Traveling is one of the best ways of reducing stress and exploring the beautiful world in which we live in. However, typically when traveling people stay in that specific destination that they booked a hotel at. This makes it difficult to really see the surrounding area for what it is. Which is when Antonios Fiorakis decided why not allow people the freedom to go see different places on a boat thus the creation of Incrediblue. This is different than your average boat renting service in which you can find extremely well-priced deals with hand-picked captains. Simply select your favorite destination, what type of yacht, gather your crew and hop on board.
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What made you think boats were a better travel experience than staying at a hotel/resort?
Antonios Fiorakis: As a kid, my parents owned a small motorboat with a cabin which we used for beach-hopping and island-hopping. It was a phenomenal experience to be able to discover hidden beaches and play alone in those waters. It was also so easy to go from point to point compared to a car and so much more fun. Some say that for a startup to win, it needs to build a product that makes things ten times better than its alternative. We chose to build Incrediblue not to make booking a yacht easier but to make people’s holidays ten times better.
Is your pricing similar to a nightly stay in a hotel or slightly more would you say?
A.F.: Depending on the hotel, it can be cheaper or more expensive to find a monthly property rental. Most of our users choose to pay around 700 euros per person per week for a yacht holiday. That’s around 200 euros nightly per cabin, (room) which is the price of an average hotel in the summer season.
Describe your best and worst experiences while starting this business?
A.F.: Worst-first, letting go of good people has been really tough. In a fast growing company, the job description may change fast and the company may require a different person in that position if they cannot adapt fast. It is difficult to let go of great people that you hired but it’s what might happen after being more than 12 months in a role.
One of the best experiences is being at the marina, talking with our captains and sailing away on our annual company meetup.
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What is your target market and why?
A.F.: Our product is sort of an affordable luxury. Our clients are groups of people, mainly between the age of 28 and 45, either friends, families or couples. They are tired of the same old vacation rental or hotel and want to try something new, innovative. Incrediblue offers the best way to experience summer. We arrange tours usually on islands like the Cayman Islands and similar Caribbean destinations.
Do you have any direct competitors if so who are they?
A.F.: In the travel business, we all compete for people’s time. In the UK, the average traveler takes 4 holidays a year. Our goal is to convince her to replace one of her traditional holidays in a vacation rental or hotel with an Incrediblue holiday on the water, on a yacht with her own private captain. Thus, our direct competitors are hotels, villas, vacation rentals, cruises.
For a full mindmap behind this article with articles, videos, and documents see #incrediblue
Some claim that Incrediblue is the “Airbnb for boats”, do you agree with that statement or think of it as a different business model?
A.F.: Incrediblue definitely started this way. We have been very inspired by the story and evolution of Airbnb, mainly due to our belief in marketplaces. Nevertheless, Incrediblue has built its own unique product and reputation within our segment especially due to a key differentiator, our captains. Most of our users chose to book a yacht holiday with a captain on board to take care of everything. From our research, the captain makes up for over 80% of the experience on board. Thus, nowadays some people call us the Uber for Yachts, due to the captain. I think we are simply Incrediblue :)
You say the captains are a huge part of the overall experience. What criteria and experience do you look for in your captains and how many do you employ at once?
A.F.: The captains we work with have all the required certificates to handle a yacht, several years of experience on the sea as well as commercial experience. The captains we work with are ideal either for families or for groups of friends and we make sure that they fit with the group of the customer demographic-wise.
What is the most sought after destination/boat that people have been going to Incrediblue for?
A.F.: Definitely Greece and the Greek islands. Our product is perfect for island hopping. For example, this is personal favorite route in Greece.
Do you guys have specific itineraries people can choose from or is it completely up to the customer?
A.F.: We offer a series of itineraries to choose from on the site. you can view them here. If a customer wants a tailor-made trip, our team of travel experts will make sure to create the best possible options for the customer via our inquiry form.
What do you have planned in the future for Incrediblue?
A.F.: Lots of cool things! We are planning an expansion outside of Europe very soon. Our goal is to become the leading yacht holiday provider globally
What are some major target markets you plan on infiltrating..? For example, the Hawaiian islands would be a huge hit.
A.F.: Currently, we focus entirely on Southern Europe. We plan on expanding beyond Europe but not during 2016.
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Photos courtesy of Incrediblue.