VAT Complications, Concerns Continue to Emerge Across Europe
Rumblings of economic concern continue to emerge from Greece, Italy, and Spain, where charter yachts continue to be seized on tax-evasion charges and VAT rates continue to fluctuate.
The 207-foot motoryacht Force Blue, which Italian authorities seized in May on tax-evasion charges, was released June 21 on a €5 million security deposit so that it could perform the charters it has scheduled for the current summer season. The tax-evasion charges against the owner remain, however, and multiple sources say Force Blue will be required to return to Genoa at the end of the summer charter season for a final judgment.
Just four days before Force Blue was released in Italy, Spanish tax officials boarded some 30 yachts in Puerto Portals and Port Adriano as part of an investigation into €30 million of unpaid VAT and matriculation taxes. Only one charter yacht, the 82-foot Elegance motoryacht Vogue, is believed to have been part of the sweep. The continuing investigation reportedly includes not just yachts themselves, but also businesses related to the buying and selling of yachts in Spain. A local newspaper in Mallorca reported that further inspections of additional yachts are expected.
Also that same week in June, Greek authorities announced that the VAT on some charters in Greece will rise from 10 percent to 11 percent, and some from 4.5 or 5 percent to 5.5 percent, beginning with all charters that end after July 1. The new increases follow a VAT increase that was announced less than four months ago, in March, as part of a $6.5 billion government plan to get Greece’s fiscal deficits under control.
At least one charter company is attempting to capitalize on the continuing developments. On June 17, Ocean Partners International sent an e-mail blast urging clients to “escape all the uncertainty of VAT in the West Med and charter in Turkey” instead.
Discount Offers Abound in Western Mediterranean and Beyond
Yacht owners seeking to increase the rate of charter bookings this summer continue to offer deals and discounts, including aboard large motoryachts in the Western Mediterranean during the prime cruising months of July and August. The offers span virtually all major charter management companies, and all sizes and styles of yachts.
Examples of newly announced discounts in the Western Mediterranean include the 154-foot Amtec motoryacht Out (shown in the photograph above), part of the Edmiston and Company fleet, which dropped its weekly base rates by 15 percent and eliminated all delivery fees; the 130-foot Christensen motoryacht Lady Zelda, part of the Northrop and Johnson fleet, which dropped its weekly base rate by 25 percent for all two-week charters this summer; and the 192-foot Lurssen motoryacht Capri, part of the International Yacht Register fleet, which dropped its weekly base rate by nearly 50 percent for charters in late June and early July.
Beyond the Western Mediterranean, newly announced discounts include 20 percent off the 67-foot Sorana, part of the Blue Latitude Yachting fleet, in the Grenadines; eight days for the price of seven aboard the 62-foot sailing yacht Anahita, part of the Nicholson Yachts fleet, in the Eastern Mediterranean; and 10 percent off the 154-foot Delta motoryacht Mr. Terrible, part of the Northrop and Johnson fleet, in New England.
Broker Report: 2010 Newport Charter Yacht Show
Maggie Vale, a charter broker with Rikki Davis Worldwide Yacht Charters at Churchill Yacht Partners, attended June’s industry-only charter yacht show in Newport, Rhode Island, where her office is based.
She reports high-quality motor and sailing yachts, eager-to-please crew, and what may be a trend toward charter bookings of less than one week this summer in the New England cruising grounds.
Fire Destroys 68-foot Azimut Motoryacht Sea Wise in Greece
On June 25, management company Ocean Independence released dramatic photographs of the 68-foot Azimut motoryacht Sea Wise being engulfed in flames and smoke before sinking into the waters off the coast of Greece.
No cause for the fire was stated, and no injuries were reported.
Sea Wise was a 2001 build that joined the Ocean Independence charter fleet in April.
Rodriguez Group CEO Resigns on Accusations of Money Laundering
Alexandre Rodriguez resigned as CEO the Rodriguez Group in June following his detention by European authorities on accusations of money laundering and slot machine trafficking.
Gerard Rodriguez, the founder of the company, has taken over as chairman. Rodriguez Group requested a temporary suspension of stock trading on June 8 because of the negative publicity.
