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Tag Archives: Sardinia

5 Cool Activities To Push Your Luxury Yacht Charter Over the Top

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Looking to throw a little wrinkle into the typical yachting holiday in the Western Mediterranean?  Our charter department put their heads together and came up with 5 cool things to do to make your next yachting holiday a truly unique experience.

 

SAMPLE Lobster at Le Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa – Corsica.

The French island of Corsica is often overlooked by charterers who spend most of their time exploring nearby Sardinia.  Corsica is downright beautiful, with a colorful history and unique culture and atmosphere. You’ll find an eclectic mix of old world charm infused with modern French style.

Corsica - Le Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa beach at Calla Marcella

 

For a truly gourmet French food experience, visit Le Grand Hotel de Cala Rossa. The elegant décor, stunning ocean views and private jetty make this a fantastic destination for a late afternoon lunch.  The seasonal creations of chef Pascal Cayeux, rival the finest fare in mainland France. Pascla creates gourmet twists on traditional fare, with vegetables and herbs from the kitchen’s own garden.

 

RELAX on the Beach at Cala Marcella – Menorca.

The interest in a Balearic Island yacht charter experience continues to grow each summer, as more yachts secure the required Spanish charter licenses to explore Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.  While the nightclubs of Ibiza have their own appeal, the idea of a pristine beach sounds pretty food as well.

Balearic islands Menorca beach

 

Take for example the beach at Cala Marcella.  You’ll need your yacht’s tender to get there as this beach is only accessible by boat (lucky you).  On most weekdays, you can almost be sure to find a quiet spot on the white sands of Cala Marcella  [Tip: avoid the weekend, as crowds of local boaters invade this idyllic cove].  If you feel adventurous, bring a pair of walking shoes ashore, as there is a walking route that you can hike to the neighboring beach of Macaraletta.  Here, you can walk to the top of the cliff and experience some of the best ocean views in all of the Balearic islands.

 

EXPLORE the Blue Marino Underwater Caves – Sardinia.

At the base of the 110 meter high cliffs of Cappo Caccia, along the northwest corner of Sardinia, lies the entrance to the Grotto de Neptuno – a stalactite-filled cavern and saltwater lake.  Land-based visitors can enter by climbing down 654 steps from the top of the cliff to explore the underground grotto. You on the other hand, can simply have your captain nose your yacht into the entrance of the caves!

Blue Marino Underwater Caves at Cappo Caccia - Grotto de Neptuno Sardinia

 

For snorkelers and divers, the adventure gets deeper at the nearby Nereo Cave, considered the biggest marine cave in the Western Mediterranean.  With 10 entrances, arches and tunnels, novices can snorkel in waist high water while experienced/certified divers can dive down to depths of 35 meters.

 

REJUVENATE your Spirit at the Luminaria – Pisa

You’ve missed this event for this year, but it’s never too early to plan your 2017 summer charter.  Every June 16, on the eve of the feast day of Saint Ranieri, the city of Pisa is aglow with 70,000 “lumini” (candles in glass containers). The reflection along the Arno river is mesmerizing.  It’s a peaceful, tranquil setting and the warmth of the Pisa residents will touch your heart.  If this doesn’t remind you how the superyacht experience allows you to embrace diverse cultures, nothing will!

 

QUENCH your Thirst and Go Wine Tasting with Monks – Cannes

Just off the coast of Cannes, in the South of France, lies the small island of Saint Honorat. Here, visitors will find a very unusual vineyard, with 8 hectares of vines cared for entirely by the monks of the Abbey of Lerins.  The monks tend to every aspect of winemaking, from planting the vineyard, to harvesting the grapes, to making and bottling the wine.

Wine tasting with the Monks of Saint Honorat and the Abbey of Lerins in Cannes France

 

Truly unique vintages found nowhere else, we recommend the Saint Cyprien Viognier with a seasonal Mediterranean meal served by the monks in their own restaurant.  After dinner, you can finish the day with a tasting of the fruit liqueurs as you enjoy the company of the monks and their staff, in this peaceful Monastic enclave.

