Cruising » Building Excitement for the Caribbean Yachting Season

Building Excitement for the Caribbean Yachting Season

It is no exaggeration to say that holiday experiences in the luxury sector of the market are pushing frontiers in a way that even a few years ago would not have been thought possible.

With this in mind, Island Global Yachting Ltd is preparing for a Caribbean winter season that will deliver on high end hospitality experiences which are guaranteed to delight yacht owners and charterers alike.

A healthy slew of advance bookings for their marinas in St. Thomas and St. Maarten means the 2019/20 period is already looking very positive, with growing interest in neighbouring St. Lucia and Panama also bolstering confidence.

‘It’s early days but we’re feeling positive in our expectations of a good season,’ says Bert Fowles, IGY’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales. ‘We had an excellent 2018/19 season and it’s encouraging to see the Caribbean settling into new areas and new activities as a destination which is becoming the norm.

‘On-land tours are giving a diversity of options for guests which is great, and advance interest leads to a better and more robust occupancy.’

Further optimism surrounds the unveiling of two new gems in the IGY crown this season.

IGY - Yacht Haven Grande St Thomas - 600x400

Yacht Haven Grande, St. Thomas

Montauk’s iconic Navy Beach, which has been at the forefront of the Hamptons buzzy social scene for the last decade, is bringing its cool East Coast vibe to the Caribbean for the very first time.

St Thomas’s Yacht Haven Grande - recently awarded Superyacht Marina of the Year, the highest marina accreditation in the world, for the second time since 2017 - will open the first outpost in December, with a further Navy Beach launching at the newly redesigned multi-million dollar lagoon front of St Maarten’s Isle de Sol in early 2020.

‘Navy Beach is our lead to a revitalised and amazing new approach to destination activity,’ adds Bert. ‘If you were to say to me I’m going on a charter and I’m going to a particular beach, back in the day, you or I couldn’t name a specific destination that could be singled out as an attraction for a yacht owner or charter guest to head to. A completely different atmosphere is going to be offered at Navy Beach compared to other marinas.’

The outdoor lounge, impressive 20 seat bar, relaxing entertaining space and casual coastal cuisine – which will include Montauk classics like Jumbo Lump Crabcake and Truffled Mac as well as typical Caribbean Mahi Mahi and Red Snapper Ceviche - will be complemented by the arrival of two sister concepts at Yacht Haven Grande; the vibrant and colourful Isla Cantina Mexican restaurant and Sylvette, an elegant French bistro offering delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

With a plethora of exclusive brands, concept restaurants and waterside clubs to choose from worldwide, what exactly was it about Montauk’s Navy Beach flagship that appealed to IGY?

‘The brand has its following rooted in the delivery of service to the customer,’ explains Bert. ‘Our market is yacht owners and charter guests and it was important for us to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and put ourselves in the hands of the experts in the room who can deliver that level of service, which really makes a difference to a new destination.’

IGY Marinas - Navy Beach St. Thomas - 600x400

Navy Beach, St. Thomas

Paying close attention to and being inclusive of local culture has long been a cherished mantra across IGY’s 18 marinas spread throughout 11 countries (catering to 100,000 clients each year) and the new clubs will offer training programmes to the surrounding communities.   

‘This is a partnership in the economic growth of the islands and as such, it will have a diversity and leveraged approach to employment,’ adds Bert.

‘We are the largest marine company in the Caribbean and our investment is not only in the infrastructure but in the people too. It’s a tough decision to make a hard investment in bringing something new and different to a place.

‘We’re putting our brand and our money where our mouth is and establishing destination activity to bolster the local economies as well as give a true choice to charter guests and yacht owners. Simply put, if you don’t create new activities, your product will not expand to where you want it to go.’

Long-term, the company - which annually services approximately 62% of the world’s transient superyacht fleet and has one of the most extensive marina networks globally - aims to continue building on the expectations and desires of their client base in an area which is resplendent with idyllic spots in which to enjoy the ultimate escape surrounded by natural beauty, warm hospitality and seven star luxury. 

‘It’s all about continuing to build up the charter experience,’ says Bert. ‘There are so many opportunities for charters to explore incredible beaches around the world and it’s an attraction that really creates a momentum, whether you’re looking for phenomenal nightlife, which St. Barths does very well, or an intimate family getaway on a pristine beach like no other place in the world.

‘When you are sitting on the stern of your yacht, the one thing that you want to have integrated into the DNA of your charter is a facilitated experience that is seamless. It needs to deliver on the intention of why you took a charter in the first place, which was to experience a true vacation with your significant other, your family or yourself.

IGY - Yacht Club Isle De Sol St Maarten - 600x400

Yacht Club Isle De Sol, St. Maarten

‘What’s important whether it’s an active vacation or a calm one is that the charter experience is run by professionals that understand that this charter is about you. You may leave that marina not even knowing it’s an IGY facility but what we can promise is that you will leave that marina having had an IGY experience. It’s not so much about the brand, but what the brand can do for you.’

‘What’s important whether it’s an active vacation or a calm one is that the charter experience is run by professionals that understand that this charter is about you. You may leave that marina not even knowing it’s an IGY facility but what we can promise is that you will leave that marina having had an IGY experience. It’s not so much about the brand, but what the brand can do for you.’

A three-time winner of the prestigious Superyacht Marina of the Year award for St. Maarten and St. Thomas, IGY has no intention of resting on its laurels – it’s simply not in their thinking. Instead, there are exciting plans afoot to extend beyond St. Maarten and St. Thomas with further expansion of the Navy Beach concept elsewhere.

Future development will also concentrate on elevating and enhancing the guest experience yet further. As Bert adds: ‘It’s in the plans! You have to be in the game to change it and we will consciously look at expanding in all the right ways. As a company, what sets us apart is that we are always pushing our customer experience for the owner and charter guest to be the best it can possibly be.’

IGY Marina


Post your comment

You cannot post comments until you have logged in.

Login to post a comment

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments

 

x

Search articles with keywords