Despite it being a year of political upheaval, we discovered that the 2016 election year didn’t change the influx of luxury crewed yacht charter sailing vacation inquiries or Virgin Islands crewed catamaran, monohull or motor yacht bookings. It’s been a positive year and a great surprise! Perhaps the last year’s extremely cold winter has something to do with the abundance of advance bookings for BVI & USVI trips & charters!
Recently, we interviewed 121 yachts during the charter yacht shows in the Virgin Islands. The USVI show celebrated it’s 42nd annual show. The BVI show celebrated it’s 35th yearly event.
What we learned:
No matter whether you can afford to spend a little or a lot on your vacation, you’ll always find a good yacht & great professional crew that easily match your needs & travel style. The number one comment we receive from post-charter guest reviews is, “The crew exceeded our expectations!”.
Catamarans still rule as the “go to” trend in what’s popular. That’s a tough pill for us to swallow as former owners of a 72′ Award-winning crewed yacht charter monohull. As one vacation broker commented, “You’ll never see a masterpiece painting of a catamaran because they aren’t as sexy in the minds of traditional sailors or artists”. Interesting perception! Nevertheless, we rented a catamaran this year and truly enjoyed the expansive living space with 10 people onboard as well fast sailing performance. Yes, we’ve begrudgingly converted to the other side. Admittedly, catamaran designs have gotten sexier over the past 5 years; but we will always have a passion for the grace and beauty of a monohull carving a steady groove in the water.
Overall, there are an enormous amount of new charter sailing catamarans as well as power catamarans being built that are getting larger every year. The same goes for motor yachts. But in comparing types of charter vessels, you’ll find that your hard-earned vacation dollars go much further with the living space a catamaran offers vs. that of a motor yacht. Why? Catamarans offering fully crewed term charters in the Virgin Islands typically include all the expenses for fuel, food and normal bar. Many of the larger motor yachts do not. Most of our clients have a set budget that they can spend on their vacation and are uncomfortable with the idea of having to ante up more dollars at the end of a week long charter to pay for the amount of fuel they used or the food they enjoyed. We’ve found that having “add-ons” may be a detriment, making potential charterers who cannot afford the cost to rent an expensive crewed luxury motor yacht easily choose a catamaran. Just like motor yachts, newer catamarans have every single bell & whistle you can possible imagine, from huge flybridges with comfortable expansive lounge seating, to wi-fi, expensive waterslides & popular water sports toys, to fast tenders for going ashore, they have it ALL!
We’re watching the positive changes that have come about from the legal changes in how many passengers can be picked up by a yacht in the U.S. Virgin Islands. History: With the help of many hands and qualified mentors, we began researching how to change the “6 Passenger Law” in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2007. Eventually the cause was picked up and carried by those in government who could lead the successful change that now allows yachts to be more flexible in picking up 8-10 guests in the USVI waters. It’s a huge bonus for those yachts based in the USVI who also sail in the British Virgin Islands.
Additional positive developments in the industry:
The British Virgins Islands are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new direct from Miami airline route. BVI Airways has completed the purchase and taken delivery of a couple of jet aircraft for non-stop service between Miami International Airport and Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The AVRO Regional Jet (RJ) 100 will have a seating capacity of 86, including 12 in Premier Class. The 4-engine plane has a cruising altitude of 31,000 feet, and a speed of approximately 500 mph. At that speed, the flight times between Miami and Tortola should be approximately 2.5 hours long. This will be a huge improvement of allowing more convenient access to the British Virgin Islands. There are still a few hurdles; but it looks like this new service should be in operation very soon.
Finally, it’s been said that preparing food for people is one of the world’s greatest “performing arts”. It’s also been said that you are always hungrier anytime you are enjoying being on the water. How true! The cuisine onboard crewed charter yachts, produced out of tiny kitchen galleys still exceeds all expectations, regardless of the amount spent or what kind of yacht is chosen. The Culinary Competitions at the VICL show held at Yacht Haven Grande Marina in St.Thomas, USVI and at the CYS show at Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola, BVI were events that proved to be extremely difficult to judge due to the abundance of amazing talented Chefs! You’ll
find our review of the winners in an upcoming post.
During the shows in the Virgin Islands, we were personally treated to breakfast onboard Catamaran Dolphin Splash, multiple course lunches aboard 76’ catamaran Catamaran Akasha, catamaran 62’ Catamaran Good Vibrations, 56’ Catamaran Amazing Blues as well as an exquisite dinner onboard 62’ Catamaran London Sky during the shows. You won’t find better cuisine prepared by more passionate Chefs anywhere in the world!
What should you expect from a luxury crewed yacht charter in the Caribbean?
It’s “All about you, all the time” onboard a privately crewed charter yacht! It’s surprisingly affordable too! Far away from overcrowded cruise ships, all-inclusive charter yachts allow you to explore some of the Caribbean’s most exclusive areas and delight in the natural, unspoiled beauty of secluded islands, hidden coves and secret dive sites. Sail to a nearby island every day & snorkel around your own private beaches; enjoy your favorite cocktail while watching the sunset on your own private yacht; indulge yourself with 5-star gourmet cuisine that is prepared with Caribbean flair and served in the most beautiful surroundings you could ever imagine.
About Us: Captain Randy & Shelly Tucker
We’re former Owners & Captain of the Award-winning 72′ monohull yacht Three Moons for 18 years. With over 300 charters in our logbook, we currently represent privately crewed Caribbean sailing luxury yacht charters as professional CYBA yacht charter brokers. We attend yearly charter yacht brokers shows and interview well over a hundred catamarans, motor yachts, sailboats and professional crews. We’re happy to promote these yachts offering modern conveniences & unlimited pleasure while sailing the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.We love matching the right crew & yacht with you!
Call us Toll-free: 1-800- 859-0042