U.S. Virgin Islands Brief

U.S. Virgin Islands Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

The Best Diving Spots Off Your Luxury Yacht

November 18, 2016

Written by Maria Korotaeva

Need some inspiration on planning a holiday? Explore the world beneath you on a luxury yacht charter voyage! Put world-class diving destinations at the very top of your yachting itinerary. Don’t forget to pack your diving camera. There’s everything from fascinating shipwrecks to kaleidoscope coral reefs, exotic marine life to underwater caves. Onboard a luxurious superyacht benefit from the skills of an expert diving instructor or if you’re experienced, do it alone and jump in from the yacht deck.

1. Virgin Islands – if exploring shipwrecks is your thing, then the Virgin Islands ticks all the right boxes. The sleepy Virgin Gorda Island is home to one of the most famous diving sites in the Caribbean, the wreck of the HMS Rhone, located off Salt Island. Many enthusiastic divers plan their entire yachting vacation around a trip to this famous site which has been in existence since 1867 when the Royal Mail steamer sank during a hurricane. What an adventure! If you love the spirit of sailing superyachts then Maltese Falcon for charter is an ideal option. Full selection on charter yacht available in the Caribbean you can check here.

Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

88m megayacht Maltese Falcon by Perini Navi

88m megayacht Maltese Falcon by Perini Navi

2. MexicoMexico has a number of awe-inspiring dive sites which warrant a visit in their own right. Set sail for the coastal town of Playa del Carmen close to the Yucatan Peninsula. The majestic limestone bedrock is riddled with fresh water-filled skin holes called centos some of which are 14m deep. Explore the underwater caves, a true labyrinth for divers. Visit the Baja Peninsula close to Santa Rosalia and Espiritu Santos. You may be lucky enough to see the giant Humboldt squid which can grow up to almost 2m in length – wow! Why not charter the superyacht Mamma Mia for your next holiday

Diving in Mexico

Diving in Mexico

Mexico

Monumental underwater museum called MUSA, Cancun, Mexico

3. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia – no top ten diving spots would be complete without the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Considered as one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World, this underwater paradise is a fantastic diving destination from top to bottom, a perfect site for divers of all levels. Get your diving gear ready to explore the Coral Sea with visibility of almost 60m making it ideal for spotting sea snakes and sharks at a distance. It has the world’s largest collection of corals, sponges, molluscs, rays and dolphins. CharterWorld offers a large selection of luxury superyacht for charter in the area, for example the stunning motor yacht True North.

Motor yacht True North in Australia

Motor yacht True North in Australia

4. Vanuatu – like many regions in the South Pacific, Vanuatu is home to exciting diving spots. There’s the mighty shipwreck, SS President Coolidge, located off the coast of Espiritu Santo. This 22,000 tonne ship sank fully laden with war machinery during World War II just off the beach. For something a little different, how about diving around Tongoa and Million Dollar Point? It’s a great opportunity to explore the edge of a live volcano, how exciting will that be? The best way to reach all the islands of Vanuatu is on your own charter yacht, which CharterWorld can assist you with.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu

5. Rangiroa, French Polynesia – approximately 400 kms from Tahiti are the incredible islands of the Tuamotu Archipelago. They include a string of coral that encircles a luminous lagoon known as Rangiroa, the second largest atoll in the world. With more than 240 tiny islets over a 177 kms, it’s not surprising that this is one of the world’s most intriguing and diverse diving spots – awesome.

French Polynesia diving

French Polynesia diving

6. Egyptian Red Sea – the Egyptian Red Sea is ranked as one of the world’s best diving spots and a great destination for a luxury yacht charter with good reason. The eastern edge of the Sahara supports one of the most spectacular dive sites. Separated naturally from the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea has developed an individual reef system like no other. Diving, scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular water activities here so make the Egyptian Red Sea part of your yacht charter itinerary.

Red Sea, Egypt

Red Sea, Egypt

7. The Maldives – the best diving spots in the Indian Ocean can be found in the glorious tropical paradise of the Maldives. The channels here are full of caves, caverns and overhangs that hide soft corals, colorful sponges and unique invertebrates. There are plenty of sites to explore in this amazing region. Away from the reefs, you may be lucky enough to spot manta rays, eagle rays or different species of sharks. A yacht charter is the perfect way to enjoy the various adventures that diving sites offer.

