Luxury travel leaves much to the imagination.
But no matter which scenario travellers dream up, one obstacle that always seems to come between the dream and the plan is the price tag.
That's something Todd Beechey, founder and CEO of OceanScape Yachts is trying to change.
Founded in 2013, OceanScape is a luxury chartered yacht company that offers a luxurious ocean escape to guests that's on par with the accommodations and hospitality of a five-star hotel. The company has approximately 50 yachts to choose from that sail all around the world, with partners in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company started in the U.S., but is currently expanding into the Canadian market, and is eager to work with travel trade partners and Canadian travel agents.
After seeing several yachts in the marina on a vacation in the Bahamas, Beechey dreamed that one day he'd be able to do a luxury holiday himself.
"We went through the process of booking our own vacation, and it wasn't easy," Beechey explained. "There were many hurdles and a lot of research and overall it wasn't as easy as it should be. Most yachts don't get utilized very often. Of the approximate 2,000 luxury yachts in the charter market, they're only used between eight to 10 times per year."
Why holiday on a luxury yacht?
According to Beechey, if more people, specifically, travel agents, knew about how renting a chartered yacht actually works, more people could enjoy a luxury holiday that's different from many of the luxury offerings currently saturating the market.
The average individual doesn't have the money to downright own a luxury yacht, but as a traveller, you most certainly can live the life of a yacht owner, at least for a week.
"The price point isn't a discount cruise ship, but it's not as expensive as people think," Beechey said. "There's a big market of people, between the uber-wealthy and the high-income bracket, that doesn't even know that this holiday option exists," Beechey explained.
Any current bookings on an OceanScape chartered yacht holiday is commissionable to travel agents. The company currently offers several options to create custom packages, like land and sea combos, for clients who may opt to stay in a villa, but as Becchey asserts, everything you really need is already on board.
Depending on the size, every yacht comes with three to six cabins—ultimately saving a ton of money on hotel costs. Each suite comes with its own bathroom. A private chef is on board, and guests get to determine what they would like to eat and drink for the week.
Based on the information guests provide via a preference sheet, the chef then creates unlimited meals per day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner aside, travellers can still request as much food as they'd like, all day long.
"If you go fishing in the morning and you're lucky, the chef will even clean and cook the catch for you that same night," Beechey said. "All of that is part of the all-inclusive experience on board our luxury yacht holidays."
A real luxury vacation
A chartered luxury yacht holiday is a fantastic option for groups, like adult couples, extended families, or friends. Incentive travel or corporate travel are also great options. Most yachts comfortably fit between eight to 10 travellers on board.
Plus, when you split the costs, especially in a group of 10, travellers end up paying a lot less.
"When we put together a trip for four couples, those costs ended up being between $18,000 and $20,000 per couple, and that's all-inclusive," Beechey said. "That's your yacht, all of your food and drinks on board, and your fuel. The holidays that we're actively promoting are around a benchmark of $1,000 to $1,500 USD per day, per person."
For clients who might be considering a luxury cruise instead, Beechey says it's important to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.
"When you go on the big cruise ships, they quote you $5,000, but then it's $300 per person to do an excursion, then even more money for your drink packages," Beechey said. "It's a bit of a premium spend, but there are certainly cruises out there that compare with having a private experience on a luxury yacht instead."
At the end of the day, travellers have a choice: does spending thousands of dollars on a mass market cruise with thousands of other passengers sound like luxury, or does spending a week at sea with your closest friends and a private chef for the same cost sound like luxury?
"Fundamentally the rule with the yacht trip is that you agree when you're going to get on the boat at the start of the trip, and you agree when you're going to return the boat at the end of the trip," Beechey said. "In between that time, you can do whatever you want when you want, as long as it's safe and legal."
Travel agents can learn more information about OceanScape Yachts by clicking here!
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!