MAIN RESOURCE INDEX PAGE
Although the bareboat charter industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic this past spring, things are opening up again. To help prospective charterers make sense of the situation, we’ve put together this online charter resources directory in cooperation with a number of our charter industry partners. What follows is an idea of what’s open and available everywhere from the Med to the Caribbean and South Pacific. For Country Entry/Immigration Policies click here.
Because the situation remains a fluid one, we’ll be updating this page on a regular basis—again in cooperation with our charter industry partners—so be sure to check in as you begin setting your sights on your next adventure under sail.
Although long-time British Virgin Islands mainstay Conch Charters is unable to send out any boats at present, the family-owned company says it is poised to begin welcoming sailors as soon as the government of the BVI opens things up again.
In the meantime, in addition to accepting reservations for charters beginning later this fall, the company is working hard at improving both its shoreside facilities and fleet, which includes a mix of Leopard, Fountaine-Pajot and Lagoon catamarans, and Jeanneau monohulls.
“At Conch Charters, downtime means improving in advance of reopening,” says Conch Charters co-owner Cindy Chestnut. “We are upgrading refrigeration and installing solar panels on more yachts, and modernizing our parts storeroom. We also have a new website under design, have renovated the office and have updated the digital tablets that are included in the equipment provided with each boat.”
Chestnut adds that the company is also doing its best to take the stress out of the ongoing travel situation through a cancellation policy that is as lenient and flexible as possible. “Our BVI reservation team’s goal is to satisfy and especially personalize the processing or rescheduling of any reservation in these crazy times,” Chestnut says.
In terms of safety, Conch charters has also created a set of Covid-19 protocols that meet the “highest industry standards.” These include the wearing of masks at all times and completely sanitizing each boat between charters. Boat briefings will also be given by video via each boat’s digital tablet.
Finally, to help its customers stay current, Conch is also sending out regular updates on both the state of the charter industry and the latest from the government of the BVI. For details, click here.
Owner-operated Cruise Abaco is located in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, on the edge of the Sea of Abaco, within striking distance of such destinations as Man-O-War Cay and Hope Town with its famed candy-striped lighthouse. The company, which also serves as an ASA training school, is currently open for business and accepting reservations for charters starting November. 1 or later. Cruise Abaco’s fleet includes a number of 41ft Jeanneau 410 sloops launched in 2019-20 and Fountaine-Pajot catamarans with LOA’s from 40-47ft.
“Cruise Abaco reopens November 1, and Abaco, Bahamas, is ready and eager to welcome tourists back to our beautiful islands,” says Cruise Abaco’s Mark Gonsalves. “Most of the restaurants and bars have reopened to date with more scheduled, and everyone is planning on a great 2020-2021 season! Our reefs look amazing, and the water is unlike anywhere in the world. Our fleet is new and ready for charter, and we offer the unique “captained by day, bareboat by night,” concept in which customers have the boat to themselves each evening.”
According to Gonsalves, the company has implemented a “book-now, pay-later” policy that allows customers to reserve a vessel (and captain as well, if they wish) well in advance, but not pay until as little as 30 days prior to setting sail. “We understand the climate and travel issues and the ever-changing environment,” Gonsalves says. “We also are allowing for rescheduling as necessary.
To ensure its customers’ safety, Cruise Abaco’s captains and staff are all undergoing routine temperature checks. Customers will also have their temperatures checked upon arrival, and all boats will be sanitized before boarding. Masks will also be required where and when necessary.
CYOA Yacht Charters in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands is open for business and accepting reservations for bareboat charters beginning October 13. The company’s fleet includes no less than 45 recently launched, fully loaded, catamarans and monohulls ranging from 38 to 50 feet in various cabin configurations. Specific brands include Lagoon and Fountaine-Pajot catamarans and monohulls from both Beneteau and Jeanneau.
“CYOA Yacht Charters is open for business! Due to international border closures, our sail area is currently constrained to the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, our guests have all had wonderful experiences cruising the hidden gems of St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix” says CYOA base manager Jay Pennington.
In light of the pandemic, the company is allowing penalty-free re-bookings of previously-booked, fully-paid charters within 30 days of charter start if the BVI border is closed. It is also encouraging guests to consider buying third-party travel insurance and learn about any travel protections their credit cards may offer. For the latest updates and details click here.
To keep charterers safe, CYOA is offering a 100 percent online pre-charter briefing system as well as online check-in. It is also implementing enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures between charters. After sanitization, each boat is physically sealed until guests arrive onboard. For details, click here.
“The 2020-2021 season is filling up,” Pennington says. “Book the original “social distancing” vacation today!”
Dream Yacht Charter
Global charterer Dream Yacht Charter now has bases open and accepting reservations across the world, in such far-flung locations as South Florida, the U.S. East Coast, Tahiti, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Brazil, the Caribbean, the Maldives and the Bahamas.
Travel restrictions remain in place for some locales.
