Toby Hodges takes a look at all the nominees and the winner of the luxury yachts category in the European Yacht of the Year Awards

There are many categories in the European Yacht of the Year awards, from the best family cruisers to performance yachts. But some of the most jaw-dropping options come when it is time to choose the nominees and winner in the best luxury yachts category.

The European Yacht of the Year awards are selected by a broad panel of expert judges from across the globe. These are people who spend their professional lives sailing and comparing yachts, so you can be certain that the yachts which stand out in this field are truly the best of the best on the market.

What constitutes luxury for you? Price, quality of finish, comfort (at sea or at anchor)? The broad selection for this category this year includes two from Group Beneteau which show how appealing space can be today, as well as offerings from more typical premium brands such as Swan and Hallberg-Rassy. Pricing is equally as broad: for the same length, one can cost three times the amount of the other.

Best luxury yachts of 2022

The outright winner in any space race is Lagoon and there would be very few people, if honest with themselves, who wouldn’t dream of spending holidays and extended cruising time aboard the resort that is the new Lagoon 55.

The jury and I were unanimous in our applause of Lagoon’s thorough approach with its prototype of this latest vast model, which spent a whole season logging 6,000 miles of mainly Mediterranean sailing and taking interested clients aboard to iron out any issues.

The second prototype will do the same in the US, the third in Asia. And despite 30 orders being placed at the Cannes Boat Show alone, Lagoon will still not start the assembly line until the full debugging process is complete, in September this year.

We reviewed the first model in the October 2021 issue. The sheer amount of different sections of the boat in which to relax will make you giggle, as will the beam in the hulls – executive suites is a closer description than aft cabins. Despite its size and only having very light winds, the Lagoon 55 always kept moving, thanks in part to the Code 0, which is a doddle to set and electrically furl away.

Lagoon 55 price: €1,139,300

The Jeanneau 60 is another new model which has seemingly mastered the appeal for space at an attractive price, combined with a raft of layout options offered, which will help give each identity. I viewed two at the Cannes Boat Show last autumn and, so different were they from one another, that it was only after disembarking and checking the specs did I believe they were the same model.

Whether you take the arch and fixed bimini roof or not is a key factor in the exterior look, but it’s more the 19 different available interior configurations, including fore or aft owners suite and forward galley layout, that will have the biggest effect.

Despite all the extras and accessories, including a 3m RIB housed in an offset garage, the 60 has been kept comparatively light weight and the resultant performance in light airs showed. Jeanneau says owners will typically use this model in the Med, so it focussed on the ability to walk through the deck and cockpit easily.

Jeanneau 60 price: €650,000

The Swan 58, meanwhile, has been conceived for distance cruising, an elegant and powerful looking Frers design which has already met with very popular demand. Swan pitched the 58 as a fast bluewater cruiser which can be managed by a couple, and concentrated on maintaining helming pleasure while prioritising comfort and safety.

That’s a lot of boxes to try to tick, however it is undoubtedly a good looking luxury cruising yacht with the potential for sparkling performance and covering long distances in style. Full report in February 2021.

Swan 58 price: €1.98m

Likewise, the sailing performance of the X.56 will be what grabs you the most – It’s pure X, 
But we also really liked the cockpit layout of the test boat with its mainsheet plinth and the attention to styling the Danish yard is increasingly giving to its interiors, including on this the optional island in the galley and the tinted oak veneer finish. See the full report on pXX.

X.56 price: €970,000

Best luxury yacht of 2022 – Hallberg-Rassy 50

We featured a full test of this Swedish gem in January, but in summary, this 50 is beautifully refined and arguably the best model yet in Rassy’s modern hull-shape generation. It uses every inch of German Frers’ cunning design while still delivering highly impressive, push-button controlled performance across the wind ranges, particularly with the optional high-spec carbon rigging package.

Hallberg-Rassy 509 price: SEK 13,221,900 – approx €1.28m

Jury comments:
“No other shipyard has mastered the balancing act between contemporary, modern yacht building and the retention of traditional values better than Hallberg-Rassy,” says Roland Duller, Austria.

“Performance, reliability and dignity of both sailing and living are found in balance,” Pasi Nuutinen, Finland.

“Magnificent hull lines, great ergonomics, spacious cabins and the rock solid Swedish build quality all combine to something universally great,” Jochen Rieker, Germany.

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