Yacht charters have flooded this season and it seems as though everyone wants to hop onto a boat, the next best ‘in thing’ to do if you are seeking style or adventure! Is it still just curiosity or a growing trend… for boating is sure making its presence felt in the Mumbai harbor. Several yacht dealers and boat charter agencies had packed bookings in November and December and are going to be keeping very busy until February. Whether its speed boats for a quick harbour cruise or sailboats for a laid back afternoon, elegant luxury yachts or a classic wooden dhow, all of them are in demand and the number of charters are only rising. Growing at 30 per cent annually, this business is a headturner. Corporates and individuals are willing to spend anything between Rs. 20,000/- to Rs. 200,000/- for a few hours of cruising on the waters off Mumbai. Alcohol and security permints are essential for all yacht parties as due to security concerns, the Mumbai harbour is always under strict vigilance.
Boats in Demand:
Speed boats and sail yachts to Goa and Alibaug – Mandwa are performing exceptionally well. Managing Director of Mumbai-based Marine Solutions Anju Dutta says, “Small speed and power boats are in vogue among youngsters who like to experiment. They are ready to spend up to Rs 20,000 to cruise up to coastal villages in Maharashtra,” she informs. Marine Solutions has seen charter demand grow from two to three bookings to around 20 bookings, every weekend. With new cruise vacations being planned for summer seasons, yacht charters are expected to multiply in the summer. “We have requests from families who want to take cruises to Goa, or Kochi. While the costs vary, depending on the boat, average prices for cruises is anywhere from Rs 50,000 and can go up to Rs 2 lakh,” says Dutta.
Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 (per hour) will fetch you Speed or power boats with Refreshments on board. In Rs 22,000 – Rs 35,000 (per hour; depends on the boat size and people on board) one can book sail boats with trained crew, full meal service and few amenities like on-board salon, small bar or jacuzzi. Rs 50,000 and onwards for a couple of hours with crew, boat amenities and refreshments can land you on a luxury yacht on which one can enjoy amenities like Wi-Fi, spas and therapeutic bath areas and full meal service with trained staff.
Shazma, an Arabian dhow, is one of the most sought after getaways by high net worth individuals and celebrities. Built in teak, Shazma can accommodate up to 40 passengers and costs a little under Rs 1 lakh for four hours. Managing Director of West Coast Marine Yacht Services Aashim Mongia, says, “She (Shazma) had been well-received and is booked back-to-back for the festive season. The boat is here to stay.” Shazma rents for about Rs 1.2 lakh for a day and has seen eight private bookings until now. Mongia, who believes boats like Shazma will be a hot favourite by October 2011, says, “The financial downturn may have knocked the wind out of the luxury yacht market, but leasing boats for occasions like New Year’s, summer vacation, private parties and small getaways will grow steadily.”
This article has been compiled from the link below: