What’s in a (luxury) name?

//What’s in a (luxury) name?

Now I know Wikipedia is not the most reliable of sources when it comes to research – any more than WikiLeaks is the best place to look for an emergency plumber.
But I go along with their assessment of yachts, luxury yachts, mega yachts (they are above 100 ft in length, apparently) and – best of all – super yachts (more than 200 ft).
Luxury yachts are rich men’s playthings. Their crews are likely to be as qualified in kitchen skills as they are in seamanship; and the vessels – which could cost more than a EuroMillions lottery roll-over winner can dream of – wander the planet from the Mediterranean in the summer to the Caribbean during winter.
Russian oligarchs and software billionaires compete against Middle Eastern sheiks and princes to build the biggest, the shiniest and the best, and they invite beautiful people on board at the Cannes film festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s the world of Christina Onassis and Princess Diana, even though it’s now occupied by Roman Abramovich and Paul Allen, Sultan Qaboos of Oman and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Even our own dear Queen had a Royal Yacht, and it’s a great shame it was taken away, forcing her to charter Hebridean Princess for her summer holidays instead.
We all know that yachts mean luxury, and even if we move on to sailing vessels competing for the America’s Cup or at Cowes, we’re still talking big money and lashings of comfort. We’re certainly not thinking of sailing dinghies, which are something totally different.
So I’m at something of a loss to understand why Yachts of Seabourn – the most luxurious brand under the Carnival Cruises banner – should be talking about dropping the “Yachts of” prefix from their name.
According to Seatrade Insider, spokeswoman Irene Lui believes it confuses customers and suggests that Seabourn offers less than it provides; food which is merely OK, and minimal service.
Following that logic, perhaps P&O should think about changing their name to avoid confusion with cross-Channel ferries (not that again, please). Holland America should be looking for a new moniker in case passengers expect their crew to be wearing wooden clogs, and Royal Caribbean should do something to avoid confusion with Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
And I wonder where this leaves lines such as Princess, Silversea and Azamara Club Cruises (always a confusing name in my opinion)?
UPDATE: At a caviar and champagne reception last night at London’s Ivy Club, Seabourn president Pamela Conover confirmed that the company was indeed dropping “The Yachts of . . .” from its name and advertising, and gave two reasons for the change – one light-hearted, one serious and commercially-minded.
Firstly, she claimed the lettering is too small for her to read on stationery and computer screens.
In reality, research has shown that rather than thinking “yachts” wiuld mean roughing it, passengers actually perceive them as being be too exclusive and too posh. So now we have to get used to calling them “Not the Yachts of Seabourn.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:14+00:00 8 December 2010|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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