Rodriguez is the parent company of Camper and Nicholsons International, which controls the largest fleet of crewed charter yachts in the world. Authorities have not implicated CNI in any of the charges to date.
Welcome New Sponsored Blog: Interpac Yachts
California-based Interpac Yachts, a longtime sponsor of CharterWave, has augmented its reach on the site by joining the roster of CharterWave Sponsored Blogs.
“The first couple of blog posts show the depth of owner Beverly Parson’s charter industry knowledge,” says CharterWave editor Kim Kavin. “One was about her recently having inspected 63 charter yachts in Italy, and her second was about a charter yacht that is new to the market in California.”
Read the latest sponsored blog posts from Interpac Yachts by clicking here.
Sunseeker Charters Voted Best in Business
“We are absolutely delighted and flattered to have been credited with this prestigious award, especially in face of such stern competition," said David Ward, director of Sunseeker Charters. "It is testament to the outstanding dedication and diligence of our team that Quintessentially members have recognized Sunseeker Charters as offering the best in luxury yacht charter. We look forward to maintaining and extending our position at the head of this exclusive market.”
Edmiston and Company Launches New Website
Edmiston and Company launched a new website the last week of June. It includes a new yacht charter section that allows searches by yacht size, style, price, number of guests, and builder.
The new site also offers users the chance to save searches of their choice, and to compare selected charter yachts in easy-to-use list formats. The site’s new destination section provides local time and temperature, as well as annual average temperatures, for any charter location that the user selects.
‘Chopped’ Winner Joins Pacific Northwest Charter Yacht Crew
CEO Expeditions announced in June that Chef Joseph Bayley, winner of the Food Network television competition “Chopped,” has joined the 120-foot motoryacht Kayana as chef for the remainder of the summer 2010 charter season in the Pacific Northwest.
“We are delighted that Joe can join us this season,” CEO Expeditions owner Bruce Milne said in a press release. “He is an award-winning chef whose skills have taken him around the world. He joins us from Ni Neu in Sabastian, Spain, a Michelin-starred Basque restaurant. Our guests will be in for a real treat.”
Sunreef Welcomes Largest Sailing Catamaran to its Charter Fleet
In June, Sunreef Yachts launched the 102-foot sailing catamaran Ipharra, its largest to date and now the flagship of the company’s charter fleet.
Ipharra is expected to complete sea trials before heading to the Eastern Mediterranean, where she is scheduled to become available for charter beginning August 21. The lowest weekly base rate being advertised is €55,000 for 12 guests.
Sunreef also recently opened its first U.S.-based office, in Fort Lauderdale, and joined the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.
SmartMoney Article Misleads Readers about Yacht Charter
An article in the June edition of SmartMoney, the magazine of The Wall Street Journal, paints a disappointing picture of charter yachts as mini-cruise ships where guests book by the cabin and get stuck cruising in tight quarters with people they dislike.
“Author Kristen Bellstrom not only fails to interview a single person involved in the actual crewed yacht charter industry, but also does a thorough job of proving that she doesn't even know the difference between a mini-cruise ship and a charter yacht,” CharterWave editor Kim Kavin wrote in this review of the article. “She falls into lockstep with the clever lingo of companies that use phrases like ‘yacht-style’ in their marketing materials, all the while simply moving the cruise-ship business model of by-the-cabin bookings onto smaller ships to make them seem more personalized.”
Best of the CharterWave Daily Editor’s Blog
Gulf Oil Spill and Cruise Ships: A Common Bond. This morning, The Atlantic posted an article how the cruise ship industry has vociferously fought any attempts by Congress to change the 90-year-old Death on the High Seas Act. That law limits the liability payments that corporations face when someone dies aboard an ocean-going vessel. It wasn't until I read today's article that I realized British Petroleum will likely be protected by this same law for anyone who dies from injuries suffered aboard an ocean-going vessel during the continuing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico--including the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded… Read More…
Best of the CharterWave Sponsored Blogs
From the Paradise Yacht Charters Sponsored Blog on CharterWave: Never Stand in U.S. Customs Lines Again! Have you ever just returned from a long overseas flight and walked the long corriders in Miami, or New York, or other U.S. city—only to walk around the corner and see hundreds of people in line to clear U.S. Customs? Wish you had a magic wand that you could wave and bypass that line? Well, now I do—and you can too… Read More…
Three Brokers Say
While the Côte d’Azur and Caribbean are the world’s most popular yacht charter locations, there are also excellent charter yacht options in farther-afield locations such as Fiji, Antarctica, Malta, and Indonesia.
