CharterWave is Live at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show
The annual, industry-only Antigua Charter Yacht Show is expected to include just shy of 100 yachts, everything from smaller sailboats to serious superyachts. This is the Caribbean’s premium charter show, featuring many of the finest yachts that will be available for bookings throughout the winter season.
Some of the highly anticipated debuts include the 197-foot Abeking and Rasmussen motoryacht Dream (previously known as Excellence III and having just finished a major refit); the 107-foot Baltic sailing yacht Inukshuk, the 217-foot Delta motoryacht Invictus, and the 125-foot Oyster sailing yacht Twilight.
CharterWave editor Kim Kavin will be live from the docks starting Saturday, December 7, with short updates posted regularly to the CharterWave Twitter feed and longer updates posted each evening to the CharterWave Daily Editor’s Blog. As always, we’ll have news about the boats, industry trends, interesting insights from brokers, and more.
And of course, stay tuned to CharterWave in the months to come for our full yacht reviews and interviews with everyone to captains and chefs we meet at the show.
Broker Report: Passport Control is Changing in Greece, Turkey
Missy Johnston of Northrop and Johnson Worldwide Yacht Charters sees some changes developing in the charter market in Turkey and Greece—changes that should make life easier, and itineraries more expansive, for anyone interested in an East Mediterranean yacht charter for summer 2014.
What is changing, she says, is that the Greek passport control agents are working faster and allowing captains using ship’s agents to complete most of the paperwork while charter guests relax on the yacht.
“Each guest and crew member still has to appear in person at passport control, but this can be done quickly, after the rest of the paperwork is completed,” Johnston says. “Another change that makes clearances easier for charter guests is the addition of more passport clearance ports in both Turkey and Greece. Captains no longer have to structure a charter itinerary around the handful of ports where clearance was possible a few years ago.”
Why is this happening? Johnston thinks it might be a result of the continuing fallout from the global economic recession.
“Greek islanders seem to be encouraging any visitors who might help the local economy,” she says. “Crewed yacht charter guests are known generally to spend more when visiting an island than cruise ship guests, so Greek islanders are perhaps encouraging visits from crewed charter yachts entering from Turkey. I was told recently that in some of the smaller Greek Dodecanese islands, in the summer, a majority of guests at a local taverna might be from yachts that have cleared in from Turkey.”
Charter Yacht Newvida Being Rebuilt as Seanna
The 164-foot Delta motoryacht Newvida has undergone a transformation and is nearly done becoming what you see in the rendering at right: a 185-footer rechristened Seanna (a yacht name you may recognize from this time last year, when the 213-foot Benetti Seanna stole many hearts at the 2012 Antigua Charter Yacht Show).
The new Seanna is being marketed by Northrop and Johnson as “one of the most extensively rebuilt yachts in history,” with her official unveiling scheduled for April 2014, just in time for the summer charter season in the Mediterranean.
To entice early bookings ahead of the unveiling this spring, Seanna’s owner is offering the yacht at an introductory weekly base rate of $379,000 for anyone who books before December 31. After that, the weekly base rate will rise by about 15 percent to $440,000.
While Newvida accommodated 10 guests, the rebuilt yacht as Seanna will take 12 in a main-deck owner's suite, a bridge-deck VIP, and four belowdecks staterooms. The rebuild also included adding a beach club (a swim-platform area on steroids) and an “ocean deck” (can't wait to find out what that means).
The plan is for Seanna to spend summers in the Mediterranean and winters in Thailand and the Indian Ocean.
Motoryacht of the Month: Marjorie Morningstar
Marjorie Morningstar is a 170-foot Amels motoryacht that was built in 2004 and previously known as Lady in Blue. Her current owner is her third, and he’s had her since 2010. While she chartered with previous owners, 2012 was her first year of charter as Marjorie Morningstar with the current management. Her primary area of availability is the West Mediterranean.
She has a traditional stateroom arrangement with a master suite forward on the main deck. There’s a king-size bed, his and her bath (interestingly, no tub), office, sitting room and dressing room. Belowdecks are the guest cabins, two with queen beds and bathrooms that include tubs, and two with double beds and showers only.
