on 30 Sep 2021
Optimism is everywhere amid a booming superyacht industry
The mood was optimistic as the world’s biggest superyacht event, the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show, returned to the global calendar of events for the world’s jet-setting elite.
In response to requests from the industry in early 2021, organisers of the show created a VIP day on day one, which allowed entrance only to those with VIP passes, as well as creating a more exclusive set of experiences at the show for prospective clients. Exhibitors had mixed responses to the effort but overall, they reported healthy interest and said it was good to get back to business.
A small statement from the builder of the world’s biggest superyachts
The positive buzz around the show was helped by the booming superyacht market, with most major yards reporting that build slots are completely taken up well into next year. Double the normal number of superyachts – 900 – are expected to be sold this year, according to Sam Tucker, head of superyachts at VesselsValue, at a Superyacht Investor Forum. In this environment, yards building on spec is now needed simply to meet demand.
The largest yacht on display was Benetti’s 108-metre IJE, a point of pride for the Italian yard during its press conference. Another major presence was Artefact, presented by Nobiskrug, the German builder that faced financial strain earlier this year.
There were 100 superyachts on display at the show, down from the 125 in 2019. But that did not reflect any lack of enthusiasm on the part of builders keen to reconnect with the superyacht-buying public. There were announcements of sales and of new designs.
Most builders were keen to expand their reach into Asia-Pacific, amid reports of several superyachts sales to Hong Kong buyers at the time of the show.
Prince Albert II of Monaco on tour at the show
On day three of the show, Prince Albert II went on tour, causing a minor media frenzy in the luxury goods exhibition area, which showcased everything from video walls to the finest linens.
The Prince is a well-known advocate of ocean conservation and at this year’s event, conservation and cleaning up the yacht industry were top of mind. Presentations in the new Design and Innovation Centre focused on cleantech in superyachts, with concepts in hydrogen gaining traction.
Exploration is another major trend in superyachts, with Damen showcasing its latest support vessel, Time Off, with help from its partner in the SeaXplorer series, Eyos Expeditions. Most builders reported that buyers are becoming much younger and are more interested in exploring farther afield than the regular cruising grounds of the French and Italian Rivieras.
Covid-19 restrictions on Hong Kong travelers made attending the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show a difficult task, but there were a few visitors from mainland China. Given the increasingly global nature of the superyacht business, the 2022 event will probably see a greater influx of Asian buyers, eager to see the best of the best in superyacht living.