Our summer charter season is over. The result? Greece is still a top 5 luxury yacht charter destination. In fact, visiting superyacht arrivals are up 10.75% compared to 2018!
There was worry a new Greek cruising tax would scare away business. Nope! Charter yachts poured into Corfu, Athens, and Mykonos in record numbers.
One issue does threaten hassle-free Greek yacht vacations. It is Greek charter license regulations.
Let’s take a quick look at the regulations – and how we’ll help you enjoy a stress-free charter.
NO CHARTER LICENSE? – COULD BE A PROBLEM
Charter regulations introduced in 2018 are an inconvenience. Both charter yachts and clients suffer. Without a Greek charter license, commercial yachts must begin and end charters outside of the country. Charter clients can’t board or disembark in any Greek port. There are no exceptions other than safety or medical emergencies. This makes it hard to enjoy a cruising itinerary in Greece.
Popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos are far from ports outside of Greece. For example, the distance between Bodrum, Turkey and Santorini is 189.45 kilometers. That’s about 102 nautical miles. Yachts are not very fast. It can take a day to get from Bodrum to Santorini.
If forced to begin and end outside of the country, you cannot enjoy the full beauty of Greece. It’s simply too far to go in a 3-5 night short term charter.
One of our repeat clients asked to start his cruise in Montenegro and end in Mykonos. His desired yacht has Turkish registration. It did not have a separate Greek charter license. The charter could not legally end in Mykonos. It had to end in Turkey. Instead of a 7 night charter, it would be a 9 night charter. The client could not get away for 9 nights.
The inquiry was canceled. Our client’s dream itinerary of cruising from Montenegro to Mykonos was put on hold.
Now for the good news. Most of the yachts we offer have a Greek charter license for the upcoming 2020 season. With this license in place, clients can begin and end their vacations in Greek waters. Per Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters,
“We now maintain a database of 112 superyachts (40 meters and longer) that possess the desirable Greek charter license.”
Yes, we now maintain a database of 112 superyachts (40 meters and longer) with Greek charter licenses. The largest Greek yacht rental in 2020 we offer is the Lurssen yacht FLYING FOX. She was launched in 2019. She stretches the tape at a whopping 136 meters (446 feet) in overall length! Yacht Flying Fox can accommodate up to 25 guests. Her price is €4,000,000 per week in high season (July/August).
There are more superyachts with Greek licenses. For example,
It’s hard to find a consensus among charterers. For some, it’s all about the destination. Others appreciate the chance to reconnect with family and friends.
Yet almost all returning yacht charter clients comment about the Michelin menus and the jaw-dropping talents of their yacht’s onboard chef.
Great meals, dazzling presentations, and the infusion of local ingredients and cultural components. These are trademarks of the superyacht chefs in the yacht-for-hire industry.
A great chef can elevate a charter from a “vacation on a boat,” to a true “Superyacht Experience.”
INTERVIEW WITH A YACHT CHEF
Our associate Nicolas Fry sat down with Gionata Rossi, Executive Chef onboard the 72 meter Tankoa yacht SOLO. This vessel is one of our newest rental luxury yachts. She can accommodate up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms. Her cruising grounds include France, Italy, and the Western Mediterranean.
We share more information about super yacht SOLO at the bottom of this blog. Here is Nicolas’ interview with Chef Rossi. Foodies enjoy!
THE CHEF – Gionata Rossi
Chef Gionata Rossi
1. Why did you decide to become a chef and to work as a yacht chef?
“Cooking has always been my passion. I started at a very early age. Earned my master at the hotel school in Massa and started working immediately. A Chef for 25 years and I have worked in some of the best restaurants in the world. I have received a Michelin star at casa del nonno 13 and have been reviewed in the best gourmet guides. Joined yachting because it combines my primary passions: cooking and travelling”.
2. What is your favorite cuisine and can you prepare different styles of cooking?
“I cook different styles but the contemporary one based on traditional cuisine is what I consider the most interesting. As a Chef on a superyacht charter vessel I believe that the cuisine served is not only a show but a nutritional experience as well. My passion for food varies from creating the perfect roast dinner to a 7-course degustation where I can display a whole range of different cooking techniques and products. My main talent is Italian and French cuisine whilst still offering Asian and Japanese menus.”
