Coronavirus- Booking a Yacht Charter Looking forward. My magic ball is a bit cloudy, along with everyone else at this point. The one thing that my magic ball sees is NOW, and for the next few months, the coronavirus is having an enormous impact on the charter industry world along with every other industry there is. The impact of coronavirus on the charter industry has been called “unprecedented.” Numerous worldwide charters and events have been affected. Yacht Charter Brokers, including ourselves, have been busy changing yacht charter dates to the future and dealing with cancellations. We are ALL in uncharted waters (pun intended) day by day. No one has a clause on Coronavirus Booking a Yacht Charter in the charter contracts signed up until early March. Many Yachts and Brokerages are now offering additional clauses in contracts allowing clients to cancel new bookings if the coronavirus affects the yacht charter plans.
Is there insurance available for crewed yacht charters?Some insurance companies are coming up with brand new insurance packages that we can offer. We have started to see some luxury yachts, offering a “cancellation without penalty” clause if a pandemic impacts the charter. “Charterers can plan their summer or winter vacations, stress-free,” Every new charter yacht vacation we quote on will also include cancellation insurance.
What is Cancel For Any Reason Insurance?Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR insurance) is time-sensitive. Policies with this benefit must be purchased within 14-21 days of the first payment towards the trip. To be eligible for the Cancel For Any Reason benefit, you must also ensure 100% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs. This benefit reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost. Cancel For Any Reason typically costs roughly 40% more than a standard cancellation-style policy. But it reimburses a majority of your trip expenses if you cancel your trip for a reason not otherwise covered by your policy—policies like not wanting to travel due to the risk of contracting the coronavirus. To give you a more accurate figure on that, you can count on anywhere between 8 % to 15% of the total cost for cancel for any reason insurance.
Can you still book a luxury yacht charter?Yes. Up until last week, we were still getting inquiries for last-minute charters, although this is not possible to fill now with the number of countries and areas that have gone into lockdown. At H2O Luxury Yachts, we definitely can give you advice on when and where for inquiries down the road. My personal opinion currently is, although it seems a long way away, some areas will open up hopefully by July. We are not encouraging booking before then until much closer to the date. Consider last-minute trips for this summer if they are possible. The British Virgin Islands has seen its charter season basically ended currently. There may be some opportunity to charter in July and August particularly in the USVI and the Spanish Virgin Islands.
Will the Charter Market Recover?There is optimism across the industry that the charter market will be quick to bounce back once the coronavirus situation improves. It is too early to know what will be happening for the summer cruising season, but I am sure we will see last-minute demand once we are on the other side of this virus. Perhaps there may be an even higher demand for booking a yacht charter as everyone will be quite happy to get out of the house and do something different! A yacht charter can often be the safest vacation possible, allowing you to go to remote areas with few people.
Is a luxury yacht Charter Safe?The yacht can provide a secure, CLEAN environment. A yacht charter can be an “excellent alternative” to other luxury vacation options. “Private charter ensures guests can stay safeguarded in smaller, immaculately-clean environments while minimizing the need to frequent public areas where risks naturally increase.” Once you lift the yachts passerelle (drawbridge!), you are closing yourselves away from all others. In light of the coronavirus pandemic charter yachts are going to be going further than ever before to ensure that ships are entirely safe. “The yachts in our charter fleet have enhanced their current cleaning and hygiene regimes and are putting new protocols into place to ensure the health and safety of both charter guests and their crews,” one large yacht management company stated. Some cleaning conventions you can find
- Yachts that use specialized air filters
- The crew disinfects the boat between each group of charter guests
- Provisioning is left shore side by provisioners keeping them OFF the yacht
- Any extra traffic controlled tightly to prevent the spread of pathogens
- The stable, full-time crew on the charter boats limit pathogen spread
Which charter destinations are the safest to book a yacht?With the situation continually evolving, it is hard to predict which regions are likely to be less impacted. However, we expect increased interest in charters for two areas.
- Remote areas
- Areas close to your home, at least initially.