The Maldives

The Maldives

8. Cayman Islands – these islands are a group of three islands all of which offer world class diving. Although Grand Cayman is the most established diving destination, for a more relaxed but equally as enthralling, there’s Little Cayman and for the daring, on the northern shore, Bloody Bay Wall and Jackson Point. These are sheer coral cliffs dropping 2,000m into a submarine trench. Many divers consider this to be the finest wall diving in the Caribbean. Some of the best luxury charter yachts will be cruising in the waters of the Caribbean this winter, and are available for charter!

85m luxury charter yacht Solandge built by Lurssen - Photo by Klaus Jordan

85m luxury charter yacht Solandge built by Lurssen – Photo by Klaus Jordan

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

9. Sipadan Island, Malaysian Borneo – one of the more secluded diving spots can be found off Sipadan Island in the South China Sea. This island is less than an hour’s sail from the mainland, so it shouldn’t take your skipper long to get there. It’s an unbelievable magnet for studying fish from barracuda to horse-eye jacks as well as stunning green turtles which are accustomed to the presence of divers. At South Point you may encounter reef sharks, huge schools of trevally along with herds of parrot fish.

Sipadan Island

Sipadan Island

10. Surin and Similan Islands, ThailandThailand’s best diving spots can be found in the Andaman Sea. There are fabulous diving sites like Hin Daeng (Red Rock) and Hin Mouang (Purple Rock) in the south west, off the Surin and Similan Islands. The Surin Islands are also home to Richelieu Rock, a 30m dive famous for shark sightings and giant schools of fish. There are many wonderful photograph opportunities here.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands

Top 10 Caribbean Beaches

November 10, 2016

Written by Maria Korotaeva

The beautiful Caribbean is known for its fantastic weather and the many islands, reefs and cays close by. Only about 2% of the Caribbean Islands are inhabited so it makes a perfect habitat for wildlife like whistling ducks, pigs that swim, iguanas and monkeys. It’s also the ideal place for superyachts to anchor while passengers disembark and visit the many beautiful beaches. Here are the top ten beaches in the Caribbean:

1. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico – the water around this fabulous beach is very clear as there are no streams or rivers that empty into it. Flamenco Beach is 27 km to the east of Puerto Rico, situated on Culebra which is known as Snake Island. It’s a fantastic place to scuba dive, sunbathe and admire the amazing tree covered hills. This white coral beach is protected by the Department of Natural & Environmental Resources as a Marine Wildlife Reserve.

Flamenco Beach. Photo by Pedro Diaz

Flamenco Beach. Photo by Pedro Diaz

2. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – this gorgeous beach is a welcome haven for luxury yacht charter guests. Grace Bay is an idyllic place where there are few upscale properties and beach houses. It’s a well developed tourist destination with hotels and spa resorts right on the beachfront. With 12 km of pristine golden sandy beach along with turquoise and sapphire coloured waters, relax and chill out before climbing back onboard your superyacht.

Grace Bay - Perfect spot for a family holiday

Grace Bay – Perfect spot for a family holiday

3. The Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands – don’t forget your camera when you visit the Virgin Gorda beaches. There are unique geological formations which were created by the island’s volcanic history with lots of odd shaped granite rocks and boulders. The Baths are amazing warm pools in between these rocks and boulders where the sunlight glistens. You can walk through interconnecting pools using the makeshift ropes, ladders and planks, quite surreal.

The Virgin Gorda, BVI. Snorkelling

The Virgin Gorda, BVI. Snorkelling

4. Bathsheba, Barbadoes – iconic rocks, ancient reefs and great surfing opportunities can be found on the Bathsheba beach in Barbados. When the tide is low, pools form at the bottom of the rocks, ideal for cooling off or enjoying a rum punch. There’s a rum shop close by and a quaint church. Relax and recharge your batteries here before returning to your superyacht for your onward journey.

