Brokers at CharterWorld.com say their phones are already ringing for Christmas and New Year’s charters, with the best yachts and best crews being snapped up first: “It is a mistake to assume that there will be last-minute deals over holiday dates. Christmas and New Year’s charters are always going to be the busiest two weeks of any year. Get in now to ensure you have the best yacht possible.”
Broker Nicole Haboush of Allied Yacht Charters suggests several reasons why you should book your Christmas and New Year’s charters now. First is so that you can take advantage of the current, slow market and all the deals that are being offered: “The yacht owners don’t seem to be so flexible when there are lots of people looking for boats closer to Christmas.”
Nicole also says booking now is smart because there are still a good number of yachts available for the holidays: “You will have more choices, and you will have the benefit of time to plan out a fantastic holiday with the captain and chef.”
The team at Asia Pacific Superyachts says booking now is imperative if you want to be on charter in Thailand for Christmas or New Year’s: “There is a lack of ultimate luxury yachts in Thailand, and the nicest sailing yachts, like Queen of Andaman, will get bookings no matter what. Don’t be disappointed. Book now.”
President Jennifer Saia of The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals, which manages charter yachts in addition to booking vacations aboard them, says: “Yacht owners want to see future activity booked on their boats, even during busy periods. Last Christmas and New Year’s was the first time that we can remember having yachts open for the holidays. This year, owners are motivated to ensure that won’t happen again. As always, the early bird gets the worm… or the best yacht!”
Broker Trish Cronan at Ocean Getaways says booking now is smart not just because yachts get taken quickly, but also because airfares are now harder to come by: “Historically, most yachts are already booked for the holidays by now, especially the larger ones. Demand always exceeds our inventory during holiday periods. Given this demand, we are not going to see special offers and discounts during the holiday period. The most desirable yachts will charter at their asking price. Delaying your booking is not going to get you a better deal. You just won’t get your first choice in boat or airfare. The airlines have cut back on flights to the islands, so it is now more essential than ever to book the holiday periods well in advance.”
CharterWave editor Kim Kavin also has a few suggestions for why you should book now. First is that business remains slow for most brokers this summer, which means they have far more time than usual to devote to every detail of your holiday yacht charter. You will get more undivided attention now than you will if you wait until the holidays get closer and brokers’ phones start ringing en masse.
The same is true of yacht crew, Kim says. Since most yachts are not fully booked this summer, their chefs and captains have more time than usual to focus on future plans, including the details of your Christmas or New Year’s charter.
If you are living in Europe, Kim says, booking now will help you take advantage of the euro’s current strength against the U.S. dollar. As of this writing, the euro is at 1.4 against the dollar. That translates into great European buying power for charter yachts priced in U.S. dollars.
Last but not least, a good reason to book your Christmas or New Year’s charter now is that your booking may actually help determine the location of your favorite charter yacht. So many yacht owners are being burned by the lack of business this summer that they are unwilling to commit to winter destinations in advance of charter inquiries. If there’s a yacht that you like, and that has not yet committed to being in a certain location this winter, your inquiry may very well persuade the owner to put the yacht exactly where you want it.