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ICYMI: Broker Simon Turner Talks Bucket List Travel

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This week on the blog we’re sharing some soundbites from our recent podcast with yacht broker Simon Turner. Did you miss the episode? Here’s the link just in case but read on for a few quick sound bites from the man himself!

man smiling in front of white yacht
How did you get into yachting?

I owned several yachts myself in the UK and when I moved to Singapore in 2005 I was excited by the cruising grounds and the development of yachting, so decided to mix my hobby with the job! Nearly 15 years later, I’ve lived across Asia and Europe and worked around the world with some of the most famous names such as Northrop and Johnson and Camper and Nicholsons. These days, I find that our boutique approach at Iconovista, working with a relatively small number of clients, allows us to better serve the complex and changing requirements of our clients and the regulatory framework

You’ve been based in Singapore and the Med – how do the chartering trends differ there?

Singapore is not really a cruising destination in itself but a great central base for the whole of Asia. There are a few centres in Asia, Phuket, Hong Kong and Singapore, where there are plenty of marinas and world class cities and services. With beautiful cruising grounds, these places offer the traditional charter model which is about having a lot of fun, going ashore, water sports and variety. However, much the rest of Asia is far more remote and without these facilities which appeals to the more adventurous and daring. I have to say, having experienced many of these locations myself, they are unique and exceptional and present a totally different proposition to explore land and wildlife, all with the support of a fully catered superyacht. While the traditional view of the Med is more of a party scene with gusts hopping from one fashionable port to another, there are indeed plenty of opportunities to explore more remote areas and still find an empty bay to drop the hook in the height of the season. The West Coast of Corsica springs to mind, with its stunning bays and inlets and no marina or facilities for many miles around. Likewise, the Aeolian islands just off the coast of Sicily offer some stunning experiences (including hot mud baths on the slopes of an active volcano!)

You’ve always enjoyed thinking outside the box which helps to shed light on the fact that age old charter tactics do not work the way they once did. So we need to think differently with attracting new clients – can you share a bit on your thoughts on this?

I guess some people can be put off by the sea itself, being in the sun on a moving and floating platform. Yacht development is moving so quickly that there are now some very different yachts with exceptional stability and different use of space, that effectively make them more of a floating hotel where one when inside could hardly notice they were at sea. The old view of gas guzzling large yachts is also changing and we are now seeing hybrid yachts which can cruise into marine parks under battery only. Also, in this more health-conscious world there are many people that do not wish to simply sit on a yacht all day, eating and drinking. So physical activity (both aboard and ashore) and more adventurous activities offer a genuine different experience. To this end, our company is currently working on a cycling based superyacht experience – a whole new project – with details to be announced later this year.

Any favourite spots you’d recommend for upcoming travels? Whether by yacht or by land?

To me the perfect mix of a vacation experience is to be both on the water and on land. I’ve cruised the southern fjords of Chile and anchored at the foot of a giant glacier. An unbelievable experience with virtually no ports, no pollution and the ability to get ashore for endless stunning experiences such as climbing the Torres del Paine. Indonesia is always a favourite of mine, a huge country with more than 80,000 islands and hugely diverse experiences available. The key here is land based support and we use a shore partner to ensure there is immediate assistance to the yacht and guests 24/7 to make a unique, safe and unmatchable experience. How about cruising the coast of Korea? I’ve done a little of it and it is totally undeveloped and beautiful with massive future opportunities which the Government there is already supporting.

Thanks again for spending some time with us Simon! If you missed the podcast, check it out now!

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