Bathsheba

Bathsheba, Barbadoes

5. Shell Beach, St Barts Island – as the name implies, this charming beach in St Barts is full of pretty sea shells. It’s only a short walk from Gustavia Harbor, so make time to sit back, relax and watch the breathtaking sunsets. Why not collect some shells or for those who are fearless and energetic, cliff diving is a very popular sport here.

Shell Beach, St Barts

Shell Beach, St Barts

6. Harrismith Beach, Barbadoes – ask your captain to take you to Harrismith Beach, Barbados. This is where Tom Hanks made the film Castaway. Totally remote, beautiful and quiet, get back to nature in magnificent surroundings. It’s so peaceful here with only a ruin of an old plantation mansion sitting on top of the cliffs. Plenty of palm trees, white powdery sand and a few lagoons can be found here, keep this beautiful beach in the Caribbean a secret.

Harrismith Beach, Barbadoes

Harrismith Beach, Barbadoes

7. St Kitts – also known as St Christopher Island, St Kitts is beautiful and has magnificent views from the Brimstone Hill Fortress. The stunning deserted beaches entice many superyacht guests. There are also fringed reefs, unique flora, fauna and many salt ponds. You may even spot a pink flamingo! With its intoxicating natural beauty, warm waters, white sandy beaches and sunny skies, St Kitts has everything a top ten beach in the Caribbean should have.

St Kitts, Caribbean

St Kitts, Caribbean

8. Trunk Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands – if you’re searching for paradise on earth, then this is it. Trunk Bay in the US Virgin Islands is a magnificent bay with a stunning beach. The silky white sand and clear waters make it a great place to soak up the sun and have a cool dip. Snorkeling equipment can be hired on the beach which is good news if you want to explore under the sea. A few facilities like a rustic beach shop, visitor center, picnic tables, barbecue grills, changing rooms and showers are also on the beach.

Anchored off Trunk Bay. Photo by Debbie

Anchored off Trunk Bay. Photo by Debbie

9. Little Bay, Anguilla – uncrowded and accessible by an easy trail hike or by boat, you’ll find Little Bay in Anguilla very interesting indeed. With its sheer cliffs and beautiful marine life, it’s a great location to snorkel, sunbathe or just play in the warm water. A magical bay with an unspoilt beach, it’s definitely worth making the effort to visit this gorgeous Caribbean beach.

Little Bay, Anguilla

Little Bay, Anguilla

10. Pink Sands, Harbour Island in the Bahamas – some of the world’s best beaches can be found here in the Caribbean. Private, luxury yacht charters are always present in the Bahamas to take passengers to Pink Sands. The name depicts the almost salmon colored sand during sunset, a most spectacular sight. Three miles long with soft sand and crystal clear waters, Pink Sands is protected by coral reef which makes the sea ideal for swimming in.

Pink Sands, the legendary Harbour Island Beaches. Photo by Solarnu

Pink Sands, the legendary Harbour Island Beaches. Photo by Solarnu

The yachting season in the Caribbean Islands is on its peak in winter. Secure your a luxury superyacht for charter now and enjoy the sunshine, warm waters and stunning beaches! While you relax and cruise on a superyacht assisted by a professional crew, cold, rain and snow will pass by, and the winter season will leave the best memories. Contact your preferred broker now.

Sailing Yacht DIONE STAR Special Rate in the Caribbean

February 23, 2016

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The 38,5-metre sailing yacht DIONE STAR is currently offering a special rate of EUR€65,000 per week plus expenses, with no delivery fees if bookings taken before 10th March. DIONE STAR is available for vacation in the Caribbean during the winter season and will move to the Mediterranean in the summer, available for vacations in Greece or Turkey, as well as other East and West Med destinations. 

Dione Star - Photo Courtesy of Dione Star

Dione Star – Photo Courtesy of Dione Star

This classic yacht was built in 1991 and refitted in 2013, boasting naval architecture and exterior design by Diana Yacht Design, with interiors by Lemmer.

DIONE STAR - Aft deck

DIONE STAR - Aft deck

Elegant and very inviting interiors offer accommodation to up to 12 charter guests in six well-appointed staterooms. The spacious master cabin, one VIP cabin and four twin cabins provide comfortable and stylish overnight stay.

