Cruisers turn to superyachts to satisfy their cruise cravings

Typically, Australia is one of, if not, the biggest cruise market in the world.

It wasn’t so long ago that cruising took over as boomers’ preferred method of travel transport.

Enter COVID-19.

Now, cruise lines face their biggest challenge to restore faith in cruising. And you know what? They’re up to the task. There are already very promising signs the lines are bouncing back and there are bigger and better changes to come.

And when that happens, cruisers will flock back to boats big and small. But most likely small first …

In fact, diehard cruisers have already been turning to small boats. Coral Expeditions has already made great strides towards proving cruising is a viable and invigorating travel option. Little wonder, they’re Australia’s small-ship pioneers. They know what they’re doing.

Read more: Cruise News: Plans for a return to sailing soon

But we’re talking even smaller ships. Yachts. Well, superyachts …

Yep, chartering a superyacht with your own crew and personal chef for a holiday costs less than you think – or so say Cruise Passenger.

It costs around $4000 a week per person to charter a 35-metre superyacht to cruise the Whitsundays, Kimberley or Pittwater. And that includes food, drinks and the aforementioned crew.

Read more: Coral Expeditions restarts cruising in Australia

Around the same price as a 7-day cruise with some cruise lines.

“This works out to be $4000 per person as a 35-metre superyacht can comfortably sleep 10 people,” says chief executive of Superyacht Australia David Good.

“It’s cheaper than a five-star cruise on Seabourn, Silversea or Crystal.”

While the pandemic has ruined some cruise lines, Mr Good sees the silver lining as more Aussies charter yachts for domestic sea holidays instead of travelling overseas.

Read more: Have you ever dreamed of spending your retirement sailing the Mediterranean?

“We have seen a sharp increase in the charter business. More people are re-evaluating their holiday plans. Instead of flying abroad to celebrate a major birthday, they are now chartering superyachts to spend two weeks holidaying in the Whitsundays, Fraser Island or the Kimberley.

“Our sweet spot is the 35-40 metre yachts, which cost between $40,000 to $100,000 a week to charter, and includes food, drinks, crew and a chef.

The pandemic has also led to increased sales of recreational boats, even in the second-hand boat market.

“There is now a two-year wait for Australian-made, bespoke superyachts,” he said.

Would you consider pooling your friends together and hiring your own superyacht for a holiday?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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