The 2018 guide to superyacht life in the Caribbean

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If you and your yacht need some help deciding on your winter charter schedule, or some general information on how the Caribbean islands are doing this year, we’ve got you covered. Just over a year ago the Caribbean was hit by one of the most powerful and destructive storms ever recorded. Many popular superyacht destinations were devastated and the worlds elite suddenly found that New Year anchored near St Martin was no longer an option.

Hurricane Irma caused tens of thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes on the islands and caused as many as fifty deaths. St. Martin was one of the worst to be hit, with Irma making landfall on September 6th 2017 whilst at the peak of its intensity. It’s estimated that 95% of buildings suffered some form of damage and the overall cost to the island exceeds $4 Billion.

Aerial image of aftermath of Hurricane Irma

But with such great adversity so shines through the human spirit. Whilst little could be done to salvage the vital tourist season of late 2017, sights were set on rebuilding for the following year. Incredibly 80% of St Martin’s restaurants were open for business in early 2018 with many more returning to full operation throughout the year.

Yes, the “Friendly Island” of the Caribbean is getting back to its best. And if you happen to be there in February, be sure to check out Mardis de Grand Case. The famous street festival will be making its long-awaited return with a feast of outdoor restaurants and live music.

Feel confident if you’re heading to the Virgin Islands and make sure to stop off in Christmas Cove. Only accessible by boat, you can snorkel this protected area along with the reef fish, turtles and occasional dolphin before enjoying a freshly-made pizza served onboard Pizza Pi. Check out her Facebook page for a truly unique experience! www.facebook.com/pizzapivi.

The Dominican Republic is another ever-popular destination. Marina Casa de Campo is a beautiful resort on the south of the island where the Chavon River meets the Caribbean Sea. The marina includes an IBC shipyard that will have its new 300t travel lift available for use from December and there will be a host of Christmas festivities and events at Casa de Campo in Altos de Chavon and La Marina and New Years’ Eve parties will be held in La Marina and on Minitas Beach. Guests and crew can enjoy a round of golf at Teeth Of The Dog (ranked #1 in the Caribbean) or perhaps improve your swing at the new state-of-the-art Golf Learning Centre. You will also find many boutique shops and a host of restaurants to sample during your stay. For more info check out www.casadecampo.com.do/blog/2018/10/19/exciting-news-to-experience-at-casa-de-campo/

Antigua will continue to host its annual Yacht Charter Show from December 4th to the 10th. Yachts, tourists and industry insiders will flock to English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour for a week of special events showcasing all that is wonderful about the world of superyachts. Check out www.antiguayachtshow.com for their list of events.

Outside of the show you could head on up to Shirley Heights. Whilst it may sound like a character from a British Soap Opera, it is in fact a stunning spot high above English Harbour offering the most spectacular views on the island. Head there Sunday evening for the world-renowned Sunday Barbecue. You won’t be disappointed!

English Harbour view from Shirley Heights in Antigua

So, it’s no surprise that at this time of year many superyachts will wave goodbye to the chilly shores of France and Spain, cross the Atlantic and arrive at the beautiful blue waters and sun-kissed beaches of the Caribbean. With a plethora of superyacht marinas with facilities to please guests and crew alike it’s clear why so many would choose to spend the winter months there.

Still stuck for ideas on what to do or need local advise from our experts in the area, then get in touch with Erika’s Yacht Agents or Dockside Management who can assist you with almost any inquiry or need you have onboard.   

As they keep reminding us on a rather popular television show, Winter is coming. And whilst we might not have to contend with hordes of ice-dwelling undead, for those left in Europe at least, it’s definitely time to keep coats, scarves and industrial-sized packs of cold medicines to hand.

Good luck!

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