The Highlander, owned by billionaire magnate Malcolm Forbes, who died in 1990, was one of the most iconic yachts in the world, the center of attention of the press and the public during the 1980's and 1990's. Originally built by the Royal Dutch Feadship dockyard, this stunning 147-foot superyacht, designed by Jon Bannenberg, was delivered to the Forbes family in 1986. According to the owner’s special request, the yacht’s imposing steel hull was painted in a shade of green known as “dollar green”.
In its nearly 30 years, the colossal yacht has hosted hundreds of personalities, from Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Prince Charles of England, to Robert de Niro, Mick Jagger, Liz Taylor and Paul McCartney, among others. In fact, its original design featured large reception and meeting rooms, as the vessel was used to hold private meetings with dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and businessmen from all over the world.
After the death of the owner of Forbes magazine, his offspring decided to put the boat up for sale. The new owner, American financial tycoon Roberto de Guardiola, commissioned American shipyard Derecktor of Florida to make a full renovation. Read more here about yachts and luxury autos.
The redesigned interior allows comfortable accommodation for 12 guests and 11 crew, a more appropriate arrangement for family use. The upper terrace was enlarged to provide more space for the solarium and relaxation area, and the old stately classic style that decorated the interior was replaced with more contemporary furnishings, colors and textures, including light woods like Wenge. Towards the stern, you’ll find the master cabin with a double en suite bathroom. Six more guest cabins were built, also with en suite bathrooms.
However, the new provision goes beyond mere aesthetics. The ship is also equipped with the latest technology in every room. This includes a new Quantum Zero-Speed stabilization system, new command post, new video and audio systems in every corner of the vessel, as well as LED lighting and wireless internet. The updated version also offers all the amenities of a modern yacht; it has several Jacuzzis, helipad, additional boats, cinema, gym and a hinged gangway in the aft with access to the water.
Currently, the Highlander is moored on the beaches of southern France. The good news: it is available for charter at a cost of $210,000 a week. ■
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