Luxurious Magazine interviews Nicola Iacono, founder of luxury yacht charter brokerage Silver Star Yachting for some inside information of the industry.
In recent years, Silver Star Yachting has emerged as one of the leading yacht brokers in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Born from a passion for yachts and a love of the Mediterranean, Rosanna Arcamone and her husband Nicola Iacono founded Silver Star Yachting in 2008. A combined 25 years of experience in the industry allowed the couple to develop and grow the business, and Silver Star Yachting now offers its clients more than 1,400 luxury yachts across several of the finest international charter destinations.
Luxurious Magazine caught up with Nicola to find out where he gets his inspiration and drive.
When and how was your business founded?
My wife and I founded Silver Star Yachting in 2008. At that time Rosanna had already accumulated 10 years of experience in the yachting industry as a chief stewardess on superyachts. Meanwhile I had accrued experiences in the industry through my various business affairs with luxury travel brands in Italy. We found that we both had a burning desire to start a luxury yacht charter brokerage and this is how the idea of Silver Star Yachting was born. It seemed like the natural progression for us at the time.
How has Silver Star Yachting developed over the years?
Silver Star Yachting has grown over the years with a distinct focus on customer satisfaction at all times. We used our broad knowledge of the market and our network of contacts to build a modest yacht brokerage into a competitive firm with attractive yacht charter options for a range of different clients.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We have a special relationship with our clients. As a small company, we are able to spend more time with our clients and get to know them more intimately. That way we are able to suggest more targeted yachts and give more informed suggestions for destinations than other firms. Our team is available for consultation 24/7 and we are happy to conduct in depth visits of the vessels upon request. It is the personable nature of our service that sets us apart.
Are you working on any new developments at the moment?
The future is looking bright at the moment. We are currently in the process of acquiring some new yachts and recently we have renovated our website. We are also in the process of finalising a few lucrative partnerships with the famous fashion houses.
What are your top tips for people deciding on where to charter?
It really is difficult to say without first meeting the client and learning his or her needs and preferences. The answer to that question depends on what kind of charter the clients are looking for. For those who are looking for sporting holidays, we can suggest active itineraries in the Mediterranean, with excellent spots for diving and snorkelling; while for others, who simply want to relax in the lap of luxury, we can build custom itineraries to the French Riviera or Porto Cervo. The answer to your question also depends upon the season the client is looking to charter in and the size and type of yacht. For example, a sailing yacht is best suited to somewhere like Sardinia, where the winds are ideal and the scenery is spectacular, meanwhile a motor yacht may be more convenient for the French Riviera, where there are large ports.
What is the most bizarre client request you’ve received?
We have had some pretty extraordinary requests over the years. It’s not a secret that yachting industry is one of the most demanding, but our approach to every charter is very personal, with every team member bending over backwards to get the clients exactly what they need. So yes, our clients do keep us on our toes and at times we get unexpected and even challenging requests. There is one occasion in particular which comes to mind. This particular client requested a private jet from Nice to Naples followed by a luxury yacht tour of Capri and shopping on the island before flying back to Nice in one day. The client of course got what he wanted!
Do you know the yachts you charter and their crew personally?
Yes, 95% of them. We visit them in the ports or boat shows and if it’s not possible we ask for any sort of feedback from other clients (through other brokers). On one occasion we travelled from Ischia to Monaco to visit a yacht for our best client.
What is your favourite yacht and why?
I am quite a romantic when it comes to yachting and so, perhaps surprisingly, my favourite yacht is actually a sailing yacht. S/Y Far and Wide is a charming sailing yacht with a sporty streak to it. It’s great if you’re looking for thrills and adventure and an authentic sailing experience.
What are the most popular yacht features charter clients are looking for?
That’s an easy one. Clients always request Jacuzzis, jet skis, at-anchor stabilizers and, of course, great food!
What promotions or offers do you have for a 2015 luxury yacht charter in the Mediterranean?
We try, as with all of our clients, to negotiate the best deal for every yacht. For any advance bookings we offer clients discounts of up to 15%, depending on the boat.
Are you attending any upcoming yacht shows?
Yes. We will be present at the MYBA Show in Genoa. Please feel free to visit us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.