A rapidly changing face of luxury: The world’s ultra wealthy and the luxury yachting sector. Report

A superyacht is the ultimate platform of luxury.

How the shifting sands of wealth and luxury affect trends in yachting.

superyacht birdseyeview

With an average price tag of US$10 million, a superyacht is a luxury item owned and enjoyed by the ultra wealthy. A new, younger generation of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) is increasingly focused on pursuing rare, tailored experiences over accumulating replicable ‘things,’ says a new Wealth-X report on the
world’s ultra wealthy and the luxury yachting sector. In part this is because such uniqueness both confers and confirms high status for those who can secure such experiences. The report sheds light on how the shifting sands of wealth and luxury affect trends in yachting.

To understand what unique experiences will be sought out, Wealth-X analyzed data from 211,275 UHNWI – defined as those with a minimum net worth of US$30 million – globally. The data identified three factors that marked these experiences as desirable: time or making every moment count, privacy during the experience and personalization to both meet individual tastes and to provide something truly one of a kind. A superyacht is the ultimate platform of luxury: it is personalized, private and provides access to unique experiences in food and drink, travel and culture and activities and entertainment.

voyager with bell helicopter

As the pursuit of luxury moves from goods and services to unique experiences, the ultra wealthy are demanding that the returns on their most precious possession, time, are maximized in every way possible. Superyachts provide the pre-eminent platform to do this.

“This report identifies the convergence of this segment’s desire for privacy as well as their seeking of new and unique experiences in their travel,” says Mykolas Rambus, Wealth-X CEO.

superyacht with toys
Key findings from the report include:

  • The average value of a superyacht is US$10 million;
  • Only 4,476 individuals own a superyacht;
  • The top countries for UHNWI superyacht owners are the United States (33%), United Kingdom (11%), Italy (5%), Australia (4%) and Russia (3%).
  • UHNWIs are about 88% of the share of the luxury market for yachts, with an annual spend of US$22 billion.
    superyacht crew member

Wealth-X and Camper & Nicholsons also identified four trends in the yachting industry, including:

  • Ultimate Luxury vs. Adventure: Growing desire for remote locations such as the Galapagos, Antarctica and Asia, meaning demand for ice-breaking hulls and long range capabilities is on the up.
  • Innovative Layouts: Today’s yachts are moving away from traditional, compartmentalized layouts toward brighter, open-plan interiors. Also, there is increased attention to the outdoor areas to create a direct, intimate experience of the sea.
  • New Toys and Entertainment: Alongside standard toys such as jet skis, waterskis and canoes, there is an increasing demand for the latest gadgets such as a jetlev, skibob or hover board. Top-quality cinema rooms are also becoming popular.
  • Focus on Health and Wellness: In order to not compromise passenger health when aboard, yachts are offering expert personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists, and masseurs.
  • blackswan superyacht