Katerina is a real-life miracle worker having planned a same-day wedding in just a few hours, flown in Harley Davidsons and Jeeps from Athens, and arranged a 3am heli¬transfer for a crew member suffering with decompression sickness from diving – her quick reactions helped save his life.
Elena tops the tables with this bizarre trio, “A captain once asked for eye surgery while he was waiting for the owners to arrive, while an owner took advantage of his time in Greece to have liposuction. The weirdest was from a bride-to-be who wanted to dress the wild geese of the island with big red bows for her wedding. Needless to say this didn’t go ahead.”
Krisjanis says, whilst the outlandish requests create the biggest adrenaline rushes, little details can make the most lasting impression. “When trying to reach for the stars, don’t forget that the simple things can be even more important. One of our best clients will always fondly remember us for parking a cycle rickshaw next to his yacht after he admired one from his flybridge in Barcelona. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it meant the world to him.”
So what does the 2018 season have in store for superyachts? For some territories it’s business as usual, while others will see some changes – good and bad.
Greece is perhaps the most interesting. Elena explains, “Greece is in the process of making some important legislation changes including the requirement to obtain a charter licence for Greek waters. If all goes well, and we have no more ‘political surprises’, I believe that this season will be the first of many successful yachting seasons ahead of us for Greece.”
Katerina believes, “It will be a little harder for Greece this summer. The law changes continuously and we must be very careful to avoid the penalties. Nonetheless I try to be optimistic and believe it will still be a good season.”
Elisavet from Naftilos Marine is more positive, “Greek territory will always be the greatest choice for summer vacations.” Maja says, “In the yachting business, we only know one thing for sure and that’s that nothing is sure. That said, rules are very simple to follow for both commercial and private yachts and Croatia’s authorities are very cooperative when it comes to making it all a simple and fast process for charter yachts. The only news to pass on is the new rate of Sojourn, or tourist tax, and captains should inform themselves accordingly. In recent years, Croatia has invested a lot in promotion, so we believe the season will be busy again.”
Raki from DRM Maritime Services is looking forward to the summer opening of both 176-berth Lustica Bay for yachts up to 35 metres and 238-berth Portonovi which is able to accommodate yachts up to 120 metres. They will join well-known award winning Porto Montenegro.
Paola enthuses, “In recent years we have seen Sicily become a preferred yachting destination, and we are proud to have been working with some of the most luxurious yachts berthed here – many returning twice in a row. We expect a busy season and warm weather right from May until October.”
Paz believes Spain’s season is starting earlier, despite the questionable European weather, and predicts a busy season.
Bea from Evolution has similarly high hopes, “We are already expecting many returning clients, and are ready for another busy summer. Additionally, with Barcelona hosting the MYBA and LYBRA shows this spring, we are receiving enquiries from newcomers wishing to make the most of their visit to Spain and start their season right here.”
Christiane from Lunautica concludes, “We are definitely seeing increased interest in Northern European destinations, widening opportunities for charter yachts and their clients. If you’re arriving after an Atlantic crossing, a trip into Seville could be something special for guests but, beware, air draught is limited to around 40 metres due to the various bridges along the Guadalquivir River.”
Whichever waters you decide to navigate, do yourself a favour and pop a yacht agent on speed dial.