While most of the travel industry struggled to get back on its feet, the yachting industry had a different problem during the pandemic: serving everyone wanting to charter a boat.
Like the rise in private jet travel during the pandemic, charter demand remains “extremely strong,” said Crom Littlejohn, chief commercial officer of the yacht brokerage company Northrop & Johnson. He said he expects interest to remain this way “for the foreseeable future.”
But it isn’t the same people who have always traveled via sea, he said.
“A big percentage of our business is first-time charters,” said Littlejohn. “They’ve had the ski vacations … they want to try something different.”
Destinations with an increase in summer yacht bookings
- South of France
- Galapagos Islands
Source: Northrop & Johnson
Insiders share with CNBC the seven common mistakes of those new to the industry.
Mistake #1: Hard-shell luggage
There are several reasons to leave hard-shell suitcases at home, said Littlejohn.
In the same way that they scuff hotel room walls, hard suitcases can damage the fine finishes on yachts, he said.
“Things bounce and hard things might mar the surfaces,” said Littlejohn.
Military personnel carry Prince Philip’s garment bags to the Royal Yacht Britannia in Lancashire, England, in August 1989.
Tim Graham | Tim Graham Photo Library | Getty Images
Then there’s the issue of storing suitcases that don’t collapse. “You can imagine how much [luggage] ten people or 12 people on charter could bring if they were bringing hard luggage,” he said. “It takes an additional room to store it.”
“The more soft-sided duffel bag type luggage, the better for storage and moving around the boat,” he said.
Mistake #2: High heels
Soft-soled shoes are more appropriate than high heels, said Littlejohn, but “we’re going to ask you not to wear the shoes on board period.”
Travelers are free to pack high heels for land excursions, he said, but even in the south of France – where nightlife is often a big…
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