The Riva 92 Duchessa is the builder’s first entry into the large-yacht market since 2005, when the 115 Athena was launched. I stepped onboard hull number five—the first 92 to land in the United States—at the 2010 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, where the model was drawing attention with good cause.
This particular 92 Duchessa was “rich in options,” according to Riva, which means that a lot of what you’re going to read here is not included in the €7.2 million base price. Even so, I could see that this new offering is everything that I expect from the Italian builder: solid form, smart function, and sexy style.
The salon has optional wenge wood flooring painted white, to contrast the dark navy accents in the furniture and to match the white leather trim that is everywhere from the window blinds to the walnut wall panels. Most interesting in this space is not the salon seating, but the adjacent dining room seating, which is around a table that slides. In the “closed” position, the table sits flush against the starboard side wall, creating a large, open corridor for crew and guests to move around to port. In the “open” position, the table slides toward the middle of the room to allow space for chairs on all sides, while still leaving enough square footage for crew to provide dinner service.
Forward on the main deck is the galley, which abuts the crew cabins. The 92 is designed for five crew, but if you want to run with only three, you can eliminate one of the crew cabins and extend the galley across the full beam of the yacht.
All four guest cabins are below. The master and VIP are at opposite ends, with a pair of twin-bed cabins amidships. The layout makes the 92 an ideal cruising yacht for two couples with four children, none of whom will feel cramped thanks to the extensive use of mirrors and windows in the interior décor. While the cabins themselves are a good size, the horizontal mirrors and oversized windows create the effect of extended spaciousness.
The flying bridge includes a sunpad, a sitting area with cocktail table, and a hard top with an electric sunroof that opens to expose practically the entire deck on sunny days. There is a hot tub here, too, but it is shaped like a bathtub—and you shouldn’t expect to host a party inside of it. As the Riva spokeswoman noted, “For one person, it is enough.”
I asked when we might expect the next Riva 92 Duchessa in the United States and was told that the production line is full throughout next year. So if you place an order, you’ll have to wait until 2012 to go for a cruise. This lovely new yacht is already that much in demand, just as the first U.S. customers are getting a chance to lay eyes on her.
Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of six books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine www.CharterWave.com, and writes the blog at