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Philippe Briand on Exploring New Roads with Vitruvius

The 50-metre Expedition Scientific by Vitruvius Yachts
The 50-metre Expedition Scientific by Vitruvius Yachts

With a rapidly increasing number of explorer yachts entering the water, we’re still exploring a trend that’s been ingrained in the industry now for a number of years. Hearing of Vitruvius Yachts most recent venture, we took a few moments to speak with the brand’s renowned lead designer, Philippe Briand on entering this prolific market and how transitioning into the world of explorers differs from everyday design.

Following our recent interview with the designer at the MYS earlier this year we spoke some more about the evolving state of superyacht design and ensuring that balance between form and function.

The Vitruvius Yachts Expedition Range comes at a time where the explorer-trend is heavily influencing yacht design; how do you stand out in a market with increasingly high demand?
The explorer trend is certainly there. Right now 95 percent of the yachts visit the same places, some clients want to avoid those and use their yachts for worldwide cruises. We distinguish two different types of vessels, the explorers and the exploration yachts. Exploration yachts are notable for their extreme ranges,

Ice-Class Hulls and autonomy. They are able to operate in the toughest of environments. They can carry a very eclectic range of “toys” .They also have big tanks and storage.

The explorer yachts have the same amenities but in a lesser degree, perhaps not ice class lesser storage and more luxury amenities. The Vitruvius range has achieved iconic design status and will continue to do so through a progressive evolution of its unique DNA.

Our designs evolve and we are at this time working on an explorer yacht with elegant dynamic lines, more streamlined. However the fundamentals have not changed, such as the Range Rovers, we design the yachts for use in all kind of seas even the trickiest ones.

Both Exuma and Galileo G are elegant with their Italian pedigree, how to do you plan to transition from this into the bold, masculine exteriors of the new Expedition-style yachts?
Vitruvius Yachts stands first of all, for comfort and stability at sea and at mooring under all conditions. The yachts have the required naval architecture that makes essence of the yacht. For expedition and explorer yachts the naval architecture is even more important than for a conventional yacht, as comfort on board under all circumstances becomes criterion number one.

Creating an explorer yacht is not only a matter of pure design. What is under the hood will assure a perfect visit to Antarctica or Borneo.

With trends ever-changing, how do you ensure your designs from today will still be current in a few years’ time?
We aspire to create modern classics that will withstand the trends and the years. We are not prolific designers bringing many whimsical designs; we like to work with a client to create a unique yacht, adding our definite DNA, without being disrupted by noises on the market.

With the creation of Exuma, we did however create a trend; I hope we trigger the same interest with a new edition soon.

Our designs evolve and we are at this time working on an explorer yacht with elegant dynamic lines, more streamlined. However the fundamentals have not changed, such as the Range Rovers, we design the yachts for use in all kind of seas even the trickiest ones.
Philippe Briand - Vitruvius Yachts