(Bloomberg) -- It’s a modern quandary for the ultra-wealthy: a yacht awaits at harbor, but how to safely reach it without risking exposure to the germ-ridden masses?
Global aviation company VistaJet has a solution. Spurred by member demand, clients can reserve a freshly sanitized jet to fly them to a yacht moored in Malta (where, as it happens, VistaJet is based). Lest anyone be worried that the island nation itself is germ-ridden, a press release notes that “The World Health Organization singled out Malta as a role model for other countries in the fight against Covid-19.”
Malta is the only destination for this service, so if your yacht is moored in Antibes or Porto Cervo, you’re out of luck. But if you’re the type of person who’s serious about yachting during a pandemic, then Malta is probably a place you should check out.
In addition to multiple yacht marinas and a mild Mediterranean climate, the country levies zero taxes on income or capital gains earned outside Malta and there’s no estate tax, making it a popular choice for the ultra-rich when it comes to buying a second citizenship. Yes, buying. A Maltese passport can be yours for just 1.2 million euros ($1.3 million) in cash and property.
Regardless of whether you’ve gotten around to becoming Maltese, members en route to their personal or chartered yacht must provide a “health declaration,” which sounds formal but which the company said is “self-appointed.” Temperatures will be taken on the jet, and surgical masks and gloves will be provided by the crew. On arrival, would-be yachters will be whisked away to a VIP lounge where customs agents will inspect passports and a nurse will again do a temperature check.
But then, another thorny problem: How to get to the marina safely? A “pre-sanitized car” will ferry clients on this next leg of their journey. Yachts will be pre-stocked to client specifications, because members must sign an agreement stating that they won’t stop anywhere on their way from jet to ship, leave the yacht while it’s moored or disembark on local islands.
What will it cost? VistaJet won’t say, noting in an email that the service is “completely customizable.” It does say that its Bombardier Global 6000 jet on average runs $16,000 an hour and the jet-to-yacht service carries an additional fee.
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