What’s non-traditional about Marjorie Morningstar are her varied dining options. There’s a main deck formal dining room, which many yachts in her size range have, along with a bridge-deck outdoor table, also a standard feature. Marjorie Morningstar adds a third dining area, indoors on the bridge deck, giving charter guests some nice options for dining in different parts of the yacht for each meal daily.
There is no dining on the sundeck, but that’s because the space has been reserved for other guest features. An oversized, 10-person hot tub with surrounding sunpads is forward, more sunbathing is aft, and amidships is a fresh-air, covered gymnasium with a pair of treadmills, an elliptical and more.
Learn more in our review of the motoryacht Marjorie Morningstar.
Sailing Yacht of the Month: Marae
Here’s the long and the short of it: The 108-foot Alloy sailing yacht Marae is a stunner.
CharterWave editor Kim Kavin toured the 2004 build at the 2013 Newport International Charter Yacht Show in New England, where Marae was far and away the most beautiful sailing yacht on the docks. The word Kim wrote in her notebook was “pristine,” thanks in part to refit work that had been done during the previous four years. Marae originally launched as Paraiso, and her brand-new owner has bought a beautiful classic, to be sure, one that looks as good today as she did when the shipyard launched her nearly a decade ago. Her traditional walnut wood interior décor is as lush as they come, and all of the carpeting and soft goods around it were spotless.
The only thing that was missing during Kim’s tour of Marae was her permanent charter crew, who had yet to arrive. They have since been announced as Capt. Frank Ficken, a U.S. native who previously worked aboard the 160-foot Alloy sailing yacht Georgia; chef Sue Ficken, who trained at the International Culinary School in Fort Lauderdale and also has experience aboard Georgia; first mate and engineer Dylan Row-Clark, who was raised on Sint Maarten before studying at Stanford University; and stewardess Renee Boudria, whose fine-service experience includes work at the New York Yacht Club Harbor Court house in Newport.
That combination of experience should be a winner aboard this yacht, which accommodates six guests in three staterooms. One has a queen bed, one has a double, and one has a single twin bed plus a bunk-style Pullman berth, making Marae a great choice for families with kids.
Also family-friendly is the on-deck layout, with a shaded seating and dining area that is forward of the crew area and two steering wheels, as well as a smaller owner’s cockpit aft that connects to the master stateroom below. (That’s the master and stairs leading up to the cockpit in the photograph above.)
Learn more in our review of the charter yacht Marae.
Captain of the Month: Gunnar Williamson
No, that’s not Hollywood A-lister Owen Wilson in the photograph at right. It’s his close lookalike, Gunnar Williamson, who is captain aboard the 70-foot Hylas sailing yacht Destiny.
“She’s a 2010 build, still with her original owner, and we’re the third crew,” Williamson told CharterWave. “We’ve been in charter with this boat since 2012, and that year in New England and Maine we did four charters. Then the boat went into the Hinckley Shipyard for a new boom and mainsail before we went to the Caribbean. We covered from Antigua to the Grenadines, the BVIs, the Spanish and U.S. Virgins—we were everywhere.”
Destiny can accommodate six guests in three staterooms, but Williamson says that’s only a smart option in certain situations.
“I think four guests is ideal,” he says. “Two couples works great. Six guests are okay if it’s a family because one of our cabins has upper-lower bunks, but if it’s just two couples, we can really wine and dine them and take our service to a high level.”
Also onboard Destiny is Megan Williamson, Gunnar’s wife and an award-winning cook.
“She won the chowder contest at the Newport Charter Yacht Show in 2012,” he says. “She has taken some classes, but mostly she’s self-taught. She cooks a lot of local, fresh foods, and she does an amazing filet with caramelized onions. Oh, and her rosemary-crusted rack of lamb is great. Plus, the owners of the boat love seafood, so she is very practiced at that.”
Learn more about the charter experience aboard Destiny in our interview with Capt. Gunnar Williamson.
Chef of the Month: Steven Keith Manee
Chef Steven Keith Manee of the 126-foot Christensen motoryacht Sea Bear took home top honors at the 2013 Newport Charter Yacht Show cooking competition, having come a long way from where he began his career in restaurants back on land.
