Amazing Charters with Ulla Gotfredsen
Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where are you from? Where do you currently live?
I’m a nurse from Denmark, but on a vacation in Turkey I met an Australian sailing around the world in his 28′ boat. I decided to join the boat, knowing nothing of sailing. We started in Greece and went through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. I cruised for seven years before I settled in the British Virgin Islands where I started my company.
What first inspired you to start your tour company? What’s your company’s mission?
Living on the water was such an experience that I decided to start a charter yacht brokerage and give others a chance to spend time on the water as well. Most sailors know that they can rent boats all over the world, but most non-sailors think their only chance is a cruise ship. But the crewed yachts include everything from small sailboats to giant motor yachts, so there is something for everybody.
There are thousands of these yachts for charters all over the world and they all have a captain and private chef starting at about $400/person/day. It is my job as a broker to inspect these yachts and interview the crew so I can match you with the best possible option. Do you want a catamaran for 6, with a Spanish speaking dive instructor, surfer, kite-boarder and a French chef which can cook anything from vegan to gluten-intolerant diets? Everything is possible, and I want to create the best vacation you ever had!
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in running a tour company? What are some of the highlights?
One of the many highlights is to go to the boat shows, where there crewed yacht are exhibited. Meeting up with colleagues and crew that I have known for years and getting to know new ones is a very positive and fun experience. I go to shows in the Caribbean, Greece, and Turkey and there are lots of wonderful people in this business. It has been a challenge to learn about and creating a website, SEO, marketing, etc.—but exciting as well.
How have you spread the word about your tours?
My website is a very important tool as well as social media. Besides that I have also written lots of articles and had them published in different place as well as made videos. Funny enough it seems very difficult to interest travel agents in trying something new.
What do you wish you knew before starting your company?
I’m actually glad I didn’t know more, because if I had, I would never have dared starting. I was and am passionate about sailing and spending time on the water, but I had no idea that I had to invest in a website, SEO, marketing, boat shows, and industry standards.
What are some of your company’s upcoming tours/trips?
The boat is the platform for anywhere you want to go and anything you like to do at any time. We design the trips around your wishes and needs. You do not have to fit into a framework; we create one that fits you.
Are there any tips you’d give someone else considering starting a tour company?
If you love it and have a passion for it, do it!!!