Four Seasons Yachts plans to expand into expedition and river cruise

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Four Seasons Yachts plans to expand into the expedition and river cruise sectors.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Larry Pimentel, chief executive and president at Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings, owner and joint operator of Four Seasons Yachts, said “different kinds of vessels” will be delivered in the future, although he did not give a timeframe on when they would begin operating.

The line’s first yacht is scheduled to enter service in November 2025, with the second and third joining the fleet in 2026 and 2027, respectively.

While no further vessels are yet on order, Pimentel said the line plans to grow and expand if demand is strong.

“If demand is higher than the supply, it puts every shipping company into the position to say ‘let’s buy more now’, and we’re not dissimilar than others,” he said. “We’re very practical businesspeople so the board will take a look and say ‘let’s grow it’.

“Our contract with Four Seasons is very clear: we have the waterways of the world in the deep water sector and the yachts are proving to do that.

“But we also have river and we also have expedition, so the reality is there’s going to be a cycle over a very long period of time of different kinds of vessels that are coming to you. They will be Four Seasons vessels.”

Pimentel encouraged agents to add their clients to the waiting list to sail on the first yacht, which has 95 cabins, each costing £4.3 million to build.

Customers must pay $10,000 to join the waiting list, which is refundable or will be used against the cost of the sailing. Pimentel said the fee “hasn’t stopped anybody” from signing up, with more than 3,000 currently on the list.

He said the $10,000 price tag sets shoppers apart from buyers which will save agents time as only customers serious about booking will pay.

“This audience is not objecting to $10,000,” he said. “The daily rate [to sail] is between $2,500-$3,500 per day per person so we don’t see anybody running away from the $10,000. For our audience, $10,000 is very little money.

“If the client is willing to put $10,000 up, the chances are the agent will secure a booking as those are the buyers, not shoppers.

“With the $10,000 fee, we’re getting away from the shoppers who take up all your time to the buyers who make you the money.”

Pimentel said he is encouraging all customers to book through travel agents as the line offers yacht-only fares, so agents can add value in booking flights, transfers and pre or post-sailing accommodation.

He urged agents to educate themselves on the product to ensure they can secure bookings, saying the high-end customer will only work with a knowledgeable agent. In return, agents will receive a 10% commission.

“You have to be confident and you have to have knowledge,” he said. “This is not an audience that wants to deal with you if you don’t have knowledge. Go and study.

“I want to come to the UK and educate agents on how to find these clients because [the high-end market] is very robust in the UK and people can be taught how to reach that market. It’s something we ought to deal with in the future and really, really concentrate on helping agents with.

“We will pay agents a 10% commission and that’s 10% off a very big number and may exceed [the cost of] one week on some of the mass ma

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