DIONE STAR - Salon

DIONE STAR - Salon

DIONE STAR is serviced by a professional superyacht crew of seven. She was constructed in steel and aluminium and is fitted with a single Baudouin diesel engines that allows her to reach a maximum speed of 12 knots. DIONE STAR is Lloyds registered and MCA compliant. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and her availability.

DIONE STAR - Sundeck

DIONE STAR - Sundeck

Motor Sailor Yacht DIONE STAR (ex Colombaio Star)

Year:1991 (Refit 2013)  L.O.A.:38.5m (126')  Beam:8.07m (26'48'') 
Max Speed:12 knots  Cruise Speed:10 knots  Engines:1xBaudouin diesel 
Cabins: Charter Guest:12  Crew:11 

Sailing Yacht LA FORZA DEL DESTINO Offers 10% Off of Remaining Winter Charters

February 18, 2016

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Luxury sailing yacht LA FORZA DEL DESTINO is offering 10% off of any remaining winter charter vacations in the Caribbean, following which she will move to New England for the summer. LA FORZA DEL DESTINO is now available in the Virgin Islands, the Windward and the Leeward islands for US$24,255.00 per week plus expenses, offering accommodation to six guests in three comfortable cabins.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO available in the Caribbean and New England

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO available in the Caribbean and New England

Measuring 24,38m (80′), she is a great example of the Swan 77 vessel, providing exceptional performance, vast interiors and comfortable socialising and relaxation areas. With her last refit in 2010, LA FORZA DEL DESTINO offers spacious and inviting saloon, boasting a U-shaped seating area to starboard and a U-shaped dining area to port.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO -  Cockpit Dining

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - Cockpit Dining

Guests have a possibility to relax on her comfortable exterior cockpit, which also features a collapsible table – ideal for al fresco dining while at anchor. Sunbathing offers another way of relaxation aboard this yacht, thanks to the large sun pad aft of the cockpit; a favourite spot to soak up the sun or enjoy a freshly prepared cocktail.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO -  Cockpit Lounging

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - Cockpit Lounging

Six guests are accommodated in three deluxe cabins, perfect for both families with children or a group of friends. The full-beam master cabin boasts a queen-sized walk around bed and a settee to both port and starboard. The master stateroom also has a very large en suite bathroom with a walk-in shower. There are two additional guests cabins to port-side with single berth uppers and private en suite facilities with walk-in showers. The yacht is fully air-conditioned throughout.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO -  Master Cabin

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - Master Cabin

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO -  Ensuite

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - Ensuite

For more information on LA FORZA DEL DESTINO’s availability in the Caribbean or in New England in summer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our brokers.

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO -  From Above

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - From Above

Sailing yacht LA FORZA DEL DESTINO

Year:1992 (Refit 2010)  L.O.A.:24.38m (80' )  Beam:5.94m (19' 6") 
Max Speed:10 knots  Cruise Speed:8 knots  Engines:Perkins 225hp Diesel 16kw 
Cabins: Charter Guest: Crew:

10% Off S/Y NORTHERN STAR Caribbean Yacht Vacations

December 18, 2015

Written by Eva Belanyiova

For sailing enthusiasts, the enchanting classic 1993 sailing yacht NORTHERN STAR is currently offering a 10% discount for the remainder of the Caribbean winter holidays, with charters booked before January 31st, 2016. Measuring 23.06m (75’8”), this beauty was built by the well-known USA shipyard Hinckley and boasts naval architecture by Ocke Mannerfelt.

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Main

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Main

Interior of the yacht features fine mahogany woods, intimate, soft lighting and custom-made soft furnishings. An elegant and traditional feel has been created with a use of crisp white cushions, with nautical navy blue piping. The saloon is spacious and open plan, boasting a formal dining table to port and a galley to starboard. Overhead, butterfly hatches create a classical ambience and offer plenty of natural light.

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Shaded deck

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Shaded deck

The deck house offers a comfortable upper saloon, with further seating, a table and beautiful views of the yacht’s surroundings. NORTHERN STAR is perfect for intimate family sailing vacations as well as winter getaways with friends or colleagues. She is able to accommodate up to six to eight charter guests in three or four comfortable and well-equipped cabins.

