Kassandra and Alexandra Lefakinis are co-owners and managing partners in the second generation of Valef Yachts – a family business that pioneered luxury and mega yacht charters in Greece when it was founded in 1969.
The women now define the new benchmarks in luxury yacht chartering. The American-Greek sisters carefully select from a portfolio built of the most extensive and exclusive fleet of yachts and classic boats with history, including the Puritan sailing yacht built in 1930 and carefully restored to its original grandeur, designed to exceed their clients’ expectations for a luxury yacht charter in Greece and the Mediterranean.
Valef Yachts represents a commitment to creating full-crew private yachting experiences that fully cater to the needs of each guest onboard and for on-shore excursions.
Today’s discerning clientele, however, is not looking for an isolated travel experience in a disconnected sanctuary. The conscious traveler embarks on a holistic experience that includes not only extensive wellness and health offerings but also cultural immersion.
“The benchmarks of luxury yacht chartering are re-defined,” says Alexandra Lefakinis. “We are not operating in tourism; we operate ‘boutique‘ for thoughtful travelers,” she adds.
“We create unique experiences based on the best Greece has to offer,” says Kassandra, explaining the process by which her guests are seamlessly immersed in the country and culture. Since the foundation of Valef Yachts by their father Vassilios “Bill” Lefakinis, the intrinsic desire of the family business has been to promote the uniqueness of Greece, not only in terms of nature with each and every Aegean island to choose from but also in terms of the unique traditions including the world-famous Greek hospitality.
“We operate for our clients and for our country,” Alexandra adds. “We source local foods such as wines and cheese for our guests to try, and introduce them to traditions that are deeply rooted in the Greek heritage,” she adds.
Guests of today aim to embark on a local authentic experience as opposed to the former international luxury standard molded decades ago. “This standard became too uniform and rather sterile, leaving out the options to truly connect to your surroundings,” Kassandra says.
Health & Wellness
A high-end wellness approach seeks to offer guests to reconnect with their mind, body, and spirit. “On the open sea you can feel the elements, and we build on this liberating feeling,” Kassandra says.
Organic and locally sourced produce is carefully prepared by onboard master chefs. Yoga instructors and masseuses are available during the charter. Yachts are increasingly equipped with sumptuous onboard spa facilities with steam and sauna rooms, a gym, and water toys garage to complement the wide range of sea sports activities including paddle boarding, wakeboards, sea bobs, jet ski, scuba, and snorkeling.
“Defined living is about health and wellness, and we treat the yachting journey like a wellness retreat,” Alexandra explains.
Added Value Through Knowledge Transfer
Hospitality in Ancient Greece was not just a habit. The ancient Greeks strongly believed in this idea and considered strangers holy, honored, and respected people who were protected by Zeus himself.
Hospitality was sealed with the exchange of gifts. In that spirit, Alexandra and Kassandra prepare to welcome their highly valued guests. Gift boxes are filled with products unique to Greece, and each gift would tell a story to bring the Greek culture closer to the traveler.
Brochures for the youngest guests bring a playful approach to learning about the sea and its needs and would transform kids into Blue Ambassadors.
Guests are not only embarking on the secret map of private coves in Greece, but their now Blue Ambassador kids can tell them about the importance of safe-docking.
“Knowledge transfer does not have to be dry. We actively incorporate culture and history into our service and in doing so share the values of the country,” Alexandra says.
“Our deep experiences leave educated travelers with a great number of stories to share,” Kassandra reports. This conscious traveling empowers the guest to embark on all the adventures the Aegean Sea has to offer.
“It also leaves us with a good feeling of having promoted awareness about Greece and the nature that needs to be treated with respect,” Kassandra adds.
Safety at sea is also a top priority at Valef Yachts. “We prepare the crew to be ready to instruct our guests on every activity they might want to jump into,” Alexandra says on general onboard safety.
ABOUT VALEF YACHTS
Valef Yachts is synonymous with pioneering luxury and mega-yacht chartering in a country predestined for it: Greece. The heritage company was founded back in 1969 by self-made businessman Bill Lefakinis.
Bill worked hard to make Valef Yachts known amongst a discerning international clientele. He paved the way to make heritage mega yachts available for private charters – such as Onassis’ legendary ‘Christina O.’ which wrote history as the world’s grandest and most exalted yacht.
The 2nd generation of the family business is women-led by Bill’s daughters Kassandra and Alexandra Lefakinis. The women carefully curate from a portfolio of over 400 exclusive vessels to excel the wishes of their clients, for a custom-made charter experience in Greece and The Mediterranean.
Ranging from 60 feet to 325 feet, weekly charter rates range from EUR 14.000 / £12,000 / $16,000 for a yacht accommodating up to six passengers, to the highest category yacht with rates starting at EUR 560.000 / £479,000 / $647,000 per week for a party of 36. More at valefyachts.com