Over the next few days, the biggest names in the international luxury yachting sector will gather to witness the extraordinary sight of some of the largest and most expensive superyachts in the world convened along a single port. The Monaco Yacht Show, which runs from September 27 to 30 this year, brings an estimated 30,000 visitors to the tiny country on the French Mediterranean coast for what is undoubtedly the most glamorous event in the yachting calendar. Now in its 32nd edition, the prestigious superyacht show draws in prospective buyers, designers, builders, suppliers, brokers and superyacht enthusiasts from across the globe. Magnificent display “Right now, the bay is full, full, full of yachts on anchor, and they’re over 50 meters,” superyacht consultant Marcela Royer tells CNN Travel. “So this is where the big boys are berthed right now.” Johan Pizzardini, head of communications and media for the Monaco Yacht Show, describes the show, held over four days at Monaco’s Port Hercule, as “the pinnacle of the industry.” “We have 45 yachts that will make their world debut here – new deliveries,” he tells CNN Travel. “Half of the fleet is less than two years old. It’s the peak of the higher segment of the super yachting industry. Something that all of the industry has been waiting for.” According to Royer, who lives in Monaco, missing the show is pretty much out of the question for the big players in the industry. “If you’re not there, then you don’t exist,” she says. “And your competitor says, ‘Oh look, they’re not at the show anymore.’ “So everybody attends for brand awareness and visibility. “ Evolution of superyacht design This year’s impressive line-up of superyachts – yachts measuring over 80 feet (24 meters) – includes 43-meter power catamaran This Is It, built by Tecnomar – The Italian Sea Group Yachts, and the world’s largest sailing catamaran Art Explorer – a museum boat with capacity for up to 2,000 people a day – which was constructed at Italy’s Perini Navi shipyard. “It shows the evolution of yacht design and the use of a yacht,” says Pizzardini. “So they’re [Art Explorer and This Is It] completely different from the motor yachts, I would say that we are used to seeing. “Art Explorer, for instance, is a floating museum. So it will be a traveling yacht that will show pieces of art. So this is quite original to have here at the yacht show.” Pizzardini attributes this shift in yacht design to the younger generation of superyacht owners who have been emerging on the scene in recent years. “Yachting is shifting thanks to the involvement of those new clients that are entering with a new mindset,” he adds. “It’s younger – it’s not the old money generations.” At 65.7-meters, tri-deck superyacht Alchemy, built by Italian shipyard Rossinavi in collaboration with London-based design studio Vitruvius is also among the highlights, along with Tankoa Yachts’ sleek jet black and “whisper gray” vessel Grey, which measures 50-meters. Sustainability focus The 52-meter Baglietto T52, the first of Italian shipyard’s Baglietto’s T52 line to be fitted with a hybrid propulsion system, is another of the superyacht’s making their debut this year, along with 49.9-meter No Stress Two, Rossinavi’s first hybrid yacht. Delivered earlier this year, 60-meter Entourage, the second superyacht in yacht builder Amels’ 60 range, is also on display for the first time. Dutch ship building company Heesen is showcasing four yachts, Amare II, Aurelia, My Loyalty and VanTom, at the event, while German yacht builder Lürssen’s line-up includes 97-meter Carinthia VII, the largest yacht on display, and 91-meter Lady Lara, which is up for sale, with an asking of $243.1 million. The Monaco Yacht Show’s Sustainability Hub, which showcases what are touted as sustainable solutions and eco-friendly projects, is returning to the show for its second year. Pizzardini explains that sustainability is a major theme this year, with many conferences focused on the issue. “I would say, a decade ago, when we talked about researching for sustainable solutions, we weren’t that sure,” he admits. “And in the end, it was optional to be sustainable. “Now solutions are more viable and tangible. And the mindset has changed. “So it turned from an optional development into the building of a yacht, to an essential component of the building of a yacht today.” Sales dip There were 5,695 superyachts over 30 meters in operation in mid-August, according to the Monaco Yacht Show Market Report 2023 published by SuperYacht Times. However, after a record increase in sales in 2021, the market has been showing signs of slowing down. The report goes on to state that new yacht sales were behind by 34% at the start of September, while used yacht sales were down by around 25%. “While figures will improve, the market’s performance is undoubtedly behind on 2022, which was already a much slower year after the exceptional market peak of 2021,” notes the report. “It is however not a certainty that this decline will continue in 2024. If the economic outlook and interest rates stabilize, we may see a rebound of the market next year.” Meanwhile, data from superyacht market intelligence source BOATPro indicated that the brokerage market saw a 20% decrease in the total value of superyachts sold in 2022, while the combined asking price of boats sold by brokers also dropped. Pizzardini puts the decrease in sales down to the “carpe diem mindset” that some clients appeared to have towards splashing out on a yacht during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s contextual,” he says. “The fact that there was high demand two years ago, was due to the Covid period. “There was a boom. Compared with last year, it’s still a good year in terms of demand for yachts. There are lots of expectations for this year.” Monaco Yacht Show 2023 begins on September 27, and ends on September 30.