One of the biggest hurdles for large families and groups seeking to enjoy a private yacht charter vacation has been partially lifted by the yachting registration authorities in Malta.
In late December, 2016, Transport Malta, the administrative authority that oversees regulations for yachts flying the flag of Malta, introduced new guidelines for private yachts that carry more than 12 guests.
Long a stumbling block to the charter industry, most private charter vessels, no matter the size, were restricted to carrying no more than 12 passengers, even if enough cabins were available to accommodate more than 12 guests. Yacht owners who wanted to bypass this restriction were forced to build their vessels to standards established for commercial ships and cruise liners – adding enormous costs to the project. Most yacht owners elected to avoid the extra costs and burdensome regulations – and built 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, summarized in the “Guidelines for Pleasure Yachts Carriage Capacities,” is part of an ongoing Maltese initiative to introduce contemporary standards 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.”
Interested in a luxury yachting experience for your large family? Text “MORE THAN 12” to 305-720-7245 for more information or fill out our convenient online booking form, and our team will be in touch with you right away.
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