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Salon Couch

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Salon Couch

The master cabins is located forward and spreads full beam of the boat, featuring a V-berth, a vanity and a private en suite bathroom. To starboard there are two cabins, each with upper and lower bunks, sharing bathroom facilities. The VIP cabin boasts side-by-side twin beds and an en suite bathroom. Attentive and professional crew of two are accommodated aft of the saloon and share facilities with the two bunk cabins. If you wish to book NORTHERN STAR for more than 6 guests, a prior approval is needed. Please, enquire about the price for 8 guests.

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Master Cabin

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Master Cabin

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Twin Cabin 2

Sail Yacht NORTHERN STAR - Twin Cabin 2

Northern Star is available available for Caribbean sailing vacation, chartering in the Virgin Islands, Leeward and Windward Islands. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information, a personalised itinerary or a list of additional yachts.

Sail yacht NORTHERN STAR

Year:1993 (Refit 2014)  L.O.A.:23.06m (75' 8")  Beam:5.18m (17') 
Max Speed:10 knots  Cruise Speed:8 knots  Engines:Yanmar engineFisher Pa 
Cabins: Charter Guest: Crew:

 

Beautiful LADY LOLA superyacht available for Christmas and New Year’s Yacht Charter in the Caribs

November 25, 2015

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The beautiful and elegant 62,59-metre luxury charter yacht LADY LOLA is currently available for a festive Christmas and New Year’s yacht charter vacation in style, great luxury and above all comfort. Celebrate this year’s holidays in the breath-taking and warm Caribbean, cursing aboard the outstanding Oceanco-built motor yacht LADY LOLA, in the company of your family and friends.

Yacht LADY LOLA

Yacht LADY LOLA

LADY LOLA provides a variety of accessories that make her a great charter yacht: these include a fabulous beach club, retractable golf tee, an outdoor theatre and a sun deck jacuzzi that boasts a waterfall tumbling over two deck levels.

Yacht LADY LOLA -  Sundeck Plunge Pool

Yacht LADY LOLA – Sundeck Plunge Pool

A professional and discreet crew of 16 is there to take care of every one of your needs and desires, making sure you have the most amazing Caribbean vacation. Mouth-watering dishes will be prepared to your tastebuds by LADY LOLA yacht’s award-winning Chef Betsy McDonald, served either in the elegant main dining room or al fresco.

Yacht LADY LOLA -  Master Cabin

Yacht LADY LOLA – Master Cabin

Accommodation includes the full-upper-deck Owner’s suite, with private decks, a private saloon and study; measuring over 3,500 square feet. There are four additional luxury staterooms, with luxury amenities and en suite bathroom facilities.

Yacht LADY LOLA -  Formal Dining

Yacht LADY LOLA – Formal Dining

Yacht LADY LOLA -  Main Salon

Yacht LADY LOLA – Main Salon

For guests’ entertainment and unlimited fun, superyacht LADY LOLA has a great variety of water toys, exercise equipment as well as a very stylish mahogany yacht tender, measuring 30 feet. Her huge sun deck is divided into three areas with plenty of lounging possibilities, both forward and aft.

Yacht LADY LOLA -  Skylounge

Yacht LADY LOLA – Skylounge

In 2012, LADY LOLA received a complete interior refit which included new wall coverings, new furniture coverings as well as new carpeting throughout. Superyacht LADY LOLA is not only available in the Caribbean this winter, she will also be cruising the beautiful Mediterranean this summer; so if you are thinking ahead and starting to plan your Mediterranean charter vacation, Lady Lola could just be the right option for you!

Yacht LADY LOLA - Tender

Yacht LADY LOLA – Tender

For more information and further details about chartering LADY LOLA, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional and experienced brokers. In addition to her details, we will be happy to provide you with a full list of yachts that best suite your needs, at the location of your choice, for the best price available.

