The 82.50 meter motor yacht O’MEGA, one of the very few private luxury yacht charter vessels in the world with the capacity for over 12 guests, is heading to the Caribbean for the very first time this winter.
Re-launched in 2004 after a complete remodel from a near-bare hull, super yacht O’MEGA underwent a major refit in 2009, and has had continuous upgrades every year since. With an excellent crew-to-guest ratio, there are 30 crewmembers onboard to attend to 28 guests in 14 guest staterooms.
While in the Caribbean from early December, 2016 through April 2017, her weekly charter rate is €525,000 + running expenses. There is a two week minimum fee for charters during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The only other +12 passenger superyacht considering relocation to the Caribbean for the winter is the 36 passenger motor yacht CHRISTINA O, as her owner has expressed interest in the emerging Cuba yacht charter marketplace (now that travel restrictions between the governments of the United States and Cuba have been eased).
With so few large-capacity yachts in the Caribbean this winter, we expect strong demand for both of these vessels in the area of St. Martin, particularly for St Barts yacht charter clients who invade the small island to celebrate the New Year.
The 28 meter sailing yacht WHIRLWIND has joined the growing list of sailboats heading to the Caribbean for the winter and spring seasons, and is offering reduced rates to entice vacationers.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR CHARTERS
Currently accepting reservations for Christmas and New Years, sailing yacht WHIRLWIND is the ultimate Virgin Islands yacht charter sailboat for family of 6 to 8, with generous accommodations available in 3 guest staterooms.
The sailing yacht offers three double cabins. Two cabins have a Pullman berth. Thus, the yacht can accommodate 6 adults + max 2 kids. One double cabin is located forward port side. Two identical cabins exist aft at either side of upper saloon stairway. Each cabin has its own en-suite bathroom and shower.
There are many onboard amenities. For instance, a Crestron–controlled multi-media entertainment system and a PlayStation game station for the kids. In addition, iPod docking stations throughout the yacht.
THE YACHT LAUNCH
Launched in 1988 by the fabled Holland Jachtbouw shipyard, the yacht features the classic styling of interior designer Andrew Winch who oversaw a major interior refit this year (2011).
The yacht is available for the year-end holidays at a rate of € 32,760 per week. At the conclusion of the holidays, there are changes. Special winter and spring rates will then take effect. The price drops to €19,950 per week (regular winter/spring rate is € 26,600 per week). All rates are plus expenses.
A Caribbean yacht charter vacation is a great way to kick the blues. Now, a popular sailing charter yacht wants to help you sing the blues!
Book sail yacht MAKAYABELLA during the Bequia Mount Gay Music Festival (January 26th – 29th, 2012). The yacht’s crew, John and Sue, provide the guests with multiple items. For instance, complimentary tickets to BOTH the Friday and Saturday night performances.
BEQUIA MOUNT GAY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Outstanding performances by local, regional and international artists has made this music festival one of the “must see” fixtures on the Caribbean season’s calendar. The event kicks off with Dana Gillespie and her London Blues Band’s performance on Friday night and lasts for four days. The festival has received rave reviews since its inception and precedes the 14-day Mustique Blues Festival.
MAIN STAGE – DE REEF
The main venue and stage is located at De Reef, right on the beach in Lower Bay, Bequia, with the big performances on Friday and Saturday night – followed by lazy Sunday afternoon “limin’” music to close out the weekend.
Sailing yacht, Makayabella
The cozy sailboat MAKAYABELLA can accommodate 6 guests in 4 cabins. The Master cabin has a double bed, shower and toilet. 2 Guest cabins have a twin bed, shower and toilet. A Guest cabin has a double bed, shower and toilet. All cabins are ensuite. On warm evenings, the yacht offers air conditioning in the saloon.
John and Sue of sailboat MAKAYABELLA
John and Sue have taken guests to this event for the last few years and they report everyone has a great time.
“We feel it’s a great event,” says John, “and very much worth promoting as a focal point of a charter here in the Grenadines.”
