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Safe Caribbean Cruising

A group of islands team up to create a Caribbean cruising travel bubble.

March 2, 2021
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island bay with anchored boats and yachts
A “travel bubble” has been established among Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the ­Grenadines. Rick Jamison/Unsplash

The word “bubble” took on new meaning with the COVID-19 pandemic as families, friends and schoolmates established small groups of people who gathered only with one another. The idea was to maintain some social activity while minimizing exposure to the novel coronavirus. As long as people respected the bubble, a semblance of normalcy could exist.

The bubble principle now also applies to a group of islands where charter yachts are accepting bookings this winter. A “travel bubble” has been established among Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines—with the caveat that, depending on how the virus spreads, islands could enter or leave the bubble at any time.

For charter clients and crew, this bubble means that once you’re in, you’re in. Getting in and staying in requires negative COVID-19 tests, but the initial 14-day quarantine can be spent on board the yacht.

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In other words, if you’ve been dreaming of booking a one- or two-month getaway in the islands, this may be the perfect season to do it. Get in the bubble, and then relax and enjoy cruising among the islands while precious few other visitors are heading for the beaches.

Given how many clients are inquiring about these kinds of longer-term charters, the management company Edmiston has added a new acronym to its marketing materials. If you see “WSFY” in a charter-yacht brochure, it means “work or school from yacht.” The acronym indicates a robust communications system among the yacht’s features, letting guests stay connected to civilization online. Victoria A, the Perini Navi sailing yacht shown on the next page, is a WSFY option accepting Caribbean inquiries this winter.

147-foot Feadship deck
This 147-foot Feadship, Bella, is new to the Camper & Nicholsons International charter fleet. All the guest staterooms are on the main deck, and there’s a water-level beach club. Camper & Nicholsons
153-foot Heesen yacht
Ocean Independence just welcomed this 153-foot Heesen, Odyssea, to the charter market. It cruises with a 37-foot Invincible catamaran tender that has quad 350 hp outboard engines. Ocean Independence
142-foot racing sailboat
Perini Navi built the 142-foot, Victoria A, which just joined the Edmiston charter fleet. Christian Liaigre oversaw its 2018 refit, and it is marketed as being ideal for races and regattas. Edmiston

Y.CO Looks Ahead to Summer

With travel restrictions remaining uncertain amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Y.CO is offering a reduced-deposit booking option for summer charters.

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Normally, charter clients pay a 50 percent deposit. It’s now 25 percent, and is entirely refundable through March 1.

Y.CO ceo Charlie Birkett says, “We hope we will make it easier for both our clients and our charter-yacht owners to plan ahead and make the most of next summer with better peace of mind.”

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