Handful of Worst Affected Caribbean Islands Are Preparing to Receive Luxury Yacht Charter Visitors after the Terrible Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Many Islands Largely Unaffected
Your professional charter broker and captain will be able to advise and discuss the best places to visit now that the focus is squarely back on the Caribbean for the upcoming winter charter season. The Antigua Luxury Charter Show is opening its marinas to hundreds of superyachts this season, which are ready and waiting for Caribbean yacht charters.
After Hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the region, glancing some locations and hitting others full-force. Some holiday-makers might be led to believe that there is nothing left to see or do. However nothing could be farther from the truth: to name a few, Antigua, The Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Barbados are all running at peak efficiency for the winter luxury charter season, having recovered from minimal damage or avoided the path of the hurricanes altogether.
Some of the islands are already completely prepared to receive visitors, while others are taking the time to rebuild for a spectacular reopening in 2018. Find out about which places are open over the holidays and the incredible work the islanders have done to get the tourism industry back on its feet.
Perhaps the best thing vacationers can do is support the islands that are ready to welcome visiting charter yachts.
“Antigua, The Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Barbados are all running at peak efficiency for the winter luxury charter season, having recovered from minimal damage or avoided the path of the hurricanes altogether”
“It’s impressive how the people of the areas impacted by hurricanes this season have worked so hard in the last six weeks to rebuild, recover and encourage visitors to return to what are still beautiful cruising grounds.
“Our hearts are with the Caribbean and we’re doing everything we can to promote the region as a charter destination for the rest of 2017 and 2018 now that it is open for business. It’s clear that visitors will get a Caribbean welcome they will never forget in return for supporting the region in their time of need.” – Loic Bonnet, In the BVIs
Progress Update on Worst Affected Caribbean Islands:
Dominica was the first location to be hit by Hurricane Maria and recovery efforts are still ongoing, however the majority of diving and fishing spots are unblemished and visitors can watch the sperm whales migrating back to the area over the winter season. This haven for water sports lovers will be back to business and luxury yacht charterers will be able to make the most of the region more than a land-based holiday would.
In an effort to help disaster relief efforts, BBC Photographer Patrick Dykstra will be donating a portion of the proceeds from six-week-long wildlife tours running from January through to March. The trips start from $7,500 USD and places are limited.
Although having suffered from a significant damage, the airport at St. Martin that both L’Esperance (SFG) in French St. Martin and Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in Dutch Sint Maarten are now open for business. Many shops and restaurants are working hard to recover from the damage to reopen in 2018. The island will not forego the winter charter season altogether, however, and Hollywood Casino and Jump Up Casino are ready to entertain, as are the beaches, nightclubs and shops of Simpson Bay and Pelican Key.
Flights are currently restricted in and out of Puerto Rico as the island was hit hard by Maria, yet access by luxury yacht is still possible. Fewer tourists will be visiting this location over the 2017/2018 winter charter season and the attractions and beaches will be less packed, although the island will still be showing signs of devastation and visitors should expect limited transport and services in some areas.
The Serafina Beach Hotel is continuing as scheduled for a March 2018 opening date planned. Once completed, the hotel will offer an Italian-style seafood restaurant and a pool-side lounge complete with a bar that specialises in piña coladas, which originally come from Puerto Rico.
Turks & Caicos
The Turks & Caicos Islands have recovered well and most restaurants, resorts, clubs and bars are already open ahead of the winter season. The Sailrock Resort will reopen on the South Caicos Island on December the 16th and a new spa and restaurant have been added to the offerings.
British and US Virgin Islands
In the British Virgin Islands flights have resumed at Virgin Gorda, Anegada and on Beef Island. The Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke is expected to resume operations shortly and other bars and clubs are also following suit.
In the US Virgin Islands, both St Thomas and St. Croix airports have reopened. Along with a few other hotels and resorts across the islands, the Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino will be closed until the end of the year, however other services will be ready and waiting for visitors.
The majority of the bareboat fleet was damaged by the hurricanes, resulting in fewer vessels at dive sites and anchorages so visitors by superyacht will have the area virtually to themselves.
St. Kitts & Nevis
After strong winds damaged homes and businesses in the area, St. Kitts and Nevis are once again receiving tourists. The Park Hyatt St. Kitts is one such location, having opened on November the 1st with two swimming pools (one for adults), three restaurants, nine spa treatment rooms and a space dedicated to yoga and meditation.
St. Barths has been working around the clock to get back to running at 100%: The marina along with transport links and essential services are all in working order. Most restaurants and resorts will be open before Christmas and the New Year, however some bars and beach clubs will be using the time for renovations and will not be opening until April 2018: Call ahead to find out if your preferred destination will be open during your visit.
Antigua & Barbuda
Barbuda was almost directly in the path of both hurricanes and has been completely evacuated of all 1,800 residents. The island will be closed for the entire winter season, however its neighbour Antigua avoided the brunt of the storms and damage has been mostly superficial. Power and services have been restored to the largest cities and the majority of the island. The resorts and restaurants are ready for the winter charter season, and the recently-reopened Curtain Bluff used the opportunity to redecorate its public and private areas, adding a pool to each of its four bespoke suites.
CharterWorld is proud to announce that it will join the sponsors of ‘Rebuild Barbuda’ at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show and additionally support the initiative by directly attending this important event. The show will run from the 4th-10th of December, while the Rebuild Barbuda event will take place on Wednesday, 6th December from 6-10 pm at Nelson’s Dockyard. It is designed to help the island rebuild after the 378 miles-wide Hurricane Irma destroyed an estimated 95% of infrastructure, displacing all 1,800 residents, passing over the island of only 62 square miles.
For more information on any of these locations, or to show your support and arrange a luxury yacht charter holiday, please contact CharterWorld.