I've been telling you all summer about the 130-foot Christensen motoryacht Lady Zelda and her escalating discount offers. First, there was the mid-June announcement that if you booked two weeks of charter in the Western Mediterranean, you could save 25 percent. Then came news of a more ambitious discount offer, for a single week of charter, dropping Lady Zelda's weekly base rate from $125,000 to $100,000.
Now, I'm told by management company Northrop and Johnson, Lady Zelda is dropping her weekly base rate yet again, this time to $85,000. That represents a nearly 35-percent price break compared with the usual weekly base rate in the Western Mediterranean.
This is the second West Med discount of this percentage that I've written about in as many days. It may be just a coincidence, but I have a feeling that it's more likely the initial public signs of a trend--a trend that tells me a 10- to 15-percent discount is no longer enough to secure charter bookings, even aboard yachts like Lady Zelda that have long track records and good reputations in the charter industry.
Some prominent people in the industry continue to argue that charter rates have not yet adjusted enough to compensate for the global recession. One might say that 35-percent discounts in the West Med during August are clear evidence that their argument is correct. I'm not quite ready to say it yet myself, but I'm also not ready to dismiss the argument, either.
I'm eager to see what other yachts send word of similar discounts in the near future. Stay tuned.
Editor's Note: Northrop and Johnson is a sponsor of CharterWave, where this blog originates.