For the July edition of Three Brokers Say, we get the scoop on favorite “off the beaten course” options from broker Missy Johnston of Northrop and Johnson Worldwide Yacht Charters, Liz Howard of Fraser Yachts Worldwide, and Sandy Carney representing Nicholson Yachts.
Motoryacht of the Month: African Cat
This photograph of the mosaic tile in the master bathroom speaks volumes about the 130-foot Mangusta motoryacht African Cat, which lives up to her wild moniker with alligator-skin accents in the main salon, mirrored ceilings above some of the beds, and entire guest cabins decorated in ultra black or lipstick red.
Interestingly, and perhaps contrary to the yacht’s décor, the owners of African Cat are seeking charter parties of families with children, or adult couples who want to relax. “The owners don’t like parties onboard,” according to one crew member.
Our exclusive review of African Cat (yes, with more photos) is posted here.
Sailing Yacht of the Month: Montigne
The 187-foot Montigne is perhaps the only sailing yacht available for charter with enormous, green dragons encircling its stern. The yacht, built in the style of a Chinese, three-masted schooner, also boasts a stunning 6-foot-long model of a dragon-head yacht in the main salon. Yet another interesting feature—one very popular right now in Asia—is the dancing light ring that encircles the ceiling above beds in the master and VIP cabins.
Read more about this interesting sailing yacht in our exclusive First Impression review.
Captain of the Month: Victor Martin
As captain of the 82-foot Sunseeker motoryacht Lady Zehava, Victor Martin likes to move. His hope is to entice charter clients who want to make best use of the yacht’s 30-knot capabilities, moving quickly from port to port around the Western Mediterranean.
“We want charters of every kind,” he says. “Families, adults, parties—we do not care. We want them all.”
Learn more in our newly posted, exclusive interview.
Chef of the Month: Peter Göppel
Chef Peter Göppel is serious about his soups and sauces, specialties that left CharterWave editor Kim Kavin highly satisfied during a seven-course dinner aboard the 114-foot motoryacht 5 Fishes.
“His mango coconut soup with parmesan and pine nut chips is one of the most refreshing, delicious soups I’ve ever tasted,” she reports, “and if it weren’t rude, I would have licked the plate clean to enjoy every last morsel of the poached veal filet in truffle sauce.”
Learn more about Göppel’s specialties, his background, and why he prefers charter clients who are not vegetarians in our exclusive interview.
Broker of the Month: Patty Wilson
She is one of the few brokers who books crewed yachts of all sizes and styles, including “entry-level” sailing catamarans with crew in the Virgin Islands. “Those kinds of boats, the sailing cats, are my personal favorites,” she says. “They’re just so much fun.”
Learn more about Wilson’s background and her favorite types of clients by reading our exclusive interview.