FREE GIFT WITH CHARTER
If you’re a music lover and looking for a unique charter experience, plan a yachting holiday onboard sail yacht MAKAYABELLA around the festival’s dates, and John and Sue will throw in the tickets – free of charge.
It’s hard to imagine any superyacht owner who is more passionate about the business of private luxury yacht charters than the owner of superyacht AXIOMA.
Never content to sit back and quietly wait for inquiries, the owner of this award-winning yacht often contacts us with special promotional offers to entice affluent travelers to enjoy the superyacht experience first-hand.
On the heels of the recent special year-end holiday prices, the owner has asked us to slash rates by 43% for select dates in May and September.
Technically, the offer is 7 nights for the price of 4 – which equates to a 43% discount on the published rates.
CARIBBEAN YACHT CHARTER
Motoryacht AXIOMA will remain available in the Caribbean through the month of May; thus, anyone interested in a week-long St Barts yacht charter vacation, for example, has the opportunity to pay for just 4 nights, yet enjoy the yacht and the destination for 7 nights.
Can’t get away in May? Prefer to spend your vacation in the Mediterranean this summer? No Problem!! You can enjoy the same great deal on select dates in September. That’s right – come enjoy the Monaco yacht charter experience for 7 nights for the price of 4.
Motoryacht AXIOMA is normally priced at €490,000 per week in May, and €595,000 per week in September. By taking advantage of this special, you’ll pay €280,000 per week in May or €340,000 per week in September – a savings of 43%.
Another superyacht owner makes an annoucement. RoMEA relocates to the Caribbean for the upcoming winter/spring season, and he offers a special charter rate.
WHO IS RoMEA?
Abeking and Rasmussen motoryacht RoMEA arrives in the Caribbean in early December. She is 270 feet 35 inches, and she’s gorgeous. She plans to participate in the winter 2016/spring 2017 St. Martin yacht charter season.
A 2015 yacht, moreover her first year in charter service in the Mediterranean. She now joins a growing list of superyachts relocating to the Caribbean in December. For instance, 58 meter Benetti yacht ILLUSION V.
WHERE DOES SHE RANK?
RoMEA is ranked 84th on the list of the world’s largest yachts. Yacht RoMEA accommodates 12 charter guests in six staterooms.
She is part of a growing fleet of wellness yacht charter vessels. These yachts are “floating spas.” Onboard amenities include many wellness experiences. For example, massage services, indoor and outdoor cinemas, and a beach club with steam room. Guests use the yacht’s extensive watersports inventory. For instance, underwater sleds, windsurfers, and stand up paddleboards SUP’s. In addition, scuba gear (for certified divers), kayaks, and water skis are available.
HOW MUCH DOES THE YACHT COST?
The published charter rate for ROMEA is €875,000 per week, plus running expenses.
While crewed sail boat charters and bareboat charter vacations normally last 5 to 7 nights, not everyone has the time for a multi-night term luxury yacht charter. In this economy, saving up for a special bareboat charter or luxury yacht charter holiday might mean postponing until 2010.
Now for the good news – sailboat charters can be as short as one day and are the perfect compliment to a land-based Caribbean island vacation.
Let’s take a look at a single-day luxury yacht charter escape in the British Virgin Islands (also known as the BVI or BVI’s).
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS CHARTER
There are four major inhabited islands in the BVI, as well as dozens of (nearly 60) smaller islands, cays, and rocks scattered throughout the archipelago. Of course, the fun way to see these sights is by boat on a luxury sailing charter.
You can rent a small Caribbean yacht charter sailboat or a fast powerboat for the day in Road Town, Nanny Cay, West End, or several other locations. Some experience driving a powerboat or basic chart-reading skills are important to ensure you have a pleasurable day.
A great trip could start from Road Town, Tortola and head south across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Peter Island. You can tie up to the dock in Sprat Bay, or anchor off the beach in Deadman’s Bay and swim ashore (remember to wear your water socks). Visitors are welcome in the public areas, the boutique, and the beach grill.
