Boasting Art Deco interiors and jaw-dropping design features Phoenix II is a vessel for a modern day Gatsby


Words: Will Moffitt


F Scott Fitzgerald loved a maritime metaphor. Whether closing out his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, with that immortal verse about how we are – all of us – condemned to beat on forever like “boats against the current,” or telling tender tales of the French Riviera, the writer kept being pulled back out to sea. 

Stepping aboard Phoenix II, the ghosts of Fitzgerald’s era are very much alive and dancing. Drenched in Jazz Age glamour, with shimmering Art Deco-style interiors, a crystal chandelier, gilt-and-black lacquer Steinway & Sons piano in the main ballroom, along with a grand dining table overlooked by a swinging six-piece jazz band in gold bas-relief murals, the 90 metre superyacht is a paean to that decadent lost age. It’s also a sleekly crafted, and durable vessel, capable of housing 14 guests in seven staterooms, with a cruising speed of 14 knots, that has only recently landed on the market.

Built by Lürssen in 2010, with a steel hull, aluminium superstructure, Phoenix has since been retrofitted and reduced in price by some 4,000,000 euros. No surprise then that it caused a stir when top brokerage firm Burgess Yachts announced that it was up for sale for a cool 124,950,000. 


Above: a gilt-and-black lacquer Steinway & Sons piano in the main deck ballroom

Like Fitzgerald’s enigmatic literary creation, the Phoenix has an intriguing origin story and an air of mystique about it. Designed for an unknown client – for discretionary purposes the owner remains anonymous – who envisioned a superyacht cloaked in Art Deco glitz and old Manhattan character, the 295 ft vessel marries high-tech proficiency with lavish onboard facilities. 

To bring that vision to life Winch Design have set that inimitable New York skyline into the styling. There’s Empire State skyscrapers on the bar stools in the sky lounge bar, lit by uplighters reminiscent of the torch held by the Statue of Liberty and a firebird figurehead that looks as if it may have flown in from the Chrysler Building.

From the ballroom, move aft past the full-height windows, circular lounge and onto the aft deck, where a spiral staircase beckons. On the upper deck past the buffet lounge is a winter garden with guest dining and boardwalk-style side decks leading to the jacuzzi lounge.


Above: The bar stools in the sky lounge bar, and a grand dining table overlooked by a swinging six-piece jazz band in custom-made gold bas-relief murals

After a night of revelry, head to the bridge deck where you can take the riveted-aluminium spiral staircase or the elevator, which runs from the tank deck, home to the Radio City-inspired cinema with popcorn maker – no prizes for guessing which Baz Luhrmann flick was playing during the tour.

On the bridge deck there’s a gym overlooking the aft helipad, a hammam and a massage parlour courtesy of the inhouse beauty salon. After that, the sun deck beckons, with its shimmering 23 ft oval pool.

Above: The full-beam owner's suite

The full-beam owner’s suite, forward on the main deck, is similarly spectacular. Accessed from the main deck or via a glass spiral staircase from the owner’s private observation lounge and office on the upper deck, the circular sweep of the windows and their wraparound views is echoed in the black circle in the carpet and there are his-and-hers bathrooms in contrasting marble.

With its anachronistic interiors – which gel cohesively throughout into a lively but not overdone aesthetic – and jaw dropping design features and facilities, Phoenix II is a vessel fit for a modern day Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s work might be full of cautionary fables about the perils of capitalism run amok and lustful materialism, but you’d be a fool not to want this.

Above: The stern of Phoenix II