Charter Yacht Shows, which bring together brokers, agents, captains, and other professionals in the charter yacht industry, have a common focus: that of facilitating exquisite vacations aboard crewed luxury yachts. And while there are shows in every major charter location (Barcelona, Greece and Turkey, to name a few preceding the upcoming Mediterranean season), there is only one Newport Charter Yacht Show to showcase New England, its feted cruising grounds, and the vessels – both motor and sailing – that will be available for charter during prime summer season.
An annual event for more than 35 years, the four-day Newport Charter Yacht Show is presented by Helly Hansen Newport and owned and produced by Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard. Scheduled for Monday through Thursday, June 20-23, it takes place at the shipyard’s 10-acre facility in the heart of downtown Newport, Rhode Island, one of the world’s most distinguished yachting meccas.
“Newport is the gateway to New England cruising,” said Missy Johnston, president of the American Yacht Charter Association (AYCA) and owner of Northrop Johnson Yacht Charters in Newport. “It is where sailing yachts blow in, traveling from the Caribbean on the trade winds, and where motor yachts cruise in, coming up from Florida and the Bahamas. Virtually every charter yacht stops in Newport first, and later in the season they may end up in Maine or somewhere else up the East Coast. Then they all return to Newport and head south for the winter.”
Peeling back its layers, the Newport Charter Yacht Show is a well-planned showcase of magnificent charter yachts alongside an eclectic display of ancillary goods and services for the charter industry. It offers charter brokers the opportunity to network, share knowledge, and most important, inspect the participating yachts. They meet with agents, captains and crew; review charters that took place over the winter; and talk about charters to come. They experience service onboard, including tasting food from new chefs and personally inspecting the linens and dinnerware that are used. If a yacht has had a refit or remodeling, or if it has added to its array of water toys, it’s important for the brokers to know every detail.
“A broker gets to know the personalities of the yachts and crews so that a perfect match can be made for a client and a tailored, unforgettable vacation experience can be developed,” said Johnston.
Helping to highlight each yacht’s offerings are the show’s special events, tailored for serious fun. They include a marquee Chef Competition and contests for captains, deck hands and stewardesses. (Tablescaping, Signature Cocktails and Drone Flying are among the most popular.) Sponsors and vendors join brokers and agents in a lively Yacht Hop that features each yacht in “full entertainment mode,” while the AYCA holds its annual meeting and signature informational seminars for brokers, captains and crew alike. (This year will feature interaction with vendors and tour operators from Newport and surrounding areas who can provide high-end tours and experiences that charter clients would enjoy.)
“We are excited to have three yachts in the show,” said Madeline Mancini of Denison Yachting, which has offices in Monaco and throughout the U.S., including in Newport. “It’s an important market to be in, so we always come back. Last year our charter season here was super busy; summer is much better in New England than anywhere else in the U.S. or in the Caribbean or the Bahamas.”
Denison Yachting’s registered yachts include the 102’ M/Y Magnum Ride, the 92’ M/Y Slipaway and the 92’ M/Y Helios.
“Our summer charter range typically extends from New York City to Bar Harbor,” said Nick Brucato, who has been the captain of Helios for four years and spent last summer chartering primarily in Maine. “Some of Helios’s distinguishing features are that she is fast (capable of cruising at 20 knots) and has a low fuel burn, which is very important right now. She also has stabilizers (to reduce roll due to wind or waves) and is very maneuverable, with a shallow draft, so we can get into anchorages and spots that other charter yachts might not be able to get into.”
As there are connoisseurs of wine, music, and exotic cars, there also are discriminating clients who enjoy luxury charter yacht vacations. It takes a team of professionals to make good things happen on this front, and the Newport Charter Yacht Show plays an important role in bringing them together for the New England cruising season.