St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Veuve Clicquot champagne, Miraval Rose, Grand Marnier, Captain Morgan rum and St. John Brewers VI beer, distributed by Bellows International and Grey Goose vodka and Soggy Dollar rum, supplied by the West Indies Company, are the official beer, wine and liquors of the 2020 USVI Charter Yacht Show. This announcement comes from Show organizer, the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), which will assure the well-being of event attendees by adhering to COVID-19 safety orders in place by the USVI government at the time. Each of these outstanding beverages will be highlighted at events throughout the show. In particular, Grand Marnier will sponsor the always-anticipated Culinary Competition. For more information about the Culinary Competition, please see the VIPCA website. Chefs’ registration opens September 1st on a first-come-first-serve basis.
“Our relationship with the marine charter industry dates to the early 1980s and we are very proud to once again be the lead beverage sponsor for this year’s USVI Charter Yacht Show,” says Richard Berry, president of the West Indies Company. “Now more than ever, it is important for the U.S. Virgin Islands to welcome visitors to our wonderful marinas, beautiful waters and Virgin Islands’ hospitality. The marine industry has a multi-million dollar positive impact on our territory and many local businesses benefit. West Indies and Bellows International are thankful for the opportunity to participate and partner with other sponsors to make this year’s event the most successful ever.”
Beverages to Love on Land & Sea
Food and beverages are not only a key part of a charter yacht vacation, but memory makers whether they are sipped or savored in a culinary creation.
To the north of France comes Veuve Clicquot, whose signature yellow label conveys both strength and silkiness as well as the champagne’s perfect balance of aromatic intensity and freshness. In the South of France’s fertile vineyards, Miraval Rose comes from the wine-making mastery of the Perrin family and the passions of château and estate owners, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Grand Marnier, another French-born favorite and a blend of Cognac brandy, essence of bitter orange and sugar, elevates everything it’s a part of from cocktails to cuisine. Back across the Atlantic to the Virgin Islands, Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced rum, the figurehead of the fleet, is a secret blend of Caribbean rums with a smooth and medium-bodied taste. Its subtle notes of vanilla and caramel give classic rum cocktails a distinctive, flavorful finish. Closer to home, Bellows International also looks forward to introducing yacht crews, brokers and ultimately guests alike to St. John Brewers’ island-style craft beer, whose signature pale ale comes with a hint of mango.
From the neighboring British Virgin Island of Jost Van Dyke, the West Indies Company will spotlight Soggy Dollar rum. The custom-blended handcrafted rum comes from the celebrated Soggy Dollar Bar, birthplace of the Caribbean-famous libation, the Painkiller. Finally, yet another French legend that will be featured is Grey Goose vodka. Only two ingredients – single-origin Picardie winter wheat and natural spring water from the producers’ limestone well in Gensac-La-Pallue – are used to craft this gluten-free spirit of exceptional character.
Diverse Fleet of Yachts on Display
Over 70 yachts are expected to be on show at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grand Marina. More than half this number was already registered as of July 1, 2020. The show fleet includes a diverse mix of vessels: sailing monohulls and catamarans up to 80-feet and longer and motor yachts in the 100- to 150-foot range.
“The USVI Charter Yacht Show is a well put together event that allows all of the yachts the chance to exhibit themselves in a smooth and easy to access format,” says Captain Kieran Brown, who with Chef/First Mate, Michelle Preciado, charter the 62’ Lagoon, Twin Flame. “It’s perfectly scheduled to allow the boats the opportunity to return to the Virgin Islands after hurricane season and prepare for the show and upcoming charters. We particularly enjoy the show because it’s a great time to reconnect with the industry’s professionals and showcase our latest adventures, upgrades and modifications.”
A Must-Do for Charter Brokers
Over 150 charter brokers from the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe are expected to attend this ‘must-do’ show for international yacht charter professionals.
“The November 2020 show is anticipated to represent a new beginning for the Virgin Islands and Caribbean crewed yacht charter season,” says Lynne Campbell, owner with husband Joe of Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Carefree Yacht Charters. “This U.S. Territory has continued to maintain its support for mariners and the yachting industry, being the first Caribbean destination to reopen its borders to daysail and term charters since COVID-19. The USVI yachts and their crews have also stepped up to the plate, showcasing their welcoming hospitality, ability to remain resilient, and with their USVI-only itineraries the latest trend in chartering. Exhibiting yachts will be able to speak to the USVI, an extraordinary stand-alone destination as well as an extremely reliable destination in recent years. The upcoming 2020/2021 charter season in the Virgin Islands is set to be stronger than ever with a surge of recent interest in these easily accessible plus private crewed yacht charter vacations. When combined, the upcoming USVI Charter Yacht Show is quite simply, a must-do show.”
The USVI Charter Show offers direct water taxi service from the BVI to IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande Marina with expedited U.S. Customs clearance for those brokers attending the Charter Yacht Society of the BVI’s Fall Charter Yacht Show. Once in the USVI, there are discounted rates at the show’s preferred hotels.
New for 2020
There are many new events for this year’s USVI Charter Yacht Show. One of these is a Progressive Dinner, set for the second night of the show on November 13th. The Progressive Dinner is an alternative to the earlier years’ themed ‘yacht hop’.
“The Progressive Dinner has been coordinated into three seatings of appetizer (6:00 p.m.), dinner entrée (7:00 p.m.) and dessert (8:00 p.m.) to be served onboard participating yachts to six charter broker guests (no more, no less),” says Oriel Blake, VIPCA executive director. Yachts are invited to serve any one of these seatings, unless a yacht wishes to serve two seatings in which case they would serve appetizer and dessert with a break between seatings to prep while the entrees are served on other yachts. The schedule is designed for the diners to have 15 minutes to navigate the marina between courses to their next yacht.”
Clearinghouse calendar managers and management companies are asked to control their invites to charter brokers, Blake adds, and then inform VIPCA of accepted invites. Accepted invitations will be added to a live online document, visible to all, but editable only by VIPCA. Brokers are requested to accept three separate seating invitations on three different yachts, and not to remain on any yacht for more than one seating. Each exhibiting yacht must inform their Clearinghouse and VIPCA before September 1st which seating(s) they self-nominate to host. These will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis; thus, yachts should make their preferred selection of seating(s) as soon as their yacht show registration is confirmed.
The Progressive Dinner will be hosted on the same day that the charter brokers will attend a lunch seminar ashore; thus, crews will be able to focus on preparation for their evening instead of hosting a broker lunch that day.
Early Bird Discount Ends August 1
Crewed Yachts and Charter Brokers are invited and encouraged to register early for the USVI Charter Yacht Show at www.vipca.org/usvi-charter-yacht-show/
For yachts, no payment is needed now. However, an active VIPCA membership is required to validate the registration. What’s more, register by or before August 1, and pay the Early Bird rate of $400 when later invoiced. After August 1, exhibiting yachts will pay $500 registration. All registrations must be paid in full when invoiced in October.
Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; the Gowrie Group; Denison Yacht Sales; Moe’s Fresh Market; Grey Goose, distributed by West Indies Company; Veuve Clicquot and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers and La Royale Cosmetics.
VIPCA is the territory’s 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership supports includes producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; gaining ease of access for charter vessels between the USVI and Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; installation of territory-wide new transient moorings; and marine vocational training for V.I. youth under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), Marine Rebuild Fund.