While most of the travel industry struggled to get back on its feet, the yachting industry had a different problem during the pandemic: serving everyone who wants to charter a boat.
As private jet travel increased during the pandemic, charter demand remains “extremely strong,” said Crom Littlejohn, chief commercial officer of the yacht brokerage firm. Northrop & Johnson. He said he expects interest to remain so “for the foreseeable future”.
But they are not the same people who have always traveled by sea, he said.
“A large percentage of our business is first-time rentals,” said Littlejohn. “They went on ski holidays … they want to try something different.”
Destinations with an increase in summer yacht bookings
- south of France
- Galapagos Islands
Source: Northrop & Johnson
Insiders share with CNBC the seven common mistakes of those new to the industry.
There are several reasons to leave hard bags at home, Littlejohn said.
In the same way that they scratch hotel room walls, hard suitcases can damage yachts’ fine finishes, he said.
“Things bounce and hard things could ruin surfaces,” said Littlejohn.
Military personnel transport Prince Philip’s clothing bags to the Royal Yacht Britannia in Lancashire, England in August 1989.
Tim Graham | Tim Graham Photo Library | Getty Images
Then there is the problem of storing the suitcases that do not break. “You can imagine how much [luggage] ten people or 12 people on charters could carry if they carried heavy luggage, “he said.” It takes an extra room to store it. “
“The softer the duffel-type luggage, the better it is for storage and travel within the boat,” he said.
Soft-soled shoes are more appropriate than high heels, Littlejohn said, but “we’ll ask you not to wear shoes on board.”
Travelers are free to bring high heels for land excursions, she said, but even in the south of France – where nightlife is often a big part of the charter – cobblestone streets can make comfortable shoes a better option. , he said.
Participants take off their shoes before boarding a yacht in Miami, Florida on February 16, 2017.
Scott McIntyre | Bloomberg | Getty Images
But shoe rules may depend on the owner of the yacht, said Denis Suka, influencer of the superyacht known as The Yacht Mogul on line.
If guests are unsure about a yacht’s shoe policy, they can keep an eye on boarding, Suka said. Look for a pair of shoes [at] entry, “he said. That means shoes are not allowed on the boat.
As for what to pack, Suka recommends “keeping it light” with clothes that have “summer vibes”, calling this part of the rules “that are practically set in stone”.
Passengers should board the gangway, the gangway used to get on and off a yacht, one at a time, said Marcela de Kern, business consultant for the yachting company. On board Monaco.
“It’s pretty fragile,” he said. “If you board a [the] at the same time, it can break, “he said, adding that this can create” massive “problems in ports in Greece and Croatia, where it is particularly difficult to get from a yacht to the port.
On June 1, 2018, professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and partner Georgina Rodriguez board a yacht in Marbella, Spain.
Press entertainment Europe | Europe Press | Getty Images
“What leaves the yacht takes priority, so if you’re getting on board and someone else is getting off, you should wait and let them get off first,” de Kern said.
Celebrities like the Kardashians “have no yacht label,” he said, citing a recent one videos of them landing neighborsone in high heels, from a yacht in Portofino.
New entrants to the industry shouldn’t spend all of their budgets on charter fare.
“Then you have the rest of your expenses,” Littlejohn said. “With VAT, drinks and food … berth and fuel, you’ll add another 75-100% to the cost of that rental.”
Weekly charters with Northrop & Johnson range from $ 32,000 to $ 490,000, plus expenses, according to a company representative.
“There are charters going on in all price ranges,” he said. She advised working with a broker who is familiar with the size of the boat and the location travelers want to book.
Without a broker, travelers new to the business “may end up paying more for a yacht instead of getting a better one for the same price,” said Suka.
Brokers can also match clients with the right teams, Suka said. This is important because travelers and crew members can spend time together for days, if not weeks, at a time, she added.
“It’s not cheap to rent a yacht like this [clients] he has to get the best out of it, “he said.
Getting to know the captain and crew is the best way to receive top-notch service, Suka said.
When the yacht is docked, the crew will surely give you the best advice [on] what to do and where [go]”including” restaurants, cafes or other attractions because they know the area very well. “
Denis Suka, aka “The Yacht Mogul”, advised those new to charter to “feel just like it’s your own yacht”.
Source: The yacht tycoon
Hopefully, travelers can charter the same yacht again, so that’s all the more reason to establish a good relationship with the crew early on, he said.
Monaco’s de Kern advised travelers to say goodbye to the crew at the start of the voyage.
“Ask for their names, shake their hand and show some respect for the captain on board,” he said.
Don’t fill the days with activities, Littlejohn said.
For country hikes, he advised planning no more than one two-hour hinterland trip per rental week.
“Most people probably spend half the day aboard the boat, playing water sports … and enjoying the boat itself,” he said. Then the other half of the day maybe spent hiking, take out the tender. You could go in and explore … the lands and islands. “
Then it’s back to the boat for “a wonderful evening on board,” he said.
Littlejohn recommends booking “as early as possible”. He said to start looking for six months to a year.
Northrop & Johnson is already making reservations for Christmas 2023, he said. Booking this early isn’t uncommon for bigger and more expensive boats, she said, but since the pandemic “we’re seeing it in the mid-range too.”
But there are still some last-minute charters available for this summer, he said.