MYS 2012: Interview with Julia Stewart of Imperial Yachts

By Ben Roberts

Imperial Yachts have developed a strong reputation within the industry as charter specialists, and arrived in Monaco this year.

Established just six years ago, the Monaco based company have achieved impressive growth in spite of the global economic problems that have blighted the industry over the same period.

Imperial arrived at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show – a local fixture for them – after another busy period which has seen the company take on a number of new charter listings, including the 40.8m motor yacht Ok, which is currently being showcased in Port Hercules marina.

Superyachts.com sat down with Imperial director Julia Stewart at the show to discuss the 52.3 metre superyacht Bel Abri – another Imperial managed yacht that is on show in Monaco, plus her favourite superyacht destinations, and how Imperial manage to stand out from the crowd.

She began by telling us why the Amels-built Bel Abri is an ideal boat for charter. “The best thing about Bel Abri is its excellent quality,” she said. “It’s in excellent condition, the interior is beautiful and we have a highly trained crew, so it’s a perfect charter boat.”

Imperial also now offer charters in Norway, a relatively off-the-beaten track destination for luxury yacht travel. So why should people visit?

“The location is just peace and quiet,” she said. “It’s not at all busy, the fjords are lovely. Imagine white nights so it never gets dark. You can go swimming in the warm fjords but the air is quite cool so it’s fun.

“Also you can go fishing, and the food is quite unusual, so it’s a perfect destination for a long weekend.”

We also asked Ms Stewart how Imperial about their strategies in attracting a high net worth clientele in the current economic client.

“First of all the boats under our management are very well maintained,” she said. “There are many charter boats on the market but not all of them are in good condition. Our boats are as good as new.

“We also train our crew properly, the standard of service on our boats is very high.”

She continued: “Attention to detail, it’s all about small things. The word ‘no’ just doesn’t exist with us and our crew. We have a ‘can do’ approach.”

By Ben Roberts