On Board Fashion Mogul Luciano Benetton’s $17M Former Explorer

The 16-year-old Tribu was custom-built for Luciano Benetton in 2007 17 photos
Photo: Black Orange Yachts
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Don't mistake Tribu for just another "old” explorer superyacht. Even though it was built more than 15 years ago, this custom billionaire's toy is a pioneer among its peers and a stunning example of the finest Italian craftsmanship. Built for Luciano Benetton, this proven expedition yacht would be a hot commodity for any adventure-seeking billionaire.
"Green" superyachts are trendy right now among the wealthiest customers, but back in 2007, owners who were willing to adhere to advanced environmental standards were true pioneers.

Tribu, the gorgeous expedition yacht launched by Mondomarine that year, didn't boast clean propulsion systems like the ones we might see today, but it took a huge step for the industry by becoming the first recreational motor yacht to receive an important designation for environmental design.

It was the famous Green Star, awarded by RINA (Registro Italiano Navale). RINA is actually one of the oldest classification societies in the world. It introduced the Green Star, a voluntary classification, in order to expand environmental awareness among players in the maritime industry, from designers and builders to private owners and commercial operators.

Tribu Explorer
Photo: Luca Dini
Before Tribu, the Green Star had been awarded to commercial vessels and companies, including the Carnival Cruise Lines. They had to comply with RINA's clean sea/clean air standards based on the requirements established by the Marpol Annex I, IV, V, and VI.

Being the first yacht to get the Green Star meant that Tribu's owner wanted to ensure that his pleasure craft would have a minimum impact on the environment. First, the yacht must respect certain construction standards and be equipped with specific features such as storage tanks and recycling facilities. Once it hits the sea, the crew is responsible for implementing the eco-friendly procedures devised around two goals – minimization of air emissions and prevention of water pollution.

The owner who took this bold step was Luciano Benetton, the Italian billionaire who co-founded the Benetton fashion retail empire in 1965. Mondomarine custom-built Tribu for Benetton with the explicit purpose of world exploration. The legendary Luca Dini designed the 50.5 meters (165 feet) explorer with exquisite interiors styled by Studio Lissoni. In other words, this was a 100% Italian work of art.

Tribu became a pioneer in more ways than one. It was the first yacht to receive the RINA Green Star, and, at the time, it was also the first explorer yacht in the world with a steel and aluminum superstructure. In just a little over five years, it would travel around the world two times, covering 90,000 miles (145,000 km).

Tribu Explorer
Photo: Luca Dini
Indeed, Tribu has been designed and equipped specifically for safely cruising the planetary oceans and for long stays in some of the most remote areas. Style-wise, the unique Italian elegance was reflected in every detail, starting with the imposing silhouette that resembled a transatlantic ship.

Luca Dini described it as having a powerful bow, an advanced superstructure, narrow vertical windows, and vast external areas on board. Some of the exterior details were specifically added to give Tribu the rugged appearance of an industrial vessel. The powerful look matched Tribu's world-exploring capabilities. Twin Deutz MWM diesel engines propelled it at 15 knots (27.7 kph). At a slightly lower speed, it was designed to cover more than 3,000 nautical miles (5,550 km).

Today, the 16-year-old explorer boasts a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (11,110 km) thanks to its massive 101,000-liter (26,600 gallons) fuel tanks. It promises autonomy and safety at any latitude and the ability to withstand the harshest weather conditions. Its impressive performance is matched by a very generous volume (783 GT) considering its size.

This Italian beauty can accommodate more than ten guests across six elegant staterooms. A lavish master suite dominates the upper deck, showcasing stunning panoramic views. It comes with a private office, oversized walk-in wardrobes, and an impressive gym packed with the best equipment.

Tribu Explorer
Photo: Black Orange Yachts
All the other cabins are located on the main deck, which means that everyone gets to enjoy great views. The flexible configuration includes three double cabins with king-sized beds and two twin cabins, all with en-suite bathrooms. This leaves ample room for the crew quarters that can accommodate a huge 13-person crew.

Luca Dini saw Tribu as a blend between a commercial ship and a luxurious superyacht. Rugged enough for extensive adventures at sea, Tribu also boasts all the comfortable amenities of a luxurious floating mansion. Guests have access to a large jacuzzi, multiple al-fresco dining options, a vast sunbathing area, and a huge main salon. Even the galley is extra big, boasting more than 40 square meters (430.5 square feet) – something rarely found onboard superyachts this size.

When it comes to water toys, the Mondomarine expedition yacht was equipped from the start with some of the best, including the most advanced equipment for water skiing available at the time. Today, its toybox includes, among other things, an eight-meter (25-foot) tender, Seadoo and Yamaha jetskis, and even electric bikes. Plus, the large beach club is part of a wider beach setup with an ocean pool.

Tribu Explorer
Photo: Black Orange Yachts
After taking it on some memorable trips around the world, the fashion retail mogul eventually parted with his custom expedition yacht. Tribu was reportedly bought by a wealthy French owner and is now back on the market. Following a fresh refit completed last year, this pioneering explorer with an Italian pedigree is still worth a whopping €16 million ($16.9 million) and looking for a new owner.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
Otilia Drăgan profile photo

Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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