Following the uncertainty of the last two years, people are eager to capitalise on easing travel restrictions and experience something truly extraordinary for their holidays this year. Many of us have emerged from pandemic lockdowns with a fresh outlook on life’s priorities, and Moravia Yachting is seeing this sentiment reflected in a spike in the number of charter enquiries and bookings for the upcoming summer season.
“This summer is going to be as busy as we’ve seen it,” comments Alastair Callender, Charter and Sales Broker at Moravia Yachting. “We’re seeing a lot of enquiries from first-time charter clients, which reflects the benefits of chartering a yacht in terms of privacy, seclusion and the safety of being in your own bubble. People are realising that there is nowhere better to be for their vacation than on a floating private island.”
William Molloy, Head of Charter at Moravia Yachting, agrees, “The last two summer seasons have been sellouts, even with the pandemic and the restrictions to travel. The charter market is saturated and there aren’t enough boats to satisfy the demand. Our message to our clients is: don’t wait until June to start your search just
to discover that all the best yachts are already booked. Act now to get the best deal by having the most choice.”
With summer bookings flooding in, Moravia Yachting’s team of charter brokers reveals how clients are altering their approach to the charter experience this year and what the key trends will be.
The pandemic has also brought about a shift in how many clients are approaching their charter experience. For example, Darina Posthuma-Veligora, Charter Broker at Moravia Yachting, is seeing clients looking to book longer durations on board and charter bigger yachts than usual. “I think many people have reassessed their values and what is important in their lives and are keen to spend more quality time with their family and friends,” she explains.
Investing more in their charter experience, clients are also expecting an elevated on-board experience and realising that the key to this is the crew. As such, the yacht’s crew is becoming one of the most important selection criteria when booking. “With more and more options on the market, there is increasing interest in chartering yachts with multi-qualified crew, such as yoga instructors, masseuses, hairdressers, drone operators and even musicians,” observes Lea Tintaud, Charter Broker at Moravia Yachting.
For one charter that Lea organised last year, one of the yacht’s crewmembers was a talented violinist and surprised the guests with a special performance during dinner on board one evening. Not only was it unexpected, but it thrilled the guests and became a highlight of their trip. “The level of detail that crew can add to a charter
is truly amazing,” Lea adds.
As per usual, the Mediterranean is guaranteed to attract the most charter bookings this summer, with Greece in particular proving to be a popular cruising destination in recent years. “More of the larger yachts are planning on heading east this summer,” explains Lea. “The clients love it too since travelling protocol during the pandemic was easier there than in some of the neighbouring countries and the VAT on their charter – even if the rate according to yachts was sometimes confusing – remained considerably lower than elsewhere in the Mediterranean.”
Remote destinations, however, continue to attract clients looking for something different. Luisa Alesso, Charter Broker at Moravia Yachting, says, “These past two years have changed some people’s thinking: there has been a return to the essential, an approach to nature and a respect for it. Some places on the planet still feel unspoiled and provide the perfect opportunity to escape.”
There have been increasing enquiries for off-the-beaten- track destinations with spectacular scenery and wildlife, such as the Galapagos, Patagonia and Southeast Asia. Alaska has been particularly popular for the US market because it’s been possible to fly there internally during the pandemic. “Clients are wanting experiential travel and to do something different that they haven’t experienced before,” adds Alastair.
For Darina, who works with many Russian clients, the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia is a relatively new cruising location that started to feature on charter itineraries in 2021, and the trend looks set to continue for 2022. “Kamchatka has a lot of volcanoes there and the nature there is beautiful,” Darina explains. “People are keen to explore these far-flung destinations and enjoy the freedom of a boat to its full potential, so explorer yachts with lots of water toys on board are very popular at the moment.”
The charter team foresees a major lack of availability across the charter fleet this summer, so the advice for clients is to contact your retail charter broker as soon as possible – start your search today!