Charter yacht Africa currently on the market with IYC

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Why the future of chartering is in Greek waters

5 April 2024 • Written by Hannah Rankine for IYC

Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, Greece has become a desired tourist destination and is conveniently positioned at the centre of the bustling yachting season each summer. A testament to this is the annual Mediterranean Yacht Show (MEDYS), now in its ninth edition and returning to Nafplio from 27 April to 1 May 2024, having become an increasingly prominent event in the yacht charter calendar in recent years. With a staggering 245 per cent surge in its charter yacht fleet since 2015, BOAT turns to the expertise of leading brokerage firm IYC to decipher the currents shaping the Greek charter market.

Riding the wave of demand

Xenia Tsipidou, senior charter manager at IYC, paints a picture of remarkable growth in the Greek charter market, driven by local demand and an expanding international clientele, which is expected to increase as we approach MEDYS 2024 and welcome sunnier days in Greece. “In 2023, the East Mediterranean region (encompassing Greece, Croatia and Turkey) retained its top position in terms of bookings, with a market growth of 51 per cent, up from 48 per cent in 2022,” says Tsipidou. “Within this, Greece commands a substantial 29 per cent share and Greece continues to reign as the leading global charter destination, with a further two per cent increase in market share observed in 2023.”

Credit: IYC

The recent legislative changes allowing foreign-flagged vessels to engage in commercial operations in Greece have further fuelled this growth. IYC’s success demonstrates this, with $103 million total value of charter fees booked in 2023, equating to over 5,000 days of charter booked. “IYC’s growth in this market has been tremendous due to the combination of an outstanding team, growing fleet and an increased charter demand throughout and post-COVID, reaching an exceptional 300 per cent growth between 2018 and 2023 in Greece alone,” explains Raphael Sauleau, CEO of IYC. “This clearly shows the appetite for this destination and the tremendous changes it is going through on all fronts.”

Credit: IYC

This surge in interest is prominently reflected in digital platforms, with IYC securing $8 million in total charter revenue online. Renowned for its commitment to innovation, IYC stands as a vanguard in digital advancements within the yacht charter industry. At the forefront of its digital arsenal is the 'reserve' feature on its website, offering clients a convenient way to secure their ideal charter yacht. Additionally, IYC boasts BLUE, its cutting-edge AI ‘virtual yacht manager’. This technology supports senior crew and yacht managers in navigating the complexities of daily onboard tasks, enhancing the onboard experience for both crew and guests.

Catering to an evolving market

When it comes to market research, IYC is at the forefront. With 15 offices in 10 countries and a team of over 160 passionate employees, the firm monitors the global market to spot new trends. Anna Michail, senior charter manager, sheds light on shifting trends, noting that with a greater choice in yachts available to charter, there is a growing emphasis on cost-consciousness amongst customers with a “notable inclination towards securing the best deals”. Additionally, Michail notes a preference for new-build or newly refitted boats, mirroring the desire for “modern amenities and well-maintained vessels” and “reduced fuel consumption and minimised environmental impact”.

Almyra II
Credit: IYC

Aside from vessel preferences, Fotis Geranios, head of charter management Greece, underscores some of the popular experiential requests, with increased demand for an expanded array of amenities to entertain guests. “There is a notable shift towards exploring alternative itineraries that offer a blend of cultural immersion and exclusivity. This includes visits to archaeological marvels, secluded locales and pristine destinations,” he says. “Land-based activities are also gaining in popularity, which complements their seafaring adventures. From exhilarating horseback riding excursions to enriching museum visits and indulgent wine-tasting sessions, guests are seeking diverse opportunities to engage with Greek culture and heritage.”

Credit: IYC

Despite representing the largest fleet in the world, boasting over 160 charter yachts in its fleet, IYC is committed to providing a tailored, “boutique” approach to every charter. With just seven yachts entrusted to one manager, it ensures that every client receives the very best service possible.

Connecting to the growing charter market

MEDYS stands as a cornerstone event in the charter calendar, welcoming the start of the summer season. Whilst it is a showcase of the industry’s spectacular selection of charter yachts on the market, it is also a celebration of Greece's rich maritime heritage and cultural treasures. “The show offers a lineup of yachts for the brokers’ inspection who travel from different countries all over the world in order to visit the most luxurious fleet of yachts in the Greek market,” Geranios notes. “The number of attending brokers and attending yachts is impressive, placing MEDYS in one of the most successful yacht shows worldwide.”

Credit: IYC

This year promises an impressive lineup and IYC is leading the charge with the largest display at the event. Visitors can expect a diverse selection of almost 30 superyachts, including 59.3-metre Idyllic, 54.7-metre Rare Find, 49.8-metre Almyra II, 50-metre Zia and 49.9-metre Ouranos.

To book an appointment with IYC at MEDYS, contact the team today. Alternatively, you can view the firm’s vast array of superyachts available to charter this season on the IYC website.

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