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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Food For Naut: Caterer Finds Niche In Caribbean Yacht Charter Market

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You are the chef onboard a St. Barts yacht charter vessel, and your guests have asked you to create a lavish meal at sea with hard-to-find ingredients.  Where do you turn?

The answer is a specialty food supplier such as The Grateful Palate.

Since 2009, the South Florida-based caterer has offered provisions to discerning customers in the nautical industry.  From their 10,000 square foot distribution center in the Fort Lauderdale area, the provisioning company has always sourced and shipped food items, toiletries, and other premium goods to chefs and crew on mostly Caribbean and Bahamas yacht charter vessels.  They have also serviced private yachts as well.
Provisions for luxury yacht charter chefs provided by gourmet caterers and purveyorsThe company has always specialized in working with clients seeking custom orders of the highest-quality products.  Expectations have always been high, as charter chefs need items delivered fresh and on time to specific destinations.
But, sadly, The Grateful Palate is no more…..until the Fall of 2014, when they reopen in a larger facility so that they can continue servicing their discriminating clientele!
According to owner Meghan Leckey, being able to meet customers’ demands and deliver the goods resulted in a strong repeat clientele and the company’s continued growth. She said, that it was “…a growing business that [has] picked up substantially over the years.”
For Passover this year, Leckey’s company supplied a 200-foot Virgin Islands yacht charter vessel in St. Thomas with kosher meats, sodas, dry goods, and ceremonial supplies for the religious holiday. It also sent specialty kosher caviar flown in from Paris.
Leckey feels she understands the needs of the owners and crews of the world’s largest yachts“The secrets of our success are, first of all, really understanding the amazing level of quality demanded by the wealthiest yacht owners in the world and, secondly, anticipating everything the crew will need for the trip,” said Leckey. “There is no other industry in the world that demands this level of attention to quality, from Beluga caviar to toilet paper (as the luxury yacht charter industry), and few other companies in the world that can meet those expectations.”

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French Yacht Charter VAT Now In Effect

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France’s efforts to seek an exemption from VAT on yacht rentals has failed, and starting July 15, 2013, charterers can expect to pay an additional 9.8% for their Côte d’Azur yacht charter.

For years, the majority of Mediterranean yacht charter vessels based in France were registered as commercial vessels, a strategy that allowed their owners to sidestep VAT on the purchase of fuel and on the prices charged for charters.  The European Union prevailed in court to force France to follow EU VAT guidelines, and beginning July 15, charters will be subject to the nearly 10% fee.

french yacht charter megayacht tax extra costs additional fees mediterranean yacht charter vacation
Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants/1-800 Yacht Charters, is working closely with her preferred clients to explain the new fees and to explore alternative destinations where the VAT fees are lower or even not applicable.  Sheeder says, “We are investigating other countries in the European Union as alternative Mediterranean yacht charter destinations.  Gibraltar, for example,  has no import duty for yachts over 18 meters – and no VAT.”

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Hollywood Icon Takes Own Luxury Yacht to Cannes Film Festival

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Why rent a private yacht to attend the world's preeminent film festival when you can stay onboard your own superyacht? 

That's exactly what Steven Spielberg did – opting to stay aboard his 282' luxury yacht charter vessel, motor yacht SEVEN SEAS, during the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival, which took place in Cannes, France.

The legendary film producer and director spent most nights onboard the Oceanco motor yacht SEVEN SEAS, along with wife, Kate Capshaw.

Spielberg served as the President of the film jury for the main competition.

When asked about his role as head of the jury, Spielberg replied, "It is an honor and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world.”

steven spielberg motoryacht seven seas travels to cannes film festival with kate capshawWhile other A-list celebs were forced to navigate the crowded streets of Cannes and the endless sea of paparazzi, Spielberg and his guests escaped each evening to the privacy of  a, "floating villa."  Spielberg yacht SEVEN SEAS offers accommodations for 12 guests and is loaded with amenities. 

The infinity swimming pool on her aft deck can conveniently be transformed into a full helipad, or used as a screen for viewing movies while on deck or in the pool, itself.  

Some of our readers may remember first reading about yacht SEVEN SEAS in June, 2011, while Leo DiCaprio and then-steady Blake Lively were onboard.  Later that same summer, the Mediterranean yacht charter vessel was again in the news when the Steven Spielberg yacht ran afoul of the Italian Coast Guard while guest Gwyneth Paltrow was visiting.

After the film festival concluded, the yacht and her owner planned to spend several weeks privately cruising the Mediterranean before heading back to the United States.


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Newport, RI Again Host of New England Luxury Yacht Charter Show

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The seaside community of Newport, RI once again played host to the annual Newport Yacht Charter Show, June 17 – 20, 2013.  The show is considered the unoffical kick-off to the summer New England yacht charter season. 
Entering the second year under management of Newport Exhibition Group, the 31st installment took place at the Newport Yachting Center and featured luxury yachts from 80 feet, to superyachts in the 150 to 225 foot range.
About 60 yachts registered.
New England yacht charter show sag harbor annual charteryacht inspections and gourmet cooking contests by chefs
Luxury sailing charter vessels joined motoryachts normally based from Sag Harbor to Bar Harbor for the 4-day affair, attended primarily by yacht charter agents from North America. Agents had an opportunity to inspect yachts, interview the crews, and attend educational seminars about cruising in the northeast United States. Social activities included evening yacht hops and a culinary competition among the charter chefs. Yachting displays like the New England and Monaco luxury yacht shows are important for agents to remain aware of all things yachting!
After the show, the yachts returned to their summer bases to be in position for accepting inquiries for week-long yachting vacations such as:
            ♣  Martha’s Vineyard Yacht Charter
            ♣  Nantucket Yacht Charter
            ♣  Wood’s Hole Yacht Charter
            ♣  Bar Harbor (Maine) Yacht Charter


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