Reaching out to an untapped market within the luxury sphere
Wärtsilä and Pastrovich Studio sign agreement to develop sustainable hybrid boutique cruise vessel…
There is an untapped market in the luxury sphere which consists of HNWIs who are seeking a taste of life on board a superyacht, but cannot afford to own or even charter a superyacht. These individuals have been overlooked because of the missing ‘U’ in their ‘HNW’ status, but the key is that the appetite is there, and they are willing to somehow invest in the industry indefinitely, on the premise that their wealth will accumulate and they may one day join the ranks of charterers and owners. Until now, their options have been limited.
“Further to reviewing official documents, the market I am facing is composed of the 16 million people in this world who own between 1 million – 5 million USD,” began Stefano Pastrovich of the eponymous studio. “These people don’t want to buy a boat. They can’t afford to buy a 60m superyacht, but they also cannot charter a superyacht charging them €300,000 per week. There is limited opportunity to experience life on board a superyacht for them – they can’t do it.
“These individuals have more money than the average people who go to five stars hotels – instead they go to boutique luxury hotels. They charter a private jet rather than buying one”. These are his target clients.
These people want luxury lifestyle holidays without having to own, and now, further to an agreement signed between Wärtsilä and Pastrovich Studio, if you cannot charter a 60m superyacht, but you have €2,000 per day to spend, they will welcome you on board their 60m innovative, sustainable, super-catamarans being created for the boutique holiday sector.
“This is not for the existing superyacht market we know today - this is a parallel, growing market. We need to start understanding where the market is going, and start feeding this market, and there are people waiting to board a boutique hotel on sea" - Stefano Pastrovich
“This is not for the existing superyacht market we know today - this is a parallel, growing market. We need to start understanding where the market is going, and start feeding this market, and there are people waiting to board a boutique hotel on sea,” added Pastrovich.
These cost-optimised vessels will serve the charter and luxury hotel sectors in attracting and meeting the demand from millennials and cruise veterans alike, with a strong focus on affordability and sustainability. The design will feature a fully-integrated combination of hybrid propulsion and solar panels for minimal environmental impact and high energy efficiency.
The concept has been formed around a 60-metre long catamaran with accommodation for up to 36 passengers, hybrid propulsion and solar panels so that passengers can enjoy access to harbours that would otherwise be closed to large motoryachts.
“Efficiency and environmental performance are key pillars of Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine approach, which emphasises the need to collaborate with world-class partners. This project encompasses all these ambitions..." - Giammario Meloni, Senior Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Italia
“Efficiency and environmental performance are key pillars of Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine approach, which emphasises the need to collaborate with world-class partners. This project encompasses all these ambitions, and we look forward to co-developing with Stefano Pastrovich a totally integrated solution that combines energy efficiency, sustainability and onboard comfort,” explained Giammario Meloni, Senior Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Italia.
“Wärtsilä is the ideal partner for this project,” added Pastrovich, “since we share a vision to be the very best at what we do. Bringing together our architectural and marine technology know-how will create a mega-yacht design on the leading edge of innovation. I’m convinced boutique cruise ships of this calibre could spark a turning point in the charter market, attracting a new customer base of millennials and cruise veterans.”
Wärtsilä has extensive hybrid propulsion and energy recovery experience which will be leveraged in the new design, and has already worked with Pastrovich in other successful projects. These include the 99m X-Vintage in 2011 and the 101m X-Expedition in 2017, an innovative design that bridges the worlds of cruising and superyachts. Combining the modular construction techniques of the former with the attention to luxury detail that distinguishes the latter, the design takes privacy, safety, voyage experience, and environmental responsibility to new levels.
“The idea was born two years ago because of my personal intention to make this project for this new emerging market. Catamarans have been avoided by the superyacht market and there is no particular reason for doing so,” argued Pastrovich, noting the added space available on board their 60m catamaran concept. They have worked hard to retain the luxury and privacy that is typical of the superyacht industry, but can also tempt newcomers to the industry with the added stability of the mono-hull design.
Alongside these factors is the fact that the smaller draft means that the vessel can moor closer to the shore, and thanks to the hybrid propulsion system the shores the vessel will be able to approach is a far more extensive list than diesel or petrol powered yachts.
The social aspect of the concept is appealing for HNWIs wishing to meet likeminded people, but Pastrovich is certain the vessel will be large enough not to feel surrounded by your fellow 35 guests.
To maximise the capabilities of the transparent solar panels that adorn the vessel, an itinerary will be mapped out for the guests based upon traditional everyday lifestyle routines, which will ensure the generator is only on when needed. “Therefore, when we know the guests are not on board, we can transfer the stored energy back to another place, such as the galley, where the chef is preparing something for when they get back,” continued Pastrovich.
“The yachting industry is stagnant, but this concept allows for new ways of thinking within this industry.”
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