The Monaco Yacht Show 2019 came to a close on Saturday 28th September after the industry’s key players descended on the docks of Port Hercules for four days of glitz and glamour. Representing all aspects of the luxury superyacht world, from build and design to gadgets and toys, this year’s edition was perhaps the most impressive so far, with both visitors and exhibitors commenting on far larger crowds and positive business experiences.
“We’ve been coming to the Monaco Yacht Show for the past 10 years, it’s always a pleasure to be here and it’s a great opportunity for us to meet with new and existing clients since we’re based in Luxembourg.” said Laurent Previdente, marketing director at WYCC insurance.
Held at the close of the Mediterranean charter season ahead of the charter season in the Caribbean, MYS attracts over 125 superyachts with an average length close to 50 metres (21 vessels exceeded 60 metres this year). A total of 44 new yachts made their debut alongside some of the largest vessels ever exhibited – the most impressive being the 111 metre Tis built by German shipyard Lürssen and designed by British studio Winch Design, boasting six decks and two helipads.
According to Johan Pizzardini, the show’s communications and media manager, the total value of superyachts in the port stood at around 3.9 billion euros, a substantial increase on the 3.5 billion euro fleet of 2018. HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco also made an appearance on Friday afternoon, further cementing its global status as the superyacht show par excellence.
This year, show organisers introduced new opening hours of 11am-7.30pm to cater to visiting times preferred by its VIP clients while leaving more time in the morning for B2B meetings and press conferences - also a blessing in disguise for those who enjoyed the many after show parties that Monaco is famous for.
A tremendous vibe could be felt throughout the show among the yacht brokers and builders walking the dock, with more deals signed and a sense of increased market activity afoot. Numerous new projects and concepts were announced throughout the show, including Italian yard Wider’s new 54 metre superyacht which is planned for the beginning of 2020 (with a second in the pipeline), as well as Benetti’s new range of hybrid superyachts. The Italian yard describes the first of its three model range, the B.YOND 37, as a 37 metre “serious expedition yacht built to travel the world.”
Highlighting Turkey’s growing presence within the industry, Bilgin Yachts gave an impeccable account of the craftsmanship on board MY Lilium, also announcing the upcoming launch of two new 80m superyachts which will be the largest in its fleet and the largest built in Turkey to date. This year, Bilgin Yachts also joined SYBAss, the Superyacht Builders Association of which membership is only granted once a yard has built three superyachts over 40m in length, while the company also expanded from its Yalova shipyard by adding a new facility at West Istanbul Marina.
More broadly, from the excellent TYBA charter show in Bodrum in May to the growing number of quality builders, suppliers, brokers and marinas, all the signs are that Turkey is on the way back, bigger and better than ever before.
From further afield, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation held a press conference regarding the future of its islands, confirming that 14 are very much open for business and encouraging superyachts not to abandon their plans for a visit. This echoed the recent press release from Obiama Knowles, manager of BWA Yachting Bahamas, stating that the islanders are keen to offer their usual warm welcome to guests. “As we help the two affected northern islands get back on their feet, yachting captains can rely on us as one of the most trusted firms in the region."
Sustainability was perhaps the most impactful theme at the show this year, with Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef on location to spread the word about the #GreatReefCensus - a program to engage superyachts to assist with important research to help preserve the reef for future generations - to superyacht owners, captains and charter brokers.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to more than 1,500 species of fish and one third of the world’s soft coral currently under threat from global warming, and in order to establish a broad snapshot of the reef’s status to provide valuable insights for its management, the group is asking superyachts to take human photographic images that will be uploaded to a central system. The idea is to establish the most comprehensive snapshot ever captured of the Great Barrier Reef, with the event scheduled to take place over a 12-week period beginning in September 2020.
CEO Andy Ridley of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef explaines: “With citizen science playing an increasingly important role in supporting reef management, superyachts are in a unique position to access these more remote reefs and to help us gather vital data on their status. Every superyacht visiting the Reef can act as a research vessel, ready to collect valuable data.”
Another project introduced during MYS 2019 with sustainability close to its heart is Amaala – a 3,200sq km gigaproject that will serve as an uber-luxury wellness tourism destination located on Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coastline. Part of the Red Sea Collection, which was announced at MYS 2018, the project is due for full completion by 2028 and will focus on three distinct areas including wellness and sports, contemporary art and global culture.
