If someone asked you to name the top cruising grounds in the world for luxury yachts, chances are you’d quickly think of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. In the near future, you might just as readily add southern China or the Andaman Sea to the list. In addition to concerted efforts by groups such as the Asia-Pacific Superyacht Association (APSA) to promote Asia as a cruising destination, the economy in general is doing its part, with the number of China’s super-rich increasing 6% from 2011 to 2012.
“The most popular destination is probably Phuket, followed by Langkawi,” notes Joe Yuen, of Lodestone Yachts in Hong Kong, a founding member of APSA. “Mynamar and Cambodia are getting more traffic. Captains should start to look at Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. There are many pretty islands that are great for island hopping. Within Asia, we are experiencing more yacht and luxury shows every year. Hong Kong is one of the more matured market and our marinas are at full capacity. Marina facilities are being constructed all over China, but with a 43% tax to import a yacht, that is a huge barrier for Chinese buyers.”
The 44-meter “Blue Sky,” a superyacht built in Holland for a private individual in China, was recently launched, and includes such amenities as an 85-inch television in the sky deck lounge – perfect for viewing favorite high-definition programming with a marine satellite TV system.
Premier yacht shows in Asia that are seeing increased attendance and interest in a lifestyle that includes travel by superyacht include the Phuket International Marine Expo (PIMEX), 21 – 24 March, and the China Rendez-Vous, 30 March – 2 April, in Sanya, China. Sanya is located in southern China in a tropical area that is growing as a tourism destination; a 350-berth marina is being built near Sanya’s Hainan Island. A report by China Research and Intelligence estimates the size of China’s yacht market at USD 440 million already, and sees a 20 percent growth rate annually for Chinese yacht clubs in the next few years.
The Singapore Yacht Show, 18 – 21 April, will also offer a firsthand glimpse of the yachting lifestyle, with top yacht brands on display including Sunseeker, Princess, Westport, and Azimut, and an April 19 forum called “Luxury Keynotes – Understanding Wealth in Asia.”
With their promise of transporting owners and guests to some of the most beautiful cruising destinations in the world, superyachts are outfitted with all the luxuries of home by way of top marine satellite TV and satellite communications systems – such as KVH’s TracVision and TracPhone products.