As the Mediterranean summer season starts to wind down, feedback and figures from 2014 so far show a marked improvement compared to the market last year.
This is a very positive outlook prior to the year’s most important superyacht event, the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show, followed by the winter Caribbean season. The global yachting industry was hit hard by the financial crisis both in terms of sales and charter revenue but has gradually shown signs of improvement over the past couple of years with 2014 displaying some of the best results so far.
In an interview with SuperyachtNews.com, OCEAN Independence’s commercial director, Toby Maclaurin offered his take on the developments: “The charter market is looking a little better, if not comfortably better than last year in terms of volume of business…. We’re relatively pleased about how the average value of each transaction has changed.”
Although many in the industry remain understandably cautious, feedback has been consistently encouraging this year and prices have continued to rise to more stable levels. Greece was arguably one of the hardest hit regions, with both political and financial unrest portraying a poor image of the country in the media contributing further to the down turn.
However, during the 2014 Mediterranean Yacht Show in May we noticed a significant change in attitudes toward the future of the charter market as well as seeing a number of charter yachts that were fully booked for the whole of summer. Superyachts such as 45m/148ft OURANOS and the 36m/118ft DRAGON had filled their summer calendars with repeat and new clients, continuing to show that unrivalled service and food combined with impeccable design will always appeal to charterers.
George Pappas of Big Blue Yachting commented: “The charter market between 2009 and 2012 was very difficult for us – for the country’s image and the financial setbacks – and when the image of a nation is not something that portrays security that means that people become hesitant to visit there. Since last season, the summer season of 2013, things have really picked up. Greece is again back in play as they say.”
There has also been a line-up of exciting additions to the global charter fleet this year, with a range of brand new superyachts that offer the highest levels of comfort - creating charter vacation experiences that are unsurpassed. Vessels such as the 73m/240ft Perini Navi expedition yacht ‘Grace E’, the 95m/312ft Lürssen superyacht ‘Kismet’ and the 56m/184ft ultra-modern sailing yacht ‘Mondango 3’ have succeeded in capturing potential charter clients imaginations and reinvigorate the industry.
The charter market seems to have also seen a surge in celebrity status this season, with a flurry of high-profile names bringing yachting vacations into the media spotlight. Ibiza has been the destination of choice for much of this attention, with everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Rihanna embarking on luxury charters in the Balearic Islands on board a host of well-known vessels. Likewise, a number of more far-flung destinations such as Tahiti, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have gained in popularity as providing unique cruising vacations for the whole family.
With the winter season just around the corner, things are looking up as the industry continues to strive to make improvements. For more information about renting a luxury charter yacht, contact your preferred charter broker.
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