The importance of good guidance and support for superyachts has become even more evident during a volatile period of restrictions. Despite these challenges, the desire for adventures on the water has not diminished, leaving agents with a big role to play in making such experiences possible. Australian yacht agency, Superyachts 153°, has been a recent example of how agents can make the difference for superyacht experiences.
New charter legislation, passed at the end of 2019, presented an exciting new opportunity for foreign-flagged superyachts in Australia. In response to the proliferation of superyachts Down Under and growing demand for high-quality yacht support, Corina Wilson and Dave Saul channelled their collective wealth of experience in the luxury and yachting industries into founding Superyachts 153°.
Championing impeccable service with an individual touch, Superyachts 153° has quickly earnt glowing commendation from superyacht captains, not least of all from 63m Amels yacht Stardust.
Corina Wilson spoke to Superyachts.com about their approach to helping superyachts navigate contemporary challenges, as well as the growing excitement around cruising in Australia:
What led you to establishing Superyachts 153°?
CW: After years of working on superyachts all over the world, we saw Australia as an underutilised destination. With so much potential for exploration, and a country that is supporting this industry, it seemed only natural that we were in an ideal position to assist in attracting more superyachts not only to Australia, but the south pacific.
What is your approach to assisting superyacht captains and owners?
We ‘work with’ our vessels and have their best interest in mind. As a crew member working onboard a superyacht you always need to think a step ahead and provide solutions before / or when questions are raised. We are on call for our vessels 24/7 to provide answers or to assist anytime. We support the captain and crew, so they are free to focus on their guests.
How has the pandemic presented new challenges for yachts, and how have you adapted to these?
The workload has certainly increased and staying on top of state and international border restrictions has become a priority. We feel captains may place more emphasis on the use of agents to enter Australia and to cross state borders.
You recently assisted Stardust on her visit to Australia, what was special about that engagement and process?
Stardust was the first superyacht to enter Australia quarantine free, we worked extremely closely with Australian Border Force, NSW Health, Superyacht Australia, and of course Stardust crew to ensure they could arrive safely, and all relevant authorities were satisfied. Due to marinas at full capacity as not many vessels were travelling, we certainly had to ‘think outside the box,’ – these relationships we built with all involved will certainly last a long time.
How have the opportunities for superyachts in Australia changed in recent years?
Australia is now understanding the economic benefits these yachts bring to a range of sectors, hence importation fees and restriction are being eased, such as the Special Recreational Vessels Act to allow vessels to charter under a temporary importation rule avoiding customs fees. Now with more yachts coming to Australia the benefits will be seen in Tourism and Hospitality business’ marinas and shipyard, engineering businesses and many others.
From your dealings with Captains, what are the main drivers for visiting Australia?
The diversity of cruising destinations in Australia is incredible 26000kms of coastline to explore. Summer in Tasmania for instance visiting the stunning Freycinet National Park and Historic Hobart. Sydney Harbour for its famous fireworks on New Year’s Eve, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef or the West Coasts, Kimberley’s, Ningaloo reef or wine regions in the Southwest. There is really something to cater for all interests in Australia.
What is unique about the experience of superyachting in Australia?
What can still be done to make Australia even more of an attractive destination for superyachts? The industry is growing rapidly there are continual improvements in infrastructure and facilities for superyachts all over the country, we can’t wait to see the developments the future will bring with so many marine facilities already talking about upgrades.
What can still be done to make Australia even more of an attractive destination for superyachts?
According to figures revealed in the latest edition of Boat International’s Global Order Book, more than 1,200 superyachts are recorded to be built – a rise of 25% on last year. These vessels launching out of shipyards aren’t the average size of 50m anymore – this size is no longer considered a large yacht. Australia would benefit with a few more upgrades in power and water at marine facilities for 60m+ size vessels. Many marine facilities and already in discussions around this, we are looking forward to the new developments. In the meantime, there are an abundance of stunning safe anchorages and jetties to tender guests to and from – who needs to be at a berth right!?
With Australian borders set to reopen to tourists on February 21st, there has never been a better time to discover the country’s diverse cruising grounds and capitalise on the new charter opportunities. The attention to detail and experience of agencies like Superyachts 153° give Captains peace of mind that the chasing this adventure can be seamless and trouble-free.