MORE ABOUT LADY LOLA YACHT …

Motor yacht LUCKY LADY

Year:2002 (Refit 2012/17)  L.O.A.:62.60m (205' 4")  Beam:10.50m (34' 5") 
Max Speed:12 knots  Cruise Speed:15 knots  Engines:ENGINES: 2x 1,651hp Cater 
Cabins: Charter Guest:10  Crew:15 

Beautiful OASIS Superyacht for Adventure-Filled Caribbean Winter Yacht Vacation

October 30, 2015

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Built to accommodate her guests in utmost luxury, comfort and style by the acclaimed German shipyard Lurssen and launched in 2006, OASIS superyacht is ready to take you on an adventure-filled Caribbean winter yacht vacation. With almost 60 metres in length and a beam of 11,40m, motor yacht OASIS offers charter guest plenty of space for entertainment, relaxation or private hideaways. She is available for Caribbean yacht charter, including Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and the Virgin Islands this season and will move to the Mediterranean for the upcoming summer season. So, if you are not just yet ready to charter this winter, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information regarding her Mediterranean charter availability.

Motor yacht OASIS

Motor yacht OASIS

Stepping aboard charter yacht OASIS you will be swept of your feet by her elegant interior created by Glade Johnson. Thanks to her large windows the sweeping views evoke an elegant ambience. Accommodation on board OASIS is provided for twelve charter guests in six stunning staterooms: one full-beam master suite and five guest staterooms. All cabins have en suite bathroom facilities and luxury amenities.

Oasis - Top Deck Spa Pool Pool

Oasis - Top Deck Spa Pool Pool

Most important features that are worth noting aboard OASIS include the spacious open-air sun deck with a built in bar, a spa pool and a fabulous barbecue area, as well as a professionally equipped gymnasium that converts into a private nightclub should guests request it. When the evening comes you can enjoy one of the many movies available to view on screen in the outdoor cinema on the sun deck.

Oasis - The Aft Sundeck

Oasis - The Aft Sundeck

There are plenty of activities to engage in when chartering OASIS, in addition to relaxing sunbathing, enjoying sumptuous on board meals, she is equipped with a wide range of water toys such as SeaDoo Waverunners, Laser sailing dinghy, ocean kayaks, seabobs, segways, netsurfs, stand up paddles, windsurfers and even a bicycle. There is also a great selection of inflatable toys perfect for children and a diving equipment.

Oasis - The Sky Lounge 2

Oasis - The Sky Lounge 2

If you like the thought of hopping aboard this outstanding charter yacht, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. Remember, when choosing the right broker, go for a company that has access to all the boats… And choose an impartial one that works for you personally (not the yacht owner), with your best interests at heart – like CharterWorld. We are the largest specialised broker of luxury yacht charters and we are the most dedicated.

Motor yacht OASIS

Motor yacht OASIS

Yacht OASIS

Year:2006 (Refit n/a)  L.O.A.:59.40m (194' 10")  Beam:11.40m (37' 4") 
Max Speed:16 knots  Cruise Speed:14 knots  Engines:2 x 1,938 hp  
Cabins: Charter Guest:12  Crew:15 

Great news for US Virgin Islands Yacht Charter Industry

June 05, 2014

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Following our recent article on US Virgin Islands’ new 2014 Coast Guard Reauthorisation Act, the U.S. Virgin Island’s Office of the Governor has sent us some images, as their ship agent, St. Thomas Cargo, along with the rest of the Virgin Islands, was excited by the presence of three yacht carriers in their port. Thanks to the new and important developments concerning the proposed changes to charter passenger law, the USVI’s mega yacht carrier sector of the marine industry is experiencing a surge of activity. Below are the images taken by St. Thomas Cargo showing the carries – a sign of positive changes to the US Virgin Islands’ yacht charter industry.

Yacht carriers - the US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - the US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

Yacht carriers - US Virgin Islands - Photo credit to St Thomas Cargo

US Virgin Islands’ Yacht Charter Industry and Economy expected to boost thanks to the new 2014 Coast Guard Reauthorisation Act

May 21, 2014

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority is pleased to announce an important development concerning the proposed changes to their charter passenger law, that have great potential to positively affect the U.S. Virgin Islands yacht charter industry and economy. As announced by the Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. last week,  the 2014 Coast Guard Reauthorisation Act passed the full U.S. House of Representatives bringing the U.S. Virgin Islands territory in the Caribbean one step closer in its efforts to regain the yachting industry’s leadership mantle that was once a vibrant part of the local economy.