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1-800 Yacht Charters offers summer itineraries from the Côte d’Azur to the ancient islands of Greece. For a sampling of our luxury yachts, visit our interactive website at 1800yachtcharters.com.

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Sardinia Luxury Tax on Mediterranean Yacht Charter Vessels Abolished

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Photograph of a secluded cove in Sardinia.  View from the top of a rocky cliff, looking down into a cove with turquoise water and beach.

 

LUXURY TAX ABOLISHED

The recent Mediterranean Yacht Charter show in Genoa, Italy, learned that the 3 year old Sardinia Luxury Tax is no more.

 

ABOUT THE TAX

The repeal of the Sardinia Luxury Tax is especially good news to charter enthusiasts. Anyone considering a yachting vacation in the Mediterranean is fortunate.  The law stipulated that superyacht vessels berthed in any port in Sardinia had to pay up to €15,000 Euros for their sojourn.

Fulvio Luise, Managing Partner of Luise Group, made the announcement.  This was done at the Genoa gathering of 65 megayacht charter vessels.  Dozens of yacht charter brokers and yachting journalists were also in attendance.. Said Luise, for instance, “This is a very significant step forward for everyone who works in the yachting and luxury sector in Sardinia.”

ARTICLE 2

On Wednesday, May 6, 2009, the local regional government of Sardinia approved Article 2 of the Financial Regional Act. The approval of this act effectively cancels the law known as the “luxury tax” in Sardinia. This tax, in effect since 2006, was felt throughout the tourism industry and had a serious negative effect on the local tourism economy.

 

CONSORTIUM COMMENT

Il Consorzio Rete dei Porti Sardegna (The Consortium of Sardinian Touristic Ports) is pleased about the cancellation. In a released statement, the consortium said, “In the past three years, there has been a decline of approximately 50 per cent in the number of yachts present in Sardinian ports. This tax had a visibly negative result on Sardinia’s image as a premier vacation destination worldwide.”

As other regions in the Mediterranean were actively trying to promote their regions, in particular with regards to high quality tourism, the tax in Sardinia had an opposite effect.

LUXURY TAX IMPLICATIONS ON YACHTING

“Despite our best efforts in the past three years to help clients understand this tax, we faced enormous challenges and incurred a drop of approximately 20-25 per cent each year in superyacht vessels traveling to Sardinia,” stated Renato Azara, Managing Partner of Sardinia Yacht Services. “We have been working very closely with the local authorities for the past three years, first in trying to have modifications made to the law, and secondly in its cancellation. We were successful on both points.”

Finally, the megayacht industry is an important economic component of Sardinia’s tourism industry.  This is especially important as it relates to luxury yacht charter.  Owners of mega yacht and superyacht vessels attending the Genoa show expressed pleasure.  In conclusion, as one owner stated, “We now have a positive relationship with the local authorities, and they have a full understanding of the potential of this market for Sardinia.”

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Top 4 Things To Do in Sardinia

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Photograph of a man and a woman riding bicycles on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Beautiful scenery. As if they are on a yacht charter and are adventuring on bikes above the yacht

If you are planning a luxury sailing charter, or a week cruising on a motoryacht, Sardinia is truly a cruising paradise, with crystal clear waters and quiet anchorages.

Last week, we introduced our readers to the enchanted island of Sardinia’s location off the coast of Italy.

Today, we take a look at the island, itself, and our top four recommendations for things to do in Sardinia.

 

1.  Visit BOSA:  Away from the coast, much of the countryside is mountainous,  but with innumerable charming villages, hotels, restaurants and incredible views.  Along the coast, however, is a special small town worth a visit  – Bosa.  This 12th century town is situated on the west coast, north of Oristano, in a valley on the Temo, the only navigable river in Sardinia. 

