31 Oct 2013

French VAT rules create confusion

South of France is the Mecca of luxury crewed yachting.

This has been the case for a long time and it is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
There are numerous reasons for this, none of which will be explored here, but in simple terms, the region between Monaco and St Tropez is simply stunning. In addition, the climate is perfect year
Super Yachts Blade, Adriana and Starling in Fontvielle, Monaco
round and anyone who is everyone wants to be there at the end of July and first few weeks of August, despite additional costs that are likely to be burdened on the shoulders of either the super yacht owners or the super yacht charter clients.

French VAT uncertainty:
The introduction of new VAT rules to all super yacht charters as of July 2013 has however created a number of uncertainties prior to being announced.  A number of clients who wanted to charter super yachts such as a Ferretti 80', a Perini Navi 45m or a Benetti 55m, at least a dozen of them, all decided either to delay their booking or to switch the destination all together.  And while this did not affect the success of the luxury crewed charter season here in South of France in any big way, it certainly did increase number of enquiries and certainly bookings too, to other destinations, namely Croatia, Spain and Greece to name but a few.  This is mainly due to uncertainty, rather than the extra costs.

Monaco's luxurious swimming pool at Port Hercules

Extra Costs:
On the other hand, once new rules were published, one regular charterer, who hires at least three different yachts out of Monaco or St Tropez every year, during different seasons and for a range of different occasions, reported as being totally upset with the French governement. He thought of himself as a resident of Monaco and as such did not assume or want to pay any additional costs.  For him and his party, this additional costs was unacceptable so instead of chartering three yachts, they have taken up only one in France and even so, decided to start and finish the charter in Monaco, rather than in St Tropez as it was usually the case, all in order to avoid any chance of having to pay the additional 9.8% reduced VAT rate.  The new VAT rate is actually, 19.6%, yet for yachts which spend at least 50% of their charter time outside French Territorial waters ie. 12nm from shore, it is possible to apply reduced rate.

Luxury Yachts moored in Mahon, Menorca in the Balearics
Mega charter yachts moored in Marina Icici, in Opatija, Croatia
This example clearly shows that there will be mega yacht charter clients who will want to avoid the additional costs and in fact that the owners themselves cannot or do not always want to include these costs in the advertised charter rates.  At the same time, we have a situation where Spanish Government has decided to open up its super yacht charter market to additional mega yachts by reducing the tax they charge for all yachts above 15m, and which are registered in Spain for luxury crewed charter purposes. Given that areas such
as magnificent Puerto Banus and trendy Malaga in the Costa del Sol, historic Barcelona on Costa Brava and the whole of Balearics are equally prestigious as South of France yacht charter locations are, this could mean that longer term some of the yachts will move from France to Spain.  On top, certain locations in Montenegro, Croatia, Greece and Turkey are increasingly creating their own glamourous events, clubs and destinations in their own right, so that in the longer run, we may indeed see a transfer of super yacht lifestyle from South of France to other parts of the Mediterranean, at least to a certain extent.

In case you would like to add your own comments, experiences or ideas to this argument or even enquire about current situation with French VAT being applied on luxury crewed and mega yacht charters in South of France, please drop us a line at charter@supersailyachts.com  .

25 Oct 2013

Luxury Super Yachts heading to the Caribbean !

End of October is the time of the year when the Mediterranean Super Yacht Charter season has finally ended.

The super yacht crews are usually taking first holidays after months of long hours of hard work or they are heading back on shore after experiencing their first charter season.  Some yachts are also heading towards shipyards for their latest refit or are simply being retired for the winter.
Super Jacuzzi on board of the fabulous Andreas L (60m) Super Yacht
In some cases, the yachts continue to cruise further East, usually towards Turkey or Cyprus and certain parts of Greece. 
For Andreas L, our favourite 60m luxury super yacht is offering a special deal in Gocek, Turkey whereby you can get this fabulous charter yacht with more than 20% discount at this time of the year. Other boats will head as far as the Red Sea and Egypt, as well as Seychelles and the Middle East. Some yachts will inevitably end up in Maldives or for the prestigious Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix.  Very few will head further East, either on a round the world cruise or towards their home ports in Australia or New Zealand.  Some may end up in the Southern Pacific or French Polynesia and offer charters in the Tahiti, Fiji or as far afield as the remote Marquises Archipelago.

Flybridge on board of 45m luxury Super Yacht Excellence
Most of the mega yachts will however head towards the Caribbean.  Florida based, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show or FLIBS, which will take place from 31st October - 4th of November 2013 will attract some of those.  Felicita West, a 64m luxury super sail yacht is one of them.  Built in 2003, this Perini Navi sailing yacht is one of the most prestigious super yachts ever built.  You can charter her for as little 165.000 US$'s / week plus APA expenses for example. That is by all means a fabulous charter price for a yacht of this pedigree.   In terms of motor yachts, Marjorie Morningstar is one of the most prestigious models which is going to be present at FLIBS as well.  At 52m she is a proper luxury super yacht accommodating 10 guests in best of surroundings after her recent refit from last year, and now chartering at a very low 180.000 US$'s / week. 

Apart from these mega yachts, there are a number of luxury super yachts which are constantly present in the Eastern Caribbean. A whole range is presented on SuperSailYachts yacht search section and these include yachts from 70 up to 200'.  The crew on these yachts are keen to discuss luxury yacht charters starting or finishing in one of the following locations:  Grenada, St Vincent and The Grenadines, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St Lucia, Guadeloupe, St Martin, Antigua, Anguilla, BVI's USVI's or the Bahamas and the Florida.  Some of the most recommendable are Broward built Lady Sharon Gale, which has a towed 38’/11.5m Jupiter Centre Console super yacht tender with twin 350 Yamaha outboards with her at all times and the Richmond built, 45m tri-deck, luxury super yacht Excellence, which has a unique Canadian interior and offers fabulous value for money.
Sir Richard , the super yacht tender on board of Lady Sharon Gale
Should you be planning a luxury crewed charter in the Caribbean, it is always best to make a thorough plan about the type and size of yacht you require and then decide on the destination.  We recommend that you visit the yacht search section available on SuperSailYacht - Yacht Search or contact us to discuss your choice of destination first.

And remember, some of these yachts will head back towards the Mediterranean as early as April 2014, thus crossing the Atlantic may also be of interest to some of your party members.  These days the choice of luxury mega yachts is also great, yet there are likely to be limitations in terms of destinations offered or the costs incurred when relocating them.  Regardless, chartering a luxury super yacht whose owner and the crew have decided to cross the Atlantic is certainly going to be a new worthwhile adventure for anyone, as the quality of service offered and the experience the crew will bring with them will be second to none and definitely worth dipping into !