Thousands of Riviera owners and enthusiasts soaked up the vibrant atmosphere at the inaugural Riviera Festival and Boat Show held May 24 to 27.
The four day event hosted by Australia’s largest and most awarded luxury boat builder also featured the world release of Riviera’s new flagship model, the 75 Enclosed Flybridge, and the world boat show debut of the new Belize 52 Motoryacht and the announcement of the new Riviera 49 Enclosed Flybridge due for release in mid-2013.
More than 80 individual educational and social events exclusively for Riviera owners, proved extremely popular with owners such as Alastair Duffield from the Gold Coast, Alan Edwards from Sydney, and Julio Diaz from Puerto Rico and Kim Labuschagne from South Africa who have all said it was a great four days of learning and fun.
“The attention to detail and high level of professionalism at staging such an excellent four day event for owners to understand their vessels must be commended. We enjoyed our time with everyone and have increased our knowledge and understanding of our boat and its systems thanks to the experts who were on hand to share their expertise,” said Mr Duffield.
“We had a great time and learned a lot. We will definitely come back next year,” said Mr Edwards.
“It was fun and wonderful, full of great people, great activities and great service. We feel that we are more than customers, we are part of the Riviera family; something that gives us a strong sense of confidence in Riviera’s team. It was also an incredible opportunity to be able to discuss and work together with the Riviera team to make my family’s and my dream boat a reality,” said Mr Diaz who has recently ordered a new 63 Enclosed Flybridge due for delivery in November.
“Christine and I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Festival. We travelled half way around the world so we thought we had better make the most of it and we attended 16 events between the two of us. The boats were absolutely beautiful and we were able to understand and appreciate them much better, having spent a few hours on the factory tour. I really did get the sense that we and our boat are part of a very special family,” said Mr Labuschagne.
There was plenty to see and do over the four day event with Riviera’s $20 million new boat display showcasing the latest new models from Australia’s most awarded pleasure boat builder. The educational sessions taught Riviera owners valuable lessons on how to drive their boats, how to maintain their boats, navigation and electronics through to selecting a soft furnishing palette and understanding the process of desalination. The factory tours gave many owners a first-hand experience on the boat building process and revealing the true integrity of their boats and a premium brokerage display.
“My wife had never ever seen that side before so it gave her an even greater appreciation for our boat,” said Mr Duffield.
“We started with the factory tour and that was one of the highlights for me because I have never been on a factory tour before. We really appreciate the value of a Riviera boat. When it’s a one million dollar investment, and you truly understand why it is one million dollars because of the boat building process, skill and the uniqueness of each boat,” said Sandra from Sydney.
The official Riviera Festival partners for 2012 were Aqualuma, Raymarine, CAT Marine Power, Cummins, Furuno, Simrad, NAVnet, Volvo Penta, Aurora Yacht Logistics, R Electronics, Dockwise Yacht Transport, Nuplex Composites, Peters & May, Seakeeper, Cummins Onan Marine Generators, Horizon Reverse Osmosis, Man, and Twin Disc.
They each had interactive displays at the Technology Showcase on the waterfront, which also attracted a lot of interest.
The Riviera Fesitval boasted free entry, free parking and easy access with many owners choosing to arrive by boat including Darren and Nicole Freeman with their two children Jack, 14, and Ally, 12.
Mrs Freeman said the Festival was ‘excellent’.
“I did the woman on water session and my husband did the men on water session with my son who has just got his boat licence. It was great because he got to drive the big boats and there was someone there to help us understand our boat,” she said.
Riviera’s director of brand and communication Stephen Milne said it was pleasing to see more than 600 people attend the cocktail party and Gala dinner held on Friday and Saturday evenings respectively.
“The spirit within our final fitout building at Coomera, which was transformed into a ballroom, on the Saturday night was incredible. The Festival in its entirety really was a true celebration of the Rivierafamily like we have never held before,” Mr Milne said.
“The Festival was not only a celebration of Riviera returning to private ownership but also our way of thanking our valued owners for their loyalty and support over the past four years.”
R Marine Pittwater dealer principal Bruce Mitchell said, “Everyone has been extremely positive. The Riviera Festival was a unique opportunity not only to see the boats but also to do all the social events and training, which is what a lot of our customers love.”
R Marine Perth dealer principal Brendon Grieve said, “A lot of our customers attended the cocktail party as our guests and also the educational sessions so the Riviera Festival was an absolute winner. Our owners are taking advantage of the training and the factory tours, and I think the Riviera display at the factory looked fantastic.”
Mr Milne said, “The Riviera Festival brought together hundreds of Riviera owners from around Australia and internationally for more than 80 exclusive events over four days, and it is events such as this that embodies what the Riviera Family and owning a Riviera is all about – it’s simply the best life afloat.”
The 2013 Riviera Festival will be held at Riviera’s Coomera facility from May 23 to 26. For more information or priority registrations contact your dealer.