According to Bloomberg, Turkey has become the favorite destination of the super rich. Meanwhile, yachting hotspots like Spain and France are seeing the number of boats drop. Surely repelled by health rules as well as the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases on the Côte d’Azur.
According to the survey, Spain received 26 fewer boats this summer compared to last year, while France received 16 fewer. Moreover, this number is unlikely to increase much in France following the recent cancellation of the Cannes Pleasure Festival in September.
By comparison, the number of boats in Croatia, Turkey and Greece is at its highest level for three years. Croatia is up by 25 boats compared to 2019, Turkey by 12 boats and Greece by 10 boats.
The most surprising result is that of Turkey. Once considered a playground for the Russian elite, it seems its waters are now attracting more visitors from around the world.
In July, Scheherazade, owned by a billionaire from the Middle East, dropped anchor in Bodrum, the notorious party capital on Turkey’s southwest coast. With its 140 meters, Scheherazade, built by the German shipyard Lürssen, is one of the largest superyachts in the world, which is causing a sensation in the port.
More recently, in mid-August, the 136-meter-long superyacht Flying Fox, also built by Lürssen, was pictured off the coast of Bodrum. It is rumored to be owned by U.S. entrepreneur and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who leased it out. At an estimated cost of $ 4 million per week, the Flying Fox is considered the largest yacht available for charter in the world.
The report reveals that the usual Russian ships have also anchored in Turkey. These include the 85-meter Pacific of Leonid Mikhelson and the 99-meter Madame Gu, which would belong to Andrey Skoch.
The fact that Turkey attracts yachts of such caliber and their distinguished guests is a great advantage for the region which has been trying for some time to reinvent itself as a first class international nautical center.
Bianca Nestor, charter broker with London-based Burgess, said: “Recent restrictions on travel to and from some of the major Mediterranean destinations have put Turkey in the spotlight, which is very welcome. by the country. In addition, Turkey prolongs its summer with average temperatures of 25 ° C. Likewise, this jewel of the Eastern Mediterranean offers many treasures, which could be the reason why some international travelers could escape there on a yacht ”. Then she added, “Turkey offers a combination of quaint small towns and quiet beaches in crystal clear waters, with the opportunity to enjoy exceptional restaurants, beach clubs, shopping and nightlife along the way. Each town or island has its own original charm and beauty steeped in history ”.
Burgess has also shown increased interest in Croatia in all areas. In this regard, Bianca Nestor said: “Due to increasing popularity, we are seeing a greater number of pleasure craft of different sizes in Croatia, which has enabled Burgess to meet the demand and satisfy the different market requirements ”.
According to Michaela Beitz Biggi, head of charter management at Edmiston, the superyacht broker, this interest may simply be due to travel limitations in the United States. “The number of inquiries for Croatia has increased this summer because it is the only place Americans can travel,” she said.
She does not agree, however, that the demand for charters to the French Riviera has declined, at least for European travelers. “The demands for France have not diminished! European customers were always eager to take cruises to classic French and Italian destinations. It was only non-European customers who had to adapt to the travel restrictions, ”she says.
Edmiston confirmed that demands for Turkey have increased, but border issues have impacted the practicalities of yacht rerouting for some of its customers. “We started receiving more inquiries for Turkey a month ago from Russian customers who could not travel to Europe. However, not all yacht owners wanted to move their boat to Turkey when the borders with Greece are closed, ”she explains.
So it remains to be seen whether interest in Turkey will continue to rise when health restrictions on travel are lifted, but from what this article shows, it’s not a bad place to enjoy the summer. in the midst of a pandemic.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Rachel Ingram
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