Motor yacht Ocean Emerald, a futuristic 41m Norman Foster-designed superyacht, and the first foreign-flagged vessel over 30m to receive a Thai charter license, is being heavily promoted by yacht agents for winter charter.
Following news of her application for the license back in September, with the help of leading Thai yacht agent Jstar and Staple, the permit was awarded at the launch of the inaugural Thailand Yacht Show on board the Rodriquez Yachts built superyacht last month.
At the launch party, Thailand’s deputy prime minister spoke about the license, which was created in order to grow Thailand’s superyacht industry. He said, “Before embarking on this major yacht show to invite local and international boating industry to promote Thailand as a yachting destination, we decided to create a national framework which would attract more yachts to visit and stay in Thailand. This includes change in superyacht charter regulations, more yachting-friendly immigration and customs rules, introduction of new locations for marina and investment promotion packages for marinas.”
The Thailand Yacht Show will take place from the 11th to 14th February 2016 in official partnership with the Thai Government as part of the tourism initiative. A host of sailing and watersports activities will accompany the inaugural show, spread over seven days from the 8th to 14th February, in and around Ao Po Grand Marina.
Currently based in Pattaya in Thailand, at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Ocean Emerald is now being heavily promoted by numerous local charter agents. She is the first of what the government hopes will be many more licensed superyachts, with further charter applications expected in due course.
Andy Treadwell, organiser of the Thailand Yacht Show commented, “I am absolutely delighted that, thanks to the initiative of the Prime Minister himself, and the tremendous proactivity of the Minister of Transport and the Director General of the Marine Department in particular, we have recently been able to announce the new charter license for foreign-flagged superyachts. As a result, we are today able to launch a truly international yacht show for Thailand.”
Ocean Emerald recently completed a refit earlier this year, ensuring she is in excellent condition for entering the Thai charter market. She will reportedly be based in Phuket for the winter season, where she will be available for charter in the Gulf of Thailand at either Pattaya or Koh Samui, and in Phuket from early December onward.
Thailand is still currently working on the easy acquisition of 12-month visas for charter crews, increasing from 30 days. Plans were also announced for a £95 million investment in the Royal Phuket Marina as part of the initiative, with an expansion of berthing at the Port Takola Marina and Boatyard in Krabi revealed last week.