Due to Covid restrictions on travel, this is the first time that the USVI and BVI Charter Yacht Shows have gone virtual. We were able to attend the very well-thought-out interviews with the crew, their walk-throughs with their yachts, and all the benefits and features for the coming charter season safely from our office. We thank The Triton for allowing us to show these dedicated crew that are waiting for you in safety and sincerity.
~ Carol Kent, CEO
This just in from our friends at The Triton, (industry news for captains and crew):
USVI20: Crew win at USVI show
M/Y Elite, a 92-foot (m) Sunseeker, won Best in Show at the U.S. Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show last week. The yacht is represented by Bluewater Yachting.
Hosted at Yacht Haven Grande Marina in St. Thomas Nov. 12-15, 2020, the show marks the beginning of the winter cruising season in the Caribbean.
About 50 charter brokers examined the nearly 60 vessels exhibiting in the show, hosted by the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA). About 100 charter brokers attended the show’s virtual platform, which included seminars, crew interviews, and yacht tours.
Crew and cuisine are signature features of all-inclusive crewed yacht charters.
“Knowing how to read your guests and identifying early on how best to fulfill their needs, considering the little things or small details about what they enjoy, and remembering that although we’ve done many charters, including in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Greece, the BVI and now USVI, that for each guest this is their special, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime trip,”
said Chef Daniela Cox, who crews the Lagoon 56 S/Y RESPITE AT SEA with Capt. Ross Matthews. They won the Best Crew in Show award.
Chef Denise Melton of the Fountaine Pajot 60 S/Y BLUE PEPPER won the Crew Culinary Competition. One of over a half dozen small bites she prepared included Caribbean-sourced watermelon topped with goat cheese and a drizzle of Grand Marnier-flavored balsamic reduction.
“When you vacation on land, you can dine out at different restaurants,” she said. “On a charter, we are the restaurant. That’s why everything from the guest’s preference sheet pre-charter to letting them know the daily menu while on charter is very important to me and the entire charter experience.”
Travel and COVID protocols in the USVI make them a favorable cruising ground.
“With the difficult protocols in place for some areas, we have many clients who are moving to other parts of the Caribbean, specifically the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Nancy Van Winter, owner of Maryland-based Envy Yacht Charters/International Yacht Charter Group. “This was not an area that was featured on many charters in the past, but the crews are exploring the region and developing incredible itineraries, and are invigorated about giving charter guests a fantastic week.”
Despite global challenges, the U.S. Virgin Islands is looking at a promising charter season. U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently issued a ruling to VIPCA that enables member yachts to offer charters to Puerto Rico’s offshore islands of Culebra, Culebrita and Vieques.
VIPCA has also partnered with the Department of Planning & Natural Resources, Division of Coastal Zone Management, for a grant to install 200 moorings in various bays of the U.S. Virgin Islands to reduce anchoring near ecologically important coral reefs and seagrasses.
“The end of this successful 2020 Charter Yacht Show marks the beginning of a new phase for the USVI marine industry,” said Dare Blankenhorn, VIPCA president and owner of St. Thomas-based Charter Caribe. “We recognize the challenges that still sit in front of us, but we are confident in the agility of our business community and the greatness of our natural assets.”