LeYacht has studied a new way of voyaging that brings the cruising sector and the yacht sector together
Travelling by sea is part of man’s cultural baggage; the sea and boats have always been an important part of the inhabitants of coastal and other territories.
After the first years of the 20th Century, when voyaging was mostly linked to the need to go across the ocean to find fortune, with the advent of cruise ships the true voyage at sea with the idea of enjoyment and holidays slowly developed.
And so, during the past century, the biggest and most important cruising companies were created; in parallel with mass travelling on board huge and beautiful cruise ships came the voyage for the few, for an élite, on board yachts.
The pleasure yacht also sprang up after the war, when holidays became a constant element in the life of workers: it was the tourist movement and voyage for enjoyment that increased the development of yachts for pleasure, for “enjoyment and unwinding”.
During the rest of the past century, through until today, the development of cruises and yachts has continued and widened moving towards the phenomenon of “giantism”: so we have the cruise ships like that of the Royal Caribbean company, which with the Oasis of the C and her sister ships have reached incredible lengths, tonnage and number of cabins to become floating cities. Yachts too have grown, becoming mega- and giga-yachts, of more than 100 or 200 m; the yacht moves up the class, beginning to be called a “pleasure ship”.
In time, methods of travel have changed and will have to change: more awareness, more attention and measure. In this scenario comes a new means of transport that is neither a yacht nor a cruise ship.
A new means of transport
A new vision of sea voyaging is coming from the knowledgeable and creative minds of the Garroni Design naval and yacht design studio which, together with the Monaco LeYacht Cruises, has joined forces to launch a new and interesting project: “LeYacht Cruises Lab”.
A pleasure ship of the future, neither too big nor too small: above all, it does not work alone but is flanked by modern floating embarking and disembarking bases, so as to make the trips lighter by stopping there to clean up the vessels and avoid crowds of people.
This study is not limited to remaining in a drawer, as a stylistic exercise, but is concrete operational research, emerging after a long analysis of a complex sector, or rather two complex sectors: ships and yachts. The aim is to guarantee maximum revenue by exploiting the commercial potential, which is strongly expanding, coming from the combination of these two categories of vessel.
Luxury and services
LeYacht Cruises Lab has studied a “boats plus infrastructures” system that aims to be strongly competitive, organisationally lean and economically efficient.
The research remains within the lightest regulatory level (within 500 GRT and 24 m in length) and follows a series of precise design criteria, which bring together and harmonise the two sectors considered.
Some elements typical of large luxury cruise ships remain, such as the welcome and services on board:
- suites from 24/27 m², cabins from 15/17 m², large public areas, choices for eating on board;
- many and different possibilities for enjoyment;
- constant digital and telephone connection to land networks;
- systems and technology at top levels both the safety and for comfort in respect of the environment.
At the same time, unique and distinctive characteristics must be guaranteed (quite unlike those of mass cruising) starting from the aesthetics: designs and shapes must transmit a sensation of luxury, must make the passengers feel part of a privileged elite; propulsion must be by sale or with hybrid and ecological propulsion, respecting the environment stay sailing.
As regards itineraries, there must be frequent stops in the most famous bays, with the chance of swimming in shallow water directly from the boat, from opening terraces in the sides of the yachts.
At the same time there will be frequent quayside moorings in the harbours of the most fashionable tourist locations, with the possibility of direct disembarking to visit restaurants and places of enjoyment that can be booked through the secretary on board.
Treatment on board must be customised, discreet and careful, not far from high-level private domestic service.
Within this vision, and complementary to the vessels, are the “Lodges”, the operational bases for departure and arrival (with both the technical and hospitality function) to which the other twin ships will more in an organised sequence.
All the destinations and legs are carefully programmed and reached every day by one of the vessels, with the advantage of being able to add land services to those on board.
The system will use 6 or 12 ship-yachts (every “ships plus Lodge” module is defined a “Yacht Fleet”) depending on whether they are single or double; the routes will be brief, with a few hours of daily sailing and overnight stops in tourist ports or sheltered bays; the cruises have a fixed itinerary, lasting about a week, plus the two days spent in the Lodge.
From the hospitality point of view, the Lodge will welcome the guests (with another crew) for the first night, before embarkation, and for the last night after the cruise ends.
This makes the experience even more pleasant (since generally the initial and final moments are always the most stressing). Technically, the Lodge offers all the functions that have no place on board the yacht-cruises, from suppliers of all kinds to the disposal and controlled treatment of refuse and used liquids.
Finally, the Lodge houses warehouses and equipment for programmable maintenance and cleaning, or emergencies, as well as vessels able to reach any yacht-cruiser quickly during the cruise.
After the first concept phase, this project is moving into the executive and planning phase for the budget and finance plans, to make the study even more concrete.
[All the diagrams, renderings and information come from the study Garroni Progetti (Genoa) together with the Monaco Le Yacht Cruises]