St Thomas, US VI – Anticipation is running high for a busy crewed charter yacht sailing season based on reports from captains, crews and yacht brokers attending the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Yacht Show which is being attended by 125 yacht brokers from around the US.
“Our season is just getting underway and the crewed charter yachts are booking up very fast,” said Oriel Blake, executive director of VIPCA. “And we are not just ramping up, but we have a new client base coming to the US VI from the cruise ship and hotel industry while our captains and crew are largely remaining in the territory.”
“The US VI has demonstrated time and again that we stand out around the world for what we offer with our national parks and reefs, wall diving, culture, Caribbean history, restaurants and sailing the Tradewinds,” Blake added. “We have seen a new client base coming to the US VI from the cruise ship and hotel side and they are now a part of the charter industry here. There is one thing that is incomparable when it comes to sailing here – you really can leave your troubles behind, turn off the engines and leave life’s worries behind.”
With nearly 30 boats at the VIPCA show, made up of catamarans in the 40-to-60-foot range, for the most part, the captains and crews vary in age and interests and are a good cross-section for those seeking the many unique experiences on offer from snorkeling to dining ashore in and around St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix.
For captains Devan Rose and Davis Alford who run the 52’ Lagoon S/Y “Ocelot”, they are looking forward to sailing on a beam reach to St. Croix and snorkeling or diving at Buck Island National Reserve, as well as anchoring near Ram’s Head on St. John and taking passengers for a hike.
I personally love to sail and when we sail to St. Croix for some it is the first time they are out of sight of land. But it is a beam reach both ways which is the nicest point of sail,” Devan said
For the crew of the Lagoon 65 “Aeolus”, they are looking forward not only to the world-class scuba diving on St. Croix but also “visiting the historic towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted,” said Captain Mayon Hight. “People are really enjoying this offering of sailing to St. Croix and we are often accompanied by dolphins riding the bow wake and frigate birds coming down to snag a fish. We also have guests who really do want to stretch their legs and hike on St. John, so we are fortunate to have the unspoiled beauty there.”
For yacht brokers on-site meeting with the captains, this year offers them a chance to refresh their current information and meet new crew.