The superyacht industry is always changing. With more remote and unspoilt destinations becoming more accessible around the world and exciting yachts coming onto the market each year, deciding which yacht to charter – and where to sail – is a big decision. It is therefore helpful to learn about the developing trends, from the most renowned charter crew to the most popular charter yachts for corporate charters. To find out what’s in vogue in the 2017 luxury yacht charter market, we talked to Tove Johnson, a Yacht Charter Broker at Fraser, one of the world’s leading luxury yachting companies.
Which three destinations are proving to be popular charter spots for 2017?
For the winter season, South-East Asia yacht charters are becoming more and more popular, with the spectacular islands of Indonesia drawing an increased number of superyachts – particularly around Komodo and the Raja Ampat area, where the diving and snorkelling opportunities are astonishingly good. Exotic Thailand is continuing to grow in popularity for superyachts too, with luxury marinas and yacht-friendly legislation making the Krabi Province an increasingly exclusive yachting destination. The enchanting Mergui archipelago in Myanmar (Burma) is also on the rise as a yacht cruising ground, with 800 islands of pristine beauty to be explored in a sapphire sea. For the Mediterranean summer season, Croatia, the Balearics and Greece continue to be extremely popular charter spots.
Which yachts do you recommend for charters in 2017?
Now this is a difficult question to answer as there are so many superb charter yachts on the market, but two of my personal favourites are M/Y ROMA and M/Y LATITUDE – both absolutely brilliant charter yachts with lots of special features. ROMA is a 61.95m yacht with a gym, cinema, Jacuzzi and elevator, and she carries a huge range of watertoys including a waterslide and a flyboard. She has staterooms for 12 guests, and will be cruising Croatia, the Balearics, and the Western Med in summer 2017. M/Y LATITUDE is a 52.00m Benetti yacht with an amazing charter reputation and a very cool art-deco vibe. She’s got private balconies on the master suite, an outdoor cinema and gym, and a great array of water toys including a flyboard and drone. She’s also set up for 12 guests and will be chartering in the Western Med. But that’s just two yachts of many, so get in touch if you want to talk about which yacht will be perfect for your family and friends.
Have you noticed a rise in popularity of particular water toys in the past year?
Yes, definitely. We find that lots of charter guests are really interested in which toys the yacht carries, particularly if there are going to be kids on board, but also for adults. We’re noticing more and more clients asking for a water slide off the yacht, Seabobs, a Jetlev or flyboard, and the Power ski Jet board.
Are there any food trends at the moment?
We’re noticing a big uptick in healthy and organic food requests by guests, while gluten and lactose free diets are more common than ever on the preference sheets we’re seeing from charterers. The chefs on superyachts are extremely skilled with a wide range of special diets, so guests are very well-catered for.
Generally speaking, what are the main criteria for yachts for family charter groups?
Generally, yachts with large deck spaces are the most popular for entertaining as you can host parties on board, and yachts with an expansive sundeck are particularly popular. How many guests the yacht can host on board is also a major criterion for corporate charters. In addition, yachts that have areas that can be divided or closed off are ideal for hosting meetings onboard- and this feature tends to be particularly useful at industry conferences like MIPIM in Cannes. The 63m M/Y FORCE BLUE is a great example of a corporate charter yacht that’s built for entertaining, as it’s got enormous deck and interior spaces for hosting parties, as well as a cinema, disco room, and a stunning day spa.
In your opinion, which yachts have crew that stand out for their exceptional standard of service?
Another tough one—there are just so many excellent charter crews out there! Having said that, Fraser awards prizes for the best-performing charter crews in their fleet each year, and last year the crew awards went to S/Y PRANA (Best charter captain), M/Y VICTORY (Best Charter Crew over 50m) and M/Y ASKARI (Best Charter Crew under 50m). M/Y LATITUDE was one of the prize-winners in 2015 – yet another reason why it’s one of my favourite charter yachts.
Why is now a better time than ever to charter a yacht?
Each year, there are more and more superyachts on the charter market, so the choice is far greater. There are some truly incredible charter yachts available now, and the yacht designs and facilities are getting more exciting all the time.
Is it possible to split a charter?
We very often have two families splitting a charter, paying half each, and that’s a brilliant way to reduce costs (while bringing two families together on the holiday of a lifetime). Sometimes we also have Fraser clients who book a whole month between a group of families, and each family comes on separately for a week each. There are numerous ways you can organise a charter with other families or groups of friends—and you can ask your broker about yachts which are particularly well-suited to these types of shared family charters.
There is a lot to know about yacht charter trends for 2017, and your yacht broker is on hand to help you choose the right yacht for you. To book your dream yacht charter experience, get in contact with the Fraser charter team.
Featured Image Source: Charterworld