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Perle Bleue Aims to Set New Standard

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“You heard it here first: The team at management company International Yacht Collection tells me the 124-foot motoryacht Perle Bleue, previously promoted as heading for the Bahamas, will instead be chartering in the Western Mediterranean this summer–at an eye-popping weekly base rate of 155,000 euros. She’s a stunning, brand-new Hakvoort, and believe me, I could wax on about how gorgeous her main saloon and sky lounge are (see photos below) for pages and pages before I even started describing the other beautiful areas onboard. perle-bleue-saloon.JPG perle-bleue-sky-lounge.JPG Even so, the 155,000-euro price tag is a market-shattering shocker, even in the context of the all-powerful euro. That’s $245,000 at today’s conversion rate–and it will put this eight-guest, 124-foot, custom yacht in the same price range as far bigger yachts such as the brand-new, 157-foot, semi-custom Christensen Lady Joy, which takes 12 guests. I did a quick search to try to figure out just how much higher Perle Bleue‘s new rate will be than other, similar-size charter yachts being advertised as available this summer in the Med. I came up with everything from the 124-foot Casuarina (eight guests) at $70,000 per week to the 121-foot Victoria del Mar (10 guests) at $105,000 a week. Yes, those yachts are older while Perle Bleue is brand new, but the experience they offer charter guests is quite good. (A prominent golfer on the PGA tour left a smiling photo in the guest book after chartering Casuarina a few years ago.) At her newly announced weekly base rate, Perle Bleue will cost at least twice as much as these similarly sized competitors. Can she offer twice the charter experience? The answer is difficult to determine, since vacation experiences are subjective, but it’s fair to say that Perle Bleue‘s owners are factoring in things beyond their yacht’s size when setting the charter rate. They’re banking on their belief that charter clients will pay the premium because Perle Bleue is simply a better yacht in terms of custom construction and decor–a belief they have rightfully earned following the recent Caribbean season, when Perle Bleue was indeed booked at a weekly rate far higher than other yachts in her size range. The new price standard the yacht is now trying to set is, of course, at least in part a function of the euro-based expenses the owners will face when they move her into the Med. Even still, the sheer amount of money for a yacht this size takes my breath away. It will be interesting to see whether clients book the yacht at this newly set rate in Europe, or whether they will wait until Perle Bleue returns to the Caribbean next winter at a weekly base rate of $155,000. That will be a $10,000 jump over the rate Perle Bleue garnered this year in the Caribbean, and certainly it will be higher than most other yachts her size yet again, but to some clients, in the context of the $245,000-a-week Med pricing, $155,000 a week in the Caribbean may sound like a good deal.”