Posts tagged Stories
Sponsor Story: Kiwi Luxe hospitality with SKYCITY

Located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, SKYCITY is New Zealand’s biggest tourism, leisure and entertainment company and has a reputation for hosting excellence. SKYCITY Auckland is a bustling place, with dining, attractions and a calendar of exciting events. Along with the tallest building in New Zealand – the Sky Tower – SKYCITY boasts world-class hotels and an entire precinct of activity, including award-winning restaurants. The Federal Street precinct is a particularly popular hub for food and beverage, in a buzzing environment.

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It is no surprise that SKYCITY is the host of choice for visitors looking for a luxury experience in Auckland, with superyacht visitors regularly being welcomed by the SKYCITY team. At The Superyacht Gathering the SKYCITY team will be partnering with the opening party and showing their incredible vision for Kiwi Luxe hospitality, injecting a local flavour into the event and showcasing their warm welcome.

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“There’s so much going on here at SKYCITY Auckland for you to enjoy,” say the SKYCITY team. “Dining, entertainment, activities and more on offer, day or night. Let us entertain you!”

Take a look for yourself with these videos of the SKYCITY precinct.

Welcome to the incredible SKYCITY

SKYCITY Grand Presidential Suite

Sponsor Story: Experience Unforgettable Auckland

Over the past years and decades Auckland has grown to become a real superyacht hub, with greater and greater numbers of yachts seeking out the delights of the city and its many yachting amenities. As a luxury destination, Auckland combines all the elements for an incredible visit. Secret beaches, vineyards, culture, hospitality, incredible food and wine and much more. It is no surprise that Auckland is such a popular destination – both by sea and shore.

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The Superyacht Gathering will be the perfect opportunity to showcase Auckland’s many appeals, with the three-day programme encompassing many of Auckland’s biggest draws. Guests will enjoy a real flavour of Auckland, including local culture, world-class yachting facilities, a warm Kiwi welcome and the cosmopolitan setting.

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Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and the city of Auckland have invested longstanding support and time into encouraging greater numbers of yachts to visit Auckland and experience its offerings. “Auckland is the hub of New Zealand’s marine sector with more than 65 per cent of the country’s industry based in the region,” says Steve Armitage, ATEED General Manager. “Attracting high-spending superyachts provides us with not only a platform to showcase Auckland as a destination but to also highlight the region’s marine sector capabilities particularly as we work towards hosting the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. 

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ATEED is hugely supportive of superyacht visitors and of their huge contribution to the local economy, acknowledging that, “Superyacht visits bring in millions to the regional economy.” ATEED’s contribution and support of the local superyacht sector has proved invaluable, helping to position the city as a must-do destination for superyachts and grow visitation numbers. “ATEED has spent the last five years developing key relationships involved with the superyacht market including owners, investors and international superyacht brokerage houses and it’s fantastic to see these efforts paying off,” says Armitage. “It’s particularly exciting to hear that so many of the owners of these superyachts have visited and toured New Zealand this summer, experiencing our local cuisine and produce, embarking on a range of tourism experiences and enjoying our local hospitality or manaakitanga.” 

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As the Summer season of 2018/2019 draws to a close, our superyacht visitors leave full of praise for their time in Auckland and the experiences they have shared in the city. Come, visit, experience and see for yourself just why the city is so special.

Sponsor Story: Experience the extraordinary with Heletranz

Owned by Sofia and John Ambler, Heletranz is a family-run business that has built a reputation as one of New Zealand’s best helicopter service providers, even flying former US President Barack Obama during his 2018 visit to New Zealand.

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Pioneers of Heli-Fishing and Heli-Dining in the Auckland region, Helentranz specialises in creating luxury, tailored solutions both in and around Auckland and Waiheke Island and further afield, always creating bespoke itineraries for their guests. Over the years they have worked with many superyacht clients during their time in the country, always working to the Heletranz mantra of ‘experience the extraordinary’. There is no better way to appreciate the sheer beauty and scale of New Zealand than from the air, and with the Heletranz team and their fleet of high performance helicopters, guests are in good hands.  

Heli Fishing on Kawau Island

Heli Fishing on Kawau Island

Join us as we take a glimpse into life as a Chief Pilot at Heletranz Helicopters.

