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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

(Abercrombie & Kent; Luxury Safari) 

Luxury Travel 
There are a number of trends that are shaping the luxury industries and it is a recurring theme that ‘Luxury will be whatever  you want it to be'.  In the realms of travel it is evident that the definition of luxury means different things to different people, depending on what they are wanting out of their travel experience. Paul Largay of Largay Travel told the Travel Agent magazine that "people don't look for the glitz and glamour as they did in days gone by, when celebrities and Rolls-Royces defined luxury" he says "its experimental: its unique awareness and access to the behind the rope activities that people didn't even know existed". (Travel Agent Magazine. June 25th 2011). Nancy Strong (Strong Travel Services) believes that privacy is becoming more and more important, when on vacation people want to be left alone. Initial results show that the luxury travel industry follows the same trends as the luxury sector in general, although luxury travel is not commonly categorised within the luxury industry. Not only are luxury travel sectors distinguished by uniqueness, brand imagery and high price levels (the main guiding principles of the luxury sector) but they are also impacted by the same trends. A clear distinction between ultra-luxury and affordable luxury has been observed, together with the development of personalised services, a move away from ostentation, and progressively more attention to green/ethical social principles. Above all, as with the luxury sector in general, the demand for luxury travel is expected to grow, especially in relation to emerging economies, e.g., in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). (Brown and Hudson 2011). 

Many people are wanting the back packer experience, traditionally perceived as the college graduates way to travel the globe. However for many there is a longing desire to explore new places, experience new cultures and potentially the the days of ‘stay-cation’ will be over and many people may not want to remain in one place for the duration of their vacation, people will want to travel and experience a number of different places in one trip. This trend is already evident in the new generation Luxury adventure travellers. This has become very popular   in 2011 and I believe it will continue to be so right through 2012 and beyond.

Tanzania Luxury Safari ( urbane nomads)
 Luxury Travel companies are pushing the boundaries for new destinations and innovative ideas. Eg The "Ends of the Earth" Journeys: More and more Luxury Travelers are seeking unique experiences    that in a sense are ‘Off the radar’. These include rarely visited European countries such as Albania and Serbia, the Russian Far East, and Greenland; Central Asian spots such as Uzbekistan; and offshore destinations such as the Falkland Islands and Papua New Guinea. (Thomas Stanley, Cox & Kings).   
Papua New Guinea: A must in Adventure Travel. 

Spiritual Journeys: Resorts in the Himalayas, where people can relax in peace learn mediation techniques and yoga. Companies such as AberCrombie and Kent  and Brown and Hudson provide a number of different spiritual experiences for example their trips to eastern India where you will see the remnants of the British Raj in Kolkata, visit Buddhist monasteries throughout Sikkim and explore the incredible Himalaya countryside (AberCrombie & Kent).  Cox & Kings offers a journey to the latter called “Spirit of Burma” wherein guests can energise their chakra by visiting ancient Buddhist temples and the Mahagandayon Monastery, where over a thousand Buddhist monks live and study. 

For the affluent travellers the test of its success will be in organisation of the travel, all elements must work seamlessly, from the planning process to returning home, including transportation, accommodation, ground services and tours. Therefore the element of luxury is still there as everything is taken care of and all you have to do is open your eye’s and enjoy the experience of discovering the world around us. 
What seems ironic is the fact that this world, full of diversity and uniqueness has always been around us, however people have craved the luxury of 5-6 star hotels which have recently been created . I am not suggesting that Luxury hotels will see a massive decrease in their booking in years to come however I do feel certain companies will broaden their horizons and follow the trends set by the luxury travel companies, in order to be successful they will have to adopt a eco-sustainable approach. 
Eco- tourism is taking over in the realms of luxury travel, for example destinations with fascinating cultures and traditions including Israel and Peru, are growing in popularity with affluent travellers, as are destinations actively working to protect nature and endangered animal species. 

                            Luxury Hotel by the Lake Titicaca in Peru : Urbane Nomads

This leads to another trend that will emerge, out of season destinations: people will opt to go to their favourite places they often visit but for a new experience, i.e. venturing into the countryside and visiting uncharted territory that is not listed in the travel magazines or the tourist guides that we pick up a the airport. Many places have more to offer that the A-list celebrity  haunts. We are surrounded by a world of luxury goods and services, however the real luxuries in life can also be found in the remote regions of the Himalayas, or Ushuaia, a small island off south America where you find the tranquility and isolation people are now craving, something money cannot buy!! 
Ushuaia. Luxury Adventure travel. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Monaco Yacht Show

Looking down on the Harbour from my vantage point in Monaco, it was an immense sight to see the yachts depart from the infamous Port Hercules. 
With months of preparation, it was all over after 30,000 attendee's walked the docks and the exhibition Halls over four days of intensive activity. Although the overall attendance was down the quality of the clientele has improved according to the gossip on the docks. Within 24 hours after the last horn blasted from the Port, signalling the closing of the show on Saturday the 24th of September, all of the yachts that do not reside in Monaco have started their migration from the Cote D'zur to either, Italy for the upcoming Genoa Show, or across the Atlantic to the greater Miami area for the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show which is the largest in the World. 