The city is overlooked by the Castello Malaspina, which dates to 1112.   To the south of the Castle, on the north bank next to the bridge, is the Bosa Cathedral. This structure was constructed in the fifteenth century. Inside is a splendid interior of marble statues and nineteenth century frescos.  The nearby Bosa Marina Beach is regularly voted the cleanest beach in Italy.

Travel Tip – if arriving via a luxury mega yacht charter vessel, the Bosa Marina is just 2 kilometers from the town of Bosa.  While the marina can accommodate yachts up to 50 meters, most of the slips are for smaller yachts so call in advance to secure a reservation during peak summer periods. 

 

2.  Ride the TRENINO VERDE – In the summer, the Trenino Verde tourist train runs from Palau south through the mountains.  It’s a beautiful route that meanders its way slowly through the hills, and a way to see the interior of Sardinia. One of the stops along the way is the small village of Sant’Antonio di Gallura, a true farming village on a hillside overlooking the Diga Liscia lake. The old center of the village is charming, grouped around the piazza and church of Sant’Antonio.  The town has few visitors in the summer, but is very much a typical Gallurese working village.  If you prefer to be surrounded by local residents rather than other tourists, this is the place for you.

Travel tip –   stop by the Capichera winery and pick up several bottles of their famous Classico white wines – with dry, rounded and mouthfilling flavors of juicy, aromatic fruit, and a long, lingering finish, rich in tangy minerals.


3.  See the NURAGHI:  Looking like man-made beehives, the Nuraghi are stone dwellings dating back to the bronze age, and found nowhere on earth but on Sardinia. The exact use of these structures remains unknown, but scientists speculate they were either used as religious temples, or military strongholds. With over 6000 on the island, the most famous Nuraghe is Nuraxi su Barumini, which has been designated a World Heritage Site
by UNESCO.  Barumini is located at approximately 60 kilometers north of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia.

4.  Explore PARCO NAZIONALE dell’ ARCIPELAGO di MADDALENA:  La Maddalena is a national park located in the north of Sardinia. On clear days, you can see the coastline of the French island of Corsica from the most northern island of La Maddalena, Isola Razzoli. Luxury sailing charter guests love this destination as most of the islands in this archipelago can only be reached by boat.  Here, visitors are offered a glimpse of unspoilt nature, stunning views, and the kindness of friendly, local residents.

Travel tip – hire a local guide for a hiking excursion.  A handful of residents are trained environmental hiking guides licensed by the national park to lead hiking tours of the islands.   Scuba is another popular adventure in the archipelago and several dive operators have shops on La Maddalena including Area 11 Diver and Scuba Point.

Dazzling beaches, clear water, ancient fortress cities, and modern port towns make Sardinia a “must” stopover for any Western Mediterranean yachting vacation.

Help us round out our list from a “Top four” to a “Top five”  review of the best Sardinia has to offer.  Tell us your favorite thing to do in Sardinia!  Contact  the 1-800 YACHT CHARTERS destination team with your travel tips for sightseeing in Sardinia.

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We Say, “No Mas!” To Excessive Ibiza Yacht Charter VAT

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Piggybank painted in yellow and red with spanish flag on the side and a gold coin that says TAX dropping into the slot

If Spain is hoping to entice more private luxury yacht charter business in the Balearic Islands, they have a funny way of showing it.

Regular readers of our blog might recall the controversy surrounding Spain’s 13.7% yacht charter Matriculation Tax (blog September 14, 2013).  Heavy lobbying by the Spanish yachting and marina industries saw that tax removed. Spain, however, is still imposing far greater taxes on charters than fellow European Union countries like France, Italy and Malta.

Case in point – a specific yacht that is legal for charter in both Spain and France will incur TWICE as much VAT liability in Spain, even though the tax percentages are nearly identical!

