US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Organizers of the USVI Charter Yacht Show, the premier event in the U.S. Virgin Islands for charter brokers and crewed yachts to see and be seen, are pleased to announce that the 2021 show will take place November 7 to 10, at IGY’s (Island Global Yachting) Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas Marina. In the five years that the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA) has organized the show, it’s grown to become an outstanding opportunity for charter brokers to see an impressive display of term charter yachts in one location at one time, and for these vessels and their crews to be seen by the international broker contingent that book these all-inclusive yachting vacations. The show’s rising star matches the rocketing popularity of the destination and venue itself. In May, the U.S. Virgin Islands was named the ‘Caribbean’s hottest yachting destination’ by the Caribbean Journal. Last October, IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas Marina was named Superyacht Marina of the Year for the third time since 2016 by the prestigious UK-headquartered The Yacht Harbour Association.
“Everything is here to make the U.S. Virgin Islands the Caribbean’s perfect luxury yacht destination hub. The USVI is U.S. flagged, and the U.S. is the world’s largest market. There are dynamic anchorages like Magens Bay as a new hot spot, and the marine infrastructure is here. IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas is the most robust marina property in the U.S. Virgin Islands in several areas, including security, COVID measures and on-site testing, as well as food and beverage offerings, provisioning, parts, and crew facilities. There is also onsite Customs & Immigration clearance. Earlier this year The Moorings opened a base here as well,” says Bert Fowles, vice president of marketing and sales.
Charter brokers, charter guests and yacht crews will all find a host of amenities and services at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas Marina. This marks the second season IGY’s new restaurant group is in operation on the property. The group operates Navy Beach, which serves casual coastal cuisine with a Caribbean flair, and is very soon to open Isla Cantina, a Mexican restaurant. Other restaurants include Enkai (sushi), Twistt340 (Caribbean), Blue 11 (international) and Lilika Juice Bar (breakfast and lunch). Moe’s Fresh Market and National Marine Suppliers are onsite provisioners and parts suppliers, respectively. A pool, volleyball court and tennis court offer crews relaxation and recreation facilities.
Arrive Early, Receive Discount
IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas Marina is making it easy, and inexpensive, for crews to jump-start their season early. First, the exceptionally low show berthing rate of $1.50 per foot per day starts November 1 through 17. Secondly, there is an additional 10% early-bird discount for dockage paid in full before August 1. Third, the ‘on arrival’ fuel rate comes with a 5% discount. What’s more, yachts traveling north from the Southern Caribbean for the show or chartering in this area afterward can enjoy a ten-night stay for the price of eight nights at IGY Marinas Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, from November 1 to December 15, 2021.
A Charter Broker’s Must-Do
Over 150 charter brokers from the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe are expected to attend this ‘must-do’ show. It’s easy to fly into St. Thomas via direct flights from major U.S. international gateway cities such as Boston, Chicago, JFK-New York, Newark-New Jersey, Washington Dulles, Charlotte, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Once in the USVI, there will be discounted rates available at the show’s preferred hotels.
“VIPCA organizes and executes a well-designed and valuable yacht show. Each year the show expands, adds more benefits and value to us as charter brokers, and goes from strength to strength, quickly becoming a significant player in the Caribbean Boat Show Calendar,” says Kerry Hucul, managing director and charter broker at H2O Luxury Yachts, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Hucul adds, “There is nothing I like more than having guests fly directly into the U.S. Virgin Islands. They take a seven-minute taxi ride straight to this well-designed, spacious, clean, and high-end marina. They do not have to hunt for their yacht. The yachts are all laid out in front of them like jewels in a straight line which is an impressive sight. IGY Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas has golf carts to take the guests and their luggage directly to the yacht in style and comfort. If they are doing a sleep-aboard the night before their charter begins, they have easy access to shopping, stores, and restaurants, all within easy walking distance.”
Boutique Charter Yachts Invited
Over 70 yachts, including crewed sail and power catamarans, monohulls and luxury motor yachts, are expected to present. IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas Marina caters to yachts in a signature way, with everything from marina operations to services and amenities, with in-slip high-speed fueling, waste and oil removal, 24-hour security, on property shops, restaurants, yacht provisioning and catering, and nearby access to a laundry, fitness center and chandlery.
“One of the key benefits of this Show is that it’s held at the premium marina on the island,” says Collin Steyn, chief executive officer at And Beyond Yacht Charters, LLC, with offices at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas. “Every participating clearinghouse wants to show off their new product, and there are all shapes and sizes each year. We will introduce the new Bali 5.4 Big Nauti, which uniquely has a relaxing area where the trampoline is traditionally located. It’s difficult to conceptualize without seeing, hence the importance of showing. That said, I think there are benefits for every yacht and crew to attend the Show, not just new vessels. Veteran vessels to show off refits and veteran and new crews to reacquaint or introduce themselves, respectively, to brokers.”
New for 2021
This is VIPCA’s fifth year as host of the USVI Charter Yacht Show. As such, the evolution of the show’s dynamic four-day action-packed event schedule is something the show organizers are excited to showcase for 2021.
“It was exciting last year to introduce the virtual component with live-streamed tours of the yachts and crew interviews. This year the show’s website will still play a role; however, the in-person networking will be given greater precedence by dining opportunities on the yachts for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Last year and this have demonstrated that the U.S. Virgin Islands has a self-contained cruising itinerary with its unique range of snorkel/dive sites, national park trails, historic towns and seasonal cultural events, and by meeting the crews in person, brokers will be able to hear firsthand of the successes of an all USVI-charter itinerary,” says Oriel Blake, Executive Director of VIPCA.
Register by August 1st to Receive Early Bird Discount
Crewed Yachts and Charter Brokers are invited and encouraged to register early for the USVI Charter Yacht Show at www.vipca.org/usvi-charter-yacht-show/ to receive 20% off the show’s registration fee with an active VIPCA membership.
Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; the Gowrie Group; Catamaran Central; Moe’s Fresh Market; Grey Goose, distributed by West Indies Company; Veuve Clicquot and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Parts & Power Ltd., distributor of Northern Lights; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers and Harbor Shoppers.
VIPCA is the territory’s 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership supports includes producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; facilitating access for charter vessels between the USVI and the Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; installation of territory-wide new transient moorings; and marine vocational training for V.I. youth under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), the Marine Rebuild Fund.