These are unprecedented times for the entire world. Whole nations are suddenly finding themselves hunkered down behind closed doors, isolated from friends, family and the outside world as we attempt to stem the spread of this new and destructive virus. Yet for some, the idea of isolation is being reinterpreted. Long term superyacht charters are providing people with a haven in which to sit out the storm, a place where they can take their families to be safe yet flourish.
Positivity is Flourishing in the Superyacht Industry
As Europe suffers in the midst of its coronavirus outbreak, it is no surprise that yacht charters in the Mediterranean are being put on hold. The industry will take a hit this year, but there is plenty to be thankful for too. By working together charter companies and guests are finding practical, sensible solutions to the problems, through open dialogue and a shared concern for the industry we all love. Existing charters are being postponed rather than cancelled, and people are already looking towards 2021 and the adventures they can embark on. Charters for this year’s cancelled Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix have been moved to next year, and spring charters have been moved to summer or autumn, giving security to charter companies and something to look forward to when the epidemic comes to an end. With flexible and reassuring contracts now being offered, it is giving charterers the peace of mind to start thinking about their next holiday.
Superyachts as Havens
While some dream of next year, when all of this is a distant memory, others are choosing not to wait. With schools and offices closed, the industry is starting to see an increase in the number of people choosing to sit out isolation at sea. Some of the largest superyachts – those over 30 metres/100 feet – are being chartered for long periods, and thanks to their size and ability to be fully sustainable, they don’t need to venture anywhere near a port during that time.
As a floating luxury island, life can go on in a new normal. Superyachts are renowned for their hygiene standards at the best of times – each yacht is disinfected between charters, and most yachts have air purifiers and use special air filters that control and reduce the spread of pathogens. Supplies can be stored for long periods of time, and on board chefs can ensure guests and crew receive highly nutritious meals. The long-range abilities of some yachts mean that even if they are not cruising far and wide (movement from country to county is not recommended during this time) they are still able to hold fuel reserves capable of lasting many weeks or months, allowing guests to explore a region.
The Joy of Isolation: Yachts as Schools
To find joy amidst this crisis is something no one takes for granted. Families decamping to superyachts are able to give their children not just safety, but freedom. The usual charter joys are unhindered; swimming in the sea, using the water toys, lounging on deck, watching a movie al fresco, dining together. Superyacht crews, however, are stepping in to fill the gaps left by school closures. The chefs are doing cooking classes, the engineers teaching children physics and science, and the officers showing them the ways of navigation and geography. There are nature lessons to be had, marine biology to experience first-hand, and astronomy to understand from the starry night sky.
The Mediterranean might not be open for superyacht business this year, and much of the lower United States looks set to follow suit soon. Yet there are still corners of the world where the reach of coronavirus is minimal. Alaska is a hot destination, its small population and vast territory making it easy to find isolation amidst abounding nature. Within Europe, Scandinavia’s remote islands make for the perfect superyacht sanctuary, and are easily accessible by private plane or helicopter. Remote Caribbean islands offer tropical, sun-drenched bliss, with many of the region’s superyacht marinas still open for business.
Commercial flights may have pretty much ground to a halt, and even those that are flying are doing so virtually empty as people seek to protect themselves from the virus. However private flights and helicopters have seen a huge surge in business, and it is possible to get to anchored yachts in the most remote corners of the world without seeing anyone other than the aircraft’s crew.
Get in Touch
It is at times like this that we seek to find the joy amidst the bad news. Life must go on, the economy must recover, people will leave isolation and find a new normal. Whether you are thinking ahead to next year, when adventures and charters will have a newfound sense of appreciation and joy, or looking to escape your four walls and sit out the epidemic aboard your very own luxury island, get in touch and together we can start planning superyacht experiences to lift the spirits.