Yacht Haven Grande Marina in  St Thomas -  USVI - Photo courtesy of  The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority

Yacht Haven Grande Marina in St Thomas - USVI - Photo courtesy of The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority

De Jongh also stated, “There is no doubt that the initiative brought forward by our Marine Council to Congressman Bill Shuster, the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, during his November 2013 infrastructure visit to the territory has resulted in this step towards equity for our charter industry and an economic boost for our maritime industries as a whole.” He said this has been a long outstanding issue that has put USVI at a competitive disadvantage to the rest of region and especially with a niche that is attracted to the natural resources and all that the US Virgin Islands have to offer. “This is the first of a number of actions we will initiate to let this market know that we are open for business and we want their business,” he added.

Currently, an uninspected vessel operating in the United States Virgin Islands is limited to six paying passengers. Established in 1993, this rule has been a detriment to US Virgin Islands marine economic development as the charter industry developed , with larger charter vessels and an increase in catamaran fleets now being the industry standard. This reduction in passengers for U.S. vessels and increased regulations were a primary reason the balance of the local charter yacht industry relocated to the British Virgin Islands.

St Thomas in the Caribbean US Virgin Islands

St Thomas in the Caribbean US Virgin Islands

In July of 2013, Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. convened the first meeting of the Virgin Islands Marine Economic Development Council to address revitalisation of the maritime industries. Council members represent all of the maritime industries including sports fishing, diving, marine manufacturers, and charter yachts to name a few. One of the first issues the Marine Council focused on was proposed relief to the existing charter passenger regulations.

The Council outlined the punitive effects and inequity in standards of the “Six Passenger Rule” compared to the neighbouring British Virgin standards and proposed a change, exclusive to the U.S.V.I., to Congressman Bill Shuster, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As a result, House Bill 4005 which allows for alternative compliance standards for USVI uninspected vessels that have completed BVI inspection standards passed the House of Representatives on April 1, 2014.

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority looks forward to a favourable reception as it makes its way to the Senate and once passed, will allow vessel owners and operators the ease of travel between the USVI and BVl’s and provide expanded benefits to all who call the U.S.V.I. their homeport. This regulatory relief will positively affect both the local charter fleet and the mega yacht industry.

While the majority of mega yachts are Coast Guard inspected, the major benefits to alternative safety standard would be the overall improvement to the marine support infrastructure in the USVI, resulting in the increased quantity of available electricians, diesel engine services, refrigeration services, sailmakers, ships stores, boatyard services and other professional marine services available to vessels relocating back into the territory.

There are many advantages to home porting in the Caribbean yacht charter destination, St. Thomas such as easy access for charter guests from direct flights from the United States, a broad selection of yacht provisions, easy access to fuel, and a cost savings on moorings and registration fees.

A significant Virgin Islands homeport advantage is International Mega Yacht Transports readily available at the St. Thomas Crown Bay Marine Terminal, complete with service agents and support staff for arrival and departures. In 2013, yacht carriers alone discharged and loaded nearly 300 yachts in partnership with well-known yacht carriers companies such as Sevenstar, Peters and May and Dockwise. It is expected that 2014 transports will surpass that number. Alongside the yacht carriers lies Subbase Drydock, providing drydock and crane services large enough to accommodate most mega yachts.

St. Thomas boasts the premier mega yacht facility in the Northern Caribbean in Yacht Haven Grande Marina, with 45 slips ranging in sizes up to 200’ in length, around the clock security and a full service fuel dock over 600’ in length. Yachts from around the world now frequent the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands harbours from November to June.

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority and the local maritime industry professionals and businesses look forward to welcoming luxury yacht charterers to their beautiful islands, and are always striving to increase their appeal by providing the ultimate in guest hospitality and vessel support.

