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Yacht vs. yacht

May 25, 2008|Monica Corcoran

Only in Cannes do you overhear, "Sorry, I'm late. I got stuck on this yacht." By the height of the festival, the azure horizon is studded with floating sea monsters. (Legend has it that Errol Flynn moored his own yacht here in 1949 and demanded that the recreational flotilla leave the dock, lest those boats draw attention away from him.) Fashion royalty Alberta Ferretti and Roberto Cavalli are not so proprietary about the port, since both entertain every year at Cannes on their respective yachts. And much like the designers' collections, their massive boats are cut from decidedly different cloth.


Prometej. Ferretti inherited the name, which is Russian for Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire from Zeus. Here in Cannes, Ferretti hopes to steal a few flashbulbs herself.

The Stats

Ferretti's 147-foot, black-hulled behemoth -- with six cabins that can sleep 12 -- looks as if it could split Cavalli's yacht in half. The former Soviet "icebreaker" was built in Romania in the 1950s and commissioned to sail the Black and Baltic seas.


Ferretti credits the strong, modern female as her muse and says that "women today can have it all." With a masseuse on staff and a Turkish bath aboard Prometej, she's not kidding. "My boat is for my guests," she says. "I love to entertain."

Distinctive decor

Ferretti looked to nature and conceptual artists to outfit her boat with organic touches of coral, sea life and a subdued neon installation. Even the walls of the cabins are covered in organic raw silks and linens. Gilded Balinese furniture and vividly tiled bathrooms add accents of drama.

Secret soak

An oversized traditional hot tub on the uppermost deck ensures either the worst sunburn ever or a leisurely midnight ogling of Orion.

Signature fete

This year, Ferretti hosted the "Che" after-party for Steven Soderbergh's latest film, and cast members, including Julia Ormond and Benicio Del Toro, overtook the upper and lower decks to celebrate.

Nautical terms

"I wanted a house on a boat that would be comfortable and elegant and natural, but not like a big, luxury villa," Ferretti says. "The open deck is perfect for a party because there is so much space."

Roberto Cavalli. The designer named his boat after himself, which makes it, in essence, a logo afloat. It also makes it easy for revelers to find the after-parties he hosts.

Like a disco minidress adrift, Cavalli's 134-footer -- with six guest cabins and one master suite -- is sleekly tapered and painted electric purple with metallic blue trim. Built by the megayacht maker Baglietto and launched in 2003, the yacht has a hull that shifts hues, depending on the sun's whims.

"I love to smoke my cigars and look at the stars," Cavalli says. Now, does he mean Victoria Beckham -- who's been onboard -- or the Big Dipper? Either way, this lavish tub toy suits his jet-setting ways.

The flamboyant Cavalli, ever inspired by fierce felines, opted for splashes of leopard print and chic white leather. Chaises and cushions are stamped with an ornate monogram, but a python-covered headboard in the master suite feels more like his calling card.

Cavalli's white Jacuzzi -- as round and deep as a wishing well -- looks more suited to a bevy of bobbing beauties and a few magnums of Cristal. There's a sauna for sweating out those toxins too.

Cavalli arrived later than usual, this time around. But his boat has a habit of drawing such celebs as Sharon Stone and Mischa Barton, who frolic in bikinis and drive paparazzi mental.

"I love my boat, but it has got to be too old!" says Cavalli of his 5-year-old yacht. "It's a very intimate setting, but I need a boat for the Caribbean, and that one is for the Mediterranean."


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