From Peter Island, it’s a short boat ride to Norman Island. This is author Robert Louis Stevenson’s legendary Treasure Island, and the source of countless tales of pirates and buried chests of gold. Today, the island is uninhabited except for a small restaurant on the beach in the Bight. Anchored in the bay is the old ship, William Thornton, affectionately known by bareboat charter lovers and the locals as the “Willy T,” a trading vessel converted to a bar and restaurant. It’s a great stop for a little “pirate” ambiance. Be warned – on holiday weekends, the Willy T is not appropriate for kids as it takes on a bawdy “adults only” atmosphere.
THE AMAZING CAVES
Just outside the bay are the Caves. These are more like grottoes and are a true snorkeler’s delight. You can tie up your boat to one of the National Park moorings and swim in. Don’t be surprised if a school of tropical fish swim alongside you, looking for a handout. The locals ask that you resist the temptation to feed the little critters, however. Human food is not healthy for the fish and may do them great harm in the long run.
After snorkeling at the Caves, it is a short boat ride to The Indians. These rock outcroppings are the size of houses and full of nesting seabirds in the summer. The waters around the rocks are teeming with fish of every shape and color. One local describes a swim here as a magical experience: “Floating among the fish, corals and sea fans will make you feel like Peter Pan flying through an enchanted forest.”
If the sun is still high in the sky, and you still feel fresh for more adventure, zip over to Salt Island. You can tie up to the dock and walk around the abandoned houses to the salt pond where workers harvest and sell sea salt. If you still have any get-up-and-go in your tank, hop back on your boat and cruise around the corner to the wreck of the HMS Rhone, the BVI’s first underwater park. Snorkel over the wreck and try to imagine what it looked like before it sank in 1867!
By now, you realize you are on “island time.” There’s little reason to hurry back to Tortola, unless you have an early dinner reservation at your hotel or resort. Assuming you are in the island groove, we suggest a cruise east to Cooper Island. Accessible only by boat, this island has a few rental homes and a tiny resort that’s looks like a vacation postcard from the water – palm trees and long, white sand beach. By now, you must be hungry from a morning/afternoon of exploring. Drop in a local restaurant for a late lunch. With a full belly and a big smile, it’s just a short sail or cruise back to Tortola.
DAY TRIP ITINERARIES
There are many other itineraries for a day trip by boat. Your hotel concierge can recommend the best local boat rental operators and give you some ideas as to where to go and what to see there. You can go fast on a powerboat or slower on a sailboat – the choice is yours. Either way, a day boat trip around the British Virgin Islands will be the highlight of your land-based island holiday!
Thinking about a St Barts yacht charter this December on a comfortable, head-turning megayacht? If you are, we have great news.
LIMITED EDITION 180’s
Two Amels Limited Editions 180 superyachts have just announced plans to head to the Caribbean this winter, and both will remain in the area through Spring 2017.
ELIXIR and 4YOU
Amels motor yachts ELIXIR and 4YOU, Limited Editions 180 models are available this December. Specifically, 2016 through April, 2017 for British Virgin Island yacht charter reservations. Furthermore, they avail south in the area of St. Martin and St Barts, as well.
Amels yacht 4YOU, a 2012 build, features a stunning contemporary Laura Sessa interior. She sleeps 10 to 12 in 6 guest cabins. Newer yacht ELIXIR offers accommodations for 10 guests in 5 cabins. She also boasts a Laura Sessa interior. In addition, she is a bit more eclectic than 4YOU.
The Limited Editions AMELS 180 series by naval architect Tim Heywood is ever-evolving. Specifically, it is one of the most refined and smooth-functioning yachts in the 55-meter range. The Master suite has folding balcony. There are also two more balconies attached to the main desk salon.
The roomy Sun Deck is 25 meters long. It has a luxury space of 155 square meters. This is quite possibly the largest sun deck you encounter on any 55 meter charter vessel.
The yachts’ rates begin at €275,000 per week. Further, they are up to €310,000 per week for holiday dates.