3. Is there a chef you admire above all others and why?
“If I have to mention only one, then it is Raffaele Vitale, an important Italian chef, as I had definitely the best experience working with him. I have many friends but the research of taste and knowledge of raw materials with Raffaele were essential for me. Which nationalities tend to be the best charter guests? Gionata: I am lucky, I have always had good relationships with guests from many different nationalities. Having said that, I have worked a lot with Russian yacht charter guests and they generally love my food.”
The Interview Continues
4. Which is your favorite destination and why?
“Greece and Turkey are always in my heart for the quality of fruit and vegetables you can find on the markets”
5. How are trends driving guest expectations and how do you stay up to date?
“In my kitchen and galley I take pride that everything is made from scratch with fresh products. Stocks, sauces & dressings are always made on board, ice creams are churned to order, pastas and gnocchi rolled fresh, fresh bread baked daily and our meats and seafood are always fresh. I also specialize in vegan, vegetarian and low-calorie diets”.
6. What trends are you noticing in wine and food pairings?
“I drink only biodynamic wines and I think that this trend is on the increase therefore also the combination must go in that direction even if I consider fundamental to combine food and wine. By the way, my favorite wine is the Pinot Nero!”
The Interview Concludes
7. Can you share with us a spring menu you would prepare for affluent charter yacht guests?
“Marinated spring onion and tomato with lime sorbet, cold tomato soup with fresh spaghetto garlic oil and chilli, cold english cream with berries and apple crumble.”
8. When are you happiest at work?
“Cooking demonstrations with the guests either at the table or in the kitchen! This is a special touch I like to offer to luxury yacht rental guests. I wish to share my passion for food with my clients and create an amazing atmosphere for their dining experience. When I can establish a good relationship with the guests, the rest is easy.”
9. BONUS: What are the strengths that make you a great superyacht chef?
“In order to offer a great superyacht experience, a huge amount of organization needs to be in place. My organizational skills allow me to present food the way that it is intended. I am also up to date with all the latest cooking techniques, methods & equipment so that as a private chef I can still rival the best and most fancy restaurants.”
THE COMBINATION CONTINUES
THE YACHT – Tankoa motor yacht SOLO
Regular readers remember our blog about three Jaw-Dropping New Yachts at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show. We highlight 228 foot motor yacht SUERTE, built by Tankoa Yachts in that blog post. Two years later, Tankoa Yachts unveiled Suerte’s, “Big sister,” the 236 foot SOLO. Our inspection of this beautiful lady left us in awe.
Our associate, Nicolas Fry, has spent numerous hours onboard the yacht. Here is his overview:
“SOLO is the perfect combination of performance and luxury designed by Francesco Paszkowski and built by Tankoa. Her contemporary interior, designed by Margherita Casprini, will sleep up to 12 guests in six well-appointed staterooms. The master suite features an independent office, a king size bed with panoramic views, a private terrace with a Jacuzzi and lounge beds offering complete privacy.
Guests can be accommodated in a large VIP, two double and two convertible twin staterooms. SOLO features impressive living spaces, with a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor areas. Guests will love the vast beach club with for example, a lounge/bar area, a hammam, a sauna with its own fold-out terrace and a chilled water shower. This wellness center is complete with the gym & massage room equipped with the latest Technogym equipment and its private terrace on the sea. On the main deck, the 7m infinity pool is another great area to spend time with your guests. The sky lounge aft feature a Jacuzzi. In addition, a touch-and-go Helipad that be converted into a dance floor (is there, as well).
The sundeck offers never ending views from its sun loungers. SOLO also offers several options for entertaining and dining including all-weather alfresco table on the upper deck aft, the main salon or upper deck salon.
THE ULTIMATE COMBINATION:
Tankoa M/Y SOLO + Chef Gionata Rossi = THE SUPERYACHT EXPERIENCE!!!
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