“I started out as a baker and a server, well, also a bartender and a floor manager, really working my way up the line,” Manee told CharterWave. “The last restaurant where I worked I was as interim executive chef at Market 17 in Fort Lauderdale, where I helped to reorganize their pasty program.”
That’s not to say Manee is an expert only at sweets. His main courses are fresh, healthy, and just as tasty as his desserts.
“Really what I like to cook is local ingredients,” he says. “I worked at a farm-to-table restaurant in South Florida, and there is nothing better than finding fantastic fresh produce to cook with. Crudite, ceviche—raw and delicious.”
Manee also is keen to cook for charter guests with adventurous palates.
“I can do anything the guests want, but what I really like to cook are exotic meats—antelope, ostrich, elk, things like that,” he says. “I know some good purveyors if guests are interested in that.
Learn more about the culinary experience aboard Sea Bear in our interview with chef Steven Keith Manee.
Best of the CharterWave Daily Editor’s Blog
Amels Motoryacht Malibu Heading to the Maldives. Ocean Drive sends word that the 177-foot Amels motoryacht Malibu is en route to the Maldives.
She is expected to arrive on December 10 with charter availability throughout the winter season.
In order to persuade clients to come out to the Indian Ocean, the owner of Malibu has reduced her high-season weekly base rate from €215,000 to €199,000. The new rate is a 10-percent discount compared with the advertised low-season rate for Malibu in the Mediterranean during 2012.
I was onboard Malibu in May 2012. Yacht aficionados may know her as Kermit, which was her original launch name in 2001. She went through a major refit in 2007 that included installation of a Reymond Langton interior, which to my eye looked contemporary and comfortable during my short time aboard. … Read More …
Best of the CharterWave Sponsored Blogs
Devocean, from the Boatbookings.com sponsored blog on CharterWave. It has recently been the pleasure Tom and Cordy from the Boatbookings team to have been invited aboard Devocean, a majestic 37m Sunseeker!
After an exceedingly warm welcome from the passionate Captain Ivan, which was particularly pleasant after a walk in the miserable rain that Tuesday, we discussed at length his extensive experience in the yachting industry and his great career as a highly skilled yacht captain. We were invited into a spacious, tasteful and homely main saloon and chatted over a delicious espresso before the time came to have a look round Devocean’s interior spaces.
Yet the interior of Devocean only tells half the story. Stepping outside, we were in awe at the plentiful deck space provided on board. With three decks to relax upon, any charterer would be very much spoiled for choice! … Read More …
Fleet and Management Company News
Charter Sailing Unlimited says the 47-foot Catana sailing catamaran Green Flash is offering a honeymoon package through July, inclusive at $9,600, with unlimited champagne, wine, and cocktails…
CharterWorld tells us that the 76-foot Ferretti motoryacht Sea Stream has availability this winter in the Seychelles. She takes eight guests at a lowest weekly base rate of €29,000… The 84-foot Lazzara motoryacht Cold Gecko is available for the holidays in the Bahamas with no delivery fees from Florida… The 60-foot Eleuthera sailing catamaran Nkalindau is available in the Seychelles at a lowest weekly base rate of €22,000 for eight guests…
Churchill Yacht Partners sends word that the 108-foot Alloy sailing yacht Marae is offering a free bonus day for all one-week Caribbean charters that are booked by the end of December (charter dates can be throughout the winter season)…
Edmiston and Company is hinting that there will be a new charter option called Aqua Mekong launching into the fleet for spring 2014 in Southeast Asia, based on the success of the motoryachts Aqua and Aria on the Peruvian Amazon… New to the charter fleet is the 141-foot Baglietto motoryacht Sofia 3, taking 10 guests at a lowest weekly base rate of €135,000…
Infinity Yacht Charters says the 114-foot classic motoryacht Pacific Yellowfin has a new 250-hp sport boat for charters during summer 2014 in the Pacific Northwest. You can see it in this video:
