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Mediterranean Yacht Charters: Q&A With Charter Management Director Nicolas Fry

Sarah Nadler | March 30, 2023

Nicolas Fry, Denison’s new charter management director in Europe, shares his insights on the European charter market, the best charter yachts in the area, and what the future holds for Dension Yachting.

At the 2023 Palm Beach Boat Show, we got the chance to interview Denison’s newest addition to the European charter management team, Nicolas Fry. As the charter management director based out of our Monaco office with endless yachting experience, he has all the intel about the most luxurious charter yachts in Europe. Read on to discover everything he shared with us at the show.

Tell us about yourself in the world of yachting.

I was introduced to the yachting industry in 2005 when my father bought the 25m sailing yacht Django Too. My first job was to hire a Captain and then to create a website/brochure to promote her for charter. Then, I joined a brokerage house in Antibes as a charter broker and a yacht management company based in Luxembourg as a yacht manager and crew agent. I also worked as steward and deckhand on charter yachts in the Med after getting my Captain license. These combined experiences gave me the necessary knowledge to work as a successful charter manager. I began my career in charter management with Camper and Nicholsons in Monaco, where I worked for five years on building the charter reputation of various yachts of all sizes, modern or classic like the iconic CHRISTINA O. In 2018, I joined Northrop & Johnson and developed their charter fleet in Europe, building the successful charter profile of many yachts, including the 72m brand-new superyacht SOLO. I am now heading the charter management department of Denison Yachting in Europe, building the charter fleet in the Med. This position offers me the opportunity to share my knowledge with my colleagues and to keep growing in a very dynamic environment.

Admiration and respect for the ocean are part of my life since I learned sailing. I took part three times in the London to Monaco cycle ride organized by the Blue Marine Foundation, raising more than €1,000,000 for ocean conservation projects around the world. As a charter manager, I promote yacht experiences for clients to enjoy the richness of our ocean. The appeal of venturing out to sea will be greatly reduced if the coral reefs are bleached, the fish are dead, the coastlines polluted, and the once crystal blue waters murky with oil and plastic. I wish to show my children that I am an active participant to affect change, and that it can be accomplished by coming together and setting off on a great adventure.

Can you share your thoughts on Denison’s expansion in Europe to date and your aspirations for the future now that you’ve joined the team?

Denison Yachting is probably the unique large brokerage house which is not yet well known in Europe. The operations started a year ago with the opening of our Monaco office and the company has big plans for establishing its footprint there. It’s a challenge and it’s exciting to be part of it. The first mission is to be recognized as a serious player with a great team of people and good yachts represented for sale or charter. Then, Denison Yachting must be offering the right services to its European clients, adapted to their cultures and to their needs. I am leading the way by bringing some yachts owned by European clients and based in the Med. They are happy to work with an American yachting powerhouse and hope it will bring the right clients on board.

Why do you recommend chartering a yacht in the Med?

Chartering a yacht in the Med is a beautiful experience. You will find all kinds of cultures, great food, delicious wines, warm waters, and unique scenery. 80% of the yacht charter business is still done in the Med. The most visited part is the West Med: the South of France, Italy, and the Balearics. The East Med is getting more and more popular with destinations like Croatia/Montenegro in the Adriatic Sea, Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea. Those destinations attract charter clients from around the world every summer from May until September. Every destination is unique in its own right. And during a charter, you can visit many different places in one or more countries, which adds to the experience.

How is the charter market different in Europe versus the US?

The charter market in Europe is different from the US in many ways. In the Med, you can charter any commercial yacht even if it is flagged in a foreign country. In the US, you can only charter US-flagged yachts. In the Med, there is VAT to be paid on top of the charter fee. The VAT rate depends on the country where the guests will embark on the yacht. In the Med, the yachts vary in all sizes and design but are all priced in euros (€) and generally slightly more expensive than in the US. The charter clients in the Med come from all around the world and will have all kinds of different expectations. The American clients are the best for the Crew because they are generally less demanding and used to paying good gratuities.

Is there a particular yacht in Denison’s charter fleet that is your go-to recommendation for potential charter guests?

There is no particular yacht in our fleet that I like to put the light on, as all of them are suited for a specific type of client. They all offer a very unique charter that you cannot live on another yacht. However, I would like to mention our flagship, CORSARIO, which is based in Split and offers the most authentic Croatian charter experience. The greatest reason guests love the charter experience on CORSARIO is the crew members who put their hard work into it. Captain Jure finds the best secluded swim spots and catches fresh octopus for dinner. Chef Luka prepares the finest meals imaginable with his passion for food and wine pairing. Chief Steward Dario greets guests with a smile and warmth that lasts throughout the whole journey. This friendly crew will provide both local knowledge and professional pampering along with the best Croatian hospitality and itinerary. With a design inspired by a traditional tall ship and an elegant interior design, CORSARIO is the best choice for a charter in the Adriatic.

Why should clients choose Denison over other charter management companies?

Denison Yachting is a large brokerage house with a great base of American clients. The company is run by the Denison family since 1948 and you will feel this family-friendly atmosphere. The company is managed by young and talented people who understand what it takes to represent and promote superyachts on the charter market. We are dedicated to building relationships based on mutual trust with our clients, maintaining the highest ethical values, and providing an unparalleled service. We put our continued success in maintaining our reputation down to our people, our knowledge, and our personal pride in representing all kinds of yachts.

Luxury yacht charter destinations

Is there any particular advice you have for charter guests that sometimes gets overlooked?

Find a good charter broker whom you trust and follow his/her advice. He/she will guide you through the process of selecting the right yacht, negotiate for you, and make sure that you have the best charter experience.

Interested in chartering a yacht in Europe? Speak with a charter specialist for any questions you may have.

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