Promising world-class yachting opportunities, CEO Nicholas Naples assures that the development will preserve its natural surroundings through its commitment to sustainability and research into new conservation practices, including a marine life institute that will undertake research programmes seeking to preserve the area’s pristine corals and marine wildlife.
“Engineering practices including how we design the project with irrigation and construction methods and solar instead of grid are key to ensuring the project fulfils our promise of sustainability,” Naples told OnboardOnline. “We will be 100% solar in this project. We’ll be generating our own power and giving power back to the community. We’ll have a very sophisticated waste management programme. It all fits together.”
Shining a light on gender inequality in the industry, the Association of Women in Yachting threw a networking event at Stars ‘n’ Bars on Friday evening (27th September) which was extremely well received. Created to provide encouragement and endorsement to females in yachting while celebrating their achievements, the event was attended by some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry.
With cyber security posing an increasing threat to technology used ashore and on board modern ships, the need for greater awareness and training was another recurring theme throughout the show. Up front and centre was Warsash Maritime Academy in partnership with maritime security specialists Cyber Prism, whose technical director Keith Chappell is one of only two GCHQ certified cyber experts. Their advanced three-day course is designed to enable seafarers and shore-based personnel to develop an awareness of the ever evolving techniques used by hackers and how to respond in the event of an attack.
VBH and Atlas Cybersecurity also announced their partnership to provide cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions tailored to superyachts. Designed to ensure owners and captains are compliant with the IMO’s Cyber Risk Management for Safety Management Systems, one of the solutions will see 24/7 live support by a team of military-trained analysts which investigates suspicious activity while taking immediate action to address risks.
“The results of the assessment will make it very clear whether a superyacht is running any risks on board,” says Benjamin Dynkin, co-founder and CEO of Atlas. “We provide a detailed report showing exactly what issues there are and what action is required. It explains how to protect owners and their family, guests and crew. The fact that these technologies are also used by Fortune 500 companies illustrates that they are a proven product as these leading firms accept nothing less.”
Continuing the theme of security, Inmarsat’s Peter Broadhurst, SVP Safety and Security, Yacht and Passenger announced the findings of the new annual Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity report during the show, which included insight supporting expectations of a substantial surge in large scale VSAT usage onboard the superyacht fleet in the new five years. He also discussed Inmarsat’s plans to triple the number of satellites servicing its flagship Ka-band Global Xpress network, as well as plans to provide unprecedented coverage of the Arctic region.
“As expected, the results confirm the expansion of digitalisation in the sector is gathering pace – but the level of projected growth in large scale VSAT usage and spend in the next five years is even higher than anticipated,” explained Broadhurst. “The feedback on cyber security, a key factor in the future safety of these vessels, is particularly valuable for us in our continued work with superyacht professionals to provide more robust and accessible options. With the research confirming that most respondents are still not aware that an in-depth, multi-layer cyber defense is much more effective that a standard antivirus program, it is essential that we help to raise awareness in this area by working with captains and engineers.”
For those wanting to learn, a number of seminars were held throughout the event, including ‘The Risks of Carrying Valuable Art on Superyachts’ and ‘The Entrepreneurship Seminar’ which was held by ISS at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Part of a program of educational events addressing issues facing the marketplace, owners, captains, crew and yachting professionals heard from the likes of Onshore Cellars’ Edward Dunnett and JMS Yachting’s Sam Thompson, as well as compare Norma Trease who drew on her own experience as an ex-crew entrepreneur.
It wasn’t all work and no play, as attendees enjoyed a number of glamourous parties during the four-day event – the most notable being IGY Marina’s James Bond Diamonds Are Forever Party at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Luxury Hospitality also celebrated a successful year with a cocktail party for all its close clients and acquaintances as the sun set on Friday evening.
The international brokerage Fraser welcomed over 500 guests for its 2019 Fraser Captains’ Dinner and Awards which took place on the Thursday evening, celebrating the captains and crew in the Fraser charter fleet. The event also marked the 30th anniversary of The Crew Network, Fraser’s crew placement agency, which was recognised with the launch of a new look logo and a glimpse of the company’s soon-to-be-released new website. Charter Captain of the year Award went to Captain James Griffith and Captain Michael Droszcz, who work on rotation on MY Here Comes The Sun.
Thanks Monaco – we’ll see you next year!
Images: OnboardOnline, WYCC, MYS