- 78.43m | Abeking & Rasmussen | 2008 (2018)
From diving instructor to superyacht captain, Captain Marcus Gilbert's career has most certainly been colourful. Now heading up Eminence - a yacht he describes as as home away from home - and her immense crew of 24, he is, in his own words, a captain with a "personable, calm and professional manner."
"I always try to offer guests the highest possible standards of hospitality and safety," he adds.
Cruising through the Mediterranean in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter, his all-time favourite destination is the Bahamas for its clear, calm water and steady weather, but wherever you charter, you're in for the experience of a lifetime.
Here Captain Gilbert discusses his most memorable experiences, his favourite on board toys and tenders and why a charter experience with Eminence is one you won’t forget in a hurry…
Please tell us a little about your background and how you got into yachting?
I became a diving instructor at 19, and after three years at university in London studying sports science, I travelled and worked as a diving instructor in Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, and Mexico. While working in Cozumel, Mexico, I got chatting to some crew from yacht that had pulled in, and next thing I had already planned my yacht master courses. That was 18 years ago!
How long have you been a captain and what are some of the yachts you’ve worked on?
In total seven years, and five of those have been on Eminence.
How would you describe the owner’s vision for the yacht?
It’s a place to enjoy spending time with family and friends.
How would you describe the style and personality of the yacht?
She’s based on a very functional design platform and is incredibly well laid out. She has improved year-on-year through continued customisation and investment, and has had only two different owners in 12 years. The result is a yacht that is very welcoming with a calm and relaxing personality, which makes you feel at ease – just as if you were in the comfort of your home.
How would you describe the ambiance on board in three words?
Welcoming, relaxing and inviting.
What’s your personal style as captain?
I have a personable, calm and professional manner, and I try to offer guests the highest possible standards of hospitality and safety. I try to understand and interpret the aspirations of the guests early on in order to tailor our operation to their experience.
What’s the best thing about working on Eminence?
I am very fortunate to have such a qualified, experienced, proactive, positive and happy crew. They all enjoy and are passionate about their work, and you can see this in the way they go about their business with a smile. I am also extremely lucky to have such considerate and down-to-earth owners.
What are some of the standout features of the yacht?
There are too many to mention, but our beach terrace with inflatable swimming pool ranks high up in the order for the water sports and sun lovers. With our tender operations out of the side shell door we have the beach terrace set up all day and night, unless relocating of course! Then there is the enormous sun deck with jacuzzi and sunbathing areas, the exterior dining table that can seat 14, the 10-seat cinema, sauna and spa room, and the incredibly well-appointed guest accommodations including the impressive master suite.
Which areas of the yacht do guests most tend to gather on board?
The main deck aft is great for buffet style breakfasts, while lunches and dinners tend to be on the bridge deck aft or in the dining room should the weather dictate. The sun deck is popular for sunset cocktails and the sky lounge is a favourite for a pre-dinner gathering before moving outside.
What types of experience can you offer charter guests?
We will do our best to offer whatever the guests require and tailor our operation to their needs. Each client is different, so we will try and match our specialty items to their tastes.
How would you describe the style and approach of the crew?
Professional, discrete, approachable, friendly and happy.
Please share some examples where you and your crew have gone above and beyond to make the guest experience as special as possible.
We set up a private musical performance on our bridge deck aft exterior dining area, fully equipped with a mini grand piano, lights and audio for an after dinner mini concert.
Are there any interesting personalities or talents among the crew?
We have some professional fishermen on board, a Thai masseuse, and some keen endurance athletes among a varied and interesting crew.
How are the yacht and the crew prepared to accommodate children and teenagers on charter?
Very well. We have had young children on board for many years, and have custom safety netting around the exterior hand and stair rails along with child safety gates inside and out. Our crew are used to working with children of all ages and many of the crew are parents themselves. With all the water sports and fishing equipment on board we can keep teenagers busy!
How would you describe the cuisine on board?
I will let the chef answer this one! But he can cater to a variety of tastes.
Tell us about the toys and tenders – which toys are the most popular with guests?
We have a fully customised 10m chase tender and a 9m scorpion rib tender. The scorpion is our primary beach operations tender and has a bow boarding step system to allow effortless beach access along with a hand shower to rinse sandy feet after the beach. Both tenders have built in biminis, music systems, and offer a comfortable ride. We have a new fleet of jet skis which also have Bluetooth sound systems built in, these are a favourite of our guests! Other toys include two SeaBobs, paddleboards, aqua bikes, kayaks, an inflatable slide and swimming pool, and all the usual snorkelling equipment.
What are your usual cruising grounds?
The Mediterranean in summer and the Caribbean in winter.
Which destinations and your personal favourites and why?
The Bahamas - it offers clear, calm, and warm water with steady weather. It has so many different and interesting places to discover. I also enjoy Sardinia and Corsica, trying to find small inlets, bays, and beaches off the beaten track that no one else comes to. Croatia is also a favourite too, and this summer we had an amazing cruise there with such clear water and beautiful weather, and stunning scenery.
What have been some of the highlights or your favourite memories as captain of Eminence?
I love the reaction when our guests don’t want to leave, and receiving the numerous thank you letters and compliments from our guests.