Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

Five Caribbean countries are reporting double-digit drops in tourist visits as the global economic slowdown wreaks havoc on the region’s top industry.  Conversely, the demand for Caribbean yacht charter vacations, especially bareboat charters remains strong.

Statistics released this week by the Caribbean Tourism Organization show Anguilla taking the worst hit with a decline of 18.8 percent. Visits are down in all 12 reporting nations and territories except Jamaica, Cuba and Mexico’s Cancun region. Tourist traffic fell 14.3 percent in Antigua, 13.7 percent in St. Lucia, 11.6 percent in Montserrat and 11.3 percent in the Cayman Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico cited drops of 6.1 and 4.7 percent. The reporting periods vary, but all measure tourism in early 2009 compared to the same months in 2008.

While land-based hotel-oriented tourism has dropped, inquires for bareboat yacht charter vacations is steady and on  track to March 2008 levels.  Deep discounts and incentives such as “10 days for 7 paid” are driving strong levels of both inquiries and reservations.

Special sailing events such as the recently completed Virgin Island Race Week drew record attendance as bareboat charter enthusiasts and seasoned sailboat racing teams from around the world took advantage of the warm weather and stiff breezes.

Trunk Bay Virgin Islands - one of many bays you will experience on your Caribbean bareboat yacht charter

Trunk Bay Virgin Islands - one of many bays you will experience on your Caribbean bareboat yacht charter

Not to be outdone, the 28th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta also reported solid attendance figures, as sailboat racers on 47 boats in 7 classes, including an amateur bareboat category took advantage of the one of the windiest and wildest courses in recent memory.

The British Virgin Islands continue to be the most popular destination for a Caribbean yacht charter, due to their constant trade winds and close proximity to the United States, about a 2.5 hour flight.  Major bases further down island in St. Martin as well as Antigua, and Canouan in the Grenadines gives yacht charter enthusiasts a number of unique island destinations to explore.

Earlier unrest reported in the French Caribbean at the beginning of the year has subsided and all major bareboat bases of operation in the Caribbean are open and ready for business.

Large inventories of bareboat yachts, especially new model bareboats such as the Beneteau 51.5, the Robertson and Caine 4600 catamaran, and the Beneteau 43.3 make this a buyer’s market in the Caribbean, in terms of selection and favorable pricing.

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British Virgin Islands Renovated Moorings Bareboat Base

British Virgin Islands Renovated Moorings Bareboat Base

Luxury awaits bareboat charter sailors planning a Caribbean yacht charter vacation.  The Moorings, managers of the largest bareboat charter fleet in the Caribbean, proudly opened the new Moorings Village on January 29, 2009. Part of a $15 million expansion by The Moorings of their flagship base in Road Town, Tortola, BVI, the Village brings a touch of luxury to the barefoot yacht charter marketplace.  The new facility also highlights the company’s efforts to protect the area’s natural resources.
Caribbean yacht charter enthusiasts, especially bareboat charter customers, will appreciate the company’s commitment to the environment and efforts to preserve the BVI cruising grounds.  A new desalination plant provides 60,000 gallons of water daily, while the revamped laundry operation recycles treated water to save 12,000 gallons on a daily basis.  There is also pump-assisted flowthrough breakwater in the new marina that can circulate over 50 million gallons of water weekly.   Local officials believe the new facility has already greatly improved water quality in Road Town Harbor.

The new Moorings Village is nothing short of a luxurious treat.  The complex was designed entirely around the needs of sailors.

The staff greets you and takes your bags directly to your barefoot yacht charter vessel while you are greeted in the reception area with a tasty island drink.  The reception area opens onto a landscaped plaza, with panoramic views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. From here, visitors can stroll among the new retail shops or stop in the café serving locally-made island pastries, ice cream and gourmet coffee.

Before heading off to sea, sailors can enjoy dinner ashore, at Charlie’s Bar and Restaurant, built over the water and overlooking the harbor, where the coldest cocktails and a sumptuous yet informal menu are offered.

New oceanfront hotel rooms offer luxury accommodation overlooking the harbor, perfect for those sailors wishing to extend their Caribbean yacht charter vacation by a few days.  The majority of the existing rooms have also undergone a major renovation. Customers choosing an evening start or simply wishing to freshen up prior to departure will also be able to benefit from the use of a new, modern club-style shower facility with private dressing area.

A full service spa offers the latest relaxing treatments.  Sailors who need to stay in touch with the outside world can use the village business center and enjoy free WI-FI internet access.

1-800-BAREBOAT (see is an authorized representative of The Moorings and their global fleet.  “Great Prices and the Newest Bareboats in the World’s Best Destinations” allows 1-800-BAREBOAT to present new yachts such as the Beneteau 51.5; the Robertson and Caine 4600 catamaran; and the Beneteau 43.3.

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