M/Y Kalizma is a classic, Edwardian, motor yacht, built in 1906 and christened Minona.
Originally designed as a steam-powered yacht, she was one of the first yachts to have electric lighting. During the First World War, the British Navy used her as a specialised patrol boat and after the war she took part in regattas and sports competitions in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
During the Second World War, the yacht was once again commandeered by the British Navy to rescue the crew members of over 1100 ships that had been hit and sunk in battle.
In 1946 she finally resumed her original role as a private yacht and became motorised. In 1967, she returned to the limelight when Richard Burton gifted her to his wife, the actress Elizabeth Taylor, to celebrate her second Oscar Award for her interpretation of Martha in the 1966 film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, which film critics still consider her best ever.
In 1967, the yacht was rechristened with her current name of Kalizma, after Burton’s three daughters, Kate, Liza and Maria. Dearly loved by the couple, Kalizma was the perfect setting for the captivating story of the Cartier diamond, symbol of their love story. Purchased by Burton in 1969 for the record sum of 1.1 million dollars, after six thousand visitors had queued to see it on display for a week in the Fifth Avenue Cartier boutique, the diamond was shipped directly to Burton and Taylor on the Kalizma, anchored in Port Hercules in Monaco, where they were staying to celebrate Princess Grace’s fortieth birthday.
When the Hollywood couple divorced, Kalizma passed through many hands until she reached her current owner, who was fascinated by her artistic details and history and really wanted to restore her to her former splendour.
Palazzo Morelli led the restoration work, guided by the owner, Alessandro Ortenzi, who personally supervised the work of the local and international craftsmen involved in the shipyard in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Restoration involved the main areas of the yacht and, more specifically, the master cabin, master bathroom, the internal lounge area and the main external deck. The work was based on philological principles of restoration and conservation and enriched the interiors with a softly glamorous, elegant atmosphere to highlight the Burton-Taylor story. The colour palette pays homage to Elizabeth Taylor’s intensely magnetic “violet” eyes and ranges from shades of grey, dark blue and burgundy to match the existing, mahogany furnishings perfectly.
The traditional, nautical white has also been re-imagined in shades of champagne, which work perfectly with the technical fabrics to offer a surprisingly delicate, tactile, experience.
The new arrangement of the interiors becomes more dynamic with the use of satin finish bronze cornices, profiles and details to fit in perfectly with the existing materials and complement the wall and free-standing lighting.
The refit also improved the Wi-fi network and the technological devices to use high-resolution films, videos and music in every cabin or communal area on the yacht.
The communal spaces were redesigned to create tiny lounges with a softly glamorous atmosphere using warm, consistent lighting throughout.
Drawings and paintings were arranged around photographs taken of the couple Burton-Taylor on board Kalizma. The brass details highlight the original, precious, mahogany wood panelling, which has been kept intact and restored.
The Edwardian style lounge bar area was personalised with Kalizma’s new coat of arms, also designed by Palazzo Morelli at the client’s request. This was then reproduced on all the yacht’s bespoke table linens and accessories.
The master cabin was completely refurbished using an extremely bright colour palette.
A warm champagne white is the dominant colour with brass highlights and a honey-coloured onyx cornice enhanced by a system of backlighting. An aesthetic, functional shell containing the built-in TV screen surrounds the bed. The only concession to colour is the burgundy accessories, which pick up on Kalizma’s new coat of arms.
The master bathroom carries on the colour theme in the master cabin. Onyx and refined brass details prevail and strong, yet warm, even lighting embraces you.
The final part of the refit concerned the external area of the main bridge, designed to host lively parties or to enjoy moments of perfect relation and privacy which only sea travel can give. Materials were chosen to give a classic look yet with technological finishes for specific requirements at sea.