While bespoke travel companies offering clients the utmost in luxury are not new on the block, how they are working with the superyacht industry is changing the way we do business. Enticing new owners to enter the market can be done a number of ways, with word of mouth and chartering topping most brokers' lists. But what if there's an even better way to incorporate both of these things? Travel companies that have been working to provide clients with the ultimate travel experience are getting more requests and using more yachts than ever before. How is this changing our industry and is this a viable new option for bringing new owners into the market?

"I have been working with a small number of luxury travel and concierge companies for many years, providing dedicated yacht solutions at the top of the market, often re-packaged under their own brand and identity," shares Benedict Ridge, founder of The Private Yacht Company. As a founding member of Edmiston, Ridge has extensive experience within the superyacht industry, as well as many other luxury outlets including cars, private jets and as a yacht specialist and advisor for several specialist luxury travel businesses around the world. "The immediate appeal for brokers working with luxury travel companies is of course access to the clients of the travel company," Ridge continues, "and I believe that high end travel companies would like to further embrace yachting and recommend it to their clients as an alternative to a villa or resort".

Benedict Ridge

Niel Fox, founder of Based on a True Story (BOATS) shares his own experience with clients chartering: "We create and implement highly creative strategies to ensure the client gets the most out of their investment and time on the yacht. We work with both owners directly and brokers to guarantee extraordinary experiences - time is precious and your life should be full of amazing experiences and stories." When it comes to collaborating with the superyacht industry, Fox explains that "the benefit to using a yacht is that not only are they very comfortable, well serviced and private bases for clients, but they are also given access to places in the world that would offer only limited, if any accommodation in the region."

Stacy Fischer, vice president of Fischer Travel says that they have clients that own their own yachts but also have clients that come to them to charter. "We also work with a yacht broker for most of our needs around the world," she says. For Fisher, working with brokers simply makes sense from their perspective, as most reputable brokers have access to the best yachts. "Collaboration is based on relationships and trust," she states.

When coupling the extraordinary experience a yacht can offer with the attention to detail and ultimate luxury offered by such travel companies, the opportunities are truly endless. Lia Batkin and Seth Kaplan, founders of In the Know Experiences tell us that their goal is to completely customise the yachting experience based on their detailed knowledge about their clients and what they are looking to achieve. "We are the liaison between the yacht team and our client to make sure everything is perfect and catered to their needs from the moment they leave their house until they return," they explain. When putting together a package for an owner, or organising a charter for a client, Batkin and Kaplan reveal that they have direct contacts with the owners of top yachts around the world. "Initially, we'll reach out to the owners we have relationships with, allowing us to offer the best possible price for the client," they say. "Otherwise, if the client has a unique request, then we will of course reach out to a few brokers we work with so that we can try and find what the client is looking for."

Image credit: Dana Jinkins

Ridge believes the surge in collaboration is due to the fact that "clients now want to experience more variety. A private yacht charter offers privacy and far more scope than any villa, hotel or resort. Beyond this, the impeccable service and the option to change the sea view at a moments notice holds instant appeal. Who turns down the invitation to spend time on a superyacht?"

The fact that each company is sharing that their charter enquiries have grown and show no sign of slowing down, holds great promise for how the charter market, and brokerage market on the whole, is set to improve for the future.

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