- Operations - Optimising the on-board experience

By George Hapipis, BWA Yachting

Optimising the on-board experience

An opinion piece on the importance of choosing the right partners for the complete ownership experience…

Picture the scene: the client’s yacht has just been unveiled at the world’s most famous superyacht show and is equipped with the latest technology the industry has to offer. It is much more than seaworthy, it has redundant systems from propulsion to safety features, and the amenities meet the client’s build spec and precise preferences. But all these elements must be glued together in order to reach the ultimate objective­ – that is, when owners and guests disembark the yacht, their only thought is coming back to repeat the experience, exploring new destinations while operations run seamlessly.

However, the ultimate purpose of a multi-million-euro yacht is in question if the guests can’t enjoy its full potential or crew struggle to perform their duties efficiently. The ownership experience is an interconnected chain, so if the builder cuts corners somewhere this will show during navigation. If the naval architect or the designer doesn’t think through the design, space utility and enjoyment are at risk. If the comms installer doesn’t do a proper job, there will be communications problems at some point.

By the same principle, wherever the yacht is destined, local partners can enhance the experience if they are trusted, experienced and proven, having done this many times before for many yachts and different personalities. The partner is there to cover the yacht’s needs and requests, allowing uninterrupted and efficient operations.

The Covid era has broken many records: record numbers in sales of yachts and record numbers of charters. Not only have yacht ownership and charter bookings reached unprecedented levels but also, for many, the mentality of how one uses a yacht has changed. It has gone from owning a luxury transport medium to reaching the true rationale of yacht ownership. Owners and guests plan trips they would have never done or thought about before, adapting their daily routines to make more time for fun and time with loved ones.

This had a positive effect on how owners and guests are spending their time on board by instilling more substance and more experiential activities. Designing an experience-based activity for such a demanding clientele that most probably has seen and done it all is not an easy task, yet there are specialised partners a yacht can turn to in order to design and implement the planning and the experience.

One example is a recent, and simple, incident when a 60-metre yacht arrived in a popular diving destination. The owner was a fanatic diver; however, the local dive guide was not a match for the owner and his guests’ expectations. The experience was a complete disappointment and set the tone for the rest of the cruise, with negativity and random issues developing one after the other. The owner had done everything correctly, though. He had chosen, financed and built the perfect vessel. The crew were well chosen and well trained, eager to make the guests’ time a memorable one.  They approached the parties they thought could help them. So what went wrong? Why did the owner and guests did not leave 100 per cent satisfied with their time on the yacht?

It is one thing to declare that you are serving superyachts and a completely different thing to be able to support superyacht operations with the same level of quality in all the major cruising grounds as well as in off-the grid-destinations. Expert tailored assistance, access to exclusive resources, custom itineraries and enhanced experiences are just some of the perks a yacht will enjoy when working with a specialised partner.

Doing your homework and due diligence with your peers or network to make sure your operational/regional partner can in fact deliver what your owner and the guests expect will make a real difference. My advice is to choose carefully.

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Optimising the on-board experience


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User photoMark Drewelow - 20 Jun 2024 12:46

Nice article. At C2C inc we have been in business for 21 years as the only licensed and bonded superyachts

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