Looking for a change of scenery? We get it. “Pandemic fatigue” is starting to set in for most of us. Indeed, the idea of escaping the “Covid blues” sounds better and better every day. Covid travel restrictions are important to know.
COVID-19 GUIDELINES BELOW
For many affluent travelers, a holiday luxury yacht charter is very appealing. After all, if you have to practice social-distancing, why not set up camp on a private yacht?
MUCH OF CARIBBEAN HAS TOUGH RESTRICTIONS
Unfortunately, much of the Caribbean is still imposing harsh restrictions on tourism. For example, mandatory tourist quarantines are in place in the British Virgin Islands. It is the most popular yacht charter destination in the world. We anticipate these restrictions will still be in effect for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
BAHAMAS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Thankfully, there is one tropical destination open for business. That is the Bahamas.
Below are guidelines in effect as of November 20, 2020, for the holiday season.
GET TESTED BEFORE ARRIVAL
These rules apply to every guest over 10 years old. Each passenger on your yacht must get an RT PCR nasal swab Covid-19 test 5 days or less before arrival. Test results from any other type of COVID-19 test are unacceptable. Passengers under the age of 10 do not need to be tested. All tests must be negative for entering the Bahamas.
SUBMIT A HEALTH VISA
Each guest must complete a travel health visa, along with submitting a negative Covid-19 test,. The application is available online. First, go to www.travel.gov.bs. Second, select “International,” and create an account. Fill out your visa information, upload your negative test results, and submit your application. Allow up to 72 hours to receive an approval confirmation. IMPORTANT TO NOTE, you need to print the approval document and bring it with you. You must present the document to Bahamian officials when entering the country.
You must opt-in for health insurance when you complete your health visa application. Specifically, you will be covered for any Covid-19 health issues during your time in the Bahamas. For example, the cost of a mandatory rapid antigen test (required on day 5 of your visit) will be covered. You’ll also be covered if you require quarantine (up to $7000) or medical evacuation (up to $50,000). Charter guests staying 4 days or less pay $40 for coverage. Visitors staying more than four days pay $60.
TAKE A RAPID ANTIGEN TEST ON DAY 5
You are required to take this test if you stay in the Bahamas for 5 or more days. You must quarantine aboard your charter yacht while you await the results of the test. Don’t worry, results are typically texted or emailed within 60 minutes. IMPORTANT NOTE, a rapid antigen test is not required if you have no plans to go ashore during your charter.
SUBMIT A DAILY ONLINE HEALTH SURVEY
Charter guests are required to answer an online health questionnaire each day. This survey is used to identify potential Covid-19 symptoms. Any guests who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms during their charter will be required to take a rapid antigen test. Any positive results will require a Covid-19 RT-PCR swab test.
FOLLOW ONSHORE SAFETY PROTOCOLS
There are rules and requirements to follow when onshore. For example, wearing a face mask is mandatory in public places, except on the beaches. Additionally, social distancing is expected wherever possible in public areas. Finally, be aware that some of the individual islands have evening curfews.
IT’S BETTER IN THE BAHAMAS, RIGHT?
It’s nice to know we can escape to the Bahamas during the holidays. Specifically, since so many restrictions are still in place in our hometowns. As they say, “It’s Better in the Bahamas.” Test it out! Everyone can enjoy a Bahamas yacht charter vacation IF we follow the guidelines listed above.
This has been an unsettling year for everyone. You owe it to yourself, friends, and loved ones to appreciate and enjoy the holidays. Relax and reflect upon all that we have, and do. Take time to smell the roses and to express gratitude. Show yourself some love and plan a well-earned vacation. Push away the stress,k and leave the fatigue behind. Welcome mindfulness and wellness. Make memories and celebrate another year of togetherness. Please stay safe, follow the rules, and take Covid-19 prevention seriously. Regardless, please have a WONDERFUL holiday. Love, Jana
It’s hard to beat the outright indulgence of a Virgin Islands crewed yacht charter. Every detail is managed by a trained crew. From operating the yacht, to preparing your customized meals, you are covered. From keeping the vessel tidy and shipshape, to reading charts, all is done for you.
