2017 was a truly tough year for the Caribbean, undergoing the damage and destruction of the series of hurricanes, compounded with the shortfall of tourist income, both land- and sea-based. There are numerous organisations and entities that are helping to restore this area and superyacht AXIOMA is one of them! Her owner and crew have endeavoured to assist in bringing much-needed supplies to some of the afflicted islands and wanted to do their bit in helping to bring charter business back to this wonderful part of the world.
A group from the charter industry was invited by the owner and management team to cruise on board with a view to spreading the word keenly to their clients and colleagues.
Even more interestingly, the cruising ground chosen was the Grenadines, an inexplicably under-exploited part of the Caribbean which is just as much in need of the boost by the superyacht charter business.
The itinerary was an express version of what we propose to guests, speeding through it in 5 days instead of 7, but we managed to try everything everywhere we possibly could – after all, we can’t go proposing what we’ve not tried ourselves!
The route took us into the Grenadines from Grenada, already a green and leafy contrast to Antigua where we had flown in from; up to Carriacou, Union, Mayreau and the Tobago Cays towards Canouan, Mustique, Bequia, St Vincent and finally St Lucia.
First stop was to anchor just north of St Georges and snorkel through Grenada’s amazing underwater sculpture park. The local guides snorkel with you and describe the scene and each sculpture.
Then we headed up towards Carriacou and Union which will give you the first real taste of the Grenadines.
We anchored off Union then motored towards the stunning reef above Mayreau, all the time surrounded by the lush islands of the chain, for another dip with snorkels to see the fish in all their varied glory. We cruised back to Mayreau itself and went ashore on for a beach barbecue – there may well have been other people on the island, but we certainly didn’t see anyone all afternoon or evening!
Back on board, the water toys made an appearance, allowing us to seabob, wakeboard and SUP to our hearts’ content, all the while accompanied by flying fish, under the watchful and confidence-inspiring eye of the crew.
With a full week, we would have visited Canouan the following morning and possibly stayed the whole day and night, rather than just marvel at her inviting bays and beaches, but we pushed gently on to Mustique where we disembarked to pay a visit.
This bijou island is not to be missed – the quaint colonial-style wooden architecture, glorious beaches and outstanding beach-bar cocktails make it worth a relaxing excursion.
Bequia too is unmissable, with a market to enjoy and plenty of bays to visit and discover more of the excellent water toy selection on board.
Anchoring there for the night, it was a very short hop over the next morning to St Vincent which is the regional « capital ». It is a nip back to reality, albeit Caribbean style, but worth it to enjoy the views, the waterfalls, the Pirates of the Caribbean film set, and the forest roads.
Back on board for watersports, sundowners and another fabulous themed dinner and starlit night at anchor. After a couple of hours of lively cruising (this part can get a bit rough sometimes), we came in sight of the famous Pitons on St Lucia. They are stunning mountainous volcanic spires which dominate the bay where we anchored to enjoy the scenery as the sun went down and see the Pitons gradually slip into shadow. We headed further north towards the airport, anchoring there for the night in readiness for the inevitable and regrettable parting.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this whole zone would be swamped with yachts and guests anxious to avoid the Virgin Islands and St Martin, thinking it is still a disaster-stricken area; but in fact neither is the case: the Leewards are thankfully back on their feet, and the Windwards are still strangely ignored.
The positive is that we did, and you could, therefore, enjoy arguably the most beautiful part of the Caribbean almost alone.
Moving on to the beauty at our feet – Axioma herself and her wonderful crew!
Axioma has plenty of space and is configured for you to be able to have lunches, breakfasts, dinners, apéritifs, cocktails, snacks, karaoke, working sessions, yoga and work-out in a different place and part of the boat each time. This rich layout, making use of the space and volume rather than just having sheer size at hand, is one of the key qualities of Axioma for charter guests.
Up top is a crow’s nest area with total discretion and a vantage point to savour; then down to the next deck with a superb bar with part of the seating in the jacuzzi itself. The gym looks onto the jacuzzi deck, with a massage room and sauna just behind.
Next deck down has a beautiful dining table under cover, and heading inside brings you to the upper level of a completely open atrium. Breathe!
The lower deck has an infinity pool with view over the swim platform, and the lower level of the atrium is a luxurious saloon, bar (scene of barbarous karaoke) and interior dining room in a separate section.
The team together with the chef organized a different theme for each meal, spanning Cuban, Caribbean, Greek, Mexican and several others, with every detail covered - the food, drink, decorations, table settings and stewardesses’ outfits and music. Each meal was prepared and presented with exquisite care – the chef’s work deserves patient and appreciative attention. The stewardesses were delightfully marshalled by Rochelle who was always one step ahead of the guests regarding their likes, preferences, dislikes and what they wanted to do next…and is a high-level selling point for any client group.
We had the pleasure of having both captains looking after us during the trip, and again they would be trump cards for clients, instilling confidence and comfort to ensure a charter of the highest quality.
Article By Colin Srivastava, Professional Superyacht Charter Broker
ENJOY MORE PHOTOS FROM THE TRIP BELOW:
Photo credit Axioma and CharterWorld.com