Rolex U.S. and Caribbean Sailing Events 2011

January 19, 2011

Written by Chelsea Smith

Rolex have issued a Calendar Announcement for 2011 detailing the dates and locations of the Rolex U.S. and Caribbean Sailing Events during 2011. The sailing events include the Rolex Miami OCR in Miami, Florida, the International Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, New York Yacht Club 157th Annual Regatta in Newport, the Block Island Race Week, Rhode Island, Rolex International Women’s Keelboat in New York, Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, California, New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, Rhode Island, and the Rolex Osprey Cup, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Rolex Miami OCR
When: January 22-29, 2011
Where: Miami, Florida

Rolex Miami OCR returns to Biscayne Bay in its 22nd edition of running. The regatta is the North American highlight on the winter circuit for the world’s top Olympic and Paralympic class competitors. The US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR was founded as the Miami Olympic Class Regatta in 1990 and promoted elite-level sailing during the winter months among Canadian and U.S. Olympic Hopefuls. Now the classic event has become a mainstay on the sailing schedules of athletes around the world.

International Rolex Regatta
When: March 25-27, 2011
Where: St. Thomas,  US Virgin Islands

Highlighting the Caribbean racing calendar with its unique blend of island-style hospitality, competition and camaraderie, the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s International Rolex Regatta will celebrate its 38th year in 2011. Rolex has been a partner since the very beginning. The event features IRC, CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) handicap racing as well as one-design racing in a beautiful setting. One of the highlights is the race from Cowpet Bay to Charlotte Amalie Harbour and back, which offers competitors a great view of St. Thomas’ beautiful capital.

New York Yacht Club 157th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex
When: June 10-12, 2011
Where: Newport, Rhode Island

In odd-numbered years, this historic event follows the Annapolis to Newport Race and precedes Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, traditionally attracting many of the competing yachts.  It consists of a two-day weekend series, and all eligible yachts may enter a separately-scored Around-the-Island Race on Friday. The weekend series is part of the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series, as well as the first leg of the 2011 New York Yacht Club Classic Series. Entry is open to yachts with a minimum LOA of 25 feet in IRC, Classics, 12 Metres or One-Design classes, and new for 2011 is a new Cruiser-Racer division on “navigator” courses.

Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex
When: June 19-24, 2011
Where: Block Island, Rhode Island

With over 44 years of tradition behind it, the Storm Trysail Club’s biennial Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, has grown into one of the most popular sailing race weeks in America. For the 24th edition, 150 entries are expected and will divide into three fleets racing on three different courses. The event includes IRC and PHRF handicap, and one-design racing.

Rolex International Women’s Keelboat
When: August 27- September 1, 2011
Where: Rochester, New York

In 1985, Rolex supported US SAILING in establishing a women’s international keelboat championship. Over thirteen editions the biennial Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship has hosted over 2,500 of the world’s best female sailors. It has helped alter the course of women’s sailing and is universally recognized as the pinnacle of competitive keelboat racing for women. In 2011, for the second consecutive time, the Rochester Yacht Club will host the regatta.

Rolex Big Boat Series
When: September 8-11, 2011
Where: San Francisco, California

Established in 1964, the Rolex Big Boat Series takes place annually on San Francisco Bay. In 2005, Rolex became title sponsor of this prestigious regatta, which comprises extremely competitive one-design and handicap racing. Widely recognized as one of the most important sailing events in the USA, this grand-prix racing regatta attracts top competitors and boats from across the USA and abroad.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex
When: September 10-17, 2011
Where: Newport, Rhode Island

The first edition of this biennial event, hosted by the New York Yacht Club in 2009, proved a huge success: international Corinthian competition between yacht clubs was long overdue. The 2011 event promises to repeat the excitement, with a fleet that includes the top six finishers from the previous event, ten invited international clubs and three American yacht clubs determined by a qualification series. The Invitational Cup is raced in one-design NYYC Swan 42s, which are identically tuned and equipped with supplied sails. Racing is over five days on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.

Rolex Osprey Cup
When: October 4 – 8, 2011
Where: St. Petersburg, Florida

In 1996, the Rolex Osprey Cup was created to expand opportunities for women sailors to compete in match racing.  Now, with the approaching debut of women’s match racing at the 2012 Olympic Games, this event continues to provide a venue where aspiring Olympians can refine tactical skills, boat handling and teamwork. This annual regatta began its title sponsorship with Rolex in 2000 and returns to the waters of Tampa Bay this October, welcoming women sailors from all over the world.