A yacht charter example:

Formula 1’s Eddie Jordan often keeps his Sunseeker 155 motor yacht BLUSH in the Balearic Islands for the summer charter season. When there is demand, the yacht can easily reposition to the South of France for clients who prefer a French yacht charter vacation, even dipping into the coastal areas of Italy and nearby islands of Sardinia and Corsica.  The weekly charter rate remains the same between both destinations (€220,000 per week in high season), and the VAT rates are almost identical:  20% in France and 21% in Spain.

A client who charters Sunseeker 155 yacht BLUSH in Ibiza, however, will see a tax of €46,200 on his charter agreement, while a client chartering the yacht in Cannes, will incur a charge of just €22,000.

If you’re the client taking the yacht in Spain, one word comes to mind (well, maybe a few words…), most notably, “OUCH!”

So what is the explanation?  Why the drastic difference if the tax rates are nearly identical?  The answer can be found in Article 58 of European Union Council Directive 2006/112/EC.

We’ll let our company President, Jana Sheeder, explain why this is the case:

“The European Union  directive on VAT, as it relates to private yacht charter revenue, has a clause entitled, ‘criterion of effective use and enjoyment.’  This clause allows member states to implement a VAT reduction scheme. However, it is not compulsory.  Popular cruising destinations like France, Italy, and Malta all take advantage of this opportunity to reduce VAT.   Unfortunately, Spain does not.”

 

In our example above, the client who charters motor yacht BLUSH in France, ends up with an effective tax rate of 10%.   The client who charters this yacht in Spain pays the full rate of 21%.

Note – the tax savings only kicks in when the chartered yacht cruises beyond 12 nautical miles – in essence, into international waters and out of the borders of the European Union.  This is a simple task and almost all charter yacht captains will implement this strategy in order to save the charter customer 50% of the VAT rate.  However, even if a yacht in Spain sails beyond the 12 nautical mile boundary, the Spanish government still insists on collecting the full VAT fee.

The Member States of the European Union include:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

For those readers who enjoy the technical details, here is the verbiage of the directive:

In order to avoid double taxation, non-taxation or distortion of competition, Member States may, with regard to the supply of the services referred to in Article 56(1) and with regard to the hiring out of means of transport:

  • (a) consider the place of supply of any or all of those services, if situated within their territory, as being situated outside the Community, if the effective use and enjoyment of the services takes place outside the Community:
  • (b) consider the place of supply of any of all of those services, if situated outside the Community, as being situated within their territory, if the effective use and enjoyment of the services takes placing within their territory.

 

Alex Chumillas, the director of Tax Marine explains the directive and the result of Spain’s decision:  “As is clearly defined in paragraph (a), the provision seeks to minimise VAT taxation applicable to certain services, among them the hiring out of means of transport (for instance charter),” “However, the provision has not been implemented in Spain.  Therefore, chartering in Spain is subject to a flat VAT rate which does not benefit from any reduction, even when sailing beyond 12 nautical miles.

Paragraph (b) allows Spain to levy VAT charges on certain services that have been provided outside of Spain – if the services are enjoyed inside of Spain.  Let’s say a charter starts in Gibraltar.  The yacht will need to register for VAT and pay VAT on the length of the charter in Spain (and of course, pass then expense on to the charter customer).

By choosing to implement paragraph (b) only, the Spanish government has chosen to only apply the more burdensome element of the directive.  Is this the right thing to do to people wanting to experience travel in your country?

Gorgeous ocean and coastline in spain

 

Like they did with the repeal of the oppressive matriculation tax in 2013, let’s hope the legislators in Spain come to realize a reduction in VAT will make the Ibiza yacht charter market competitive with neighboring France and the rest of the European Union states that derive strong financial benefits from the private luxury yacht charter industry.

VISIT https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/yacht-charter-monaco/ for a sampling of private yachts for hire in the Balearic Islands and throughout the Mediterranean this summer, courtesy of 1-800 Yacht Charters.We will be happy to create The Superyacht Experience for you.

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