What does a typical day involve at Heletranz?

We have an early wake up and start, as machines need to be pulled out and cleaned inside and out. This is done everyday, whether we are fly VIP overseas guests on a multi-day NZ tour or a scenic flight over the city. We never settle for any less than excellence. The beauty, and challenge, of this job is that no day is like the other. Last year we spent three days flying former US President Obama and his entourage around golf courses and five star lodges and then our next job was helping a 90-year-old grandma into the helicopter to tick another box on her Bucket List – she was supported by 20 family members who all came to cheer her on, having a picnic in the office while she went around the Sky Tower. I really like that we offer something for everyone, from a $199 seat on a scenic to a $299,000 itinerary flying around NZ.

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Where is your favourite place to fly?

New Zealand is so spectacular and so there are so many favorite places, but finding a little slice of God's own all to yourself and being surrounded by NZ’s stunning nature is so special. Great Barrier Island is a favorite spot for a swim or a spot of fishing. Waiheke Islands is so popular… sometimes I just wish it was me getting out of the heli walking 20 meters to enjoy a glass of wine and some gourmet  kiwi food, but I always have to take off again….

Auckland itself has so many hidden treasures – we are privileged to live in this special city. There are also so many awesome places further afield too. It does not happen as often, but I love flying over Abel Tasman and the rugged West Coast of the South Island.

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To create your own custom Heletranz experience, Sofia, John and the team look forward to working with you to create the extraordinary.

www.heletranz.co.nz

Sponsor Story: Burgess - industry innovators

Since Burgess’ beginnings the company has built a reputation for innovation, and for driving many of the superyacht industry’s most important changes. The first CA listing, the first charter brochure, founder members of MYBA, the first Technical department, the first full-service offering, the first series build with Amels, the first office in Asia and more… truly, their mark has been left on the industry in so many positive ways.

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Today, innovation and thinking in new ways is still at the heart of all that Burgess does. “We have been leading the superyacht industry for over 40 years and it’s a theme that still drives us, with recent forward-thinking projects including the hybrid propulsion system on board our recently delivered new build, 109-m BRAVO EUGENIA,” says Jonathan Beckett, CEO of Burgess.  

This approach includes thinking of new and positive ways for owners to enjoy their boats, with one avenue being Burgess’ championing of eco and conservation charters, particularly in the South Pacific. Helping to preserve the oceans for future generations, while interacting with the water in a meaningful way, has become a speciality of the Burgess charter team. London-based Burgess broker Sophie Holmes has been a particular supporter of this, working together with ocean conservation charities and creating low-impact yet spectacular experiences. These include taking charter clients on diving excursions with the not-for-profit company SeaLegacy, letting them enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences with a range of extraordinary marine life, while also learning about measures being taken to ensure their protection and survival.

Exploring the deeps in a memorable way.

Exploring the deeps in a memorable way.

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“Burgess is a big advocate of raising awareness and support for the preservation of our beautiful oceans,” says Sophie Holmes. “The Burgess Blue Oceans programme has actioned several initiatives in the way we work and the messages we send, such as going plastic-free at boat shows; our Technical Services team is making significant improvements to help construct more eco-friendly yachts and the Charter team is actively promoting inspirational eco-friendly charters.”

Sophie Holmes

Sophie Holmes

Just like The Superyacht Gathering’s experience-based approach, Burgess understands how important it is to many of their clients to have meaningful and important experiences that give back and do good as well as providing enjoyment. “Forward-thinking charter clients are not only looking for first-class service and luxurious on-board amenities, they are showing a growing awareness of the need to preserve the natural beauty of our oceans,” explains Sophie. “Increasingly clients appreciate not just the majesty, but also the fragility of the ecosystem at the heart of our industry. We need to find ways to protect it without losing the ability to enjoy it and to share the wonder we all feel.”

Once again Burgess is leading the charge for positive change within the industry. The Superyacht Gathering is proud to be on this journey with the Burgess team.

