Redefining luxury cruising at Four Seasons Yachts

Thatcher Brown of Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings explains how Four Seasons Yachts will exceed expectations when its first yacht debuts in January 2026

Redefining luxury cruising at Four Seasons Yachts
The new yacht will have a large pool with a hydraulic floor to enable it to become a multifunctional space for hosting parties and events

By Rebecca Gibson |

When Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis bought a Canadian frigate in 1954, he quickly transformed the vessel into the most luxurious private yacht of its time, introducing multiple design innovations and boutique interiors that attracted many of the world’s leading politicians and Hollywood stars. More recently, the vessel has provided inspiration for luxury hotel and hospitality brand Four Seasons, which will be debuting its first yacht in January 2026.  

“We’re taking inspiration from the innovations of the past and reinterpreting them in a way that will resonate well with our contemporary guests to create an unprecedented experiential yachting offering,” says Thatcher Brown, chief operating officer and head of joint operations at luxury shipping specialist Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings, the joint owner/operator of the Four Seasons Yachts brand. 

Four Seasons Yachts has invested billions to develop its first vessel, which is being constructed by Fincantieri in Italy. The vessel will feature an exterior and all-suite accommodation designed by the lead architect Tillberg Design of Sweden (TDoS) and public spaces created by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Prosper Assouline, who is renowned for his luxury fashion and art publications, is providing the overall creative direction for the ship.  

“Each partner brings unparalleled knowledge, experience and expertise to the project and together, we’re creating a a passenger vessel that is unlike any other the industry has ever seen,” says Brown. “TDoS and Brudnizki both have vast experience in pushing design boundaries to develop luxury interiors that leave a lasting impression, while Prosper Assouline epitomises uncompromising quality. Meanwhile, Fincantieri is completing every task to the highest possible standard during the build phase. Everywhere they look, guests will see examples of exquisite craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and incredible design elements.” 

Four Seasons Yachts and Fincantieri

Fincantieri’s shipyard director Gilberto Tobaldi (left) with Thatcher Brown (right) at the ship’s steel-cutting ceremony

Impressive innovations 

Spanning 14 decks, Four Seasons Yachts’ 207-metre-long ship will boast restaurants, lounges, bars, a full-service spa, a salon and a canoe-shaped deck with a 20-metre saltwater pool. “The pool is larger than on any other vessel this size and it has a hydraulic floor that can be raised to create a stage for events or entertainment,” says Brown. “It was inspired by the movable pool floor on Christina O.” 

In addition, the vessel will feature 95 custom-built suites, all with their own expansive private outdoor terraces and sliding soundproofed walls to enable them to be reconfigured in multiple ways. 

“We’ll be able to offer guests some of the largest continuously connected living spaces at sea,” says Brown. “The entire vessel is designed to offer guests maximum choice and flexibility over how they want to spend their time onboard. It will have multiple spaces designed to encourage guests to come together and socialise, but there will also be plenty of private and public areas where they can quietly relax. The suites, for example, have been crafted in such a way that guests will feel like they’re sailing on their own private yacht.”  

The highlight of the accommodation area will be the four-level Funnel Suite, which will offer more than 9,500 square feet of combined indoor and outdoor living space. Notable amenities will include a private kitchen, wading pool, outside terrace and a dedicated spa area.  

“The Funnel Suite will be one of the most beautiful and luxurious spaces on the vessel,” says Brown. “It will offer 280-degree panoramic views via floor-to-ceiling, wraparound curved glass windows made of the largest contiguous piece of glass at sea. This piece of glass cost $4.5 million, which gives you an insight into just how much money Four Seasons Yachts is investing to deliver innovative one-of-a-kind experiences!” 

Another notable design feature is the port-to-starboard transversal ‘dual marina’. “It will have large platforms and tiered lounging decks along both sides of the vessel to connect the guests to the water,” says Brown. “Guests will be able to dive directly into the ocean or embark on a water sports adventure straight from the deck, offering them a bespoke yacht-style experience. We’ll offer equipment for activities such as sailing, paddle-boarding, and wind surfing, and guests will be able to rent custom-built sea limousines and beach landers for shore transfers or coastal tours. Inside, the marina will also feature an elegant lounge area with a bar.” 

Four Seasons Yachts has also invested in various technologies and solutions to ensure the vessel meets – and where possible exceeds – the marine industry’s rigorous environmental regulations.  

“We’ve explored the most sustainable options for everything from waste and energy management to hull coatings, recycling, materials for the interior spaces, and ways to anchor the yacht in marinas without damaging the ocean floor,” says Brown. “We are investigating and accessing green energy fuels and zero-emission energy sources as part of our approach.  

Guest-centric hospitality  

Four Seasons Yachts aims to recreate Four Seasons’ renowned hospitality onboard the vessel. “The same incredible chefs that create the innovative, high-end culinary experiences for the brand’s land-based resorts are developing them for this vessel too,” says Brown. “Guests will be able to dress up for meals in a formal restaurant setting, enjoy causal al fresco lunches and dinners, or eat privately in the comfort of their own suite. They will be guaranteed exceptional food and beverages, as well as impeccable personalised service.”  

Guests can can expect to enjoy similarly exclusive experiences when they visit destinations too.  

“Our first yacht will debut with itineraries to boutique Caribbean destinations before repositioning to the Mediterranean to cruise iconic yachting locales, such as the Adriatic coast, the Greek Isles and the French and Italian Rivieras,” says Brown. “However, many of our guests will be very well-travelled and accustomed to visiting such destinations, so they will have very high expectations when it comes to itineraries and onshore experiences. Seasoned travellers want to be the first to discover a new place or try an exclusive experience, so we’re planning personalised non-traditional onshore experiences that uncover the hidden gems in each destination.”  

Exclusive explorations  

Four Seasons’ long-standing guests and travel partners were the first to receive personal invites to sail on the yacht during its maiden season, while other luxury travel enthusiasts are invited to learn more about the product and be placed on a waitlist.  

“We want to take care of those individuals who have been committed to Four Seasons and central to the brand’s soaring success over the years, so we’re ensuring they are the first onboard our yacht,” explains Brown. “We’ve already seen significant interest from these guests, many of whom are excited to see how we’re going to bring the Four Seasons experiences they know and love to sea. Our dedicated team of personal yacht consultants will handle every aspect of their booking to ensure the experience is smooth and seamless.” 

As the vessel’s launch date draws nearer, Brown and the wider team are excited to reveal the many Four Seasons Yachts stories as the ship is being meticulously bult at Fincantieri’s Ancona, Italy shipyard.  

“We’re building a stunning seafaring venture that will be enjoyed as a yacht experience rather than a cruise experience,” says Brown. “We only have one chance to make an amazing first impression and I’m confident Four Seasons Yachts will do just that.” 

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of  Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.  

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