WANT TO ESCAPE?
But what about those times you feel the need to escape? To be alone with loved ones? Have a chance to trade polite intrusiveness with no-frills quality family time?
WHY NOT BAREBOAT?
Families who routinely enjoy luxury yacht charter vacations with a full-crew compliment can now opt to go boating in total privacy. They can choose a bareboat yacht charter.
What is bareboating? The concept is simple – just as you would rent a car to drive yourself, with some basic training, you can rent a bareboat and take the helm yourself!
WHAT IS A BAREBOAT YACHT CHARTER?
A“bareboat”is just as the name sounds. It is a boat with just the bare essentials onboard. It comes with no food, no beverages, and most noticeably, no crew. You do your own cooking and cleaning. You operate and sail the yacht, yourself.
WHERE CAN I FIND A BAREBOAT?
Fleets of bareboats can be found in nearly every location you would expect to find a fully-crewed yacht charter vessel. Virgin Islands bareboat vacations are perhaps the most common. There are hundreds of boats available for rent in both St. Thomas, USVI, and Tortola, BVI.
Both sail yachts and motor yachts can be rented. They accommodate 2 to 8 passengers. A few bareboat catamaran yachts can even accommodate up to 10 passengers.
WHO RENTS BAREBOATS?
Companies such as 1-800-BAREBOAT, the Moorings, and Sunsail specialize in arranging self-skippered charters in destinations around the world; for example, Bahamas, Florida Keys, Greece, Corsica, Sardinia, France, Cote d’azur, Tortola, Tortolla, St. Thomas, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tonga, Miami and South Florida.
Customers can choose from a global network of monohull sailboats with brands like Beneteau, Sun Odyssey, Dufour, or Jeanneau – and multihull catamarans with brands like Fountaine Pajot, Lagoon, and Sunreef.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Basic rental prices tend to be less much expensive than those of luxury crewed yacht charter vessels, but customers need to remember they are responsible to purchase and prepare their own meals. The cost to provision the yacht must be considered when comparing this bare bones charter option to the price of a crewed yacht.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN BAREBOATING?
Another important factor – the customer’s qualification to operate a boat.
Just as it takes skill and normally a license to operate a motor vehicle, similar rules apply to bareboats. While formal licenses are not usually necessary, a solid level of competency is necessary. The ability to read basic charts, navigate, and to set the anchor are the most important skills required to rent a bareboat.
HOW CAN I GET QUALIFIED TO BAREBOAT?
Luckily, these skills can easily be mastered, either through formal boating courses, or simply by garnering casual boating experience with your own boat or the boat of a friend or neighbor.
Popular ideas for bareboat yacht charter vacations are anniversary celebrations, family reunions (with boats sailing in tandem), couples getaways, and snorkeling adventures.
“We live in the USA. I’ve been told crewed catamaran charters are the best way to enjoy a yachting vacation in the Virgin Islands. Do you have any suggestions as to the most convenient, best airports? Jenny S.“
Hi Jenny. We are thrilled to hear about your plans – a travel writer once described a Caribbean sailing yacht charter as, “One of the top five vacations in the world!”
If you wish to explore the US Virgin Islands (USVI), then the Cyril E. King International Airport (airport code: STT), inSt.Thomas is your best bet.
Note: There is also an airport in St. Croix, the Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport, St. Croix (STX). However, very few catamaran and sailboat rental companies operate from St. Croix, as there are very few calm anchorage areas.
So who flies into STT (St. Thomas)? As to major airlines flying from the United States to Saint Thomas, Delta has flights to Saint Thomas Cyril E King, American Airlines has flights to STT Cyril E King, and US Airways has flights to Saint Thomas Cyril E King International Airport. You’ll find both direct flights as well as connecting flights through San Juan, Puerto Rico in the Spanish Virgin Islands.
Now that you know HOW to get there, here are three crewed catamaran sailing yachts available for charter in the Virgin Islands.Sunreef 70 catamaran MUSE
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