The yacht business is booming - in January 2019, the worlds biggest watersport show, the BOOT in Düsseldorf broke all visitor and exhibitor records. This is an excellent moment to present some insights into the international boat rental markets. Which are the most requested destinations for sailing vacations in 2019? In this article we reveal the pre-booking trends for European boat rental countries (Data from February 2019).
, Italy and Turkey
are the most requested European boat charter destinations. On base of data from our reservation system YachtSys
, where around 5,000 charter boats are listed, we compiled the latest early-booking trends for boat charters in 2019
Croatia - still 14% pre-booking volume missing
The Dalmatian Coast
is the largest yacht charter destination in the world. More than 3,500 charter boats can be rented from very good developed marinas along the Croatian mainland. Croatia has hundreds of Islands, like the Kornati Archipelago, which lay within a few hours sailing distance from the shore. Despite its poularity that is still on the highest level, it seems that Croatian charter companies still missed 14% of the usual pre-booking volume at the end of January 2019.
Greece - strongly demanded, but 5% is lost
The Greek Islands
experienced a tremendous demand during the last years. Major departure ports for yacht charters are the Marina Alimos in Kalamaki
) and Lavrion
for charters into the Cyclades
. Ionian Sea
lovers are departing preferently from Lefkas
are the harbors, from where charter guests can hire boats for escapes into the Dodecanes Islands
. The pre-booking volume for Greek destinations is still leading, but dropped around 5% compared to the season 2018.
Germany - trippled its demand thanks to hot summer 2018
The major boat rental region in Germany is the Baltic Coast
. Around 500 yachts are available for charter from ports between Flensburg
. During the last decade, the lakes and rivers around Havelland
and Berlin and in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
became very popular, especially among German holiday makers. The overall number of rental boats bigger than 5 m can be estimated to around 800. Thanks to the fantastic dry and sunny summer 2018, the interest for a boating vacation in Germany is at its peak. The pre-booking rate until end of January 2019 simply trippled compared to the previous year.
Spain - waiting still for 26% that are lost compared to 2018
The major sailing destination in Spain are the Balearic Islands
with around 500 charter yachts and the Canaries
with nearly 100 boats in charter. Especially the Balearic Islands seemed to suffer most from a lower demand, which was already noticeable during the season 2018. The pre-booking rate for 2019 lost 26% of its previous year's volume. It seems that some charter operators already reacted and offered better rates. We are confindent that the numbers will get better during the next months.
Italy - same early-bird rate as 2018
The most popular Italian yacht charter destinations are Isola di Elba
in the North, Sardinia
, the Gulf of Naples
as departure port for the Pontinian Islands and Capri and last not least the north shore of Sicily
with the Archipelago of the Eolian Islands. The early-bird's demand for Italian charters stayed on the same level as the previous season, therefore no significant variation can be reported.
Turkey - requests are raising again, but still on low level
The sailing destination in Turkey are famous for their beautiful and well-protected anchor spots under costal pine forests. The major harbours for chartering are the marinas around Bodrum
, the Gulfs of Gökova and Orhaniye, Marmaris
. The demand for Turkish charters especially from DACH customers suffered during the last years due to critical media coverage. Nevertheless, Turkey
is finally moving back into the focus of North European sailors. The pre-booking rate rose around 60%, but is still on a very low booking volume compared to the other Mediterranean
yacht charter destinations.
The boat rental market shows a strong demand for the season 2019. Nevertheless, some destinations like Spain and Croatia are still missing a good part of their pre-booking volume. The demand for German charters is excellent - thanks to the hot previous summer. For Italy the early bird trend from the previous year is repeating. Turkey seems to recover and is getting more bookings from North European customers, while still on a low level compared to the leading boat rental nations.
Felix Wolf is co-founder and owner of YachtBooker. He is a charter skipper himself and enjoys discovering new sailing areas.