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Sponsor Story: Port Denarau Marina – the Pacific’s premier superyacht facility

With more and more superyachts responding to the allure of the pristine South Pacific, numbers of yacht visitors to the region are growing by the year. In 2017 over 665 visiting yachts and 65 superyachts arrived to enjoy Fiji’s stunning setting. At Fiji’s Port Denarau Marina yachts can be sure of a warm welcome, with world-class facilities including 20 superyacht berths for yachts up to 85-metres. Recognised as the International Marina of the Year 2015-18 by the Marina Industries Association, Port Denarau Marina is an award-winning facility, with a relaxed luxury vibe that perfectly complements Fiji’s warm welcome to its visitors.

Cruising up through clear blue waters towards Port Denaura Marina, visiting yachts are greeted by the friendly Marina team, including General Manager Cynthia Rasch. The marina is home to over 56 private berths, with 20 dedicated superyacht berths, complemented by all-modern facilities. These include maintenance facilities, the nearby Denarau Yacht Club and a busy hub of shops and restaurants. Visiting yachts can benefit from the marina team’s extensive yachting knowledge and customised recommendations for all the highlights of Denarau and the wider cruising grounds in Fiji.

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Port Denarau’s success has been in large part due to the hard work of Nigel Skeggs and the Skeggs family who were central in the development of Denarau’s marina facilities. With a background working on superyachts, on arriving into Fiji Nigel set about developing the existing marina infrastructure, making use of his experience to build a marina to cater exactly to the demands of superyachts. This focused approach worked, and today Port Denarau Marina is a world class facility, perfectly suited to those yachts with a spirit of adventure who choose to venture to the incredible cruising grounds that Fiji and the wider South Pacific has to offer.

And there is plenty on offer. From clear blue waters, teeming with sealife, white sand beaches, a rich culture, fresh local dishes and more, the appeal of Fiji is endless. Welcome to Port Denarau Marina, a true yachting paradise.

www.portdenarau.com

Sponsor Story: The Spirit of Individuality with Royal Huisman

For the team at Royal Huisman, their goal is simple. To create beautiful custom yachts, always tailored to the individual client. Founded in 1884, the yard has evolved from building wooden working boats to become an award-winning superyacht builder with more than 330 craftsmen and women on the team. With a reputation for breaking the mould, their yachts are an extraordinary blend of 21st century technology and innovation, traditional craftsmanship and timeless value.

Part of the evolution of many of Royal Huisman’s yacht designs has been a growing thirst for adventure amongst their owners, with more and more clients seeking yachts that are crafted for exploring the world. The yard has relished the challenge of creating yachts that are able to see and experience the world in a new way. 

“Sailors tend to be adventurous people with a curiosity to see the world: individuals who know instinctively that the best possible way to encounter the wonders of the planet is by sea. Better still, from aboard your own yacht,” says the yard. “Despite this the Mediterranean and the Caribbean remain among the most popular sailing destinations for cruising yachtsmen. Yet the rewards of more distant regions can be so exceptional that the effort of reaching them will be repaid many times over, throughout a lifetime. We are increasingly seeing this belief reflected in the visions of our clients. So many of our owners enjoy global sailing and many of our yachts have undertaken thousands of miles to all corners of the world. New Zealand, the North West Passage, Alaska, Asia, the Galapagos and more.”

Some of Royal Huisman’s adventurous fleet, profiled on the Royal Huisman Instagram feed. Including Twizzle in New Zealand and French Polynesia, WISP in Norway, Pumula in Fiji and Athena in Alaska

As a fully custom yard, Royal Huisman prides itself on creating yachts that match these discerning individuals with exceptional expectations. Understanding the evolving ways that owners use, engage with and experience their yachts is at the heart of the yard’s approach, and what helps Royal Huisman to keep yachts that lead the market.  

Above all, no matter what the brief of each client, they Royal Huisman team relishes the challenge of building projects that are truly unique. Their tag line says it all.

“If you can dream it, we can build it.”

Learn more by visiting www.royalhuisman.com

 

Sponsor Story: The taste of New Zealand with PCL Marine

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf

For Alice Brodie, Business Manager at PCL Marine, no two days are the same. One morning might see her visiting growers and suppliers, with a superyacht chef, the next taking a tour of PCL Marine’s own butchery. Working directly with New Zealand’s marine sector – including visiting and locally based superyachts, and superyachts cruising the wider South Pacific – Alice’s passion is connecting superyachts with the best of local and international fare, and engaging them with where their produce is coming from. It’s about making what we offer an experience in itself.

