Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruiseship

Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruiseship

The “Oasis of the Seas,”  Royal Caribbean’s huge cruise ship, plans to make St. Thomas, USVI its first port of call, but not if a local environmental group has any say in the matter.

Bareboat and Caribbean yacht charter enthusiasts, tourism and hotel officials, and concerned residents threaten legal action to stop a controversial dredging project in St. Thomas USVI.

The Coalition to Save Lindbergh Bay, Inc. has served noticed to Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, and a host of Obama administration officials of the group’s intent to commence a lawsuit to prevent the dumping
of dredge spoil in Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.

Plans are underway to dredge a portion of Charlotte Amalie harbor, and deposit the dredged materials on the ocean floor of nearby Lindbergh Bay.

The Virgin Island Port Authority (VIPA) seeks government approval to dredge Charlotte Amalie Harbor to accommodate navigation and berthing of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas.”  Currently under construction, the 1,180 ft vessel is scheduled to include St. Thomas as its first port of call in December 2009. An environmental assessment report commissioned by the VIPA states the project will actually improve the marine environment and prevent coastal erosion.

Some tourism and hotel officials don’t see it that way.

The Coalition to Save Lindbergh Bay, Inc. is concerned the environmental impact of the project will have adverse effects on the local economy. They cite the potential for harm to sea turtles, their nesting sites, and the protected coral species found in the Bay.

Long the hub of the Caribbean yacht charter, bareboat charter, cruiseship industry, and a thriving eco-friendly vacation destination, thousands of tourists visit the Virgin Islands each year to swim, boat, and dive in the protected waters.

According to the Coalition, the long-term results of damage to the environment will mean a reduction of tourism. “Tourists come here to experience nature, up close and personal,” states a local bareboat yacht charter employee. “If we destroy the natural beauty of the area, tourists will simply go elsewhere and we’ll all pay the price, including our marine environment.”

To read the VIPA environmental assessment report and learn more about the Coalition to Save Lindbergh Bay, Inc email andrea@virgin-islands-hotels.com

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Dufour 525 Boat of the Year 2009

Dufour 525 Boat of the Year 2009

If you are a bareboat charter enthusiast, you will marvel at the 2009 Cruising World Boat of the Year.  The US-based yachting magazine CRUISING WORLD has announced the winners of the Cruising World Boat of the Year 2009. Dufour Yachts, a perennial favorite among Mediterranean yacht charter customers has been rewarded twice!

The Dufour 40 Performance bareboat charter yacht won the prize for “Best Midsize Cruiser,”  while the Dufour 525 Grandlarge is the overall winner in the category, “Best Full Size Cruiser.”

Known among bareboat charter yacht fans everywhere as the Rolls Royce of sailing yachts, the Dufour 525 combines sleek, elegant European styling by French and Italian designers with stiff, strong construction – making her a safe and fast blue water cruiser.

The topsides feature a low coach roof, uncluttered teak decks, dual wheels, a German mainsheeting system operated at the helm, wide transom, and electrically operated swim platform.

Below decks, the mood is light and airy with a mix of mahogany and lighter textures illuminated by multiple ports and hatches. The owner can choose from 8 different layouts that include three to five cabins with either a longitudinal or u-shaped galley.   We feel the yacht charter marketplace will favor the 3 and 4 cabin layouts, as most yacht charter vacations are booked for 6 to 8 passengers.

On the water, a deep V’d hull design delivers a favorable compromise between sea kindliness and speed while electric winches let the crew trim the sails with the touch of a button.

The Dufour 525 is a sleek, classy vessel that can transport its passengers in safety and comfort anywhere its skipper chooses to sail, whether a Mediterranean yacht charter holiday or a Caribbean yacht charter vacation.

Dufour Yachts is a French sailboat manufacturer founded in 1964 by designer Michael Dufour.  2009 finds the builder fully commited to environmentally-friendly building practices:

* IROKO FSC wood: the company has chosen this wood for a healthy and durable forest management. By using FSC certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council), the builder supports a sustainable forest management to satisfy environmental, social and economic standards.

* New generation Volvo engine: the company installs latest technology engines which reduce emission of particles by 50%, while noise is being limited providing pleasure to everybody.

* Strong power alternator: the builder installs 115-140 amp service, to limit the time for batteries to refill and, consequently, to reduce the consumption of energy.

* LED Navigation lights with low energy consumption: to provide a luminous output (much higher than the traditional sources) that generates huge energy saving. (These navigation lights use less than 10% of the necessary energy to light a traditional source of 25W).

* Sea Water Foot Pump: to save fresh water resources on board.

* Injection/infusion Decks: the builder manufactures decks through injection/infusion to limit the emissions of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and to reduce air pollution.

* System carburizing anti-overflow: to prevent spilling when filling in cooperation with the French Marine Federation (FIN).

* Holding tanks with a large capacity: to limit rejections and to preserve our maritime environment.

* Kit of biodegradable hygiene products: for a first gesture towards an eco-responsible behaviour.

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