James Packer’s Superyacht: An In-depth Profile of a $260 Million Benetti Masterpiece

When James Packer approached esteemed Italian shipbuilder Benetti and asked them to build him a sleek, elegant superyacht that would connect a beach-house style interior with spectacular exterior surroundings he experienced on his travels to the most remote and desirable corners of the world, the $A260 million IJE was the result.

James Packer's 108m Benetti superyacht  IJE
Take a look inside James Packer’s $260 million superyacht IJE | Source: Benetti.

Named after his three children Indigo, Jackson and Emmanuelle, the majestic family cruiser was designed around the functionality of an inconspicuous, yet vast garage that could house three large tenders. The owner also requested an Owner’s deck, private nightclub, cinema, an indoor-outdoor gym, and a beach club. Everything you’d need for luxe getaways in the most remote and iconic spots. 

With this long list of inclusions in mind, London-based designer RWD set to work on a visually stunning exterior for what would become the longest yacht ever built by Benetti, and one of only three superyachts over 100 metres in length built by the Italian shipyard. 

RWD, the design house used for the exterior of IJE, is a world-leading superyacht design studio which has worked on multiple award-winning yachts over the past 30 years. They pride themselves on building yachts that use innovative new techniques and push the boundaries of superyacht design. IJE is no exception.

Packer's Yacht
Source: The Market Herald.

Benetti is an industry institution that was founded in 1873 and became famous for inventing the luxury motor yacht in 1961. They quickly became well known as a boutique shipyard for the world’s richest and are today one of the world’s largest and oldest superyacht builders.

Packer’s superyacht was built by the Benetti shipyard in Livorno, one of the oldest in Italy and was famously where the Italian Royal Marines launched their battleships at the end of the 19th century. The world’s elite have owned and chartered Benetti superyachts for decades with the most celebrated being the 86 metre yacht, Nabila, built in 1979. The most famous yacht of her time, Nabila was owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Donald Trump and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

The long list of stars who have chartered Benetti superyachts over the years include Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Sean Connery for the filming of Never Say Never Again, Beyonce and Jay Z, Toby Macguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sylvester Stallone.

Italian shipyard Benetti has a rich heritage dating back to 1873. Many high profile celebrities have been spotted on their yachts over the years | Source: Benetti.

Despite its luxurious appearance, IJE was built to venture off the beaten track to the worlds most remote and rugged destinations. It has a massive range of 6,500 nautical miles and can go almost anywhere, including protected and environmentally sensitive areas that boats of this size usually can’t access. 

This is all thanks to its electric propulsion option and Rolls Royce dynamic positioning system, which allows the boat to hold position without having to drop anchor. 

A full-custom build with over 1000 square meters of guest deck space, the expert naval architecture of renowned yacht designer Pier Luigi Ausonio is evident from the bow to stern. Five guest decks are connected by an elevator and 24.5 tonnes of laminated glass were used in the vast windows and fittings of the yacht – to ensure not only spectacular views while cruising but complete privacy for guests.

The crow’s nest on the Observation Deck is the prime position for taking in views | Source: Boat International, Tom van Oossanen.

Observation Deck

A private crow’s nest gives you 360-degree views, it is a practical, functional and comfortable vantage point, the ultimate spot to take in the sights and experience the magnificence of each destination.

The firepit on the Bridge Deck adds another unique addition to the yacht | Source: Benetti.

Bridge Deck

This level provides a vast outdoor social area on the aft with lounges and multiple seating areas, flowing effortlessly into the games room and enormous saloon with access to the lift, the unexpected addition of a firepit will keep you warm on a cold Atlantic night.

Owner’s Deck

This deck is simply mind-blowing, with walkaround side decks and a range of indoor or outdoor dining and lounging areas. An enormous saloon showcases the mastery of the custom Benetti interior design. 

Custom furniture by London-based Hull Studio and a number of designs from Lori Piana using sumptuous textured linens, cashmeres and natural fabrics are scattered throughout the yacht.

The master suite features floor to ceiling windows and opens out onto the foredeck lounges and helipad, allowing you to step off the helicopter and straight into your bedroom. It also contains an executive office, an enormous dressing room and his-and-her bathrooms which include marble bathtubs. 

Packer's Yacht
The Main Deck is vast and spectacular, with a large pool and exterior dining for 14 | Source: Benetti.

Main Deck

On the Main Deck you have everything you could possibly need for a luxury getaway. Three of the guest suites are located on this deck, as well as a large pool, lounges, a bar, an interior dining area and al fresco dining area for 14. 

A combined beauty treatment room, massage room and hair salon that can double into a hospital means you will be comfortable and well taken care of on any voyage.

The full-height glass walls of the main saloon can slide back, inviting views of the ocean and letting sunlight stream in. A rare design for a main saloon, it creates a unique atmosphere and adds to the yacht’s luxury appeal.

Two 12 metre tenders can be found perched on the foredeck.

Lower Deck

The beach club is found on the lower deck and leads into a double shower, with the tender garage on the port side, and the gym starboard. 

Tenders are essential to truly explore remote destinations, hence the enormous tender garage. But that’s not all that’s housed here, this is the perfect superyacht if you love water toys; the space is shared with a fleet of 8 jet skis, seabobs, wakeboards, a fliteboard, kayaks, electric bikes and paddleboards. 

The fully equipped gym includes a large drop-down sea terrace and hammam. Four more guest suites are also found on this Deck as well as a dedicated tiered cinema. Blonde teak and oak finishings have been used extensively in the construction of IJE. In fact, 90% of the yacht is oak. 

Packer's Yacht
A private nightclub is not something you find on every superyacht | Source: Benetti.

Under Lower Deck

The yacht has its own nightclub for luxe private parties. The sound-insulated club houses a bar, professional lighting and sound systems, a DJ station and virtual aquarium to give the feeling of being under water.

As well as being an opulent way to explore the furthest corners of the globe in complete luxury, IJE is a major investment and like any investment, costs and possible earnings must be examined.

Source: The Market Herald.

The superyacht is rumoured to have annual running costs of A$21-A$30 million per year and IJE’s sister yacht, 107-metre-long Lana can be chartered for A$2.71 million per week. Like almost any marine investment careful management and routine maintenance is the best way for it to retain value and IJE has been very well looked after.

Only 70 100-metre plus superyachts are in operation today and IJE represents a rare opportunity to own a very well made and possibly very profitable vessel. With accommodation for up to 26 guests and its ability to cruise to remote locations, it is within reason to expect it to be chartered for a good chunk of the year, meaning more revenue.

James Packer commissioned one of the most impressive superyachts in existence, IJE is truly one of the world’s most luxurious vessels and with its long list of inclusions means it will remain to be for years to come. Vessels of this prestige and pedigree are rarely up for sale and IJE represents an excellent opportunity to own one of the world’s premiere superyachts. 

IJE is listed for sale by Burgess Yachts.

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