Custom Line Just Unveiled a New 127-Foot Superyacht in Venice—and We Got a First Look

The world premiere of Custom Line’s Navetta 38 funnily enough began on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), with the superyacht of the hour more than 500 miles away.

The Italian builder, one of seven owned by yachting behemoth Ferretti Group, invited 60 international clients and two journalists to travel from Paris to Venice aboard the legendary train for the debut of the new 127-footer. The itinerary seemed a little confusing to me at first—why aren’t we all just beelining it directly to one of the shipyards to meet the newest fleet member?—but Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi reveals his master plan as we chat in one of the train’s lavish dining cars. “The idea was to get to Venice with the best friends and clients of Ferretti Group and Custom Line in style,” he explains. “To go to see a beauty on a beauty.”

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Galassi is clearly masterful at catering to his clientele, or what he describes as “the most exclusive member’s club.” He knows they are accustomed to a luxury lifestyle: Dom Pérignon was free-flowing throughout the entire two-day affair and a dedicated crew was on hand to meet any demand. He also understands that most have an eye for aesthetics, and thus would appreciate the inlaid woodwork, Lalique crystal panels, and other intricate details of the train.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Paris.

After just a couple of hours chugging through the breathtaking European countryside, I can already see that the CEO’s grandiose marketing ploy has paid off. The bar car is a sea of smiling faces, and I notice multiple owners carefully eyeing the detailed model of the Navetta 38 that sits on the piano. Galassi tells me later that the team sold the fifth hull on the train trip.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
A model of the Navetta 38 on display in the VSOE bar car.

The first hull is on display at the premiere party at the Hotel Cipriani the next day. The yacht and the train couldn’t be more aesthetically opposite—one oozes Art Deco opulence; the other, modern elegance—but both have a distinctive design DNA. “She’s very contemporary, very sleek, very sexy on the water,” Galassi says of the Navetta 38. “It’s a huge leap forward compared to the previous Navetta 37 that saw the water in 2016. We’re talking about nearly 10 years later.” (The Navetta range also includes a 30, 33, and 42.)

The Navetta 38 is the result of collaboration between the Custom Line team and the Ferretti Group engineering department, with Italian architect Filippo Salvetti shaping the exterior and Milanese firm ACPV Architects spearheading the interiors. The first unit, owned by Galassi himself, features a white superstructure and a gray, semi-displacement hull. I know, “gray” sounds rather boring, but this chameleon-like hue changed with the light throughout the evening. The hull looked pewter at cocktail hour and almost white later that night. It was my favorite thing about the exterior.

Custom Line Navetta 38 in Venice
The Navetta 38 in Venice.

I take a tour of the interior with several journalists the following day. The living quarters are the epitome of quiet luxury, showcasing a subtle color palette, soft, curved lines, and an array of natural materials. Light oak runs across the floors, while raffia and leather adorn the walls. The bathrooms are decked out in pale Pietra d’Orcia stone and the beds are covered with neutral Frette bedding. Galassi’s comprehensive art collection provides the only real pop of color, actually.

The understated styling seems to reflect Galassi’s approach to design at large. The man is “obsessed with elegance,” by his own admission. He also says Italians are “condemned to beauty,” meaning they cannot even think of doing something ugly “because it’s against our historical tradition.” Furthermore, Galassi seems to be trying to counter the growing culture of excess. “Luxury is becoming vulgar. Luxury is becoming too flashy. Luxury is becoming a bit too arrogant,” Galassi tells us on the sun deck. “Now, is there a way of having luxury with elegance, low-profile luxury where the material speaks, luxury full of good taste? I think the answer is yes.”

Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi
Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi.

I am a fan of the subdued interior, though I can’t imagine it would be super practical as most of the custom furniture is white. Galassi agrees but seems unphased. “In two weeks of cruising, everything will be destroyed,” he jokes. “We know that. I’ll start again.” The decor is entirely customizable, though apparently, the owners of hulls two and three haven’t deviated much from the standard design. The owner of the fifth unit doesn’t seem like he’ll change much, either: The Bulgarian gent walks past us on the tour and tells Galassi the yacht is “more than what I expected.”

With a beam of 26 feet and an interior volume of 300 GT, the yacht feels far bigger than my own, two-story London terrace. The layout is customizable, with an array of different configurations available. At the center lies an open-plan salon and dining room with sliding doors that open on each side to create an alfresco feel. The upscale owner’s suite is also positioned on the main deck—Galassi has a chic dressing room and a fancy steam shower in his—while four guest cabins and four crew cabins are located on the lower deck. Plush outdoor lounges adorn the aft decks and bow, while a full-beam beach club with fold-out terraces sits at the stern. The sundeck, Galassi’s favorite feature, offers a Jacuzzi, a bar, and sweeping views of Venice’s lagoon on this particular day.

Custom Line Navetta 38
The aft decks of the Navetta 38.

Interestingly, Galassi says the technology is what sets the Navetta 38 apart from other vessels in her class. The yacht is equipped with cutting-edge anti-vibration, soundproofing, and stabilization systems. In addition, the high-tech helm, which is clad in a scratch-proof material called Fenix, looks straight out of a sci-fi film. Powered by MAN V-12 engines that can churn out 1,400 hp, the yacht has a top speed of 15 knots and a range of about 2,800 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 12 knots. The Navetta 38 doesn’t have to stop in each country to switch engines like the VSOE, either.

As for future launches, Custom Line will debut a new range in the summer of 2026. The yard is also unveiling a 164-footer at the Monaco Yacht Show in September. That superyacht will be the largest Custom Line yet. One can only imagine what Galassi has in store for the premiere party, then.

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