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Caribbean Charter Yacht Show Preview

Antigua Charter Yacht Show - Photo courtesy of the Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting
Antigua Charter Yacht Show – Photo courtesy of the Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting

If you have a crewed charter yacht, now is the time to sign up to show at one of the three charter yacht shows in the Caribbean. If you’re a broker, plan to attend all three in order to get the best look at what the region has to offer. The Charter Yacht Society (CYS) Charter Yacht Show in the BVI boasts a spectacular collection of catamarans, the St. Thomas Fall Virgin Islands Charter Yacht League (VICL) Charter Yacht Show offers a unique mix of monohulls and small motor yachts as well as catamarans, while the Antigua Charter Yacht Show has earned the reputation as a ‘big boat’ show due to its fine fleet of megayachts. Here’s what’s new this year:

Some 75 yachts will be featured, with a good mix of yachts new to the industry as well as those already established, and 100-plus brokers hailing from the UK, France and Russia are expected to attend, says Janet Oliver, CYS executive director. “Increased enthusiasm for the show points to a strong upcoming season.”

New this year, the show will move to Nanny Cay Resort & Marina, located two miles west of Road Town. Also new will be an Absolut Photo Contest. Categories include: Absolut Best Charter Moment; Absolut Best Action Photo; Absolut Best Charter Sunset and more. The contest encourages the many accomplished photographers in the fleet to show their stuff and also display content that sells the vacation and the BVI.

Greater strides towards a ‘green’ show will be underway, as well as activities such as CYS and CYBA (Charter Yacht Brokers Association) board members luncheon, Culinary Competition, Broker/Crew Farewell Dinner and day after show ‘Charter Guest for a Day’ sail.

Dates: November 6th – 9th 2012. Location: Nanny Cay Resort & Marina. www.bvicrewedyachts.com

Some 80 to 100 brokers are expected to view thirty yachts and learn about three increasingly popular booking trends, says interim director, Kelly Kiernan. “One is half-board charters with only seven dinners, four lunches and three dinners included. This gives guests the option to eat ashore and takes about $1000 off the charter price. The second is to charter a crewed yacht like a bareboat where captain and crew come along as guides while guests pay for provisioning and cook themselves. This offers a charter that is only half the normal price. Also increasing in popularity are captain only charters which are least expensive.

New this year, the VICL (Virgin Islands Charter League) will debut its ‘Green Boats – Blue Oceans Recycling Program’. The program, conducted in partnership with the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association, will encourage yachts to store rather than discard their recyclable cans and bring them back to a specially-marked recycling container located outside the VICL office at Yacht Haven Grande. Monies raised from the returned cans will be donated to ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, a non-profit mentoring program that reaches out to at-risk young men and women and teaches them the social and vocational skills they need to become independent and employable in meaningful jobs.

Also new is a Broker Reception in the courtyard at the Windward Passage Hotel on November 10th. The VI Manufacturer’s Association will set up tables displaying wares such as local crafts, candles, bush teas, jams and jellies, honey and creams. Brokers will see an example of a $50 gift pack that includes a sample of each of these items that can be ordered as a ‘thank you for booking’ gift for guests on arrival to their yacht vacation.

Dates: November 11th –13th 2012. Location: Yacht Haven Grande www.vicl.org

Upwards of 110 to 120 yachts and 350 to 400 brokers will attend this year’s show, which has a new sign-up format for registration that allows brokers to create their own log-in and upload photos for ID badges. “This takes us to the next level and brings us up to date as well as more user-friendly, like the Med and Monaco shows,” says show manager, Sarah Sebastian,

This year’s theme for the perennial favorite Concours de Chef competition is ‘A Healthy Fresh Start’. “The focus will be on Spa cuisine as well as emphasizing local and sustainable ingredients,” says Sebastian. “We always encourage yachts to buy locally and I think guests expect tropical items.”

Other activities include the second annual Adreas Liveras Yacht Hop as well as a number of different seminars and parties.

Dates: December 2nd – 8th 2012. Location: Nelson’s Dockyard Marina English Harbour, Falmouth Harbour Marina and Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Falmouth Harbour. www.antiguayachtshow.com

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

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