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Tag Archives: USVI

Is Your Caribbean Yacht Charter Destination Sustainable?

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Q:  “Our family is considering a Virgin Islands yacht charter vacation this winter.  We are interested in “Green”  travel opportunities and seeing destinations that focus on environmental sustainability.  How can we analyze a destination’s commitment to sustainable tourism?”   

A:  The yachting industry continues to make great strides in it’s commitment to sustainability: from green initiatives to reduce plastic water bottle waste, to mega yacht charter vessels offering carbon offsets

But the industry’s efforts are only half of the equation.  The destinations and their commitment to their residents’ well-being and the protection of the environment are crucial for long term sustainability.Logo of Travel Forever

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) serves as the international body for fostering increased knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism practices.  When planning a sustainable vacation, the GSTC suggests these criteria:
Tourism management strategy – Does the destination show that they care and implement strategies for its local economy, environment (including climate change) and social/cultural factors?
Local community benefits and economic opportunity – Does the destination track and report its local economic contributions; provide equal employment and training opportunities and extend opportunities to those who live in poverty?
Visitor management policies – Does the destination have policies designed to conserve key attractions and landscapes?  Do visitors receive direction so as to not destroy of natural and cultural assets?
You mentioned the possibility of a yachting vacation in the Virgin Islands.  Based on the criteria stated above, we would suggest contacting the official tourism offices for both the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, and pose the GSTC questions to them.  Hopefully, their answers will demonstrate a commitment to green and sustainable tourism in the islands…
Smooth sailing!
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NO Passport Required – 3 Overlooked Luxury Yacht Charter Destinations For Americans

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US passport with a red NO symbol and slash through it

 

NO TICKY, NO LAUNDRY ?

So, you’re just itching to get back on the water and enjoy another private luxury yacht charter vacation.  Suddenly, you remember your wife mentioned it was time to renew your family’s passports…six months ago!

Now you’re in a pickle.  You go to the United States Department of State website, and your heart sinks…  According to the site, the total time it takes to process a routine passport application, and for you to receive the mailed passport, is 4 to 6 weeks.  Yikes!

Even with expedited (code for: “more expensive”) service, it will still take at least 2-3 weeks from the time of application, including mailing time.

Without valid passports, it looks like that last-minute charter yacht vacation is going to be put on hold.

Or is it?????????

 

NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO PASSPORT REQUIRED

Fortunately for you, there are several great Caribbean yacht charter destinations where a passport is not required to enjoy a luxury yacht charter holiday.  These destinations are often overlooked by Americans – bypassed for the traditional charter hotspots like the British Virgin Islands, St Barts, and the Bahamas.  Most are within a half-day’s travel time from much of the United States, and are all are well worth a visit by boat.

Here are three of our favorite destinations where bare feet and bathing suits are the dress code, and passports are not required…

 

THE NO PASSPORT REQUIRED LIST

Beach and blue ocean with mountains in background

 

  • US VIRGIN ISLANDS (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and Water Island) – Just a rock’s throw away from the more popular British Virgin Islands, the USVI is ideal for a short-term getaway, say 3-4 nights.  Yes, there are dozens of small islands to visit in the BVI, the USVI has some great protected anchorages, wonderful snorkeling, fantastic nature preserves, and a major international airport in St. Thomas that makes coming and going a snap.Yacht Charter tip:   consider starting your trip from Red Hook (St. Thomas), on the east end of the island, versus the downtown area of the capital, Charlotte Amalie.  This way, you can avoid the congestion and large crowds of tourists that swarm Charlotte Amalie when the numerous cruise ships arrive.

    Things to do:   There are just SO many wonderful activities to do in St. Thomas.  Here are just a few (thanks to the USVI Tourism Bureau):

  • Visit a tropical botanical garden
  • Zipline the Virgin Islands
  • Take a helicopter tour around the island
  • Skydive in St. Thomas
  • Go duty-free shopping
  • Volunteer at the local animal shelter
  • Go on a birdwatching tour

 

  • SPANISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (Vieques, Culebra, and a multitude of smaller islands and cays) – Did you know the Spanish Virgins are only 6 miles off the eastern coastline of Puerto Rico?  The United States military used these islands for bombing practice until 2003, so there has been little exploitation in term of commercial development – a round-about way to say the islands are pristine and unspoiled.  The water is crystal clear, and the reefs are teeming with marine life.Yacht charter tip:  Try to plan your luxury yacht charter during the week, and not on the weekend – local boaters from the mainland invade on the weekends!

    Things to do: For fantastic vistas, hike up to the small lighthouse on the highest hill on Culebrita island, or snorkel or SCUBA dive the reefs along the 12-mile chain of little islands known as La Cordillera

Girl in white bathingsuit wearing mask and yellow snorkel and snorkeling in front of a caribbean fort

 

  • KEY WEST (and the nearby Florida Keys) – This is truly the easiest destination to reach for Americans, as you can get there by plane, car, or even by boat.   The southernmost city in the United States, Key West is an island paradise and unlike anywhere else in the country.  The locals are quirky but fun-loving folks, and there’s plenty of points of interest, and lots of protected anchorages in the adjacent lower Florida Keys chain of islands.Yacht charter tip:  many of the world’s largest yachts call South Florida home.  A large fleet of luxury yacht charter vessels are based in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.  Consider a one-way charter, starting in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, then cruising south through the Florida Keys and concluding in eclectic Key West.  A one-way trip will give you more exposure to the unique charm of the Keys, and you can fly home from Key West International Airport.

    Things to do:  Cruise to Fort Jefferson off the coast of Key West, and snorkel in the clear waters; stroll the shops, art galleries, and casual bars along Duvall Street;  experience the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

 

FORGET YOUR PASSPORT AND START PACKING

Booking a luxury yacht charter in one of these passport–free destinations is as simple as contacting the charter professionals here at 1-800 Yacht Charters at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/ .  You don’t even need to tell us you forgot to renew your passport – we’ll probably guess, anyway!  Just tell us the destination you wish to visit, your desired dates, how many guests in your party, and your preferred budget.  We’ll take it from there!!!

Text “NO PASSPORT CHARTER” to 305-720-7245 for more information on your private luxury yacht charter getaway…

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Stunning Sail Yachts Prepare For Virgin Islands Luxury Yacht Charter Season

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As the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season draws to a close, a number of sleek, stylish, and modern sailing charter vessels are making their way from ports around the world – to take their positions in the islands for the upcoming Caribbean yacht charter season.

Aerial photo of 3-masted sailboat, Maltese Falcon, underway. Center sail has a black flying falcon logo on it. Hull of yacht is dark against waves lapping at side of yacht. Statue of Liberty in the background of the photo.November is the month many yachts make the “Milk Run,” sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to the Caribbean.As in years past, the Virgin Island yacht charter fleet is expected to dominate the market in terms of the number of available yachts for hire, especially in the category of crewed catamaran charters.  Yachts such as Lagoon 620 catamaran yacht

THE CURE, and Sunreef 62 catamaran, TAHAA II are already in position to accept reservations (how does a Welcome to 2014 yacht charter vacation sound???).While the St. Thomas yacht charter market in the USVI, and the Tortola yacht charter market in the BVI are quite sizeble in terms of small to mid-size yachts, a large contingent of sail superyachts will choose the deeper water of the Leeward Islands for their winter base.  The St Martin yacht charter fleet and the St Barts fleets are expected to include these mega yacht charter stalwarts:

203 foot sail yacht ATHOS

198 foot sail yacht KOKOMO

183 foot Perini Navi yacht PANTHALASSA

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