Fleet and Management Company News
37 South sends word from New Zealand that the 147-foot McMullen and Wing motoryacht Big Fish is offering a 10-day, all-inclusive rate for charters in Antarctica from December through February. The rate includes fuel, food, beverages, 10-percent crew gratuity, an expedition guide, an ice pilot, full cold-weather gear and clothing, and more…
Absolute Yachting welcomes a 64-foot Gianetti sailing yacht to the charter fleet in Greece. The 2009 build will take 10 guests at a lowest weekly base rate of €16,000…
Atalanta Golden Yachts tells us that several of its motoryachts still have availability for charters this summer in Greece. They include the 162-foot Mondomarine O’ceanos, the 130-foot Hakvoort Happy Dolphin II, the 104-foot Maiora Marnaya, and the 90-foot Canados Alea… The owners of the 125-foot Cantieri di Pisa motoryacht Kintaro have decided not to use her in August and are “willing to accept reasonable offers” for charters in Greece…
Athens Yachts welcomes the 112-foot Ferretti motoryacht Pandora to the charter fleet in Greece. She takes 10 guests with six crew at a lowest weekly base rate of €65,000…
BCR Yachts tells us the 78-foot Baltic sailing yacht Midnight Sun of London has been withdrawn from the charter market. No reason was given… The 65-foot Tayana sailing yacht Viking Girl II has a new crew…
Blue Latitude Yachting says 95-foot CNB sailing yacht Grand Bleu Vintage is available beginning August 10 in Sicily, the Ionian Islands, France, and Italy… The 67-foot Princess motoryacht Sorana is offering a 20-percent discount on Grenadines charters from July through October. The new weekly base rate is $20,000 for six guests…
Boatbookings.com told us on June 29 that its Facebook page is becoming a hub for conversations about all things yachting: “New destinations, amazing yachts, technology and gear—our page allows you to interact with our staff as well as yachting enthusiasts worldwide. We'd love to have you join our community there, share your best boating and yachting experiences, and become eligible for discounts, rewards and special information"…
Burgess Yachts says the 216-foot Oceanco motoryacht Ona, which has been kept private since her launch in 2005, now has a new owner. The yacht will be rechristened Natita and will become available for charter later this year… Also new to the charter fleet are the 187-foot Abeking and Rasmussen motoryacht Zenobia, taking 12 guests at a weekly base rate of €340,000, and the 155-foot Hodgdon Yachts sailing yacht Scheherazade, taking six guests at a lowest weekly base rate of €84,000…
CharterPortBVI fleet yacht Two if by Sea, a 45-foot sailing catamaran, will be staying in Tonga through Christmas and New Year’s with charter availability at the regular rate, as opposed to an increased holiday rate…The 46-foot sailing catamaran Viking Dream is offering $1,500 off all Virgin Islands charters that begin before December 14…
Churchill Yacht Partners sends word that the 116-foot Holland Jachtbouw sailing yacht Whisper has availability for New England charters from July 21 through August 13. The boat will move to the Caribbean for the winter 2010-11 charter season… The 90-foot Stephens motoryacht Trilogy still has availability this summer in the Great Lakes…The 121-foot Crescent motoryacht Olga has added a three-person Wave Runner among its water toys. Olga will be available beginning in mid-August for charters in the British Virgin Islands, Northern Caribbean, and Southern Caribbean…The 88-foot motoryacht Lady Victoria is available for charters out of Harbour Island, Bahamas, with no delivery fees…
Edmiston and Company is offering 11 discount rates this summer in the Western Mediterranean. The 193-foot Austal motoryacht Outback is available at 15 percent off the regular weekly base rate of €375,000; the 169-foot Alloy sailing yacht Mondango is available at 15 percent off the regular weekly base rate of €200,000 for charters in July; the 151-foot Arno motoryacht Pure One is offering 10 days for the seven-day base rate of €195,000; the 131-foot Feadship motoryacht Seaflower is available anywhere in the Mediterranean without delivery fees; the 154-foot Amtec motoryacht Out is offering free delivery anywhere in the Western Mediterranean plus a 15-percent discount on the regular weekly base rate of €175,000; the 124-foot Benetti motoryacht Lady Ellen has dropped her weekly base rate to €60,000 for the entire summer season; the 144-foot Feadship motoryacht Kingfisher is offering a 20-percent discount off her regular weekly base rate of €180,000; the 94-foot Sunseeker motoryacht Dreamster is giving a 25-percent discount off her regular weekly base rate of €65,000; the 