Earlier this year, I had the chance to join The Moorings for a taste of their product in the British Virgin Islands. Prodigious was the name of our luxury catamaran, and onboard, our group of eager travel media were joined by Kay, Katie and Martin – the bartender, chef and skipper, respectively.
It didn't take long to settle into the experience. Everything about it was bliss – the food, the drinks, the scenery. The world was our oyster; we could chart our own course and decide our own schedule, all the while being completely cared for by the crew. So for clients seeking an all-inclusive experience but who might be interested in venturing outside of the typical all-inclusive resort product, this might be exactly what you're looking for.
Interested in learning more? We spoke with Ian Pederson, The Moorings marketing manager for the Americas, who offered some product insight for your benefit:
Describe the options available to travellers with The Moorings.
Vacation options include “Bareboat” sailing vacations, in which anyone with proper experience may charter a yacht from us and sail it themselves with their friends and family. This is available on traditional sailing monohulls, or larger, more luxurious sailing catamarans. We also offer this option aboard our Power catamarans for those experienced boaters who do not wish to sail. In addition, The Moorings offers the option to hire a professional skipper to do the sailing for you, who stays on board the yacht with you for the duration of the charter and handles the yacht 100 per cent of the time. Finally, The Moorings offers our all-inclusive Crewed yacht product, which includes the yacht, all food and beverages for the charter, plus a professional captain and gourmet chef.
This latter option caters to anyone seeking a truly relaxing, tailored vacation experience – no boating experience required. It is important to know that this is not a cruise. When you charter a yacht from The Moorings, there are no other guests on board aside from who you invite to enjoy the vacation with you, anywhere from two to 10 guests.
What do travel advisors have to gain by selling The Moorings to their clients?
This is an entirely unique, experiential product, and is available through The Moorings in over 20 destinations worldwide. For those travellers wanting to truly immerse themselves in a new country when they vacation, I can think of no other vacation option that allows you the amount of flexibility and freedom to explore as a yacht charter vacation.
Who is the ideal client for your trips?
The most common client tends to be retired couples who travel together as friends. In this way, they split the cost of the yacht three or four ways, making it an extremely affordable vacation option. In addition, a yachting vacation is what you choose to make it, and who you invite along with you is the most important factor to consider. With that said, yachting is becoming an increasingly attractive vacation option for younger generations, and we are seeing increased interest from travellers in the 35-45 age range as opposed to the 45-65 range that is more common for a vacation of this type. We see families with teenagers, college-age kids and toddlers, as well as honeymooners chartering as well.
Is it possible to cater the product to travellers with physical disabilities?
Due to the nature of living aboard a yacht, and the logistical difficulty of boarding and disembarking the yacht and getting to shore, this is not recommended for people with physical disabilities.
What are your most popular destinations?
The British Virgin Islands are far and away our most popular destination, followed by the Bahamas, Croatia and Tahiti.
The Moorings, Jerome Kelagopian
What do you think are the top sales points travel advisors should hit on when proposing the product to their clients?
- This vacation is totally unique. Personally, I will never be able to vacation in an all-inclusive resort or a hotel again, after having experienced the dynamic qualities of a vacation aboard a yacht. It will set the standard for what you think a vacation should be.
- This is not a cruise. This is for people who want to experience the Caribbean but get away from the overcrowded beaches and tourist traps of major Caribbean islands. You see so much more from the deck of your yacht than you would from taking a cruise or staying at a resort, and in addition, you are not a tourist when you show up at a beach or a town on a yacht – you are immediately part of the local scene.
- Get away from technology. Spend your days swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing, beachcombing, bar-hopping, exploring, or maybe even just napping on board in the shade. Believe me, you will welcome not having cable television on board, and having quality bonding time with your friends and family
Why The Moorings?
- The combination of consistency in the quality of the product, and enough diversity in our product offerings to be able to cater to any type of traveller, with any budget. We offer yachts from 39-58 feet in length, and vacations from $3,000 to 30,000 per week. It depends entirely on what type of vacation your client is looking for.
- Experience. We pioneered the yacht charter industry and will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2019. Our Vacation Planning team is well-travelled and have taken sailing vacations all over the world, and can properly educate you and your clients on the perfect vacation for their needs.
Any final insight for travel advisors?
Yacht charter vacations are unique and