APSA Chairman’s Message July 2020

The New Normal Era.

During the last six months everyone has had to adapt to a new normal era, and it was a newsletter from JJ Marine Indonesia that reminded us of that. While some regions are now welcoming superyachts, others are still in varying degrees of lockdown and much of the Asia-Pacific region is still experiencing travel restrictions and hoping for better times soon.

Reports from Down Under say that Australia remains open to arriving superyachts under certain conditions, but charter yachts can only charter with Australian domestic guests. New Zealand is also restricting access to overseas superyachts for charter, but is allowing some yachts and crew in for refit work. It will be some time before superyachts can cruise freely between these two countries, but at least the Australian domestic charter market is active, and New Zealand has the America’s Cup to look forward to in 2021!

In East Asia SYL reports that yachts can visit to Japan (which has not seen a lockdown at all) but there are very strict crew restrictions and quarantine measures in place. Hopes are these will be steadily lifted as conditions improve in the run up to the Olympics, scheduled now for 2021.

Tahiti and Fiji have recently opened up, and Tahiti Tourisme reports that they have experienced an unexpected influx of superyachts. Keeping track of charter opportunities has been made easier by Burgess who established a dedicated link providing updated information on regulations affecting charter destinations around the world.  Although much of Asia and the Caribbean have restrictions, it seems that Europe and the Mediterranean are open for the season.

While chartering options are restricted, owning a superyacht has caught the imagination of some: Benetti has launched the B.NOW 63 that is both beautiful and bedazzling, and very appealing to potential owners on account of its short delivery time. Sanlorenzo is another superyacht shipyard recording increased sales, and Hong Kong broker Simpson Marine is looking forward to more superyachts in the Asian region.

Other APSA Members who have been keep busy during the COVID-19 crisis are Travel Cue and GMT Global Marine Travel, who have been organising charter flights to help seafarers stranded around the globe. Both companies talk about the collaboration and coordination that they have experienced over the last few months, and it bodes well for the future if this spirit of cooperation can be maintained. 

For now, we need to be patient, and wait for the travel and quarantine restrictions around the region to be lifted and then hit the ground (or the sea) running to drive our industry forward again. Whether you are building superyachts, fixing them, supplying them, crewing, servicing or owning them, everyone is connected; and it's important that these connections stay strong through our Association.

 Stay safe and healthy - and enjoy yachting when allowed!

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