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Tag Archives: yacht charter industry

Gulp – Private Luxury Yacht Charter Builder Swallows In-Country Rival

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It appears topping their fatherland rival by building the world’s largest yacht wasn’t good enough for Lürssen Yachts. With that title in hand, the German superyacht builder commenced to gobble up their leading competitor, and take over their entire operation.

Bremen-based Lürssen Yachts has announced the acquisition of Hamburg’s superyacht builder, Blohm+Voss.

According to Peter Luerssen, Managing Partner, “With the acquisition of Blohm+Voss we are taking over a shipyard with a strategically advantageous location and versatile production facilities. We want to use these facilities to complement our existing refit and repair activities and also to offer our customers an ever better service.”

Lurssen shipyard with yacht Azzam in water

With the 2013 launch of the world’s largest yacht, the 180 meter motor yacht AZZAM, Lürssen wrestled the top spot away from the Roman Abramovich-owned motor yacht ECLIPSE, a 162.50 meter Blohm & Voss GmbH vessel launched in 2010.

Of the 10 largest yachts in service today, Lürssen has built 5 of them, including 3 of the top 5.

In the charter industry, many Lürssen Yacht charter vessels are among, the largest yachts offered for hire, including the 94 meter (308ft) Lürssen yacht Kismet II and the 70 meter (230ft) Lurssen motor yacht Martha Ann.

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Low Demand Keeps Luxury Yacht Charter Rates Under Pressure

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Photograph of the marina in St. Barths in the Caribbean.  Basin is full of sailboats and powerboats of all sizes and colors.  Mountains surround the marina on 3 sides

Yesterday, a client texted us from his 170 foot Feadship yacht charter vessel. “@anchor next 2  yacht Eclipse n Rising Sun…no 1 else here!” 

Normally, with less than a week before New Year’s Eve, the quay at Port du Gustavia is already packed with yachts, stern-to and packed like sardines, side-by-side.  The annual St Barts yacht charter scene is the place to be, as A-list celebrities and corporate CEO’s spend the week yacht-hopping and partying. 

Photograph of Gwen Stafani and Gavin Rossdale relaxing on a yacht. The photo does not include any background details. It's just a photo of the two of them on a white boat, seated on plush white seating. Gwen has her right arm propped above her head and is wearing a sun visor.  Gavin is wearing a cap on his entire head. Both are in dark sunglasses

So far this week, the big names – and big boats – have not arrived.

A recent yachting industry report ads credence to the first-hand observations in St Barts.  The annual Superyachting Index analyses the global luxury yacht industry. The Index has three sections (new construction, brokerage, and charter) and covers yachts 80 feet and larger.

According to industry maven, Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants and 1-800 Yacht Charters,

“A lack of demand continues to put downward pressure on charter rates. A weak global economy coupled with a significant increase in the number of available yachts for hire means more yachts are competing for charter business.  Add to this a host of other heavily-discounted vacation options, such as upscale villa and resort ski packages, and the number of clients electing to go boating has dwindled to 2006 recession levels.”  

The Index supports Sheeder’s assertions.  The size of the yacht charter industry grew more than 23 percent in 2010. As of 2009, there were about 850 yachts available for charter. In 2010, the number of yachts available rose to 1,049.

This trend is especially evident in the category of yachts from 30 to 50 meters (about 100 to 165 feet). There was a 28 per cent increase in the number of these yachts on the charter market in 2010. Consequently, the same market segment saw a reduction of 10.7 per cent in weekly base rates.

In addition, the overall number of charter weeks sold worldwide in 2010 decreased by 9 percent from those of 2009. That means that in addition to increased competition, there were fewer clients booking.

All luxury travel companies are looking forward to a healthier economy.

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For further information about the global megayacht market, contact 1-800 Yacht Charters President Jana Sheeder directly at jsheeder@1800yachtcharters.com or via the web at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/

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Luxury Yacht Charter Maven Reflects on Industry in 2013

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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 and 1-800 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).

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters standing with yacht Vertige female crewmember on dock in front of boat. Jana wearing halter long dress and gold name badge, and crewmember wearing short black skirt and white short-sleeved shirt.

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 (1-800 Yacht Charters) 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).”

Laurel Megayacht Delta Marine yacht charter caribbean cruises mediterranean europe superyacht boat yacht rental charters
Q:  What was the biggest change you witnessed in 2013 in the charter industry?

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 again!

Now that 2014 is here, we are excited to announce that:

  • Our newly-designed website is nearing completion
  • We are launching a new subsidiary to provide luxury yacht tenders to megayacht owners
  • We are opening additional satellite offices
  • We are focused on charitable causes — helping others, helping marine life, and helping the environment — Paying it Forward and Making a Difference for all that’s been given to us! 

The sky’s the limit!  It will be an exciting, challenging, and awe-inspiring year!”

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For more information about yacht vacations around the world, please visit 1-800 Yacht Charters at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/ and share our information with your friends, family, and associates!

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