The Antigua Yacht Charter Show

Published by on Thursday 11th of January 2024 03:29:45 PM

Yacht charter brokers like me need to know about the boats we recommend and attending a boat show is therefore a regular activity for us. There are boats shows held in many of the cruising destinations around the world and one of the major shows is held in Antigua every December.

The 2023 Antigua Yacht Charter Show had over 60 charter yachts on show in three marinas in English Harbour and took place over four days. The docks were lined with a dazzling mix of monohulls, catamarans and motor yachts including several superyachts over 85m in length.

The opening welcome party this year took place at Clarence House which overlooks Nelson’s Dockyard. Built in 1804 it was used by the Governor of the Leeward Islands and visiting dignitaries. After a recent restoration, the building is now a museum and venue for important functions. Treated to champagne on arrival and a buffet supper, this was a enjoyable occasion to mingle with senior yacht crew, visiting vendors and fellow brokers, many of whom over the years have become dear friends. Entertainment this year included a display by young dancers on stilts.

 

The many highlights of this show, for me, included a ride up the crow’s nest basket of the most beautiful sailing yacht TWIZZLE. At around 60m (197ft) above deck the view across Falmouth Harbour was breath-taking and looking down onto the deck below, people looked like matchsticks. Looking around from up there, it was interesting to see several deck helicopter pads. TWIZZLE, herself, was looking more beautiful than ever. This 57.49 m (188ft) flybridge ketch, built by the Royal Huisman yard and fresh from a refit, is a real ocean-going cruising-yacht.

HYPERION another magnificent blue-water cruising yacht also built by Royal Huisman, would catch anyone’s eye. Built in 1998 and refitted in 2023, she has all the features of a modern super yacht and a fine performance too. It was also good to see the two Perini Navi yachts, ASAHI and ELLEN.

Invitations to lunch on yachts is also part of the show for brokers and my invitations this year were to the catamaran KAJIKIA and the power-cat FRENCH WEST. KAJIKIA is one of the new (2022) 23.84m (78ft) Lagoon catamarans and immaculate. We were treated to a menu of tuna tataki, slow cooked lamb shank and a white chocolate mouse with raspberry, mango and crumble …….all wonderfully tasting and beautifully presented befitting any top class restaurant or superyacht. FRENCH WEST is the power-cat version of the Lagoon 78ft and lunch there was equally as delicious. Both cats offer exceptional space, comfort and facilities for charter guests and are certainly to be recommended.

Not the prettiest boat in the show, perhaps, but certainly one of the best equipped RYA approved water-sports centres was the motor yacht SuRi. A converted former fishing trawler, she has become a superb adventure yacht with an amazing range of water-sports equipment all stored in the vast “hanger”. Her crew number 18 and include professional water-sport instructors. Upper decks house seven spacious, luxury cabins and all the facilities of a luxury yacht capable of comfortably cruising the Caribbean or North Atlantic – she will be chartering in Norway summer 2024.

 

Motor yachts dominated the show in terms of numbers and size. From SORANA the 24.69m (81ft) Princess to WHISPER the 95.2m (312ft) Lürssen, a mind-blowing range of superyachts each offering something different in terms of layout, interior design and decoration, special and facilities. And range of charter rates, of course!

The yachts on show in December will all be chartering in the Caribbean this winter whether that be down-island in the Grenadines, the Virgin Islands or staying in the Antigua/St Maarten area. In the spring some will move up to the Bahamas while others will head across the Atlantic for summer charter destinations in the Mediterranean or even northern Europe for different adventures and exploration.

Whatever, your choices, please do get in touch for charter ideas and recommendations.

The next yacht charter show for me will be in Nassau, Bahamas in late January. Let me know if you could be looking for something special there.

Liz Marlow.

Marlow Worldwide Yacht Charters Ltd

charters@marlowyachtcharters.com

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