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Swiss Butler Association Helps Your Service Game

5 June 2021By Laura Shaughnessy
Olga Dromas/Ocean Independence

Written by

Laura Shaughnessy

Laura Shaughnessy has been the managing editor at Dockwalk since February 2018. Having grown up among the cornfields, she is ecstatic to be among the boats in the yachting capital of the world. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in journalism, 15 years of experience with newspapers, magazines, and the online world, Laura has joined a great crew. When not writing about superyacht crew, she’s hanging out with her husband and their German Shepherd, working on house projects, or binging on Netflix.

As a global leader in luxury superyacht sales, charter, and management, Ocean Independence (OI) knows how to stand out in the superyacht industry. After a rough start due to COVID, they are now teaming up with Swiss Butler Association to give superyacht crew an edge.

Once the idea was conceived in 2017, they had to delay their release date from 2020 to 2021 due to the pandemic.

Training Just for Superyacht Crew

“Ocean Independence has identified the need for professional crew etiquette and butler training years ago and is proud to announce its collaboration with Mr. Hanspeter Vochezer, [president] of the Swiss Butler Association for this service,” says Daniel Küpfer, the managing director Yacht Management for Ocean Independence AG. The service is exclusive for superyacht crew.

“… As many of our crews are already highly competent, it was not easy to find the right person to enhance service level even further,” says Küpfer, who calls Vochezer the right coach. “He is a master at creating an atmosphere in which people feel comfortable, even if he shows them where they can still improve.”

Hanspeter Vochezer on board Abeking M/Y SOARING
Olga Dromas/Ocean Independence

The three-day coaching sessions are just as much about personal appearance as they are about correct service techniques for tablecloths, serving, flower arrangements, and imparting knowledge (about wines for example). They provide the training on board in the real work environment of the crew, taking the special challenges each vessel has to offer into consideration.

Vochezer, who became an officer on MV GTS Constellation (part of Celebrity Cruises, and one of the largest ships at the time), has also specifically trained aboard superyachts and has studied the demands and requirements of the superyacht industry.

Keeping Up on Service Trends and Regulations

As a former crewmember himself, Küpfer knows the superyacht industry is increasingly complex with more regulations. “Whilst keeping up to speed on compliance matters, we try to enhance our services for superyacht owners in all areas, which will become increasingly of relevance in the future, including but not limited to cybersecurity, hazardous material regulations, as well as environmental protection.”

Thanks to Vochezer’s expertise, crew have reportedly significantly improved on self-confidence, which helps them to provide an even better service. This crew etiquette and butler training is available to all large yachts, not only those managed by Ocean Independence.

This column is taken from the May 2021 issue of Dockwalk.

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