This year’s hurricane season has been punishing in the Virgin Islands and northern Caribbean, which together comprise the prime destination for winter yacht charter each year. And even as cleanup begins from Hurricane Irma, the islands now have another serious hurricane, Maria, bearing down. For many people who live in the islands, the suffering has been unbearable.
Even still, there is some good news now coming out of the Virgin Islands and northern Caribbean. Two of the crewed-yacht companies based there—Regency Yacht Charters and Charter Yacht Solutions—have both regained communications and sent e-mail blasts stating that the majority of the crewed charter yachts in their fleets are okay following Irma.
“We know you are worried about yachts in our fleet after Irma,” Regency announced in its e-mail blast. “Many came through unscathed.”
And Virgin Island Sailing stated in an e-mail blast that while many bareboat fleets suffered damage, crewed charter yachts “fared better with the majority of crewed yachts safe with minimal or no damage. Many also moved out of the BVI for the storm.”
VI Sailing added that while a number of popular restaurants and bars had been wrecked, their owners were optimistic about the future.
“Perennial favorites like Foxy’s, Ivan’s, Soggy Dollar and similar have all pledged to rebuild and look forward to welcoming you back,” VI Sailing wrote. “Locations in Anegada, Pirate’s Bight, Peter Island and Cooper Island are also rumored to be able to rebuild enough to open for business this charter season.”
Select Yachts, which has bases on St. Martin and in Florida, also issued an e-blast with hopeful news. Only about a half-dozen of the charter yachts in its fleet sustained damage, with about 35 reporting no damage at all. Among the damaged yachts, the company was hopeful that repairs would be minor enough to be completed ahead of the upcoming charter season as well.
And on Antigua, organizers of the Antigua Charter Yacht Show reported business as usual, stating in an e-mail blast: “While Barbuda bore the brunt of the category five storm, Antigua was spared the damage wreaked across so many of our regional neighbors.”
Of course, our thoughts are with all the people still trying to recover from Irma’s wreckage—and now facing Maria as well. But with tourism being the islands’ main industry, it’s wonderful news that so many yachts are in great shape and ready to welcome charter guests this winter. The beaches will still be beautiful, and it sounds like there will be at least a handful of places to step ashore and enjoy a rum punch while adding much-needed tourism income to the local economies.
For the latest information about available yachts and itineraries in the Virgin Islands and Caribbean this winter, contact any reputable charter broker.