When it comes to the biggest and most luxurious new super-yachts available today, the ultra-wealthy are usually the last to tighten their purse strings.
The annual Monaco Yacht Show takes place each September at the principality’s world famous Port Hercules marina where the event attracts the super yacht industry’s most influential personalities from the yacht brokerage, build, design, management, equipment and accessories sectors, as well as thousands of visitors including existing owners, potential buyers and journalists.
This year, the 22nd edition of the 4-day Monaco Yacht Show was a prime opportunity for the entire luxury industry to show off its latest offerings in the splendor of one of Europe’s most beautiful marinas. In addition to the many beautiful and luxurious yachts on display, the attendees also included those representing many top lines of first-class watch, jewelry, car, private jet, property, design, technology and drink brands, all hoping to capture both the attention and dollars of the high net-worth crowd in attendance at the event. Although the prestigious gathering comes at a time when almost every industry has had to meet the many challenges of the ongoing global financial crisis, when it comes to high-end brand goods and services, the ultra-wealthy are usually the last to tighten their purse strings.
Judging by this year’s event, the ultra-wealthy class is still spending plenty of money on the highest-end yachts and the ongoing trend toward stuffing the newest and most luxurious technology into big yachts seems mostly unaffected by the global economic downturn. Trends seen at the show this year included some of the most expensive yachts ever offered, many fitted with swimming pools, cinema screens and multiple helipads.
Increased security on the high seas in this era of open piracy off the coasts of Africa and the Middle East was of special concern, and more yachts are being fitted with sophisticated security measures including real missile defense systems, and ultra-strong hulls and windows capable of withstanding most small arms attacks. Some outfitters even offered to install mini-submarines on the biggest yachts to better facilitate an emergency escape in the event of a pirate attack. Less dangerous than pirates, but probably more annoying, most yacht owners also like to evade the prying eyes and long lenses of paparazzi photographers out on the seas. In response to the paparazzi problem, yacht buyers could opt to install a new system of anti-paparazzi infrared laser shields that were offered to block any unauthorized photography on the deck of a super-yacht.
When traveling on a yacht at sea, even the ultra-wealthy know it’s always a good idea to be as eco-friendly as possible, and although the trend is still leaning towards big boats with maximum luxury, now the buyers desire their luxury to come with a smaller overall carbon footprint. The eco-friendly trend has resulted in yachts with more solar panels, new efficient hybrid engines, using recycled materials where possible, and the development of specially designed hulls that allow higher cruising speeds with lower rates of fuel consumption. As the ultra-wealthy sometimes say, “If you got it, flaunt it.”