 This year, the Fort Lauderdale show will have over $3 billion worth of inventory on display. According to the industry professions in Monaco the Fort Lauderdale show is positioned to have its largest number of 50 m + yachts in the history of the show. 
As for what boats sold it appears that sales in the larger segment of the market (i.e. 60 m+), continue to drive the market in the right direction. 

Friday, September 16, 2011


The clock is ticking and the countdown has begun, in just one week's  time the ‘Only Watch 2011 charity auction’ will be held once again during the Monaco Yacht show (MYS). 
The Principality of Monaco is always to proud to host the most prestigious international Yacht Show and this year marks the 21st Anniversary of the show.  
  Ulysse Nardin will also  celebrating their third consecutive year as the shows official sponser. Among the most reliable evermade, Ulysse Nardin’s marine chronometers that have been expertly steering captains and their crews with faultless precision are still sought by collectors around the world.  Ulysse Nardin continues to be in the forefront of watchmaking technology by pioneering new materials in manufacturing high precision movement components and most innovative timepieces.
The “Only Watch 2011″ charity auction will be held on September 22, 2011, under the high patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and jointly organised with the Antiquorum auction house. Thirty-four participating brands, will be offering more than 40 fabulous timepieces pieces to what will be the fourth edition of the bi-annual auction and will take place on the 22nd of September. This collection will also make a world tour during the year to appeal to the international community of collectors, with stops in Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, and Geneva

It is a special year for the Manufacture from La Chaux-de-Fonds as they are donating a one-of-a-kind Petite Heure Minute model created especially for the occasion..  Jaquet Droz, who  will be unveiling a unique Petite Heure Minute model. This exclusive luxury watch will feature an ivory Grand Feu enameled dial adorned with details from one of the principality’s most renowned landscapes, a marvelous specimen of the art of miniature painting on enamel. In choosing to apply this painstaking technique, Jaquet Droz wished to honor an ancestral art with a 21st-century interpretation of the traditions practiced by its founder . 
This watch will no doubt bring a lot of attention to the auction, it is already appearing in a number of luxury magazines as many are fascinated by its exquisite detail on the face of the watch.  The lengthy process takes a master artisan at least a week, with one eye to the microscope, to finish one of these entirely hand-crafted masterpieces. 
Petite Heure Minute features a self-winding mechanical movement, a double barrel, a 68-hour power reserve with a 22-carat white gold oscillating weight bearing a sunray motif executed by the skilled hand of a master engraver, and a Jaquet Droz’ secret signature. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 meters), this superlative model comes in a 43 mm watchcase of 18-carat red gold. 

There are so many pieces I could feature in this article but I wanted to choose showcase some of the more original designs that will be up for auction.  The Bovet 7-day Tourbillon 'Only Watch 2011' demonstrates an Amadeo case. Due to the unique construction of the case, the wearer can easily “turn” the wristwatch into a table clock or a pocket watch. The timepiece also boasts a reversible display adapted to the brand’s tourbillons.  It shows off a dragon and a phoenix inspired by the Chinese mythology. According to the principles of Feng Shui, the dragon and Phoenix coupled together embody the perfect harmony of 'Yin' and 'Yang'. 

The 44mm case of the Bovet 7-day Tourbillon Only Watch 2011 is rendered in 18K red gold. It is coupled with an alligator leather strap or an 18K red gold chain.

Ikepod are also offering a one of kind piece for the auction. It is a red version of the Ikepod Hourglass and is a truly stunning piece.  

All proceeds from the sale enable the Monegasque Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to continue to support international research projects into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a field in which the Association has been actively involved since 2005.

Participating watch brands 2011
Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Bovet Fleurier, Breguet, Celsius, Chanel, Chaumet, Chopard, Corum, De Bethune, Delacour, De Witt, Franck Muller, Frédérique Constant, Girard Perregaux, Harry Winston, Hermès, Hublot, Ikepod/Marc Newson, Jaquet Droz, Laurent Ferrier, Louis Vuitton, Maurice Lacroix, MB&F, Mont Blanc, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Richard Mille, Romain Jérôme, Tag Heuer, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vulcain, Zenith

The Monaco Yacht show is set to welcome over 30,000 visitors this year and if you are wanting to attend and have have any interest in a certain yacht please contact me at
There are a number of new superyacht berths which have been made available to the show boosting the number of yachts that can attend. Taking up one of those berths is Palumbo’s newest edition to the superyacht market, 54m motor yacht Prima . This Yacht show is considered, by many in the industry to be the worlds most important superyacht show. 
MY Prima, 54m (177') by Palumbo Shipyard and designed by Sergio Cutolo.

For information regarding Superyachts in the Monaco Yacht Show or to organise viewings contact