Press Releases



In September 2018, Sunseeker International announced a momentous step into the world of metal-built yachts. Looking to capitalise on the British yard’s success in the superyacht market while responding to client demand for larger Sunseeker vessels, the British doyen of luxury powerboats needed to build bigger. The challenge was finding the right yard specialised in metal superyacht construction to partner with on its largest vessel to date: the Sunseeker 161 Yacht.

Sunseeker spent nearly three years looking for a partner to build its first aluminium-hulled yacht in the all-important 50m sector. Although finding experience and expertise in metal build was relatively simple, the challenge was in finding a yard that shared the same progressive, innovative spirit as Sunseeker. Not only did the prospective partner need to be able to create something unique but critically, provide the flexibility to build a true Sunseeker motor yacht.

Innovation, quality, experience: ICON Yachts

Cue ICON Yachts. Opening its doors in Harlingen in 2005, the Dutch shipbuilder ICON Yachts has been making waves throughout the superyacht sector since its inception. Matching Sunseeker’s innovative and forward-thinking mentality, ICON specialises in effective, modern construction methods, building high-quality, comprehensively engineered vessels in steel and aluminium with every detail – however minute – carefully considered.

Challenging traditional building methods, the renowned Dutch builders have fundamentally modernised the building of superyachts. From day one, they created a hyper-efficient system that combines extensive pre-planning with an innovative modular construction technique. This reduces the time to delivery, guarantees build quality and offers infinite customisation according to a client’s specific needs and desires.

ICON’s experienced team was another deciding factor for Sunseeker when looking for the perfect collaborator for the step into large, aluminium yacht construction. The ICON Yachts team is built on expertise, skill and craftsmanship, with each employee defined by a passion to excel. From the foremen to the project managers and executive team, ICON delivers an unparalleled package of design, engineering and construction talent.

Heavily investing in the latest shipbuilding equipment and facilities, in 2019 the yard completed a new 130-metre floating dock, increasing its refit capacity by 100 per cent and cementing ICON’s position as a leader in the northern European superyacht manufacturing and refit business. ICON is also dedicated to maintaining its reputation as one of the world’s greenest shipyards. Every ICON new build benefits from its Green Yacht Plus standard, outfitting each yacht with equipment to help reduce its environmental impact.

ICON’s unique, world-class facilities are located on reclaimed land just outside the historic port of Harlingen in the Netherlands. Surrounded by unrestricted open-water, ICON Yachts is Holland’s only boat builder with no limitations from locks and bridges, making the Harlingen yard a key location for superior superyacht builds.

The Sunseeker 161 Yacht

Measuring in at <500GT, this new tri-deck yacht follows the iconic Sunseeker exterior lines and offers exceptional space and volume. Her interior can be styled to each owner’s unique taste via Sunseeker’s unique ‘Bespoke’ service. The theme throughout is one of space and flexibility, maximising volume and providing compelling features to enhance enjoyment on board. The plunge pool on the main deck is one such feature, as well as the generous beach club that creates an incredible space for a day near the water.

The Sunseeker 161 Yacht sees ten guests accommodated in five cabins in the standard guest configuration, with scope for up to 12 guests dependent upon the chosen general arrangement.

Speaking of the collaboration with ICON Yachts Sunseeker CEO, Christian Marti, says: “We have built a great relationship with ICON, and this collaboration is going to be very special. We are bringing together two world-class builders to produce a brand-new superyacht that will not only look incredible but will be truly unique in her design, efficiency and comfort. 

Since the launch at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2018, the response globally to the 161 Yacht project has been exceptional among the media and prospective customers. The new yacht will be built in the ICON yard in the Netherlands using a proven fast displacement hull design, but its innate look and feel will be unmistakably Sunseeker.

Jen Wartena, CEO of ICON Yachts adds: “This is just the beginning of a long, bright future at ICON. We’re incredibly proud to become a strategic partner with Sunseeker, a brand well known for its success in the luxury performance motor yacht market. With our first collaboration on the Sunseeker 161 Yacht, we’re merging the best of both worlds: the experience, sales and marketing power of a strong brand such as Sunseeker with the innovative shipbuilding capabilities of ICON Yachts.”

