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Charter Chat: February 2012

Find out what's new in 2012 from your favorite yacht charter companies, including deals and new boat additions. If you're thinking of chartering this year, read this first for valuable booking information.

Horizon Yacht Charters is open for bookings at its year-old base in Annapolis, Maryland, where the company is now offering charters on its fleet of Bavaria Yachts ranging from 32 to 45 feet. Among these is the Bavaria 45, which won for best Cruising Monohull under 50 feet in SAIL’s 2012 Best Boats contest. Based out of Yacht Haven Marina in Annapolis, Horizon offers bareboat, skippered and learn-to-sail charters. In addition, Horizon continues to offer specials on various charter boats at its bases in the BVI, Antigua, St. Martin and Grenada.

Desolation Sound Yacht Charters is excited to roll out its new website, where you can find comprehensive information on the company’s charter fleet and spectacular surrounding cruising grounds. They’ve recently started taking bookings for 2012 Flotillas, including a Desolatoin Sound waterfall cruise June 2-23 and a Broughton Archipelago cruise July 1-14. After our fabulous charter in Desolation Sound last summer (check out the March 2012 issue the full story) we may be the first to sign up.

Max Marine Charters, the newest player in the arena of BVI charter companies, is already taking bookings at its new base on Tortola. With a full fleet of Dufour-made MarineMax 413s and 433s—all equipped with generators and A/C units—you’ll be chartering in style, whether with a captain or as a bareboat. We’re anxious to see the direction this new charter company takes, beginning with its addition of power cats in 2012.

Over the past few months, CYOA Yacht Charters has upgraded its St. Thomas-based fleet to include generators and A/C units on nearly every vessel, ensuring comfort even in the warmest of months. In addition, if you book a charter to begin before February 29, for a minimum of five nights, you’ll get 20 percent off the published price. CYOA prides itself in establishing personal relationships with its customers, beginning with the charter checkout process. For a video on this topic, see Episode 1 of the Charter Channel.

Sunsail Yacht Charters is offering a variety of specials throughout its bases. In the Caribbean, all summer charters between June and September are currently 25 percent off. In their learn-to-sail program with American Sailing Association (ASA), all courses between now and April are currently 15 percent off. And if you’re looking for a twist on your typical charter vacation, try a one- or two-week Sunsail Flotilla in the BVI, St. Vincent or the Med and receive 10 to 20 percent off your bookings.

TMM Yacht Charters is pleased to welcome six new boats to its Tortola fleet, including the Matrix Vision 450, which we were able to test drive this fall (MATRIX LINK). If you’re looking for a great last-minute deal, TMM is currently offering charters at its bases in Belize, the Grenadines and the BVI at Season B rates. If you need a bit more time for planning, TMM is also running a special on the Orana 44, Jioia 2: between now and April 16, sail her for only $7,900 a week. As always, the company provides repeat guests with a 10 percent discount.

As an added incentive to head south, in December, JetBlue announced a new nonstop service from Boston to St. Thomas with fares as low as $50 each way. American Airlines has also announced a great new fare from Miami or Dallas to Belize for just $580 round-trip. 

The Moorings is offering 15 percent savings on charters in seven of its Caribbean destinations—Tortola, Bahamas, Belize, Canouan, Grenada and St. Lucia—between January 3-March 31 and April 9-June 14. In celebration of American Airline’s recent price dip for flights to Belize, The Moorings is also offering 15 percent off Belize charters between now and May 30. Keep in mind that if you book your Moorings vacation online, you’ll save an additional $100.

Annapolis Bay Yacht Charters is geared up for another solid spring season on the Chesapeake, where you can sail one of its two-dozen boats as a bareboat or with a captain. They’ve also recently teamed with NauticEd to offer skipper, power, navigation and bareboat instruction. Parent Company Dream Yacht Charter continues to expand its bases and this fall announced a new base in the Bahamas.

Conch Yacht Chartersis extending its New Year’s celebrations to offer 15 percent off all remaining charters for February and March 2012. After that, you can sail 10 days for the price of seven for the month of April or nine days at the price of seven from May 1 to July 15. The company is now entering its 25th year in business and continues to publicize the “best deals on keels” from its base in the west side of Road Harbour, Tortola.

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Footloose Sailing Charters has doubled its fleet of charter boats in Road Town, Tortola. The company is also offering 15 percent off most charters between now and June 14. And, as always, they promise to beat any competitor’s price by $100.

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