometimes referred to as the “City of Gold”, the Middle Eastern metropolis is commonly associated with lavish lifestyles. “The gold just makes sense in Dubai,” says Aaron, who also owns a golden Lamborghini.

24K magic: Inside the extravagant AK Royalty superyacht

Originally launched in 2009 by American shipyard Palmer Johnson, AK Royalty was purchased by Aaron in 2022. The former yacht engineer, with the help of his wife Kseniya, quickly refitted the vessel in time for the couple to enjoy a post-wedding cruise in the Mediterranean one year later.

The interior, which features an open plan living and dining area and five cabins for up to 12 guests, was decorated with Kseniya’s expertise. She opted for monochromatic Fendi and Dior furnishings in an attempt to “calm things down a little bit” as a contrast to the very “bling” exterior. But she couldn’t resist adding some bejewelled feline sculptures in the main saloon and master bedroom for some extra glamour.

Other features that charter guests can enjoy on board AK Royalty include an al fresco dining and entertaining space with a central DJ deck for lively parties. There’s also a top deck hot tub and a generous sunbathing area on the bow which can be transformed into an outdoor cinema. A swimming platform allows easy access to the sea and the yacht’s water toys. Instead of a cigar humidor – like the kind you might find on 85 metre Victorious, the boat also carries its own modern electric “Ooka” hookah for guests to try the typically Arabic practice of smoking shisha, while on board.

It’s a lot, packed into a 41.4 metre motor yacht. But Aaron had no desire to opt for a larger vessel. “I’ve worked on bigger boats that are 60-65 metres – and I hated that you have to anchor so far out from the shore. Plus, on these bigger boats with so many floors, people end up not really spending time together. The idea was that I wanted one level where you can all hang out.”

With its compact size and sporty design, AK Royalty ensures a closeness to the water and zippy top speed of 35 knots for an even more enjoyable cruising experience. Kseniya adds that with its “size, space, and speed, AK Royalty ticks so many boxes.”

 

During a charter on the gold superyacht, guests are treated to meals by Chef Luca Napoleone. While on board, we are served Mediterranean salads and tartare, fresh roasted seabass, a feast of barbecued meat cuts that we can grill ourselves on hot stones.

Kseniya explains that it was important they sourced the best chef they could for their charter guests, because, in her opinion, “food is 50% of the charter experience.” Chef Napoleone has worked for the royal family of Abu Dhabi and through his company Private Chefs Atelier, gathers professionals with varying specialties who can serve any type of cuisine that guests desire.

While on board AK Royalty, charter guests are also looked after by seven attentive and highly qualified crew members led by Chilean Captain Pedro Argote. The captain has worked at sea for 30 years, half of which were spent in the service of the Dubai royal family. “Within my crew we have a lawyer, a pilot, a dive instructor, a spear-fisher,” boasts the captain. “I am very proud of my crew.” Captain Argote adds that “there hasn’t been a guest on board who didn’t want to come back.”

For now, Aaron and Kseniya are happy to use the yacht as a means to explore the offerings of Dubai and the surrounding cruising grounds of the Middle East. Itineraries are not only limited to Dubai but allow guests to also venture into Abu Dhabi, or further into the scenic waters of neighbouring Oman and Saudi Arabia.

“People think, when they come to Dubai, they are just going to go out for a day and a party. We’re going to try and change that perception because there’s actually a lot of things to do here” says Aaron.

AK Royalty 24K gold yacht
View of the 24K gold superyacht AK Royalty at night.

Jonathan Hind, who is the Managing Director of Burgess brokerage house in Dubai, attests that with some charter guests “growing tired of the Caribbean” the Arabian Peninsula will offer a new and exciting alternative for those wanting to soak up some winter sun.

And it does seem that there is an appetite for cruising around the City of Gold on a 24K superyacht. Since she first entered the charter market with Burgess in December 2023, AK Royalty has hosted more than 20 charters – and is even set to be featured in an upcoming Bollywood film.

“The best marketing that we’ve had is sitting around in the marina. We’ve had potential guests and even hotels come up with their tenders to ask about the boat,” explains Aaron. With around two or three charter parties coming on board each week, Aaron feels that “the investment is coming back. I put money into the asset and it’s paying off.”

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The price tag of AK Royalty is EUR 112,000 a week, but according to Nicki Prides, Head of PR & Communications at Burgess, “AK Royalty is competitively priced for the region.”

For reference, the most expensive yacht for charter with Burgess is the 112 metre Renaissance for EUR 3 million a week. With that in mind, the Burgess team and AK Royalty’s owners argue that this gold-dipped superyacht is offering guests plenty of bang for their buck.

(All images: Burgess Yachts)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– How much does AK Royalty cost to charter?

EUR 112,000 a week with Burgess Yacht Brokers.

– Where can I charter AK Royalty?

The yacht is currently based in Dubai.

– How big is AK Royalty?

Measuring 41.4 metres, she can sleep up to 12 guests.

Source: Prestige Online

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