VIETYACHT, TAM SON YACHTING
Vietyacht is pioneering luxury charters in Vietnam by offering a strong fleet of Jeanneau motoryachts to explore Halong Bay and other island groups in the north.
Vietnam’s Halong Bay is almost 1,700km northeast of Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay, yet in some ways they’re sister environments, featuring stunning limestone karsts, islands, caves and beaches, and toured by millions of visitors each year.
With almost 2,000 islands and islets, Halong Bay is the big sister and spans about 1,500sqkm, making it almost four times the size of Phang Nga Bay. And although the vast majority of its visitors tour around on large junks and cruise ships, there’s plenty of room for private yachts to explore the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site – even the 321ft German-built megayacht Aviva was among visitors last year.
Targeting Halong Bay, Vietyacht has armed itself with 10 Jeanneau motor yachts to both serve and develop the luxury charter industry in a country where pleasure boating is still in its infancy, yet promises much due to stunning cruising grounds, growing domestic wealth and dynamic new industry players.
Nguyen Duc Thuan, who founded Vietyacht in 2017 and its charter arm VietyachtClub a year later, is convinced of the yachting potential in Halong Bay as well as its quieter neighbours, Lan Ha Bay to the south and Bai Tu Long Bay to the east, all about 100km from the Chinese border.
“We believe this is the best yachting destination in the world,” says Nguyen, who also thinks the Covid-19 pandemic will increase the appeal of private yachts. “Yacht charter in Vietnam is quite a new business, but the situation this year is changing people’s behaviour.The need for social distancing means more people will choose to charter yachts to avoid crowds.”
Berthing in Tuan Chau Marina, VietyachtClub’s fleet of Jeanneau powerboats currently comprises a Leader 36, two Leader 40s, a Leader 46, three NC 14s, two Merry Fisher 1095s (one with flybridge) and a Velasco 43F.
About 90 per cent of VietyachtClub’s bookings are for six-hour day charters and typical client requests include onboard dining, a good music system, and water toys like Seabobs, jetskis, paddleboards and kayaks.
The company offers specially themed trips for weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day, as well as a specially priced wedding photo tour, while charter rates are reduced 30 per cent for the low season in summer.
As well as Jeanneau, Vietyacht is also the dealer for Prestige motor yachts and Fountaine Pajot catamarans. With its head office and showroom in Ha Long City – a two-hour drive east of Hanoi – and further sales offices along the coast, Nguyen believes the company is in a prime position to capitalise on yachting’s potential growth.
“Chartering will grow as it’s a different experience that people are interested to try,” says Nguyen. “It offers both freedom and privacy, but most of all it’s just a lot of fun. And once people try it, they keep coming back.”
SOUTH FOR SAIGON RIVER CHARTERS
Tam Son Yachting, also founded in 2017, is another major player in Vietnam’s yachting industry, but is based in the south in Ho Chi Minh, the country’s most populous city.
Representing Monte Carlo Yachts, Lagoon, Beneteau and Zodiac Nautic, Tam Son Yachting is an offshoot of the powerful Openasia Group, which was established in 1994 and is a distributor for luxury goods brands like Audi, Hugo Boss, Chopard, Hermes and Patek Philippe.
The company is preparing to enter the charter industry with a Lagoon 630 MY powercat, KN Paradise, and a Beneteau Gran Turismo 40, Carla, starting with day trips along the Saigon The company is also in the process of expanding its charter fleet with other yachts in the city.
With a wealth of experience and expertise behind it, the company is aiming to create an entire yachting ‘ecosystem’ including sales, after-sales, management, charter, yacht registration, crew management, financial services, a Yacht Service Centre and marinas.
The company is the operator of the Vinhomes Central Park Marina on Saigon River and the Tam Son Yacht Club at Swanbay Marina on Dai Phuoc Island.
“Tam Son Yachting has a mission to provide our clients with the perfect European yachting experience in a one-stop shop, so we’ve been developing an entire ecosystem with all the professional services required to enjoy yachting,” says Pham Tuan Hai, Head of Sales and Marketing.
“As we realise our vision, the market is opening up and we believe it’s the right time to develop services like charter. We receive charter requests almost daily for personal events such as birthdays, outdoor parties, group meetings, family occasions and official ceremonies.
We’ve also had regular requests for longer charters.” Like Nguyen, Pham believes the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could make more Vietnamese appreciate the safety and freedom of yachting, with charters offering the ideal way of introducing newcomers to the lifestyle.
“Even this year has been good for our business, as clients and prospects have had more time to look around for new toys and ways to enjoy their life,” Pham said.
“After all, yachting is ideal for sharing time and experiences with family, friends and business partners. We want people to think of yachts as easy to use as a car. If people are not quite ready, then a yacht charter acts like a test drive to see if they enjoy the experience.”
The original article first appeared in Yacht Style Issue 54 (Charter Issue 2020) – see below:
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Yacht Style has released Issue 54 (July-August), its Charter Issue for 2020. Flying Fox, the world's largest charter yacht, stars on the front cover of the 208-page magazine, as the 136m megayacht prepares to return to Asia later this year.