by Kim Kavin
In early 2012, announcements began to appear about motoryachts where clients had canceled upcoming charters. First was the 202-foot Codecasa Esmeralda, which had a Turkey-to-Greece charter cancel for dates in late June and early July. Then came similar word from the 104-foot Feadship Heavenly Daze, whose clients canceled for mid-September in Italy’s Bay of Naples.
Along with both announcements came the phrase, “Owners will consider all offers.” It sounded like the yacht owners were desperate to re-book the dates.
But in reality, it’s the original booking broker who is pushing to consider all offers, and who will work hard to get new clients great deals for the same dates and locations.
The reason is the way that crewed yacht charter contracts are written. Generally speaking, the client pays a deposit when the contract is signed. If the client has to cancel the charter in advance, then the client loses that deposit—unless a replacement client can be found. If the dates are re-booked, then the original client gets the deposit refunded.
That makes the original client happy and likely to charter again, which is what booking brokers want. Repeat business is king. So they go out of their way to work any and all angles for finding replacement clients, in the hopes of both making them happy and keeping the original client as a future contact.
For you as the charter client, this is a great opportunity to score a serious deal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the charter yachts or their locations; in most cases, clients cancel due to personal reasons such as a medical emergency. And because the booking broker has a financial incentive to get those dates re-booked, you often can score a great deal on the weekly base rate.
All you have to be willing to do is charter during the dates that somebody else previously chose. It’s not at all a big price to pay for getting some serious savings on a great charter yacht.