The Antigua Charter Yacht Show has been the traditional gathering place each December for charter brokers to review the Caribbean charter fleet, meet the crews, sample the cuisine and glean the information needed to make solid recommendations to potential charter clients.
The Antigua show, started 43 years ago, has reigned supreme-until this year, when the St. Maarten Charter Yacht Exhibition debuted the week following on the nearby island belonging to Holland and France.
While Antigua is well established, the newcomer on St. Maarten did a slick and professional job, especially for a first-time effort. We’ll see what the future holds for the two shows.
In the meantime, however, an unprecedented 16 yachts debuted to the charter fleet at these two shows, which bodes well for the strength of the Caribbean winter fleets. Ranging from the immense 280-footer, Annaliesse, to the sleek 80-foot Seascape, there was literally something for everyone and in every price range. All of the yachts shown here can be booked through your favorite charter broker.
Here’s a look at the new Caribbean fleet for 2005.
Annaliesse: Unique in the charter market is this newly launched 280-footer that hosts up to 36 guests in 12 king and six twin staterooms, all en suite. All the amenities of a resort include cinema, high-tech health spa, business center, elevator, nursery and Jacuzzi/plunge pool, plus helipad. Perfect for corporate charters, she has a 1:1 guest/crew ratio.
Aspen Alternative: Perfectly named for a vacation warmer than ski slopes, this 120-foot Sovereign features hand-painted silk fabrics, a white interior and Versace china for eight guests. A private office is a useful feature, and guests will appreciate the towed 25-foot Hydrasport, plus a 19-foot Novurania, twin Jet Skis and a pair of Vespa scooters.
Darling: This new 81-foot Oyster sailing yacht has a versatile three-stateroom layout, all en suite for seven guests. The dining area in the deckhouse has panoramic views and there is plenty of cockpit space for lounging. The yacht has full scuba gear as well as Snuba gear for beginners to try out scuba diving. Crew of four.
Entrepreneur: A 110-foot Broward commissioned in 2004, she has an experienced crew of five to cater to the eight guests in four cabins. Fully stabilized and with satellite TV, the yacht has an elegantly regal interior and an array of water toys that include a 32-foot scuba tender (a dive instructor is aboard), water- ski tender and towables.
Four Wishes: This 143-footer was built by Palmer Johnson in 2004 with five staterooms that include a lower VIP and king and an on-deck master suite. In addition to the formal dining area, the yacht has a spacious skylounge with bar, upper deck with spa and even a private study. Crew of eight.
Gigi: This newly launched 100-foot Hargrave has four staterooms that can be configured into several combinations for eight guests. Alfresco dining is on the shaded aft deck, while the flybridge has both sunning and covered areas. There are full satellite communications and television, plus a large film library. Crew of five.
Halcyon Days: This classic 170-foot Feadship (formerly Rasselas) has just entered charter service after private ownership, and carries up to 12 guests and an experienced crew of 14. Details include a trilevel sunpad and spa on the upper deck, full sauna, fireplace in the skylounge, numerous water toys and an exquisite John Munford interior.
High Chaparral: A recently built 163-foot Feadship, High Chaparral has accommodations for 10 guests plus two in the convertible gym. The very large sundeck, Jacuzzi bar and outside dining for up to 20 are backed by formal dining for 12. Features include at-anchor stabilization, an emergency helipad and the crew of 12.
Janie: Newly launched by Trinity Yachts, this 157-footer is state-of-the-art from the at-anchor stabilization to the sophisticated entertainment systems. Ten guests enjoy an elegant interior with player piano, 61-inch plasma TV and private dining room. Toys include a 34-foot Intrepid tender and an 18-foot Nautica with beach ramp and full dive gear.
Lady In Blue: This recently launched 170-foot Amels features a stunning interior, well-planned deck space and wireless Internet throughout. Twelve guests enjoy a media room with fireplace, spacious saloon, oversized cabins, an office area and a sundeck with spa. It has twin 19-foot custom RIBs, two Jet Skis and an array of water and beach toys. Crew of nine.
Lady Madelyn: Step into the saloon of this 122-foot CRN and you’ll think you’re in Venice, with lush furnishings for 10 guests. A recent refit, she surprises with a comfortable media room with a 60-inch plasma TV, a shaded aft deck and a spacious upper sundeck. Formal dining is for 10, with alfresco dining areas on the aft and upper decks. Crew of five.
Midlandia: This 170-foot Benetti is striking with her dark blue hull and oval windows, and the yacht easily accommodates 12 guests in an unusual layout that includes a VIP suite off the skylounge. Other notable features are an immense sundeck with outdoor cinema, both formal and alfresco dining areas, a wide array of water toys and a crew of 12.
Seascape: This sleek and stylish 80-foot Azimut has more space than her length suggests, with spacious cabins for eight, a large saloon with formal dining area, and alfresco dining on the covered aft deck. The flybridge has sunning areas plus settees, and the transom garage holds a pair of Jet Skis. Crew of three.
Starship: Though not a new charter yacht, this 143-foot Van Mill attracted attention for its tasteful Claudette Bonville 2004 refit that removed all traces of the formerly garish interior. It has reentered charter service with five staterooms, spectacular woodwork, and toys ranging from a 38-foot Intrepid tender to a Bell JetRanger helicopter. Crew of ten.
Tiara: At 178 feet, this Dubois-designed sailing yacht has a 205-foot mast, the tallest that can transit the Panama Canal. Built by Alloy Yachts of New Zealand, she has five staterooms for 12 guests and an Art Deco interior. The helicopter landing pad is most unusual for a sailing yacht, as is the flybridge dining area and the oversized ÒbeachÓ area that folds from the transom.
Touch: This 120-footer from Canada is truly custom, built by a knowledgeable owner for up to eight guests in four staterooms. The interior is elegant, with Lalique accents, Baccarat fixtures, a 62-inch plasma television and a Linn sound system with 10,000 tunes. Water toys include a 38-foot custom tender and twin Jet Skis. Crew of seven.