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Alice Brodie at work

PCL Marine – part of parent company The Produce Company – has been working with superyachts for nearly 15 years. Working as the supplier for the lion’s share of Auckland Top 50 restaurants, it was inevitable that superyachts would soon get wind of the company as a source of the best provisioning in New Zealand. From there things spiralled, and the PCL Marine division is now entirely dedicated to supporting the niche marine sector and the demands of its discerning clientele.

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“We want visiting superyachts to understand the full scale of what we offer and that we are a full service superyacht provisioning agency… we have our own butchery, sell beverages, caviar, truffles, guests’ favourite brands from home, as well as showcasing the best of NZ food and beverage,” says Alice. “New Zealand’s food industry offers premium quality, award winning artisan producers, with a focus on health and wellbeing”.

 

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Providing beautiful high-quality produce tailored to yacht use, is a key goal, with the list of the tantalising products on offer seemingly endless. “We offer superb quality handpicked 55-day aged beef, TeMana Lamb, award winning free range sausages and beautiful NZ game – wild sheep, rabbit, goat and deer. I have discovered the best cured venison, beef and lamb products New Zealand has to offer, we work closely with NZ’s only organic chicken supplier and also communicate directly with fishing boats and seafood suppliers to cater to any guest and chef specifications.”

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With an intimate knowledge of New Zealand’s produce, Alice is a true believer in listening to client’s wish list and then engaging them with the local specialities including site visits to key producers. This helps yacht chefs create bespoke menus that have been tailored around the best of the incredible produce on offer. “We really want to help the superyacht chefs tell a story about New Zealand’s flavours and offerings via our food,” says Alice. “Food and beverage is such a crucial part of the overall superyacht experience and it’s a privilege to work with superyacht chefs to create something memorable and uniquely New Zealand.”

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This approach pays, with visiting superyachts hailing PCL Marine as their one stop shop.

‘If you come down to The South Pacific, PCL Marine is just the best. We have been cruising the region for the last three years and wherever we were, they always made it happen; Taihiti, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, even Palau, and of course Auckland. Each island has their own challenges, but if you give them enough time, they can pretty much make anything happen.’ Chef Eric- MY DRAGONFLY.

 

Sponsor Story: Crafting the trip of a lifetime with Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ

The team at Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand specialise in helping visiting superyachts make the most of their time in New Zealand. Assisting with all the yacht’s needs – from fuel to phones – other offerings include creating premium custom itineraries for yachts, both onshore and at sea.

During a recent extended visit to New Zealand, the captain and chief stewardess of a 67m yacht called upon Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand to craft them a bespoke itinerary around the South Island. Duthie and the team rose to the challenge, creating an action-packed itinerary around some of the South Island’s most memorable spots. Read on to learn more about their adventures.  

Travels around New Zealand’s South Island 

Working as the captain and chief stewardess of a 67m sailing yacht Captain Graham Newton and Rochelle Andrus have seen their fair share of special destinations on their travels around the world. But it was a recent road trip to New Zealand’s South Island that they describe as “the trip of a lifetime.”

Their yacht had spent several months visiting New Zealand, arriving in late 2017 before departing in May 2018, with Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand as its local agent. During their time in the country Captain Graham and Rochelle explored the beautiful North Island but the South Island beckoned too.  

The duo planned a two-week itinerary that would take them around the best the South Island had to offer, taking in everything from stunning scenery to world-class wine and heli hiking. Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ was on hand to help customise a bespoke itinerary that would showcase all that this special part of the world has to offer.

Here, Captain Graham and Rochelle describe this unforgettable trip in their own words:

Wellington to Marlborough, via Blenheim

After flying to Wellington from Auckland, we took the ferry over Cook Strait in order to experience the Marlborough Sounds by water. The crossing was beautiful and very smooth and on arrival we drove to Marlborough via Blenheim. We loved being in wine country, and Wairau Valley was a particular highlight – the blue cheese soufflé is to die for! – and we visited lots of the other big names including Cloudy Bay, and stayed with an ex-crew friend who is part of the family who owns the Oyster Bay vineyard. This region is so stunning and the scale of winegrowing is amazing.

