High-end car buffs will tell you there are varying degrees of luxury, from Cadillac at one end of the spectrum to Bentley and Rolls Royce at the other.
As it is with automobiles, the same range of sophistication also is seen in the megayacht market. While, high-end US-built Trinity yacht charter vessels are drop-dead gorgeous, for example, purists will point to the century-old Dutch yards that build the Rolls-Royce of the yachting world – the Feadship yacht charter vessels.
Feadship is renowned for exquisite craftsmanship and elegant layouts. The finest materials are used to handcraft these vessels, each a unique statement of an owner’s personal taste and style.
One of the finest modern Feadships was recently on display last week in the Caribbean, during the annual charter broker gathering in Antigua – a prelude to the Caribbean winter/spring charter season. Motor yacht HARLE first hit the charter market in 2007. The team at 1-800-YACHT CHARTERS was among the very first to inspect this yacht and interview her crew as she began her maiden charter season from the Miami Beach marina in South Florida.
SUPERYACHT HARLE – STANDOUT
Feadship Superyacht HARLE
Fast-forward 5 years, and Feadship yacht HARLE is still making waves and drawing rave reviews in the industry. During the Antigua showcase, M/Y HARLE and her crew earned the following awards:
The Andreas Liveras “BEST YACHT PARTY” Award
First Place for his dessert for yachts in the 101′-150′ range won by Chef James Catling
RATE AND ACCOMMODATIONS
She is priced at $225,000 per week, and yacht HARLE accommodates up to 12 guests.
When it comes to technology and gadgets, they can’t ALL be winners.
SEDUCE THE OWNERS
Owners of the largest yachts in the world can be a fickle bunch. Those multi-million dollar floating homes loaded with the newest toys often carry unworthy toys. Hot toys at boat shows catch the eye of wealthy boat owners. They end up on hundreds of yachts. They are easily branded as ho-hum and brushed aside by guests and crew.
COMPANY PRESIDENT COMMENTS
Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, understands the appeal. New techno-toys and amenities on mega yacht charter vessels are important.
“When our clients ask us to provide a new model vessel for their Mediterranean yacht charter vacation, they expect that boat will have the same new gadgets and amenities that they enjoy at home,” says Sheeder. “Our team is constantly reviewing the new gadget and tech marketplace for unique and user-friendly items that can enhance the client’s onboard experience. Every year we some real winners and a few that fizzle and fade away.”
Here are 2 of Sheeder’s picks for the biggest tech flops of 2012:
First, skippers on charter yachts know the importance of keeping the children of their charter clients amused and occupied. For years, onboard game consoles like PlayStation have been a staple. Launched in early 2012, PlayStation Vita promised amazing graphics, a growing online community, and cross-play with the PS3. Still, the new device never caught on as a “must have” platform. “The failure of Vita to catch on seems to raise the question about the viability of handheld gaming consoles at a time when we see more and more children with game-capable smartphones, “ says Sheeder.
“We anticipate a shift away form gaming consoles on our yachts, in favor of onboard smartphones and tablets that the children can borrow during their vacation.”
Second. It’s true. 3D HDTV hit the market before 2012, but the argument can easily be made that this is the year these much-hyped TVs became irrelevant, with a mere 3% adoption rate in American homes. Sheeder explains,
“User-friendly is the key to a suitable toy or gadget on a yacht. Who wants to sit in the saloon having to wear an awkward pair of specialty glasses – that for some can induce a headache – just to watch a movie? The charter experience is based on a model of total relaxation, and the 3D TV experience, while trendy, is not catching on with our yacht owners.”
When I was young, my parents would go on cruises. They told us to call an Aunt if we needed anything. Cellphones had yet to hit the marketplace. Mom and Dad knew it was to reach them while they were at sea.
LESS THAN A WEEK
Sometimes, the folks would opt for a long weekend on a New England yacht charter, but never for more than 3 or 4 nights. Dad’s excuse was the same as many potential charter clients over the years. He would say, “I can’t be out of contact with my office for more than a day or two.”
With the advent of satellite networks and ultra-modern electronics, being unavailable by phone or email is next to impossible. Now, charterers can enjoy all of the amenities and luxuries of a yachting getaway, yet easily remain in touch with work and family. In fact, many yachts have better communication and office facilities than most homes.
“We see many of our clients plan some time each day to keep in touch with their businesses,” says international charter maven, Jana Sheeder President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.
AND SHE CONTINUES…
“Whether anchored off Capri during a Mediterranean yacht charter or cruising up the Amazon, satellite communication systems allow clients to pick up an onboard phone and contact their offices back home in seconds. Coupled with well-appointed ensuite stateroom office space, our clients may be on a luxury vacation, but their yacht is well-equipped for conducting business and long-distance communications.”
Office on a Superyacht
The satellite link, known as “satcom,” gives charterers complete access to the Internet and email, enabling them to check their online investment portfolios, review contracts and business plans, and send notes to family and friends at home.Vessels such as luxury motor yachts SYCARA Vand MARY JEAN IIfeature dedicated offices located in the master stateroom, complete with printer, fax, Skype, and full computer connectivity. Other yachts tuck a small workspace desk into a corner of the main salon or skylounge. Either way, even though you’re hard at work, you still have a wonderful view.
Onboard Wi-fi on most yachts means guests are not restricted to only working indoors. Full computer and Internet access from a laptop allows you to stay wired from anywhere onboard – perhaps from a sunpad next to the ondeck hot tub, a plush couch in the skylounge, or even in the galley, while watching your chef prepare a gourmet lunch.Customers used to spotty cellphone coverage at home often marvel at the clear reception made possible on yachts by state-of-the-art GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) systems.
GSM service allows you to make private calls without having to rely on a fixed phone in a public area of the yacht, and it also gives you access to your mobile phone address book.
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