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The success of Below Deck propelled its crew and the superyachts that accommodated them into mainstream pop culture – and audiences couldn’t get enough.
From season one’s launch on US television in July 2013, the show quickly grew in popularity and became must-watch viewing for reality enthusiasts across the country. Inevitably, seven further seasons have since been broadcast on Bravo and, thanks to the rise in streaming platforms in recent years, the show has landed legions of followers around the globe. It’s now officially an international hit.
Below Deck made such a splash in its first three seasons that Bravo launched its first spin-off show in 2016: Below Deck Mediterranean. It was very well received and has remained on air ever since, helping the franchise go from strength to strength.
Encouraged by its acclaim, Bravo debuted a second spin-off in 2020: Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Again, the show landed on two feet and demonstrated that audiences were a long way from having had enough of Below Deck.
Yachting Pages explores the original spin-off in all its glory, outlining everything you need to know about the series – without giving away any episodic spoilers!
NB: All of the superyachts used in Below Deck are not known by their real names; they are given new names purely for the show.
The premise of the show remains the same as the original series, but the location, personnel and superyachts featured are different. Whereas Below Deck is based on charters in the US, Below Deck Mediterranean documents the lives of the crew members aboard a superyacht during charter season in the Mediterranean. Each episode has an approximate running time of 42 minutes.
The destination for season one was Greece, with the captain and crew working aboard the 45.73-metre (150-foot) Ionian Princess, which was constructed by US shipyards Palmer Johnson and Christensen in 2005 (it underwent a major refit in 2015).
First broadcast on Bravo in 2016, the season spanned 13 episodes and featured the following crew members:
Season two revolved around charters in Croatia aboard 47m (154ft) motor yacht Sirocco, built in 2006 by Dutch shipyard Heesen. First broadcast in 2017, the season ran for 15 episodes and featured a mixture of new and returning crew members:
Season three saw the destination move on to Italy, with 54.2m (178ft) custom motor yacht Talisman Maiton, built by Turqouise Yachts, the featured superyacht.
The season debuted in 2018 and ran for 17 episodes. The crew was again a combination of old favourites, such as Hannah Ferrier and Sandy Yawn, and new recruits:
The fourth season of Below Deck Mediterranean saw the charters take place in France – though on this occasion the crew returned to the 47m Sirocco rather than a new superyacht. This is the first time in the series that a yacht was used for a second time.
Airing in 2019, the season spanned 18 episodes. The crew consisted of the standard blend of recognisable faces and new recruits:
Season five saw the action take place in yet another new destination: Spain. A brand-new yacht featured in this season, with Oceanco-built 56.2m (185ft) motor yacht The Wellington used.
The season debuted in 2020 and jumped to a total of 22 episodes. 12 different members of crew worked on board during the season:
Chief stewardess Hannah Ferrier, an ever present in the first five seasons of Below Deck Mediterranean, was sacked during the fifth season after Malia White photographed a box of Valium and a THC pen in Ferrier's cabin. Captain Sandy immediately sacked Ferrier and she was removed from the yacht. It came to light later that the medication had been prescribed to help her deal with anxiety.
After a handful of season five episodes had aired on Bravo, a historical racist and sexist Instagram post from Peter Hunziker resurfaced. Bravo and 51 Minds, the production company involved in the show, dismissed Hunziker - but because the show had already wrapped filming, their only option was to edit him out of the show as best they could. It meant Hunziker was rarely mentioned in the remaining episodes of the season.
The show returned to Croatia in season six and another new superyacht was introduced: Benetti-built 55m (180ft) Lady Michelle.
The season began airing in 2021 and, as yet, has not been broadcast in its entirety. This means the duration of the season is as-yet unconfirmed. The crew involved in season six include:
There are no signs that Below Deck Mediterranean will be coming to an end any time soon – in fact, further seasons are likely to be commissioned in due course. The franchise is going from strength-to-strength and it's only likely to attract more fans the longer it’s available to watch on streaming platforms.
All images © Laurent Basset/Bravo.
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