The first hull in the Sunseeker 161 Yacht series is scheduled to launch in 2021.


  • Abu Dhabi has been witnessing a growing number of passengers at its cruise terminal area over the last few years. The pioneering edition of the Abu International Boat Show, which is set to attract exhibitors and visitors from around the world, will contribute in the ongoing efforts to introduce the unique features offered by Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s marine tourism sector.

    Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi
    CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company

  • We are very pleased to be supporting ADIBS as the Official Healthcare Provider, we place great focus on best health care practices and quality services. Our partnership with ADNEC aims to endure the safety of all visitors and participants at the boat show through providing the required medical services on site or transfer cases that require further attention to one of our facilities in the city by well-equipped and staffed ambulances.

    Dr. Marwan Al Kaabi
    Group Readiness and Business Continuity Director of SEHA

  • We are proud to join hands with ADNEC for the first edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show. The show is providing us with a valuable platform to share our tailored solutions and industry expertise with marine industry professionals and luxury yacht owners in Abu Dhabi. Our global market reach and specialist insurance expertise enables us to provide competitively-priced, customised programs to those with insurance requirements in the UAE.

    Carol Roberts
    Super Yacht Practice Leader at Integro

  • “As an award-winning Emirates-based shipyard, Gulf Craft is delighted to support the initiative of the Abu Dhabi government by exhibiting at the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS). Gulf Craft is excited to showcase a selection of yachts and boats from its world acclaimed brands Majesty Yachts, Nomad Yachts, Oryx and Silvercraft. Abu Dhabi is home to some of the largest superyacht owners in the world and is also a destination for all boaters in the region.”

    An Official Spokesperson
    from Gulf Craft

  • "We are really looking forward to the first ever ADIBS 2018 and believe it will be a real showcase event to exhibit the latest technology to the Middle East market.  We are proud to be part of this new venture right at the very start and look forward to creating new relationships through our cutting edge technology."

    James Tupper
    BGB spokesperson

  • "Bush & Noble Yacht Brokerage are very excited to participate in this highly anticipated show. I believe this event will provide the ideal platform for the entire marine industry and yachting enthusiasts to connect and discover everything this flourishing region has to offer. This year, Bush & Noble has been appointed as the official dealer for Gulf Crafts pre-owned yachts and boats, the leading luxury yacht and leisure boat builder in the Middle East. The ADIBS will offer an invaluable opportunity for yachting enthusiasts to view and experience the unique quality and luxury that Gulf Graft offers."

    John Bush

  • "Elboat is very excited and proud to be taking part in the very first Abu Dhabi Boat show. Elboat will be show casing two new boat designs to Abu Dhabi; the Elboat 29 and Elboat Skiff."


  • "Elcome International is very pleased to participate in the first Abu Dhabi International Boat Show. Abu Dhabi is an important emerging centre of boating activity, with a growing number of dealers, marinas and boat owners. The Abu Dhabi International Boat Show will provide an opportunity to form closer relationships with the growing number of boat owners in the UAE and to showcase Elcome’s range of products and services. The first edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show, held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is an important event, marking the ‘coming of age’ of the region’s boating industry."

    Jimmy Grewal
    Executive Director of Elcome International

  • "The Abu Dhabi international boat show opens doors to a new world of yachting within the UAE. We already have a steady stream of yachts and loyal clientele in Abu Dhabi, and being a part of the show would assist in furthering the hallmark features of our brand and its products. the last couple of years has seen a large number of product launches at Sunseeker and as we bring in a new range of more beautiful designs, beamier and spacious hulls with latest features including beach clubs on most of our yachts, our presence at the show is bound to be a busy one. We wish the Abu Dhabi international Boat Show team best of success in this new chapter in Middle East yachting."

    Mohammed Al Jasmi
    General Manager

  • "Lumishore is delighted to attend and support the 1st Abu Dhabi International Boat Show. The UAE is critically important to the global Boating Industry and we all hope that this show is a great success for the boating public and Abu Dhabi. Lumishore has not exhibited at a UAE show with its own exhibition stand for many years and we are sure that the boating world will be excited by our latest innovative World-leading lighting products."

    Eifrion Evans
    CEO, Lumishore