RH3 Expedition Yacht

George Town, Cayman Islands


An old expedition yacht underwent an extensive rebuilding process to create a floating ‘home away from home’. Working in close collaboration with the yacht’s owner, Vincent Van Duysen Architects were responsible for the general concept and mood, spanning from the complete interior renovation to partnership with Vripack engineers and designers on the exterior modifications.

The concept was to create a new expedition yacht with an ultimate level of comfort and luxury while also using a careful selection of natural and tactile materials to create a serene and timeless atmosphere, as one can also find in the owner’s residence on land.

The interior creates a special environment in which occupants are encouraged to explore all their senses and interact with the vessel’s unique character. The use of fine but understated natural materials such as brushed oak, honed Carrara marble, Italian leather, cashmere, cotton rope and handmade vegetal rugs invites guests to feel, touch and fully inhabit all interior spaces and lounges. An example of this are the walls made out of rounded carved wooden panels, referring to the typical naval rope stacks. At the same time, the yacht’s interiors suggest a sharp and sportive mood, inviting guests not only to relax but to engage in multiple activities, from the highly customized fitness lounge to the outdoor observation gym or the upper deck with its bespoke tenders, kayaks and paddleboards.

The design integrates many rounded and gentle surfaces, in a contemporary way, from the unique skylounge oak panelling to the stone details of the bathroom. All the interior hardware and lighting fixtures followed this aesthetic, to perfectly blend old and new.

The lighting design, created by PSLab, incorporated custom lighting fixtures, blending in with the overall interior design. The loose furniture features custom-designed items and exterior furniture was customized by Paola Lenti in Italy for RH3, featuring the new Portofino collection designed by Vincent Van Duysen (see page 159). The key feature of this special project was the complete and immersive design approach, from the larger-scale interventions to the smallest details, creating a new direction for yacht interiors and at the same time defining the ideal feeling of a floating ‘home’: the perfect shelter equipped for all expeditions and adventures at sea.

Watch the video featuring the RH3 expedition yacht

In collaboration with:



Bart Heynen


Boat International Magazine, February 2017

Wideprint, September 2019

Robb Report, 1 May, 2022

Yacht Design, July 2023

WWD, 17 August 2023

RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen ©Bart Heynen
RH3 by Vincent Van Duysen
Vvda Rh3 Expedition Yacht Plans