In fact, there has been an evident increase in sales from 2022 to 2023 and an overwhelmed condition of yachts under construction. From a charter perspective, more first-time charterers have entered the industry and remote destinations have become a popular trend. The value of experience is replacing the materialistic side of the product, giving more significance to living adventures, visiting untouched destinations, and enhancing on board entertainment.
Here below we explore the latest trends that drive the sector towards innovation, style, and modernity.
Expedition Yachts and Remote Destinations
Remote destinations are becoming increasingly demanded by today’s yacht owners and charterers, who are willing to explore the untouched, live incredible adventures and collect lifetime souvenirs. Strictly related to the remoteness of the destinations are the expedition yachts, vessels built to cruise towards far and not easily reachable places. Among the most requested remote destinations we find Antarctica, the Arctic, and South Pacific.
Nowadays expedition vessels do not only serve due to their technical specification and construction, but they now evoke luxury and comfort at the same time. In fact, these vessels perfectly combine high-end comfort with top cruising performance and high technology.
In the last years there has been a significant increase in the number of expedition vessels under construction, due to the clients’ demands to build something out of the ordinary. While there is no universal definition of what an expedition yacht is, there are some key technical features that serve as standards to ensure exploring remote places is safe, easy, and enjoyable.
Arguably one of the most important factors of an expedition vessel is the fuel autonomy and the related cruising speed. The yacht needs to have a sufficient range, as well as having great storage, to ensure guests can travel for long periods of time without restocking or refueling.
Expedition yachts are also popular due to the quality and kinds of water toys on board needed to explore such destinations, being helicopter submersible, bikes, cars, etc.
From a design perspective, explorer yachts follow some precise design requirements, such as ice-classed hull to visit polar regions, optimized seakeeping, innovative emissions control, great storage, and so on.
In 2023, the Global Order Book shows that expedition yachts have become the second most popular type of vessel under construction. Among the hot deliveries of the year, we find 75m Damen Wingman and 107m Lürssen Project Icecap.
The yachting industry has been highly impacted by the rising attention to sustainable solutions of the recent years. This sector is in fact adopting eco-friendly measures in all areas, from advanced green propulsion systems to sustainable on-board materials.
All professionals, such as builders, engineers, designers, and brokers are putting a lot of effort in communicating the importance of keeping the oceans healthy. Besides the professionals’ actions, new studies and research are periodically conducted to accelerate technological development and keep the pace with the worlds’ continuous change.
Increase in Gen Z
The emerging of most of the yachting trends tightly relate to the current shift of today’s clients’ profile, age, and habits. With reference to Forbes, in 2022 more than 10 billionaires belonged to the “under 40” category. Over the next two decades, the average age of superyacht owner is predicted to be between 35 and 45 years old.
The demands of this new generation differ from the traditional target audience. Nowadays, there is an increasing request for bespoke design features, more innovative technology, deeper focus on wellness features, and greater emphasis on the “experience” itself. Rather than being only a holiday mean, yachts are now used for multiple purposes, like remote working, scientific research, discovery, and philanthropy projects.
The experience rather than the asset is becoming a dominant theme in yachting. This factor has become ever more prevalent due to the rise of the experience economy lead by the new generation of entrepreneurs whose idea of luxury is based on exploring unique attractions and places, and sharing extraordinary experiences with their loved ones.
Today many superyacht hubs are upgrading their facilities to attract larger vessels and welcome a greater number of visitors.
Several marina projects are currently under construction, focusing on enhancing security, improving connectivity, and offering better services. The intent is to bring a larger number of yachts and visitors into the area. Some examples include NEOM city in Saudi Arabia, The Pearl Marina in Doha, and Dubai Harbor in the United Arab Emirates.
The shift of the client stereotype, from an older to a younger target, leads to new behaviors and habits involved when chartering, selling, or purchasing a yacht.
Millennial and Gen Z are the new generations, pushing the boundaries of yachting and dictating new trends. The use of state-of-the-art technologies, the increasing demand of bespoke design and personalization, the deep focus on sustainable measures, and the willingness to travel to the most remote destinations are just a few of the factors that characterize the yachting industry today – bringing professionals to switch from tradition to renovation.