Q: I’ve read a few yachting articles that referred to superyachts seeking new cruising grounds as an alternative to the traditional “Milk Run.” What is a milk run in yachting? Amy S.
A: Thank you for your question, Amy. Let’s start with a quick peek at the definition of milk run in an online dictionary:
“Milk Run” – Noun…A routine, uneventful journey.
In the world of megayacht rental vacations, there are two primary offerings that account for the bulk of the charter business: Caribbean yacht charter vacations in the winter and spring, and Mediterranean yacht charter vacations in the summer and early fall.
Charter clients are like most other travelers – they want to “get away,” but most prefer to get to their intended destination quickly.
For North Americans, this means a short flight to the balmy Caribbean to sail, cruise, and visit islands like St. Thomas and St Barts.
The same holds true for Europeans, who can take drive or take a train to seaport destinations like St. Tropez, Positano, or Monaco.
Like any business, demand dictates the industry, and the owners of the megayachts instruct their crews to position in the Caribbean for winter/spring and then “cross the pond” to reposition in the south of France or Monaco for the summer season.
Thus, it is this routine, somewhat uneventful journey between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean that boaters refer to as the, “Milk Run.”
Side notes: A handful of yacht owners have recently made efforts to entice potential customers to break away from the traditional cruising grounds, and consider yachting holidays in more exotic locales. Some of the new up and coming destinations include:
Luxury mega yacht charter aficionados take heart. Yes, fewer vessels destined for the world’s charter market are being built. Those that are being built will be larger than ever before.
Megayachts Get Larger Every Year
Industry reports for January 2013 indicate there are a total of 692 yachts over 80 feet under construction worldwide. This is a 5.2% drop in the number of projects over the prior year, but the length and volume of the yachts has grown.
Currently there is more gross tonnage under construction since 2007. Builders report 14 projects are underway over 328 feet (100 meters), and a 44% increase in orders for yachts over 250 feet.