However, the company also has a wide range of choices for sailors in the United States, including those that can easily be reached by car, making for an especially safe and easy vacation. “Our main focus has been to expand our domestic offerings, so we have more options for people to sail this summer without leaving the United States,” says DYC’s vice-president of global tourism, Dan Lockyer. “This includes the USVI and St. Thomas, our newly opened base in Miami and Annapolis, Maryland, Newport, Rhode Island, and Lake Champlain, Vermont. Mexico is also proving a very popular choice for West Coast sailors, as is Tahiti.”
The company is also hoping to begin welcoming charterers to the British Virgin Islands again at some point in September. For more on the company’s many bases, visit its “Destinations” page.
DYC has also been expanding its various fleets in cooperation with the French catamaran company Bali. Recently, for example, the company added three Bali 4.1s, two Bali 4.3s, a Bali 4.5 and a Bali 5.4 to its Tahiti fleet. It’s also expanded its dedicated crewed fleet with permanent crews in the Caribbean, adding three Bali 4.8s, a Bali 5.4, a Lagoon 52 and a Jeanneau 64 for all-inclusive luxury charters operating out of the USVI or BVI (which will hopefully be re-opening September 1).
To ensure the safety of its guests, DYC has implemented an aggressive boat-cleaning and mask-wearing/social distancing policy based on recommendations set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and ECDC. This policy includes placing a sanitized galley inventory in a sealed bag aboard each boat at the beginning of each charter. For details, click here.
If customers are unable to reach their departure destination due to COVID-19 disruption, DYC is offering the following options:
● Rescheduling without a fee for alternative dates in 2020 or 2021, according to our terms and conditions
● Receiving a credit for the deposit paid which you can use towards a future charter for departure in 2020 or 2021, according to our terms and conditions
For complete details on scheduling flexibility, click here.
Horizon Yacht Charters - BVI
While no announcement has yet been made by the government of the British Virgin Islands, borders are hopefully reopening in the fall and, the Horizon Yacht Charters base in Nanny Cay Marina on the island of Tortola is planning to begin welcoming back customers on November 1. In light of the uncertainty still surrounding the Covid-19 situation, the company is only requiring a non-refundable $200 administration fee for reservations made on that date or later in order to secure the yacht of your choice. A wide range of boats is available, including monohulls from Jeanneau and Bavaria, and catamarans from Lagoon, Nautitech and Fountaine-Pajot.
“There has never been a better time to charter from Horizon Yacht Charters in the BVI,” says Horizon’s Sylvia Driver. “The islands are absolutely beautiful, and the ocean is pristine with a water clarity not seen here since the 1980s, due to so little environmental impact in the last six months. The marine life is prolific, with dolphins and turtles being regular sighted. What better way to escape from the crowds than on your own meticulously prepared yacht?”
In recent months, the company has been working with its local Environmental Health Department to ensure its sanitization methods are as thorough as possible as it works to ensure each yacht is meticulously cleaned and sanitized after each charter. For a complete rundown on the company’s Covid-19 policies and practices, click here.
Horizon Yacht Charters - Grenada
Horizon Yacht Charters’ two bases in St. Vincent and Grenada are open for business and accepting immediate charter reservations. Available out of the Grenada base is a variety of monohulls and catamarans, including a brand-new Fountaine-Pajot Elba 45, a Lagoon 42, and a well-apportioned Jeanneau 519. Among the many boats available at the Horizon base in St. Vincent are a number of Lagoons and a Jeanneau 469.
“We can accept charters now. However, visitors from overseas will have to complete a mandatory period of quarantine prior to the charter start,” says Horizon’s Jacqui Pascall. “The time frame depends on the country you have travelled from and is completed in an approved hotel or resort.”
In light of the continuing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, customers can now reserve a charter with a deposit of just $500. Better still, this same deposit can be used without penalty to reschedule a later charter in the event Covid-19 prevents travel to either St. Vincent or Grenada for the start of the original charter. Between now and October 1, the company is also offering 10 nights for the price of seven or 14 nights for the price to 10 as an added incentive.
To keep its customers safe, Pascall says Horizon has implemented a set of rigorous, government-approved procedures that cover everything from yacht sanitization, social distancing and the mandatory wearing of masks in the office, on the dock and during chart and boat briefings, to regular temperature readings and paperless transactions
“We understand that it is a difficult time for people to make plans; however, we are able to be flexible in light of this pandemic,” Pascall says. “We would like our clients to have something to look forward to and are here to assist in answering any questions you may have.”
NCP & Mare
NCP & Mare is located in the heart of the Adriatic, in Mandalina Marina in Šibenik, Croatia, an easy sail from a wealth of picturesque islands and historic harbors. It’s also a certified RYA training center. The company is currently accepting charter reservations for its entire fleet, which includes a wide range of Dufours, Beneteaus, Hanses and Grand Soleils, depending on your sailing style.
Although travel from the United States to much of Europe is currently restricted, Croatia remains open to U.S. sailors, and according to NCP & Mare manager Paško Klisović, there’s no better time to explore his part of the world. “Sailing holidays are considered the safest holidays in these unusual times and choosing a charter company with 25-years of experience focused on safety can make your holidays even better,” Klisović says.
