LUXURY CHARTER: A SPACE ISSUE?

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Last week, we told you the story of the Russian billionaire who decided to sell his 47-metre yacht because he considered it too small. Most of us will have shook our heads or shrugged in reading this news. But someone in charter industry has elaborated a different interpretation and he is reshaping luxury boat charter around the need, apparently larlegly shared, to have much, so much space on board.

Bloomberg News reports that more and more rich people rent cruise ships instead of traditional megayachts. We are talking about few people but the numbers are so high that, for charter companies, it’s worth the trouble. Star Breeze, a Wibdstar ship which can host 212 passengers, has been rented during the Monaco Grand Prix last year at a price (estimated price beacuse companies are rather reticent to reveal details) of about one billion dollars/week. Other options, such as Crystal Esprit, cost 500,000 dollars/week. Prices include everything (food, service staff, taxes, etc.), except for harbour stops (Venice, Edinburgh, etc.).

So, paradoxically,  there is a “saving”: the cost per person is cheaper on a big ship than in a megayacht. And the market seems to have increased in the latest years to the point that the type of boats demanded by shipping companies has been influenced. Of course, the service quality will not the same on a ship with 200 passengers and a boat with 20 people on board and the possibilities of mooring depend on sizes.

Mere mortals, of course, will consider it a big incongruity: why should a rich person renounce to privacy in a small deserted bay to rent a 200-metre ship which can’t approach to the shore? It’s evident we are talking about different points of view and eccentric demands. Bloomberg News’ article reveals the details of some events on cruise ships rented by TV stars and billionaires. One of the most beautiful stories is that one of a customer who celebrated his 70th birthday on a particular ship: a lot of tickets had been already sold for a cruise from Venice to Athens but he decided to refund all the guests who has already paid, including flight tickets. Over 600,000 dollars, ship rental excluded.

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