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The Yacht is the Destination

Yachts are a private bubble. Does it matter so much where they are based for charter clients to enjoy an onboard vacation?

May 13, 2021
300-foot Oceanco superyacht
This 300-foot Oceanco is built to the Passenger Yacht Code and can accommodate as many as 26 guests in 11 staterooms. Onboard amenities include a gym, spa, sauna, massage room and beach club. Courtesy Camper & Nicholsons International

Historically speaking, most charter clients started their vacation planning with the word “where.” The big question was: Where do we want to cruise? The Caribbean? The Mediterranean? The South Pacific?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, though, some clients are realizing that “where” no longer matters so much. Sure, the scenery needs to be nice, but with limited options for going ashore, the yacht itself becomes the most important factor.

“We think the time has come to consider yacht charter from a new angle,” Camper & Nicholsons International announced in December. “It’s yachting how we know it but rarely think of it: the yacht as the destination.”

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This attitude shift means that instead of seeking marina slips at tough-to-book spots such as the Monaco Grand Prix in May or St. Barts on New Year’s Eve, clients can instead think about charter in terms of booking a yacht with the most onboard amenities.

For instance, Camper & Nicholsons says, there’s Silver Angel, a 211-foot Benetti with four bars, a steam room, pool, sun-deck hot tub, gym and an array of toys including a golf machine. Does it really matter so much, right now, whether the yacht is in the Maldives or the Seychelles? The resort-style experience to be enjoyed on board is pretty much the same in either place for as long as the pandemic continues.

Another option along this line of thinking is Trending, a Westport 164 whose crew includes a Michelin-experienced chef and a guide for anyone who wants to scuba dive or try kitesurfing. This type of service too is the stuff of shoreside resorts—only aboard a yacht that serves as a private pandemic bubble with just 12 guests, all known to one another in the charter party.

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As the Camper & Nicholsons team puts it, “Today’s fleet of superyachts are so extensively equipped that you won’t want—or need—to step ashore during your charter at all.” And they’re right. Focus on the chance to escape, even if it’s to nowhere.

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