It's always tough to pinpoint the moment when something becomes a trend, but during the past few years, there has been an increasingly steady trickle of motoryachts skipping the winter season in the Caribbean to instead offer charters in the Indian Ocean, and in particular in the lovely island nations of the Maldives and the Seychelles. (That's the Maldives at right. The water was so warm and clean, I could have lounged all day!)
Now comes word from Camper and Nicholsons International that four of its premier charter yachts will be heading to the Indian Ocean this winter. That's not only a noteworthy number of yachts, but the yachts are also noteworthy in and of themselves.
First is the 184-foot Benetti motoryacht Galaxy, which has earned a reputation among industry insiders as one of the finest yachts in her class, especially for gourmands. You might recall my blog post from May 2009, after I attended an impressive seven-course tasting dinner for 24 guests onboard. Galaxy will be bringing her five-star service to the Maldives during the month of November, after which she will become available for charter in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tahiti well into 2011.
Also moving to the Indian Ocean this winter are the 211-foot Benetti motoryacht Silver Angel, the 196-foot CMN motoryacht Cloud 9, and the 184-foot Perini Navi sailing yacht Panthalassa. Each of these yachts is a recent build that turns heads thanks to modern features and design. They are the types of yachts that tend to stay in the Mediterranean and Caribbean for at least a few years after launching, since their very newness makes them top options for charter even in locations that some guests have previously visited.
I mentioned in Monday's blog post that newly released data show Caribbean charter bookings being down about 15 percent for 2009 versus 2008. What I didn't mention is that the same set of data show "further afield" destinations such as the Indian Ocean holding their own in terms of demand, despite the continuing global recession. It will be interesting to see whether that situation continues for the calendar year 2010, and whether we will, in fact, be able to call the Indian Ocean a seriously rising trend line in the charter industry as soon as 2011.
Any reputable charter broker can help you book these yachts in the Indian Ocean this winter.