This New 262-Foot Superyacht Was Converted From a Rugged Explorer to a 5-Star Experience for the High Seas

Bassan & Benedetti wants to help turn your rugged expedition vessel into a swanky superyacht.

The Italian studio unveiled a new concept at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show designed to show how beautiful, easy, and cost-effective conversions can be. Christened Kestrel, the 262-footer is a rendered representation of what could be achieved by revamping an existing explorer with help from McFarlane ShipDesign.

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“There is a growing demand for conversions, due to the costs and times saved compared to new builds, and to the great availability of supply vessels on the market,” a spokesperson for the studio said.

Kestrel Explorer Yacht Concept
The aft crane.

The proposed donor vessel is a go-anywhere utilitarian cruiser, with an ice-class hull and wave-piercing bow. The original exterior, equipment, and engineering would remain, but “new blocks” from Kestrel would be added to elevate the design. Naturally, the additional features could be customized to the owner’s tastes.

Kestrel Explorer Yacht Concept
The salon.

As standard, the living quarters offer accommodation for up to 14 guests and 25 crew. Six generous guest cabins lie on the main deck, while the owner’s suite sits on a dedicated deck. Other interior highlights include an observation lounge on the upper deck, a wellness area that spans more than 1,000 feet, and a plush cinema.

Kestrel Explorer Yacht Concept
The dining area.

As with the exterior, the interior pays homage to the original vessel but also incorporates more refined materials. The decor is at once industrial and contemporary, with sleek, modern furniture thoughtfully positioned throughout.

Kestrel Explorer Yacht Concept
The pool.

There is plenty of fun to be had outdoors, too. Amenities include an 18-foot pool, an open-air cinema, and a helipad with an optional hangar. In addition, the giant garage can comfortably accommodate a submersible, two tenders measuring up to 40 feet, four Jet-Skis, diving gear, and other toys.

Kestrel is no slouch, either. The vessel could reach a maximum speed of 18 knots and a cruising speed of 16 knots, according to the designers.

Kestrel Explorer Yacht Concept
The outdoor cinema.

This isn’t the first conversion concept Bassan & Benedetti has presented. The studio, which is helmed by designers Giulia Bassan and Alessandro Benedetti, unveiled a 256-foot expedition vessel based on an Ulstein supply vessel back in 2021.

Now, you just have to find that donor vessel . . .

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