- A cruise ship at the Monaco Grand Prix was hired out by just one person
- The Windstar Star Breeze cruise ship parked up at the Monte Carlo Marina
- Hiring out a cruise ship can cost far less per guest than a superyacht
Forget superyachts, the rich and famous are now renting out cruise ships for the ultimate in luxurious travel.
While a superyacht offers a taste of the high life, the number of guests you can bring on board can be limited. Russian billionaire Kirill Pisarev, for instance, sold his £15million superyacht recently because he ‘realised the vessel is too small’ for him, his wife and their four children.
However, for around $500,000, a 200-capacity cruise ship can be rented out for a week, with guests’ every need catered for, as they would be in a commercial operation.
Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix last year, the Windstar Star Breeze cruise ship parked up at the Monte Carlo Marina – it had been hired out by one wealthy person
For the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, Windstar’s 212-passenger Star Breeze moored up into the Monte Carlo marina in a private berth a yacht would normally use, reports Bloomberg News.
It was discovered that the vessel had been rented out by a wealthy client, with guests able to come and go as they please, enjoy all on-board activities, as well as take advantage of spectacular boat trips.
Rich people with rich friends are now hiring cruise ships for holiday get togethers
Bloomberg reports that a seven-day trip on one of Windstar’s 212-passenger Star-class ships could cost ‘from $600,000 to $1million.’
Crystal Esprit’s private-hire rates start at a slightly lower $500,000 per week.
Speaking to MailOnline Travel, Benjamin Maltby superyact expert with Matrix Lloyd, said: ‘Renting cruise ships can cost hirers considerably less per guest than chartering a superyacht. Due to a quirk of yachting law, the number of guests allowed on these vessels is limited to 12 – or occasionally 36 – so if more than this want to get afloat together privately, a cruise ship is the only option.
‘Standards of service on ships may not be as polished as superyachts, but the feeling of being part of a single group – reveling in each other’s company – is very much the same.
‘But cruise ships are bigger. And bigger means sitting lower in the water – which means the secret coves and bays which a superyacht may reach may be inaccessible.
‘Superyachts are also the personal playthings of the unimaginably wealthy – not profit-maximising, calculated investments – so they’re far more quirky, with more water-sports toys and works of art.
‘In the superyacht sector, we’re thrilled to see more and more cruise ships being chartered out rather than carrying passengers. It’s not quite yachting, but anything which helps to whet the appetites of would-be superyacht charterers is a good thing.’
Adam Coulter, UK Editor of CruiseCritic.co.uk, added: ‘This would be the ultimate dream come true for most cruisers, but beyond reach of the vast majority. While historically it’s been common practice for very wealthy travellers to charter a private jet or a yacht, the increasing choice of cruise offerings means that renting an entire ship is becoming more popular for this elite set. It not only means they can access a truly personalised travel experience, but also extend the invite to a larger group of people.
‘Most of us can just keep dreaming – or get a group of friends and family together and hire out a few cabins.’
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online