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Marlborough to Abel Tasman via Nelson 

After leaving Marlborough we drove over to Nelson, which was a beautiful little town, and then out to the Abel Tasman National Park. The drive out there was pretty special with spectacular scenery. We spent a couple of days there and a highlight was a full day of kayaking, which really was amazing. Paddling around in the kayak, we kept thinking what a special place it would be to take a yacht with so much spectacular scenery and wildlife.

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Abel Tasman to Murchison 

After leaving Abel Tasman we drove over towards the West Coast via Murchison, where we enjoyed a bike ride up to Lake Matiri in yet more amazing scenery. It’s hard to describe just how beautiful and untouched the South Island is and we were constantly in awe of our surroundings.

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Murchison to Franz Josef Glacier

We then drove down to Franz Josef Glacier, stopping at the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes on the way. At Franz Josef we stayed in the Rainforest Retreat, which was yacht guest standard with new deluxe cabins – a great option for owners/guests wanting some time on land. We opted for the half day heli hike up to see the glaciers, and the guide was fantastic and really made the experience both interesting and safe. That was a special day.

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 Franz Josef to Wanaka

Leaving Franz Josef we enjoyed some spectacular driving along the West coast roads. After arriving into Wanaka we enjoyed a big bike ride around the lake, which took us through the flats and farmland to the mountains behind.

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 Wanaka to Te Anau (Milford Sounds)

Leaving Wanaka we drove through the Crown Ranges and visited the Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels, which is in an amazing setting with snowy peaks behind it. We then pushed on to Te Anau, the last town before Milford Sounds. That road trip took in some incredible scenery so although it was a lot of driving the setting made it such an experience that was well worth it.

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Milford Sounds

After an early start we travelled to Milford and did a boat cruise through the Milford Sounds, which was well run and organised, and enjoyed another kayak trip. The natural beauty of our surroundings left an impression. The area was quite busy with tourist boats so we probably wouldn’t take a yacht there but would go to nearby Dusky Sounds instead and take advantage of the unspoilt surroundings of a boat-only destination.

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Milford Sounds to Queenstown

From Milford Sounds we drove back to Queenstown and stayed at Eichardts, which lived up to its luxury reputation with a beautiful room and a great location right on the lake, enjoying some of the amazing local red wine in front of a roaring fire. The hotel has a very private two-bedroom penthouse suite available for owners, with chauffeur, private elevator and chef, that would be ideal for owners or guests.

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Queenstown

Our last day was the highlight of an unforgettable trip. We flew with Alpine Helicopters up to Minaret Station, a luxury lodge in the hills only accessible by helicopter. We took a longer route through the glaciers and landed on a glacier with fresh snow, before doing heliskiing using the helicopter as skis! On our way to the Station we spotted lots of wildlife, including deer and chamois, and on arrival we enjoyed a very special lunch. The whole experience was incredible from start to finish, from the food quality to staff interaction and surroundings, and we would take guests there in a heartbeat. Minaret Station would be a great location for guests to enjoy while their yacht was transiting between the North and South Islands, before travelling by helicopter to meet their yacht in the Sounds.

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On way back we flew out from the Station up to Wanaka and then flew back to Queenstown, stopping at the Cardrona Distillery for a private tour – it was fascinating seeing a distillery starting from scratch and they were very passionate about what they were doing and extremely knowledgeable. From Queenstown we flew back to Auckland, rounding off a once-in-a-lifetime trip. 

Highlights

Our 13 days on the South Island was unforgettable but the day at Minaret Station was definitely a highlight. It was amazing from start to finish, a glamour day, and our helicopter pilot couldn’t have been more knowledgeable. We defy anyone to have a day like that and not enjoy it and we couldn’t recommend this enough for owners. The whole experience was sleek, high-luxury, and so well organised.

For crew, the glacier in Franz Josef was another highlight and the guides made the experience standout. A must do for anyone visiting New Zealand.

Graham and Rochelle highly recommend any superyacht seeking to venture into the Pacific and cruise New Zealand to make contact with Duthie Lidgard at Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ duthie@asia-pacific-superyachts.co.nz