UK Superyacht visits have become more and more popular since the 2012 Olympics. That summer in particular saw more Superyachts in the UK than ever before. BUT, since then they just keep coming back!
Well, you and I know that the popular destinations for Superyachts have always been the Med and Caribbean. But, as more and more yachts crowd anchorages, berths become more valuable than gold and anonymity goes out of the window, what next? Superyacht owners, guests, Captains and crew are looking for new places to get excited about. Nobody wants to be 1 of 100 yachts in an anchorage and it’s always nice for people to make a bit of a fuss when you arrive and are “the only show in town”.
M/Y Vanish in Central London
So where do you go?
A few years back, Croatia and Montenegro became the place to take your Superyacht but, just like a few years earlier when yachts cruised the Greek isles they became popular, then busy, then too busy. So everyone moved on to the next big destination.
As we all know, the world has been a strange place the last year and lots of yachts did nothing at all in 2020. Owners, charter brokers and managers are looking for opportunities and destinations that Superyachts can visit.
Why the UK?
The UK is a very different destination for Superyachts and somewhere most people don’t consider because it’s not hot and sunny is it? It may not be the South of France but definitely isn’t the frozen North! Tastes have changed the last few years and people want to add some variety to their summer cruise. So, how about this?
Yes we are biased but London is one of the greatest cities on earth. And you can bring a yacht all the way into the centre of the city. Want to make a statement? It is very rare that another yacht will arrive and block your view! In fact, berths in London are well spaced out so, even if another yacht did turn up, the chances are you won’t see them. Great sight seeing, restaurants and shops. What more could you ask for?
The South Coast:
Portsmouth, Dartmouth, Salcombe, Falmouth. Fowey and others offer not only stunning coastal scenery but some activity, culture and history unique to each area.
Mayan Queen in Dartmouth
Islands and Highlands:
Let’s not forget Scotland! Over the last few years more than 60% of UK Superyacht visits either started or finished in Scotland. Now this is an opportunity for guests and charterers to really get back to nature. Scotland offers some of the most dramatic scenery on earth. It is not only stunning but supported by good infrastructure. And you are never far from a decent airport.
A busy day! Greenock
Do the locals know how to look after Superyachts?
Funnily enough, yes they do. We talked to one of the most popular Superyacht Agents in the UK, MGMT who are not only owned and run by ex Superyacht Crew but also cover the entire country. MGMT started out in 2011 and were responsible for attracting and looking after most of the Superyachts that came to the 2012 Olympics. Ever since then they have seen the number of UK Superyacht visits increase year on year with particular interest in London and the Western Isles of Scotland. MGMT is extremely experienced when it comes to all the usual agency services but are also keen to point out that there is so much more on offer. “Itineraries, special events, private tours are what we do most of in addition to the usual services. But it’s the special touches we like to add to a Superyacht visit to ensure the guests have a memorable experience. After all the UK is not like most other Superyacht destinations. It offers something for everyone, we have even had really warm summers the last few years” Says Craig Latimer of MGMT.
What about BREXIT?
Funnily enough Brexit has had a hugely positive effect on the Superyacht industry when it comes to visiting yachts. Now the UK is no longer part of Europe there are lots of potential benefits for Superyachts.
Refit for example: Yachts leaving refit in Northern Europe have traditionally made a trip north to Norway in order to clear out of Europe before re-entering. This can now be done in the UK as yachts head south rather than make an unnecessary trip north. They can also buy fuel much cheaper, stock up on provisions and tie in a guest trip in London at the same time.
This is a huge benefit and potentially massive cost saving for many Superyachts. It’s also one more reason for Superyachts to add the UK to their summer itineraries. And, you are unlikely to be anchored within sight of another Superyacht. Just like the good old days!