2020 has been an incredibly challenging year and, while travel restrictions are making things difficult, more than ever travellers are looking for opportunities to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation.
ACC Aviation caught up with Advait Deodhar, from TJB Super Yachts, on the super yacht charter industry and how it is not only one of the most luxurious, but also, under the current circumstances, one of the safest ways to get away from it all.
What vessels can you charter and what are the most popular yachts you charter for your clients?
At TJB Super Yachts, we have access to every single yacht on the international charter market, including the very select and exclusive ‘off-market’ yachts.
We charter for a broad demographic of clients, with yachts from 20 metres up to 100+ metres. The ‘sweet spot’ in terms of popularity tends to be around the 40-metre range.
What sort of facilities will clients find on board?
A yacht charter is the epitome of a luxury holiday. Clients can expect seven-star service from highly trained crew, exquisite interiors from some of the world’s leading designers, a broad range of water toys on board and so much more. Each yacht is unique!
What are the most popular destinations that your clients travel to? Does it differ depending on the time of year?
The yacht charter industry is seasonal. May to September is the Mediterranean season, while and December to January shifts to the Caribbean, although there is a growing interest in the Asia-Pacific region, including French Polynesia.
What are the busiest times of year for chartering a super yacht?
Our ‘peak season’ tends to be July to August, in line with the increased demand within the Mediterranean.
What is included in the charter cost? What kind of services can clients expect to be included?
The client is treated like the owner whilst on charter and everything on board can be used.
As per the MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) terms, the charter fee includes the yacht, crew and the yacht’s insurance, with all other operational expenses payable in addition by the charterer.
To cover these expenses, an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) of 25–30% of the charter fee is charged, and advanced to the Captain for him to cover all operational expenses (fuel, berthing, food, drink, transfers, communications).
On board expenses are charged to the charterer at cost, and any credit or debit to this account is settled on disembarkation.
What sort of food is served on board?
Yachts generally have highly trained and experienced chefs onboard. Some yachts even have Michelin starred chefs that have been recruited from high-end restaurants by the yacht’s owners.
Do clients make any special requests? Are there any that stand out in particular?
Yes, once a charter is confirmed, we send over ‘preference sheets’ to our clients to cover all their requirements for food, drinks and anything else they might like to have on board.
Nothing is too much to effort when it comes to a super yacht charter – our team go above and beyond to ensure that what the client wants, they get.
What kinds of on-shore activities can you arrange on behalf of your clients? Are there any that are particularly popular?
We arrange everything the client could ask for the duration of their charter – our team and yacht crews organise everything on our clients’ behalves.
This could include (but is by no means limited to) jets, transfers, on-shore activities, restaurant bookings, club bookings, site tours – all our clients need do is ask and they can consider it done.
The most popular requests are the typically bookings for a favourite restaurant and club bookings.
Do super yachts have Wi-Fi/internet access?
Absolutely. The internet has become an inextricable part of our everyday lives and, as such, all super yachts have Wi-Fi access.
Our super yacht charter clientele includes HNWIs and corporate executives, individuals for whom every vacation is a workation, so being able to stay connected is a necessity, rather than a luxury.
What would be your dream super yacht trip?
I’ve been fortunate to travel the West Mediterranean and parts of the Caribbean on a yacht. But, for me, my dream trip would be a couple of weeks aboard a nice 60+ metre yacht with family and friends in Greece, the Bahamas or French Polynesia!
With the suspension of commercial flights, the private jet market has boomed, especially as it is seen as a safer form of air travel – is this something that TJB has seen replicated across super yacht charter?
We have certainly seen a major spike in our clients enquiring about private jet flights to charter destinations in and around Europe and across the Atlantic.
As a matter of fact, for a time, places like the Bahamas were only accessible by private flight, as the Bahamas had closed off the borders to commercial flights at the end of July.
We had a charter that started in mid-August in the Bahamas and the client had no choice other than flying privately (luckily that was always his intention).
Have there been any changes to the services TJB has been asked to provide by its customers since the outbreak?
At TJB Super Yachts, we provide clients with the complete service from door to deck, so it’s standard to organise every single part of the trip.
Apart from the usual, we have not really seen out-of-the-ordinary requests for any additional services.
The only additional requests we have seen this year are clients asking for clear COVID-19 cancellation addendums for charters booked this year, proof that crew are isolating and are COVID-19 free pre-charter and, of course, help with private flights.
Have you also seen an increase in interest for super yacht charter since the outbreak?
There was a major dip in the market during the early part of summer due to the restrictions on travel.
However, it did pick up quite substantially towards the end of July/early August, when countries like Croatia were permitting entry to a majority of nationalities.
Is it seen as a safer form travel compared other modes of luxury travel and can you provide any further details on additional operational measures you’ve had to account for?
A super yacht charter is probably the safest type of holiday at this present moment, given the circumstances. Charterers are completely isolated on the yacht and are not exposed to other people, as they would be in a hotel.
Crew are regularly tested and take all the necessary precautions to stay within their bubble and limit interactions with other people.
Yachts that would normally be turned around in 24 hours are now asking for a minimum of 2–3 days between charters, so that the yacht can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before the next guests embark .
Are you anticipating a winter sun seasonal peak for super yacht charters this year?
Depending on travel restrictions, I see interest for the Caribbean region picking up towards the end November, as our US clients typically charter during the Thanksgiving week.
Normally, we then see a bit of a lull in early December, before it really takes off for the Christmas and New Year period. However, with the effects of the pandemic, it’s difficult to predict how demand will be affected.
To find out more about booking your super yacht charter, visit TJB Super Yachts’ website. For more information on chartering a private jet, make an enquiry online, or speak with a member of our team, 24/7, on +44 (0)1737 232230.
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