The Va Bene – Eric Clapton’s Floating Art Hub
In 2005 Eric Clapton chartered a luxury yacht called Va Bene for a cruise around the Mediterranean with his friends. The rock star enjoyed the trip around the Med so much that he bought the yacht upon his return.
Over two decades of yachting pleasure
Originally commissioned by a sailing enthusiast from Greece in 1992, the Va Bene was built by Kees Cornelissen, a Dutch luxury yacht building company. Va Bene was then purchased by F1 race driver Bernie Ecclestone before being scooped up by Eric Clapton. The luxury yacht is 47.8 meters long and has two 1,750hp Caterpillar engines that propel her to a relaxed cruising speed of around 14 knots. One master suite, one twin suite and four double suites provide comfortable lodgings for 12 guests. There is also accommodation for up to 13 crew members.
Calming decor throughout
Neutral tones welcome guests as they arrive on Va Bene. There is a distinctly Art Deco theme throughout the main entertainment areas. When the yacht was refitted circa 2008, the dated but striking theme was refreshed rather than done away with. Although old fashioned, it creates a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere instead of the in-your-face ostentatious look typical of show-off yachts. Despite being one of the top rock stars in the world Clapton enjoys a comfortable family life, and this is apparent in his yacht’s furnishings and decor.
Comfy corduroy and absolute entertainment
The saloon on the Va Bene yacht is divided into four areas, each with its own unique look and feel. The card playing area features leather chairs and the movie lounge area is designed with absolute relaxation in mind; it sports a huge taupe coloured sofa upholstered in comfortable corduroy. Around the corner from the main lounge area is the dining room, which is slightly more formal. The room is well lit and features an oak table with Italian marble inlays and a stunning array of abstract art.
Art and music
Clapton’s love for art is very obvious in the Va Bene, there is art everywhere. From tiny oil paintings of Venice to expansive abstract canvasses, ceramic vases and marble scultures – Va Bene is a floating art gallery. Besides art, music also features throughout. Every suite and guest area has a discreetly placed Arcam iPod docking station so guests can enjoy their own music library at any time. For ultimate movie watching there are several Panasonic Viera flat screen televisions and a classically great Bang & Olufsen CRT television on the Va Bene.
Just like U2’s Bono and his yacht Cyan, the internationally renowned musician Eric Clapton certainly needs no introduction. After he started studying towards an art education, young Clapton dropped out of school to join his first band, aged only 17. He not only became an accomplished musician, Clapton also managed to make it to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame no less than three times, more than anybody else so far. A CBE, 17 Grammies and four decades later, the rock star continues to tour the world and perform.