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Riviera in history – the years from 2016 to 2020

Edition 1 - 2021, Riviera History

Riviera in history – the years from 2016 to 2020


In the eighth and final of our series of articles looking back over 40 years of Riviera evolution, we explore the period from 2016 to 2020.

The Riviera team continued to consolidate success through 2016 as strong forward orders were received. They launched three new models during the year, an enclosed flybridge, an SUV and a new Sport Yacht.

Around the world the Panama Papers – a cache of more than 11 million documents held by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – shone an unwelcome light on the financial dealings of notable individuals and corporations. And the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a move known as Brexit.


In Australia Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal/National Government was narrowly re-elected. And Pokemon Go was released.

The Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge built on the success of the 52 released the previous year and the 575 SUV provided greater cockpit, saloon and accommodation space with the appointments and luxury befitting the flagship of these popular single-level motor yachts. The 5400 Sport Yacht, with her midships master stateroom and spacious light-filled saloon with centreline helm and aft galley, was an immediate success.

Meanwhile the new model development team of 50 craftspeople, designers, engineers, naval architects and draftsmen were ready to lift the veil on a new-concept model. After intensive consultation with many Riviera owners, visitors to that year’s Riviera Festival of Boating in May were invited to inspect a full scale mock-up of the interior of a Sports Motor Yacht.

The Riviera 68 Sports Motor Yacht (TOP) caused a sensation upon her launch while the Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht (BOTTOM) added to the diversity of this collection.

For Riviera, 2017 was all about that Sports Motor Yacht. This was a yacht like nothing the team had ever developed. She offered wide walk-around side decks, a magnificent four-sided enclosed flybridge and multiple entertaining spaces. These included the alfresco deck on the saloon and galley level and a luxurious space on the foredeck created for both enjoyment and a cradle for a tender.

The Riviera 68 Sports Motor Yacht was officially launched during the Sydney International Boat Show in August 2017.

Among the acclaim and excitement around this extraordinary new yacht, the designers and builders also managed to launch the 4800 Sport Yacht, reflecting the popularity of these sophisticated single-level yachts.


The next Sports Motor Yacht, a 72, was unveiled at the 2018 Sydney International Boat Show.

With forward orders growing across the five model collections and the international acclaim of the new Sports Motor Yachts, the development team maintained the momentum with the launch of a 395 SUV, the smallest Riviera since the launch of the 3600 Sport Yacht in 2005. She garnered great attention among prospective owners and media alike during her launch at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. She was soon followed by the 39 Open Flybridge.

Meanwhile, the Belize design team had been working on something special since the 54 Sedan and Daybridge models became part of Riviera family in 2012. The 66 Sedan was unveiled during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in the US. This was a motor yacht that brought a new level of poise, grace and luxury to the Belize Collection.


On the international stage, 2018 saw two world-stopping photo opportunities. North and South Korea agreed to finally and officially end the Korean War that had raged for three years in the early 1950s. Coinciding with this event, US President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. And US actor Meghan Markle married into the British royal family, exchanging vows with Prince Harry.

At Riviera, flybridge models continued to attract owners and the 54 Enclosed Flybridge was launched in 2019. The Sport Yacht collection was refined with even more luxury, style and inspired design with the launch of the Platinum Edition – a vision in shimmering tones of platinum, black and white over three magnificent models, the 6000, 5400 and 4800 Series II.

The SUV collection expanded with the introduction of the 545 and a Daybridge version of the Belize 66 was launched.


Given what has challenged Australia and the world through 2020, we might have forgiven the Riviera team for simply hunkering down and awaiting for the storm clouds to pass.

The wildfire season in the US had barely ended in late 2019 when Australia’s summer of 2019-20 began with firestorms across the entire east coast of Australia, spreading to parts of South Australia. Then, just as the weary fire fighters began to douse the flames, a new threat began to sweep across the globe – a coronavirus that causes a disease dubbed COVID-19.

Yet the Riviera team restructured work patterns, took extra precautions and continued to plan and work.

They launched the next generation SUV to the range with the 505 model and continued development of the stunning Sports Motor Yacht collection. First, a 64 Sports Motor Yacht joined the exceptional SMY family, then the 50 Sports Motor Yacht.

The new-generation Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht (TOP AND CENTRE LEFT AND RIGHT) and Belize 54 Daybridge (BOTTOM) premiered at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

In a special celebration of achievement, the team unveiled world premieres of two models at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in the US in late October.

The first, a next-generation 72 Sports Motor Yacht, provides greater range and speed, enhanced guest and crew accommodation together with new, innovative engineering and technology advances. Beside her, the new model Belize 54 Daybridge was on display for the first time, offering an impressive new flybridge and hardtop design, greater speed and enhanced owner comforts.

The show display also included the US premieres for the 64 and 50 Sports Motor Yachts and was completed with the inclusion of a 6000 Sport Yacht, 395 SUV and the Belize 66 Daybridge model.

The proud team of 600 craftspeople at Riviera’s world-class facility on the Gold Coast.

All the while, increased popularity continues for every model across the 21-model range from 39 to 72 feet. Open and Enclosed Flybridge models, Sports Motor Yachts, Sport Yachts, SUVs and Belize yachts are forward ordered from around the world to a level never seen in the company’s 40-year history.

For the past three years, the Gold Coast team has built and delivered around 100 motor yachts each year to excited owners across Europe, in Asia, the Americas, New Zealand and Australia.

The drawing boards and 3D modelling computer screens of the New Model Development team continue to inspire excitement, apprentices learn and grow and the 600-strong team of designers, engineers, boatbuilders, shipwrights, electricians and many other skilled individuals continue to create yachts that speak of world-class design, luxury and efficiency at a level superior by international standards.


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