99-foot Couach motoryacht Hummingbird is offering a 15-percent discount off her regular weekly base rate of €65,000; the 111-foot Arno motoryacht Anita is giving a 20-percent discount off her regular weekly base rate of €95,000; and the 88-foot Arno motoryacht Serenity (new to the fleet) is offering a 15-percent discount off her regular weekly base rate of €45,000… The 161-foot Feadship motoryacht Teleost has availability in the Western Mediterranean from July 11-21 and during the month of September. Teleost will move to the Caribbean this winter and is seeking a Thanksgiving week charter booking… The 154-foot Proteksan Turquoise motoryacht Odessa (new to the fleet) is still available August 1-25 in the Western Mediterranean… The 118-foot Benetti Sail Division motoryacht Grand Cru III is offering a 30-percent discount for a charter from Naples to Palermo from July 29 through August 8… New to the charter fleet is the 280-foot motoryacht Moonlight II (previously known as Alysia) taking as many as 36 guests at a weekly base rate of €695,000…
Fraser Yachts Worldwide welcomes the 156-foot Heesen motoryacht Let It Be to the charter fleet. She takes 12 guests in the Western Mediterranean at a lowest weekly base rate of €160,000… Book one week aboard the 115-foot Christensen motoryacht Ocean Pearl in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest at the weekly base rate of $57,500, and get a second week at half-price… Book one week aboard the 111-foot Inace motoryacht Sudami in Florida or the Bahamas at the weekly base rate of $68,500, and get a second week at a base rate of $34,250 as well as a third week at a base rate of $17,125. Weeks can be split but must be used before March 1, 2011…
International Yacht Collection welcomes the 120-foot Palmer Johnson motoryacht Anna J to the charter fleet. She is a 2000 build that underwent “a major refit” in 2010, according to the company. The lowest weekly base rate is €60,000 for eight or nine guests with four crew in the Mediterranean… Also new to the charter fleet is the 82-foot Royal Denship motoryacht Irina Esc. She takes six or seven guests with three crew in the Western Mediterranean at a lowest weekly base rate of €35,000… Congratulations to the 161-foot Trinity motoryacht Blind Date, which won a special judges commendation at the 2010 World Superyacht Awards…
Luxury Charter Group sends word that the 51-foot sailing yacht Ombre Blu still has availability in August, September, and October for charters in Sicily, Sardinia, the Amalfi Coast, and the Aeolian Islands… The 121-foot Dubois sailing yacht Bliss is available for charters in Tahiti through October at a weekly base rate of $98,000 for six to 10 guests…
Moncada di Paterno in Milan welcomes the 98-foot Lavagna motoryacht Boss to the charter fleet. She takes 10 guests with five crew in the Mediterranean, with La Spezia as a home port…
Neo Yachting welcomes the 98-foot Azimut motoryacht Seven to the charter fleet. She will take eight guests with five crew in the Western Mediterranean at a lowest weekly base rate of €49,000… Two motoryachts have reduced their weekly base rates for charters this summer in the Western Mediterranean: The 68-foot Azimut Emmy now has a lowest weekly base rate of €27,000, and the 68-foot Azimut Anohla now has a lowest weekly base rate of €25,000…
Nicholson Yachts says the 123-foot Palmer Johnson sailing yacht Galileo is available at a weekly base rate of $39,000 for six or seven guests the entire summer season in New England… The 62-foot sailing yacht Anahita has changed her rates from euro to U.S. dollars for charters through August 31 in the Eastern or Western Mediterranean. The new weekly base rates range from $8,500 for two guests to $11,500 for six guests… The 65-foot sailing catamaran True North has lowered its weekly base rate $5,000 for the winter 2010-11 charter season. The new Caribbean weekly base rates are $24,500 for six guests and $26,500 for eight guests… The 80-foot sailing yacht Matelot has arrived in the South Pacific and is available immediately for charters. Matelot is based in Tahiti with additional itineraries possible in the Society Islands and Tuamotus…
