Happy 30th birthday, Lagoon! Thank you for all that you’ve done for the catamaran charter industry — here’s to another 30 years.
With many of her clients still onboard their yachts enjoying their 2013 year-end St Barts yacht charter vacations, Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters, takes a few minutes to reflect on the year that was (and offers us a glimpse of what’s to come in 2014).
Q: The charter industry still seems to be recovering from the global economic downturn of the past couple years. Did 2013 represent an uptick in the volume of charter business?
Sheeder: “Our research indicates 2013 showed significant improvement in charter revenues when compared to both 2011 and 2012. Many newly-built yachts entered the charter marketplace in 2013. These are builds that had stalled while under construction during the height of the downturn. As the global economy began to pick up, delayed construction projects commenced.
The result is a beautiful new fleet of superyacht charter vessels that hit the seas in time for the 2013 summer Mediterranean charter season.”
Q: Did the year end on an uptick?
Sheeder: “We haven’t seen any industry data yet, so we can’t speak for our competitors. We can tell you in terms of the Caribbean yacht charter marketplace, SailAway had its strongest December in over 3 years. While the inquiries for smaller vessels did not grow, our bookings of superyachts – some of the largest yachts in the world – increased significantly.
Presently, we have the two largest charter vessels currently docked in St Barts for 9 night charters – motor yacht LAUREL (240 feet, $525,000 per week) and the Lurssen yacht charter motoryacht MARTHA ANN (230 feet, 600,000 EUROS per week).”
Sheeder: “I would have to say the ending of VAT exempt charters in France. For many years, our clients enjoyed St. Tropez yacht charters and summer vacations along the Cote d’Azur, free of the burden of VAT. That all changed in the summer of 2013 when the French yacht charter VAT went into effect. As of July 15, 2013, charterers can expect to pay an additional 9.8% for their Côte d’Azur yacht charter.”
Q: Are you optimistic as you look ahead to 2014?
Sheeder: “Our team is extremely optimistic as we focus on incremental growth in 2014. During the economic downturn, while many of our competitors hunkered down to ride out the storm, we took a contrarian approach. We focused our efforts on increased marketing. Our strategy was simple – stay in touch with existing clients and prospects. We wanted to be “easy to find” once the economy turned around.
Internally, we call it our “Tip of the Tongue” project. Clients had “tightened their belts” during the downturn and we were committed to be the brand they remembered (always on the tip of the tongue) when they were ready to loosen their discretionary income belts!
Now that 2014 is here, we are excited to announce that:
The sky’s the limit! It will be an exciting, challenging, and awe-inspiring year!”
For more information about yacht vacations around the world, please visit SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants at http://www.1800sailaway.com/ and share our information with your friends, family, and associates!
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Trends for 2014:
Here’s to another wonderful year ahead! Thank you for making a difference with SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants!
The finalists for the 2014 ShowBoats Design Awards have been announced, and one of the world’s largest yachts, the 72 meter motor yacht AXIOMA, has been nominated for two awards.
New to the charter market, yacht AXIOMA – Ex Red Square, is competing in the categories of:
Best Interior Design – Displacement Motor Yachts, 60 meters and larger.
Best Exterior Design and Styling – Displacement Motor Yachts, 60 meters and larger.
Built by Dunya Yachts in 2013, and designed by Alberto Pinto, the St. Martin yacht charter vessel AXIOMA affords charter guests enormous volume. Featuring six decks, the builders have created a superyacht with over 30,000 square meters of space.
This magnificent yacht is available this winter at a rate of EURO 490,000 per week plus running expenses.
22 Dec – 01 Jan 2014 St Maarten
02 – 12 Jan 2014 St Maarten
13 – 18 Jan 2014 St Maarten
23 – 30 Mar 2014 T/B/A
01 – 21 Apr 2014 Transit to Europe
The ShowBoats Design Awards are now in their 5th season, and shine the spotlight on the yachting industry’s most talented designers and builders. The international list of nominees – superyacht owners, designers and industry leaders will gather for a gala event on Monday, February 24, at Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria. The awards ceremony will take place on the first evening of the Superyacht Design Symposium – a two-day affair for superyacht owners and industry professionals.