By Paola Scalabrino and Kirsten Ringsing, Partners and Charter Brokers, YACHTZOO
The yachting industry has grown significantly over the past few years, accelerated by the pandemic, which saw increasing numbers of the world’s wealthiest turn to chartering yachts. And this year, the yachting industry is poised for further growth, as the world’s richest seek luxurious holidays on the water following COVID fatigue and unprecedented wealth growth.
There is increasing demand for both yachts for charter and yachts for sale. According to the 2022 Global Order Book, published annually by BOAT International, there are currently 1,024 yacht projects in build or on order, a 24.7-percent increase compared to last year, placing unprecedented demand on shipyards. Indeed, many yacht owners will wait several years to receive a new yacht, which has created a surge in demand for yachts for sale through brokerages from those not wanting to wait extended lead times.
The number of those choosing to charter a yacht has also grown, with global yacht brokerages reporting that new charter clients now make up around 40 percent of the luxury-yacht charter market.
A luxury yacht offers a safe, exclusive and self-sufficient sanctuary at sea from which to explore the world’s best yachting destinations. Onboard an extravagant yacht, the world’s wealthiest can enjoy complete privacy with the assurance that the highest health and safety standards are adhered to. Today’s luxury yachts offer all the amenities of a luxury hotel, including sumptuous spas, gyms, cinema rooms, swimming pools, beach clubs, toys and tenders, as well as five-star service delivered by dedicated and highly trained crews.
YACHTZOO has been helping the world’s most discerning yachting enthusiasts charter yachts for more than a decade.
What expertise does YACHTZOO bring to the yacht market?
YACHTZOO is a specialist yacht brokerage offering the full spectrum of yachting services, including yacht sales and management, charter and new-construction management. Our service is bespoke and discreet, and we pride ourselves on being different from other yacht brokerages by putting the client above all else. We value personal relationships over quick wins and get to know each of our clients on an ultra-personal level, helping to deliver a lasting match between owner and superyacht.
We started in 2007 with the aim of revolutionising the yachting industry by elevating the client journey. We combine tried-and-tested methods with unique and creative solutions that deliver the ultimate superyacht experience. Whether a client is seeking to charter a yacht, looking to acquire a superyacht or pursuing bespoke yacht-management services, he or she trusts our in-depth knowledge, expertise and passion for excellence.
We are constantly learning and growing as a team, with offices today located in the world’s most esteemed yachting hubs. As a company, we go where our yachting clients want us to go.
What is involved in chartering a yacht?
Several steps are involved in chartering a yacht, and working with an experienced yacht broker can ensure an effortless process. By asking the right questions at the start of chartered journeys and really getting to know our clients, our brokers ensure flawless yachting experiences.
Key issues that need to be considered before chartering a yacht are the type—such as motor yacht, sailing boat or expedition yacht—and size of vessel clients require, where in the world they want to explore, what onboard amenities they desire and types of experiences they hope to enjoy. Lead time can also make a big difference. With high charter demand, the most sought-after yachts are often booked months in advance.
We have witnessed a shift in the types of charter yachts demanded over the past few years. Since the pandemic, we have seen an increase in multi-generational family holidays, which has meant larger superyachts have been in growing demand. The world’s richest are now much more focused on wellness at sea, so charter yachts with onboard gyms, spas, personal trainers and chefs with extensive knowledge of global cuisines are all big draws. Finally, there is a booming trend to cruise to off-the-beaten-track destinations, such as Antarctica, making explorer yachts especially popular. Whatever clients seek in their charter experiences, our yacht brokers are dedicated to making them happen.
We are coming into the Mediterranean yacht season. What are some of the best yachting destinations?
The Mediterranean has everlasting appeal with yacht charterers and is an established blue-water paradise with the world’s finest yachts.
Havens such as Greece, French Riviera and Italy, especially along the Amalfi Coast, are considered among the best yachting destinations. The spectacular Greek islands, including the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Sporades, offer something for everyone, while the French Riviera appeals to charterers in search of limitless levels of luxury, with popular ports of call including Monaco and St. Tropez. The exquisite Amalfi Coast, with its stunning scenery, quaint towns and award-winning restaurants, draws those seeking refined experiences amidst one of the world’s most spectacular coastlines.
In addition to these Mediterranean hotspots, we are also seeing an increasing number of yacht charterers choosing to cruise to alternative ports of call, such as Croatia and Montenegro.
Sought-after yachts for Mediterranean charters include the 46-metre Lurssen M/Y LUCY III. She provides a raft of amenities that make her ideally suited to cruising the Mediterranean, such as extensive deck space equipped with a hardtop sunshade, sun loungers and a Jacuzzi. She can accommodate up to 10 guests and includes a crew of 10.
For sailing enthusiasts, the 53-metre S/Y DRUMBEAT is amongst the most popular charter vessels for exploring some of the Mediterranean’s best yachting destinations. This superb vessel is dedicated to performance, entertainment and leisure and is one of the most modern sailing yachts on the charter market and the world’s fastest sailing ketch. Amongst her many features are an oversized swim platform, flybridge sunbathing area, spacious aft deck, ample and luxurious staterooms that can accommodate up to 11 guests and range of water toys guaranteeing fun on the water.
In addition to the Mediterranean, to where else in the world are wealthy individuals chartering a yacht?
Yacht charterers are increasingly seeking more off-the-beaten-track destinations and eschewing traditional blue-water havens (although these remain incredibly popular).
Destinations such as the South Pacific, including French Polynesia and Solomon Islands, are growing in popularity as charterers seek to explore paradisiacal destinations that are more exclusive and private. Here yacht charterers can take their pick of picture-postcard white-sand beaches lapped by some of the bluest waters on Earth or explore lush tropical rainforests.
While these destinations may not boast the same selection of shoreside amenities, this does not impact yacht charterers on board the world’s most exclusive superyachts, as everything they desire—from world-class cuisine to state-of-the-art spas—are found on their yachts.
One of our most popular yachts for cruising French Polynesia is M/Y SURI, a 63-metre yacht of substantial luxury. This explorer yacht boasts an elevated level of amenities, including a helicopter with a commercially certified helipad, observation lounge with a glass-bottom floor, voluminous interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows, seven beautifully appointed staterooms that can be configured to sleep up to 12 guests, wellness centre, hot tub, superb selection of tenders and toys, and crew of 20.
Other best destinations when chartering a yacht include Antarctica, South America and Patagonia, Galápagos Islands and Costa Rica, thanks to recent amendments in their marina laws.
Kirsten Ringsing is a Partner and Charter Broker at YACHTZOO. She started her career in yachting in 1992, following a successful career in art and diplomacy. Kirsten’s involvement in working with dignitaries at the highest levels of government and society ensures she handles charter requests with the utmost skill, professionalism and diplomacy.