Whether on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or the web, just about everyone has seen ads for luxury yacht charter vacations. Gourmet meals, white glove service, and Ri¢hie Ri¢h toys are the benchmark of these lavish floating resorts. The essence of The Superyacht Experience™ is a passion for discovery, and a longing to reconnect with family and friends – fueled by a generous budget. We bring you three ways to avoid being ripped off on your yacht charter.
How do you know the rate quoted for a superyacht holiday is legitimate. In specific, not an arbitrary, marked-up price. Further, designed to take advantage of your affluence? Beyond the accuracy of the price, how do you know if it’s a good deal as well?
We have outlined three steps to take to guarantee your charter rate is accurate, fair – and a great value for the money invested. Following these steps will help you avoid price gouging and rip-offs by unscrupulous merchants.
Note: We’ve also included helpful advice from our company President, Jana Sheeder (1-800 Yacht Charters).
First, UNDERSTAND who sets the rate for a yacht for hire.
The first step to ensure you are quoted a legitimate price for your yacht charter adventure is to understand who determines the price. In the world of ultra-luxury yachts available for hire, the charter rate is set by the yacht OWNER. Luxury charter yacht owners typically hire a company referred to as a “Central Agent” to serve as their representative. The central agent (CA) maintains the yacht’s charter calendar, administers the charter paperwork, and collects the charter funds. Many CA’s will offer guidance to an owner to help establish a fair price for charter (often based on comparisons to similar yachts), but ultimately it is the owner who sets the rate, and the CA publishes that rate.
Secondly, CONFIRM the rate quoted is the rate set by the yacht owner.
Luxury yacht owners rarely make themselves or their CA available to the public – preferring to leave the business of chartering in the hands of professional Charter Brokers. These brokers perform much the same role as real estate agents – serving as the go-between for the Buyer (Charterer) and the Seller (Owner). Charter brokers have access to the CA’s and are responsible to confirm rates and date availability with the CA’s.
Once you have narrowed down your options to a specific yacht, ask your charter broker to provide a written cost proposal from the CA – ensuring the rate quoted is the rate established and set by the yacht owner.
JANA SHEEDER ADVICE
“Some charter brokers will balk at the request of a written cost proposal from the CA, fearing the client will attempt to contact the CA directly to secure a better deal. If you sense hesitation on the part of your broker, tell your broker to ‘register’ your name and inquiry with the CA. To do this, send your charter broker a short, written note (via email) naming your broker as your authorized charter representative for the purpose of securing the charter of the specific yacht for specific dates. Your broker then shares that note with the CA and registers you as their client. Now the broker will feel protected and will be more inclined to seek written confirmation from the CA as to authenticity of the rate quoted.”
Thirdly, MAKE an offer!
Once your broker has communicated the published rate to you, and you have verified the rate is accurate, consider making an offer below the published rate. Again, think in terms of the real estate marketplace. Sometimes (but not all of the time), a property owner will accept an offer to purchase his or her real estate for an amount below the published selling price.
Unless you feel the published rate is fantastic, we can’t think of any reason not to ask for a discount! Think the owner is gouging a bit in high season? Ask for a discount. The owner may accept your offer, make a counter-offer, or simply say no. The point is – it’s your money, and you just might end up keeping more of it in your pocket!
MORE ADVICE FROM JANA SHEEDER
“Before you make an offer, ask your broker if they have ever secured a discount from this owner in the past, and how much (%). The answer might surprise you. At the very least, it will help you formulate an offer based on the owner’s prior willingness (or lack thereof) to negotiate below the published rate.”
In conclusion, by following these three steps, you are safer. You ensure the charter rate quoted is not only accurate and fair, but also the best deal available. The Superyacht Experience™ includes honest, ethical advice from a yacht charter company serving discriminating clientele since 1976.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addressed the nation on Sunday. He announced the closing of all airports and seaports to tourists from the United States. The ban takes effect Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
Both private flights and private yachts are specifically exempt for the new ban.
In other words, our private yacht charter vessels and crews can still welcome-aboard guests in the Bahamas. The Superyacht Experience™ will continue. The yachts will provide guests with a platform for adventure and discovery. Every charter will reman an opportunity to reconnect with family, and embrace diverse cultures.
HOW TO PLAN FLIGHTS?
Private flights to the Bahamas are easy to arrange. The flight from Miami to Nassau is as short as 40 minutes. Our charter specialists will handle all logistics. from the time you leave your home, until you step aboard your yacht.
Obviously, certain Covid-19 protocols remain in place. Requirements include proof of a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test. The test must come from an accredited laboratory. It also must be taken within 10 days of arrival. In addition, an electronic health visa is a must. Applications may be submitted at http://www.travel.gov.bs. Helpful tip: applications can take up to 72 hours to process. Make sure to leave adequate lead time!
COVID 19 update from 1-800 Yacht Charters. In specific, Italian tax authorities have postponed new laws designed to increase VAT on Italian yacht charter vacations. The postponement appears to be in response to the effect of Covid-19 on tourism.
Fortunately, private yacht charter vacations remain exempt from the tax increase until November. Accordingly, 1-800 Yacht Charters will continue to Deliver the Superyacht Experience™ to their clients at a lower-than-expected tax rate.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Tax increases were first announced in December 2019. The conversion of Law Decree n. 124/2019 (by Law n.157/2019) and the 2020 Italian Budget Law (Law n. 160/2019) enact new value-added tax (VAT) measures. The law set the VAT rate at 22% for Italian luxury yacht charter vacations. That law is postponed until November 1, 2020. The old rates will remain in place. VAT is set at 6.6% for yachts over 24 meters. VAT is set at 8.8% for yachts under 24 meters.
In other words, private yacht charter vessels and crews can still welcome-aboard guests in Italy at a favorable VAT rate below 10%. The Superyacht Experience™ will continue this summer. Tourism in Italy suffers from Covid-19 shortfalls. Italian authorities are hopeful favorable VAT rates will stimulate tourism. New (higher) VAT regulations will be in effect after November 1st, 2020.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Italian VAT applies to all charters embarking in Italy. Special limitations apply to yachts registered in Italy. Government fiscal agents require an appropriate amount of cruising to qualify for the reduced VAT. For example, at least one crossing from Corsica or Sardinia to mainland France or Italy qualify for the reduced rate.
Italian-flagged yachts are not subject to this limitation. Specifically, no long-distance crossing requirements exist.
In conclusion, certain Covid-19 protocols remain in place. Requirements include masks in public areas. In addition, no Covid-19 test requirement exists, although quarantine requirements may exist for some origins. For example, public transportation is operating, and restaurants are open.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Our team stays on top of all Covid-19 updated information. For instance, we provide a list of available yachts and “summer saver discounts.” Call our team at 1-800 Yacht Charters at 305-720-7245 for immediate response.
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