Advantages of a Yacht Charter Incentive During COVID-19
As the incentive travel industry begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, companies will be seeking new and creative ways to plan their incentive travel journeys and reward their valuable employees. In a post-pandemic world, incentive travel planners will undoubtedly be prioritizing safety, privacy and exclusivity to ease travel anxiety among their participants.
At Ocean Getaways, we believe that yacht charter incentive programs are uniquely positioned to solve many of the problems that COVID creates. Private yachts, by their very nature, offer the ultimate in social distancing while still delivering a superlative travel experience. On a group of luxury yachts, a company can essentially create its own social bubble, with little to no outside contact. It’s this kind of captive environment that makes it easy to maintain the highest levels of hygiene, and this is one of the many advantages that yacht charters have over cruise ships and resorts.
Yacht charter incentives – the ticket to our post-COVID freedom
Yacht charter incentives offer guests the option to have as much (or as little) contact with the outside world as they would like, usually offering a balanced mix between on-shore excursions and yacht-centered activities, although the latter may play a more pivotal role on post-COVID incentives.
Everything you will ever need is already on board
Luxury yachts, by their inherent nature, are all-inclusive havens and essentially carry everything guests will ever need and want for an exceptional getaway. Gourmet dining is a major highlight, as is the usual bevy of water toys that make for exhilarating yacht-side fun. High-tech entertainment, creative parties and events, and an ever-changing scenery are some of the most revered benefits of yacht charter incentives. Onboard extras like spa treatments, daily yoga classes or cooking demonstrations can easily be incorporated into a trip. All of this, and more, can be enjoyed without the need to ever disembark the yachts.
Stringent health and safety protocols
The international yachting industry has always been renowned for its strict health and safety regulations and introduced even stricter measures at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent safeguards introduced by yachts include pre-boarding temperature tests, thorough disinfection of all surfaces and bedding before boarding, sterilization of kitchen utensils as per international health guidelines and daily disinfection routines during charters. Yacht crews have also practiced social distancing and contact with guests is kept at a necessary minimum.
It will obviously be challenging to maintain social distancing once onboard so in our current circumstances, we would suggest that everyone has negative COVID test results prior to boarding which will ensure each yacht maintains a healthy environment at all times. Once the yachts cast off, contact with outsiders can be drastically reduced.
Social distancing and isolation made easy
The itinerary on a yacht charter program is always customized to the company’s goals and expectations, creating unique and exclusive experiences with a wow factor. Designing an itinerary that has the benefit of social isolation for the group not only ensures good health but enhances camaraderie. Tailoring an itinerary that includes less time on-shore and more time to spend on yacht-based sports and activities is often the norm on our Caribbean incentive travel programs.
An open-air environment
Yacht charter incentives in tropical destinations mean guests take advantage of the wonderful outdoors, limiting their time indoors. Guests will invariably spend almost all of their waking hours on outer decks, soaking up the rays, swimming and enjoying al fresco dining.
Another advantage of yachts is that it is easy to track where they have been and who has been onboard. Currently, outside laborers are kept to a minimum and asked to observe standard protocols when they are onboard. Crews are also observing recommended protocols when they do need to go ashore for provisioning and errands that may bring them to busy indoor environments.
Personalized, gourmet dining
Yacht charters offer the services of private chefs who tailor menus to guests’ preferences and dietary requirements. This means no mass-cooked meals and buffets but bespoke culinary experiences that become a major highlight of the yachting experience.
A wide range of water toys means fun times are always guaranteed
In COVID times, the yacht’s cache of toys is bound to gain even more importance, especially for incentive trips. Usually, most yachts carry snorkel gear, kayaks, SUP boards, wakeboards and a host of inflatable toys (like yacht slides) and towables (like tubes and banana rides). Many yachts can offer scuba diving instruction or kite boarding lessons. For those with more sedentary aims, there is ample deck space for basking in the sun or shade, enjoying a good book and socializing.
Group activities with the COVID twist
Our signature Raft-Up party where we tie all of the yachts together to create a giant floating party platform has always been a self-sufficient activity with it being 100% yacht-catered. The same is true for our Floating Islands Cocktail Party and Beach Barbecue Bash. Instead of a beach with a bevy of bars, we can sequester our own beach away from the masses. We can replace the dine-around ashore, with a dine-around on the yachts. If a company wants to avoid using a shoreside restaurant or resort for an awards gala of final night, we can creatively design a Beachside Soirée that does not rely on outside resources. COVID urges us all to think outside the box and create new venues.
Another advantage of yachts is that it is easy to track where they have been and who has been onboard. Currently, outside laborers are kept to a minimum and asked to observe standard protocols when they are onboard. Crews are also observing standard protocols when they do need to go ashore for provisioning and errands that may being them to busy indoor environments.
How to further enhance the success of incentive travel planning
Choose destinations that have been successful at keeping infection at bay
There’s no denying that people will feel more confident traveling to a destination that hasn’t been featured on news headlines for all the wrong reasons. Plenty of yachting destinations have fared remarkably well during this current pandemic. The British Virgin Islands, for example, made swift closures very early on and has reported only 8 cases and 1 death. This “most popular in the world” yacht charter destination is set to reopen in November while the US Virgin Islands, also emerging relatively unscathed from the current pandemic, have been open since early June.
Choose destinations closer to home
Recent surveys have highlighted the fact that people will feel safer traveling to destinations that are closer to home and, luckily, the options for yacht charter incentives are numerous. The Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Maine/New England are open and welcoming of yacht charter incentives right now. With many destinations offering non-stop and direct flights from various points of departure in the US, travel time can also be kept at a minimum.
Consider individual incentive rewards
A growing trend right now is the gifting of an individual travel reward, whereby employees are offered a yacht charter trip that they can take with their loved ones, at a time and place of their choosing. This kind of individualistic approach is exceptionally well received and puts the guest in charge of their own travel experiences.
Personalized travel incentives don’t just speak to the heart of the travel-anxious employee who may not yet feel comfortable sharing a vacation with colleagues but is emerging as one of the most powerful motivators in the workplace. We can create a bespoke travel experience to cater to the individual guest’s personal desires. An adventure-filled trip for the adrenaline junkie, a gastronomic emphasis for the foodies, or a wellness focus with yoga, massage, and wholesome meals for the health enthusiasts When you put high-achieving employees at the helm of their own yacht charter experience, the experience fits their priorities.