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The Future of Yachting: High Demand and Alternative Locations


Yachting enthusiasts and maritime experts are currently analyzing the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 yachting seasons to predict how superyacht migration and activity may change as a result the pandemic and various other trends that were already in motion.


Within discourse for 2021, it will incredibly important to view 2020 as an unexpected year. Almost all charters were forced to cancel due to health guidelines. Meanwhile, more boats were shipped transatlantic than ever before.


Looking back, the lifeline for the year was the Caribbean season. Most vessels are settled in the Caribbean during the beginning of the year, ensuring a booked schedule and plenty of charters.


However, from March 2020 onwards, the demand for superyacht transportation dropped off a shelf.


It appears that current trends favor Australia as a growing superyacht hub with a lot of the larger yachts showing interest for both domestic superyacht owners and international clients.


“The region is looking increasingly attractive both for domestic superyacht owners and international clients,” said Simon Judson, CEO of Peters & May’s. He attributes the Special Recreational Vessels Act (SPVA) combined with the extremely low levels of COVID-19 in Australia to the growth of the sector.


Australia currently has a number of large superyacht infrastructure projects underway.


Judson also noted that remote islands such as Fiji, Tahiti, and Vanuatu will become safe zones for charter guests far quicker than some of the world’s more popular yachting destinations. The small populations of these islands will create safe zones once they are vaccinated for COVID-19.


Looking forward, Judson and other experts expect 2021 to bring its own set of challenges. Demand is expected to be pushed back by a couple of months until COVID-19 vaccines are more prevalent.


Regardless, there is plenty of demand at the moment as clients cannot wait to get on board their superyachts. Hopefully, these “safe havens” will resume normal operations in the near future.

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