For all 2020 bookings, NCP has introduced a voucher-based change system in case travelling restrictions prevent you from travelling to Croatia, in which case your initial charter payment is assigned to the next possible period for the same or a similar boat.
NCP & Mare has also begun implementing a set of comprehensive disinfecting procedures for its entire fleet and makes a point of ensuring its entire staff is both well equipped with PPE and practices social distancing. Click here for details.
Southwest Florida Yachts
Southwest Florida Yachts Inc. is open for business and accepting immediate reservations out of its Cape Coral, Florida, office in the Ft. Myers area on Florida’s southwest coast. The company offers both monohulls and multihulls for charter, including the Island Packet 32 and Island Packet 42, and the Fontaine-Pajot Helia 44 and Saona 47
“Chartering a private yacht with family or friends is the ultimate in social distancing,” says Southwest Florida Yachts’ Barb Hansen. “Southwest Florida has the beautiful islands of Sanibel, Captiva and more. Our area is open for business!”
Hansen adds that her company is working with everyone who had to change their reservations due to the pandemic and did not charge anyone a rescheduling fee if they had to change their plans as a result.
In light of the pandemic, Southwest Florida Yachts has also instituted a rigorous new cleaning policy in both its office and aboard its boats. Best of all, according to Hansen, transportation is a piece of cake for those interested in a “Staycation” here in the lower-48 states. In the words of the company’s web site: “Airfares are super low, and gas is cheap! Southwest Florida is easy to get to, whether you fly or drive. Our weather is gorgeous so why wait?”
With charter bases stretching from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific and the Mediterranean, Sunsail is in a position to offer a number of charter opportunities for U.S. sailors this fall and winter. Specific bases scheduled for re-opening on October 1 include those in the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Croatia and St. Martin, among others. For a complete list of base re-openings, click here. (Scroll down a bit when you get there.)
Staff worldwide have been trained in a comprehensive cleaning and safety program that includes everything from strict mask-wearing and social-distancing during checkouts to disinfecting its boats via fogging and supplying all linens in sealed bags at the start of each charter. (For details click here)
In addition to offering flexible booking terms with the option of either changing dates or receiving a credit certificate in the event a charter becomes impossible due to travel restrictions, Sunsail is also offering what it calls its “Flex Protection Plan” option for all charters scheduled to take place by the end of the year. For details click here.
TMM Yacht Charters
Although the British Virgin Islands remain temporarily closed to travelers, TMM Yacht Charters, based in Road Town on the island of Tortola is poised be begin chartering again. The company is currently accepting reservations for future bareboat charters beginning October 1. Given the uncertainty of the current situation, the company says it will also “be happy to either reschedule your charter or issue a refund should you be unable to come due to government restrictions.” For complete details on the company’s current refund and rescheduling policy, click here.
At present, the company has a wide range of multihulls available, in particular, including the Lagoon 50, Lagoon 46, Lagoon 450F and Fountaine-Pajot Saona 47. “We are currently still waiting on the BVI Government to decide when they will re-open the borders,” says TMM managing director Barney Crook. “As soon as they do we will be ready to welcome charter guests.”
To ensure the safety of its charterers when they begin arriving, TMM has instituted a strict cleaning/social distancing policy both aboard it boats and in its shore facilities. Masks, for example, are to be worn at all times during check-in and checkout and will be provided if necessary. All boats will also be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected via fogging between charters. For details, click here. (scroll down a bit when you arrive at the landing page)
The Moorings currently has charter bases that are open for business and accepting charter reservations in the following locations:
At present, the company’s Mediterranean locations are only accessible for clients from Europe and Canada. However, all bases are up and running, so as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, the company will immediately be able to get U.S. sailors out on the water again. The Moorings is also now accepting reservations from U.S. sailors for bareboat charters beginning the following dates out of the following locations:
● Martinique: August 29
● British Virgin Islands/St. Lucia/Exumas/St. Martin/Thailand/The Seychelles:
● Antigua/Grenada/Belize: November 21
Because travel requirements and border openings/closing are changing all the time the company is continually posting updates here.
Whatever the location, the company offers a wide range of charter-optimized Moorings-branded cruising boats, including the 4500, 4500L and 5000 catamarans and Moorings 51.4 and 42.1 monohulls. “Demand for yacht charter vacations is high, and our guests can’t wait to get out on the water again once their favorite destination reopens,” says senior marketing manager Ian Pedersen. “Things are trending upward with regards to chartering in the fall and winter of 2020, and certainly into 2021.”
Recently, The Moorings has established an especially flexible rebooking policy that includes an allowance for a change of departure dates or a credit certificate for COVID-19 related changes/cancellations any time up until 7 days prior to departure. The company is also offering what it calls a “Flex Protection Plan” that allows for changes for any reason. For details, click here.
With respect to safety, Pedersen says: “As we are slowly reopening our global charter destinations, we have aligned our cleaning procedures with the current guidelines. For example, facial masks and following social distancing and hygiene guidelines is mandatory for staff and guests. Each yacht will be disinfected via fogging immediately upon return to the dock. They will then be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected again prior to the next boarding.”
For a complete list of the safety measures The Moorings is taking, click here.