Neo Yachting tells us the 105-foot Azimut motoryacht Escapade has arrived in Phuket and is available for Thailand charters this winter… New to the fleet is the 95-foot Princess motoryacht Alexandra V, which will be available in the Mediterranean starting April 2014…
Neptune Group Yachting sends word has nine motoryachts with holiday availability in Florida and the Bahamas. They range from the 73-foot Ocean motoryacht Sarita, taking six guests at a holiday weekly base rate of $19,000, to the 116-foot Azimut motoryacht Vivere, taking 10 guests at a holiday weekly base rate of $57,500…
Nicholson Yachts says the 90-foot Vripack motoryacht Tivoli is giving 10 days for the price of seven during Christmas and New Year’s in Hawaii…
Northrop and Johnson tells us the 100-foot Azimut motoryacht Grand Barossa has holiday availability in Florida or the Bahamas, taking 10 guests at a lowest weekly base rate of $40,000… The 205-foot Oceanco motoryacht Lady Lola is offering a Mediterranean special. Book two consecutive weeks for summer 2014 by January 15, and the second week comes at a 15-percent discount. See the CharterWave Daily Editor’s Blog for details…
Ocean Independence says the 92-foot Feadship motoryacht Najade is available for a charter during MIPIM from March 10-14, taking as many as 40 guests for events at the dock… The 138-foot Alumarine sailing catamaran Douce France is giving bookings at a reduced weekly base rate of €85,000 through December 18 in the Raja Ampat region… The 78-foot Nordhavn motoryacht Beyond Capricorn has arrived in Fiji and is available for charter through May 2014. See the CharterWave Daily Editor’s Blog for details… The 145-foot Proteksan-Turquoise motoryacht Costa Magna has a confirmed berth for the 2014 Historic Monaco Grand Prix and is available for charter at the event… The 125-foot Cheoy Lee motoryacht Namoh has completed a significant shipyard period and will be available again starting in January in Florida and the Bahamas…
Oceanstyle by Burgess is marketing the 120-foot Amels motoryacht Blue Attraction as the “best value in the Caribbean” this winter, at a lowest weekly base rate of $60,000 for as many as 11 guests in five staterooms… The 98-foot Cantieri Falcon motoryacht Powdermonkey has applied for paperwork and is expected to be legal for charters in Spain during summer 2014… The 97-foot Sunseeker motoryacht Tuppence has had a change of location and will be available in the West Mediterranean for summer 2014…
Peter Kehoe and Associates tells us that several yachts in its fleet still have holiday availability in the Bahamas and Caribbean. The boats range from the 76-foot Lazzara motoryacht Salesmanship to the 192-foot Australian motoryacht Islander…
Regency Yacht Vacations sends word that the 120-foot Broward motoryacht Freedom is available for Christmas in the Virgin Islands with no holiday surcharge and no minimum number of nights. The inclusive weekly rate for as many as nine guests is $68,500… The 46-foot Catalina sailing yacht La Palapa is available for Christmas or New Year’s in the Virgin Islands with no holiday surcharge. Her weekly base rate for two guests is $5,900… The 55-foot sailing catamaran Flying Ginny II is giving $1,000 her charter rate in the Virgin Islands for charters between January 14 and February 1… The 46-foot Fontaine-Pajot sailing catamaran Imagination is offering reduced weekly base rates in the Grenadines from January 7-27…
Sunreef Yachts Charter says the 70-foot powercatamaran Damrak II is giving a 15-percent discount on Southeast Asia charters through December 20…
Yacht Solutions in Phuket, Thailand, has opened a yacht charter division…
Yachting Partners International says the 239-foot Dunya motoryacht Axioma is offering three bonus days with every seven-day booking, or four bonus days with every 10-day booking, during her debut season this winter in the Caribbean. The lowest weekly base rate is €490,000…
YCO tells us the 223-foot Feadship motoryacht Lady Christine is open for Christmas and New Year’s in French Polynesia. The weekly base rate is $550,000 for 10 guests.
New First Impression Reviews Now Live on CharterWave
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Missy Johnston of Northrop and Johnson Worldwide Yacht Charters, on passport control in Greece and Turkey