- Fleet - Superyacht migration trends: South America

By SuperyachtNews

Superyacht migration trends: South America

We examine the superyacht cruising patterns of this region…

Image courtesy of Scott Whittaker.

As The Superyacht Migration Report hits desks this week, which will be focusing on alternative yachting destinations and unusual migratory patterns, we examine the superyacht migration patterns of South America using data provided by MarineTraffic.

SuperyachtNews recently spoke to captain Scott Whittaker upon his return from a trip to Chile that he described as “freaking fabulous.” He was keen to represent his trip in a realistic light though, and said that it is often misrepresented as a destination, “all we ever see is all the grandeur…what you don't see is how goddamn difficult it is to access!” He explained that there were many moments where he would sit and a look at a place that he would love to explore but simply couldn't as it was inaccessible: “we were just in this river a few days ago where I could see that there was a big lake above it but there was just no way to get the people to it. I can’t trek them through the bush because no trails have been developed and nobody had hacked through it.”

Whittaker also added that there was a distinct lack of infrastructure available for cruising superyachts too, he reportedly couldn't buy gasoline on a fuel dock on Porto Mott as they couldn't pull the boat up. Despite this he claims that the trip was completely worth it and what he saw whilst there “kicked ass!”

Number of unique visits between 2015 and 2018. 

Data courtesy of Marine Traffic.

Looking at our data, despite growing slightly in popularity moving up to positions, Chile is one of the less popular destinations compared to the rest of South America with 13 unique yachts visiting there between 2015 and 2018. In comparison, Panama is by far the most visited with 177 between these dates, three times the number of unique yachts as the second most visited country (Brazil).

Average annual growth of unique visits between 2015 and 2018.

Data courtesy of MarineTraffic.

Ecuador has experienced the highest growth of numbers of unique visitors over this period with an average annual growth of unique visitors of 164%.

Average number of unique visits between 2015 and 2018. 

Data courtesy of MarineTraffic.


South America is most popular during the first quarter of the year, with an average of 113 visitors a month from January to March between 2015 and 2018. Smaller yachts tend to be more prevalent, possibly due to the lack of infrastructure for larger vessels. Out of the 296 unique visitors during these four years, 136 of them were between 40-60m.

Number of unique visits between 2015 and 2018. 

Data courtesy of MarineTraffic.


The Superyacht Migration Report is out now, click here to get hold of a copy.


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Superyacht migration trends: South America


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