Northrop and Johnson tells us the 98-foot MCP motoryacht Eagle’s Nest is offering seven nights for the price of five in the Bahamas through August 31. If the charter itinerary is round-trip from Nassau, the yacht’s owner will also waive customary delivery fees… The 153-foot NAYS motoryacht Argyll is available in New England from July 23 through August 3, with a base of Newport… The 75-foot Marlow motoryacht Miss Kulani joins the charter fleet and will be based in the South Pacific for charters year-round, with a home port of Tahiti… The 154-foot Delta motoryacht Mr. Terrible is available at a 10 percent discount, which means a new weekly base rate of $198,000 in New England or the Bahamas this summer… The 100-foot Burger motoryacht AR-DE is offering nine nights for the price of seven, including use of towed tender, in Florida and the Bahamas for the rest of the summer… The 130-foot Christensen motoryacht Lady Zelda is offering half-price on a second week of charter if you book the first week at the full base rate of $125,000… The 105-foot Diaship-Heesen motoryacht The Lady J still has availability this summer in the Bahamas at a weekly base rate of $45,000…
Ocean Independence says the 85-foot Benetti motoryacht Sofia of Tortola has had a “major and permanent price reduction” for charters this summer in Croatia. Formerly, the lowest weekly base rate was €49,000. Now, it is €45,000… The 103-foot Astondoa motoryacht Celtic Dawn has a new owner and is now available in the Western Mediterranean at a weekly base rate of €49,000, which is better than 20 percent off the previous owner’s asking price… The 109-foot Lloyd’s Ships motoryacht Daniella will arrive in Spain to begin chartering in August at a lowest weekly base rate of €52,000 for eight guests with five crew… The 116-foot Horizon motoryacht Wheels has dropped her lowest weekly base rate from €69,000 to €49,000 for the rest of the summer season in the Mediterranean… The 141-foot Holland Jachtbouw sailing yacht This is Us (previously known as Skylge) has a new owner but remains available for charter in the Western Mediterranean at a lowest weekly base rate of €52,000… New to the charter fleet are the 297-foot motoryacht Sunrise, being marketed as a “boutique cruise ship” for up to 100 guests in the Mediterranean; the 197-foot motoryacht Titan, which returns to the charter market after an extended period of shipyard work; the 135-foot R.B. Dereli motoryacht Golden Horn, chartering on the Italian Riviera; the 95-foot Hargrave motoryacht Golden Times, available in the Caribbean this summer; and the 80-foot Falcon motoryacht Ellinia, available this summer in Greece…
Ocean Partners International says there is still summer availability in Turkey aboard the 80-foot Ferretti motoryacht Splendido, the 111-foot motoryacht Ma Biche, and the 107-foot sailing yacht Shanti, which is a new central agency listing for charter with the company…
Paradise Yacht Charters tells us there is still time to book a last-minute Fourth of July charter aboard the 110-foot Lazzara motoryacht Le Reve in New England. The yacht takes eight guests with four crew at a lowest weekly base rate of $49,000…
Primo Yacht says the 68-foot VZ Cantiere Nautico motoryacht Kama is available with no delivery fees between Naples and the Côte d’Azur beginning August 7… The 101-foot Ferretti motoryacht Maria II of London is available for charters this summer in Venice and Croatia with no delivery fees…
Regency Yacht Vacations says that several well-known charter yachts are still available for Christmas and New Year’s bookings in the British Virgin Islands. Available yachts include the 57-foot sailing catamaran Aldebaran, the 62-foot sailing catamaran Bella Principessa, the 55-foot sailing catamaran ReAction, and the 54-foot sailing yacht Sayang… The 56-foot sailing yacht Contessa has made its “all-inclusive” rate for two guests even more inclusive, now adding airport transfers, cruising taxes, national parks permit, an arrival with flowers, champagne, and chocolate, a beach picnic, and a $150 certificate toward onshore services such as spa treatments and diving… The 47-foot sailing catamaran Tachyon is relocating to Grenada in August, when she will begin offering captain-only charters…
RJC Yachts sends word that the 147-foot Intermarine motoryacht Aquasition has been sold to a new owner. The yacht will be renamed Lady M and will receive an interior refit as well as new exterior paint before rejoining the charter market later this year…
Seascape Yachts tells us the 110-foot Cantieri di Pisa motoryacht Pollux is available beginning August 10 in either Mykonos or Athens with no delivery fees… Also available this summer in Greece is the 100-foot Cantieri di Pisa motoryacht Elisa, taking eight to 10 guests at a lowest weekly base rate of €65,800…
WEM Lines sends word that the 237-foot motoryacht RM Elegant is still available for charter bookings nearly the entire month of August in the Western Mediterranean.
New First Impressions Posted on CharterWave
5 Fishes, 114-foot SBF Freemantle Australia motoryacht
New Crew Interviews Posted on CharterWave
New Broker Interview Posted on CharterWave
Patty Wilson, International Yacht Charter Group
New 10 Best Lists Posted on CharterWave