Charter forecast: Top tips for the winter 2018/19 charter season
by Sophia Wilson
With the end of the summer drawing near and attention starting to turn towards winter vacations, members of the charter industry share their advice for the 2018/2019 season.
Book early to avoid disappointment
Following on from a busy Mediterranean season brokers are predicting that there will be increased demand this winter. “I am already seeing improvements over last year based on the number of enquiries for holiday interest and long-term interest into 2019 in the Caribbean,” says Ocean Independence’s Daphne d’Offay. In Asia Camper & Nicholson’s advises that it is seeing popular charter yachts often booked six months to a year in advance. “Over Christmas and New Year, all our yachts are just about fully booked,” adds Kay Monney from the Phuket office.
As a result of increased demand the advice is to start making decisions early. “Do not hesitate and start planning your family vacation now so you can secure your first yacht of choice especially during highly sought after time periods like the holidays or spring break,” says IYC’s Barbara Stork Landeweer. “My feeling is there will be more demand than yachts available.”
The devil is in the detail
YPI’s charter director Annemarie Gathercole urges clients to give their charter broker as much detail as possible so that they can create the best itinerary for every guest on board. “Every detail is helpful: the make up of the group, whether guests would prefer quiet anchorages or are looking for more of a party atmosphere, the activities they enjoy,” she says.
Burgess charter broker Sophie Holmes agrees with the importance of communicating charter requests. “Our advice would be to speak to one of the team in their own language to ensure their broker understands their preferences and can advise on suitable yachts in the select locations,” she adds.
Return to the Caribbean
The hurricane damage in the Caribbean last year forced charterers to seek alternative destinations. However, the message is clear that this winter the region is back open for business. “I would tell the clients who are uncertain about the Caribbean to actually go there this winter,” says Edmiston’s Michaela Beitz-Biggi. “It still is the paradise we all know and love.” Fraser charter broker Debra Blackburn agrees, “I highly recommend they get back to all the Caribbean islands and see the “new and improved” islands, not to mention the local people who will be happy to have them return and willing to provide the best service ever,” she adds.
Worth Avenue Yacht’s Graham Sullivan also stresses that it is important to local economies that superyachts return. “For the Winter 2018/2018 season cruise where you enjoy most. With any devastation there will always be rebuilding which very much is funded through tourism,” he says.
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