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There is a big hurdle for large families and groups. These people seek to enjoy a private yacht charter vacation in Malta. The hurdle is partially lifted by the yachting registration authorities in Malta.
Specifically, late December, 2016, Transport Malta made a change. They are the administrative authority that oversees regulations for yachts flying the flag of Malta. They introduced new guidelines for private yachts. In addition, the rule applies to yachts carrying more than 12 guests.
This issue is long a stumbling block to the charter industry. Most private charter vessels are restricted to carrying no more than 12 passengers. Moreover, even if enough cabins were available to accommodate more than 12 guests. Yacht owners who wanted to bypass this restriction had problems. They were forced to build their vessels to standards established for commercial ships and cruise liners. This added enormous costs to the project. Most yacht owners elected to avoid the extra costs and burdensome regulations. They build luxury charter vessels for 12 or fewer guests.
Maltese authorities saw an opportunity to reduce restrictions on private yachts built to high safety standards, and to allow these safe, well-built and professionally-operated vessels to carry more than 12 passengers. Ivan Sammut, registrar general for the Maltese flag, explain how Malta saw a gap in the market. “You have to evolve to stay relevant in this marketplace,” states Sammut. “Malta hopes to be more than just a European flagging alternative; we have a holistic view of the superyacht market and want to become a turnkey destination for private and commercial superyachts alike.”
The new certification summary is in the “Guidelines for Pleasure Yachts Carriage Capacities.” It is part of an ongoing Maltese initiative to introduce contemporary standards. Specifically, in the area of private yachting. To qualify, a superyacht seeking to register in Malta and fly the Maltese flag.
Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, views the new regulations as long overdue. “It’s discouraging to turn away a large, extended families of 13 or more from their dream of enjoying the superyacht experience together on one yacht. We anticipate many superyacht owners with vessels that feature cabins and capacity for more than 12 guests to register their yachts in Malta. This is one more contemporary component in the growth of our private luxury yacht charter industry, and we hope other flagging authorities will follow Malta’s lead.”
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