December 20, 2021
Luxuria Lifestyle Spain interviews Andreas Hoffmann and Caroline Hillier of OI
Caroline Hillier – Charter Broker Mallorca
Caroline’s super yacht career began in 2005. As an industry photographer, she captured key personalities and shot various regattas, quickly establishing a wide network of clients and contacts. In 2012, Caroline founded a multi-disciplined brand and PR communications company and her extensive experience in this field, working for a diverse cross-section of leading brands, has given Caroline an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the large yacht industry. Her understanding of such a broad spectrum of the industry, familiarity with the super yacht fleet and well-trained eye for detail are skills that lend themselves perfectly to her role as a charter broker.
Andreas Hoffmann – Senior Charter Broker Mallorca
Andreas has shared his parents’ enthusiasm for sailing (even in bad weather conditions) since childhood. After starting his own family and raising his children, Andreas changed professional direction exclusively to yacht sales. He joins Ocean Independence as Senior Yacht Broker, having previously held the position of Head of Sales at a yacht brokerage in Portals Nous, Mallorca. In addition to his extensive experience, Andreas holds a specific interest in the sustainability and economy of super yachts, which he passes on directly to his clients. In addition, Andreas is always up for a good round of golf.
Congratulations! You both recently joined the Ocean Independence team in Mallorca.
LLSPAIN: How exciting is that?
Andreas: It’s always exciting to work in an office with six motivated female colleagues. The men are clearly underrepresented.
Caroline: Incredibly exciting. Not only working with such a successful, well-established brand within the superyacht industry but a fantastic team, based out of Mallorca. LL SPAIN:
LLSPAIN: What would you say are key defining personal traits a charter broker needs to have in order to be successful and add value for their clients?
Andreas: Above all, a good broker should have empathy and be able to listen. His networking in the market should be a distinct advantage for the client.
Caroline: Listen to your client, make the process as much fun as possible, know your product, in this instance, the superyacht charter fleet. Be honest with clear communications with your client, all delivered with a smile, passion and enthusiasm.
LLSPAIN: Why should people use a broker when buying a yacht/superyacht?
Andreas: I believe that the client is simply overwhelmed with the diversity of the market or may be. It is not always useful to know what type of boat you want to buy, but the way to get there combined with good legal advice are, in my view, the advantages that make a good broker. Not using these advantages can quickly become very expensive for the client.
Caroline: We are the best-placed people to advise as we live and breathe the charter process. We have the knowledge, experience, and expertise, as well as access to up-to-date yacht data platforms. Plus, the global charter broker network is an incredible source of information and support, ensuring we provide the best possible service to our clients.
LLSPAIN: Can you tell us your top 5 reasons why a yacht charter is the ultimate safe and secluded luxury escape?
Andreas: The choice of your guests, the relaxed organisation of the day, Self-determination and independence related to the choice of anchorages, Absolute privacy and mobility and not to underestimate the peace and quietness (conditional of course with the choice of guests) (laughs).
Caroline: Superyachts have always been the ultimate escape, even more so in these socially distanced times. Not only are the crew incredibly diligent and conscientious with health and safety measures onboard, but they provide a safe haven experience for the client. You have the option to be out at anchor rather than in port, and to be honest, what better than to be exploring destinations in the comfort and security of a superyacht!
LL SPAIN: What are your personal top 5 hotspots for sailing yachts?
Andreas: I love the Mediterranean and believe I can find the most beautiful spots here as well. Ionian Sea , Greece & Corfu, Liguria, Elba and Corsica and of course the classic Mallorca. All good!
Caroline: Caribbean without a doubt, it’s just a magical region, followed by Sardinia – the colour of the water and the secluded coves are stunning. Greece and Croatia are perfect to explore with a sailing yacht and then you have the awe-inspiring Norwegian fjords, but there are so many more amazing destinations to explore too!
LLSPAIN: How will the issue of green deals and efforts to reduce the world’s CO2 emissions affect the superyacht and charter industry? What are your thoughts on sustainability and the economics of superyachts?
Andreas: It is exciting to see the development and understanding of alternative propulsion maturing. You can’t ignore the issue of efficiency and I think anyone who doesn’t take it seriously has missed the boat. We no longer must discover the world’s oceans at high speed, but rather use the time for mental relaxation and physical regeneration.
Caroline: The Ocean’s health is paramount to the superyacht industry, therefore companies are not only providing financial support to ocean conservation programmes, but yachts are assisting with collating data and owners are backing research initiatives, such as providing the use of their yachts for scientific research trips, as well as funding various conservation programmes. There is the Water Revolution Foundation , a non-profit organisation with a powerful mission to neutralise the superyacht industry’s footprint and The Blue Marine Foundation .
Two incredible foundations that are actually making a positive change.Yacht owners and charter guests are becoming more conscientious about sustainability onboard. From reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions, to utilising recycled, eco-friendly materials for the interiors. Crew are incredibly aware of the impact on the environment, so utilise eco-friendly products and reduce waste onboard.Hydrogen-powered superyachts are a hot topic. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ this will happen.
LLSPAIN: How do you feel about the yacht-sharing concept that is being introduced? Is it a competitor or a complement?
Personally, I prefer to have the entire responsibility and see the problems in the practical implementation of sharing.
Caroline:Yacht-sharing and fractual ownership structures have been circulating for a while in the marine industry and with some success. It not only allows yacht owners to enjoy the unique luxury experiences onboard without the hassle that sole yacht owners face, but it expands the yacht ownership market, allowing the next generation of yacht owners to participate and enjoy the luxurious lifestyle by dividing resources, cost and responsibility. However, co-ownership requires competent management of the yacht and its multiple owners in order to operate harmoniously, that takes skill, knowledge and experience with a very strong business model and team. I see pros and cons to yacht-sharing.
LLSPAIN: In your professional opinion, what are the upcoming trends and technological tendencies to watch out for in the yachting industry in the coming years?
Andreas: As already mentioned, from my point of view, shipyards cannot ignore the issue of sustainability and the environment. When you see that today everything is geared towards conserving resources, the issue of speed is completely secondary. The most important commodity we possess is TIME and should be used accordingly, even luxuriously, with friends and family in a relaxed and fuel-saving way.
Caroline: Owners spending more time onboard due to COVID-19.
Owners requesting cutting-edge medical set-up onboard with specialist medical staff/crew.
Alternative energy sources onboard i.e. hydrogen, solar, hybrid.
Innovations in sail technology resulting in more efficiency, speed and even helping to reduce sailing yachts need for fossil fuels.
More expedition type yachts are being built as owners are wanting to explore further afield to destinations off the beaten track.
LLSPAIN: Can you give us your definition of luxury?
Andreas: Two days off, a good book and a nice person to talk to.
Caroline: Time well spent with loved ones.
LLSPAIN: What do you think is the most important factor for a luxury experience?
Andreas: Enjoying your time – wisely
Caroline: The attention to detail, those little touches make an experience unforgettable.
LLSPAIN: If you were allowed to take one luxury item with you to a desert island, what would you take?
Andreas: A case of good Bordeaux (laughs)
Caroline: Chris Hemsworth, if he’s not available, then a large comfortable bed with a mosquito net.