Written by By Adam Giles, CNN
A leading Australian company is believed to be planning a giant yacht to rival the waters around the Grand Canyon in size and to be more environmentally friendly than any other.
Dan James of Dan James & Co claims to have already spent about $27 million commissioning designs for the vessel, whose name is yet to be revealed.
“It’s an extraordinary project,” he told CNN. “It’s very large, it’s very expensive and it’s superlative in every way that you can imagine.”
Speaking at IMEX in Frankfurt in May, James said the yacht, which he also said has a host of exquisite features, will be built in China and will feature spectacular waterfalls and a “spectacular jewel in the middle of the Yacht Riviera in China.”
Waters deeper than the Grand Canyon
James, who has previously built superyachts named after iconic Australian singers Tina Arena and Kylie Minogue, has worked extensively in China, building luxury vacation and sports properties for both foreign and Chinese buyers.
But it’s for this project that he is truly preparing to “leave Australia’s oceans to our children,” he told CNN.
CNN’s Jake Tapper sits down with Australian superyacht builder Dan James. Click the video above to see the interview.
Despite not yet having a buyer for the yacht, James is currently in discussions with an international investment bank. “They are interested in investing in, or just making available the right potential owner to acquire the yacht,” he said.
According to James, it’s “very early” on in the process, but the yacht’s estimated price tag will be more than A$300 million ($241 million), making it one of the world’s most expensive.
Expected to be at least 45 meters (150 feet) long and 30 meters (100 feet) wide, the yacht’s interior will incorporate high-end interior designers, while its exterior will feature inlaid marble, marble floors and luxurious interior decor.
James added that “it is very, very difficult to build the same scale in a less extreme climate.”
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While James hasn’t been able to disclose an estimated completion date or the exact location of the vessel, he is very keen for Australians to own a slice of the magnificent design and construction process that he has initiated.
That process has been aided by four private investors, two from Australia and two from Europe, who have agreed to open up one of their luxury residences to the public so visitors can get a glimpse at the construction process.
“I’m not putting this out there as being the biggest, there are others around the world that are bigger, we all know that,” he said. “But the question is, what is more valuable to Australians? Getting the first Australian yacht, that’s a really big deal for me.”