Fraser Yachts Worldwide states in its just-released monthly newsletter that while brokerage yacht sales appear to be gradually recovering from the global economic crisis, yacht charter is "still feeling the pinch" with significant deals currently available for summer charter bookings.
The management company notes two key trends that currently pertain to charter yachts.
First, that a "large proportion" of bookings for summer 2010 have been signed just a few weeks before the charter's start date. This is a complete turnaround from booking trends before the economy crashed, when top charter yachts were often booked for prime summer weeks as much as a year in advance.
Second, Fraser states that an increasing number of yacht owners are now changing their approach to luring new clients. "Most yacht owners started off by adding value to the charter price, such as including relocation fees or other onboard services," the newsletter states. "In recent weeks, as the season marches on, we’ve seen straight discounts being offered, sometimes up to 35 percent off the standard rates."
If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know that substantial discounts--some as high as 50 percent off for multi-week bookings--are being announced nearly every day for charter yachts in the Mediterranean, New England, and the Bahamas.
I am also starting to see advertisements for "early-bird booking discounts" that will apply to charters in the Caribbean this winter. That is an indication that some yacht owners feel the charter market will not rebound for at least another six months, and perhaps not until next summer's prime season in the Mediterranean.