As the industry emerges, blinking and slightly stunned from the last two years of Covid-induced cancelled plans and travel complications, it feels like the opportune moment for a bit of wanderlust. Where better to turn our attention than one of yachting’s most enduringly popular regions: the Caribbean.
Zooming in further, here we head to IGY’s Rodney Bay Marina. Found nestled on the north side of the island of St. Lucia, the marina is celebrating 15 years in existence in 2022 and is currently offering the lowest berthing rates in the southern Caribbean.
Picking the brains of general manager, the St. Lucian born and bred Sean Devaux, we discover both what the marina has to offer, and what makes this beautiful island the ideal stopping point for yacht owners, families, and worldwide adventurers alike.
What’s on offer at Rodney Bay?
Drilling down into the numbers, Rodney Bay Marina offers an impressive total of 253 berths, including 32 superyacht berths, for a maximum length of 86.8 metres, a maximum draft of 3.9 metres and a maximum beam of 18.3 metres.
The dedicated and experienced team at Rodney Bay has every element of your stay covered, thanks to the wealth of top-quality amenities available at the marina. This includes a high-speed fuel dock, chandlery, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi connectivity, provisioning, transportation, tours, and airport transfers. This ensures that you can arrive, replenish, refuel and arrange your onward journey with ease.
It's a One Stop Shop
Although admin is not the most glamorous aspect of running and owning a yacht, as any owner will tell you, travelling in 2022 is increasingly complicated, requiring you to navigate an ever-growing stack of paperwork and forms. Thankfully, with more than a decade of experience under its belt, Rodney Bay Marina has you covered.
As general manager Sean Devaux explains: “We have customs, immigration and port health right here in the marina, so vessels clearing into St Lucia don’t have to do it at a separate port and return to Rodney bay: it can all be done within the facility. Within the space of minutes, you can go to our offices and get all of your paperwork done.”
A full-service boatyard
One standout feature of Rodney Bay which it would be remiss not to mention is its exceptional boatyard. A full-service shipyard, the IGY Boatyard can assist with maintenance, caretaking packages, repairs, and long-term storage.
You can be reassured that your boat is left in truly safe hands, with an insurance partner available for those who leave their vessels in the summer months. As a bonus, the IGY Boatyard also offers auxiliary services via its experienced network of contractors, including sail repair, upholstery and woodwork, mechanical, electronics, communications and more.
With all of the practicalities taken care of, Rodney Bay Marina is primed and ready to feed, water and entertain you, whether you’re there for a spot of island hopping, visiting during the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, or enjoying a longer-term berth.
The marina is home to duty-free retail, wines and spirits, a minimart and numerous waterside cafes, bars and restaurants. Ideal for those keen to take in some local flavour, the marina also hosts various events throughout the year, including live music performances, all of which adhere to social distancing and safety guidelines.
As Sean Devaux highlights, IGY’s Rodney Bay Marina can also be described as the perfect family-friendly destination. “We actively encourage our patrons to bring their children, and our amenities are set up with options to suit all ages. For example, I could sit at Café Ole and order a salad, while my son has a pizza from Elena’s - it’s so easy and it makes it very attractive for families to come in and dine.
“We also have activities for children both in and close to the marina. We have a wide-open grass within the marina, and lots of the kids bring their scooters and bikes and make it their own playground. Just outside the marina, you can find the Bay Gardens Water Park, with an array of beach toys nearby. In addition, kids love to visit the Heights and Pigeon Island and transform them into their own water parks.”
When to visit Rodney Bay
With a pleasantly warm climate all year round (average temperatures are consistent, ranging from 26 degrees in January to 29 degrees during the hottest month of November), there isn’t one particular season which is best for visiting St Lucia, but there are some unmissable events on the island which are well worth adding to your diary.
Devaux gives us just a flavour: “Events for yachties include the ARC in December/January, the Mango Bowl Regatta, which is our homegrown regatta taking place during the last weekend in November. If you enjoy sports fishing, we also have our Saint Lucia Bill Fish Tournament in October/November. The unforgettable Mercury Beach Party taking place in August should also return post Covid.”
Beyond the beaches
When it’s time to venture out beyond the marina, St Lucia and the surrounding area also have much more to offer than the classic image of white sandy beaches, blue seas and resort-style hotels (although you can certainly get your fill of these!).
Devaux explains: “I would recommend getting yourself down to Soufriere and exploring the volcano and mud baths there. For me personally, born and raised in St Lucia, I also still enjoy a walk on Pigeon Island in the north, where you can learn all about the island’s history - Admiral Rodney and his influence and the battles between England and France.”
He continues: “My final choice on the land-based side of things would definitely be an eco-friendly activity. This could be a zip line tour – there is an amazing one in the heart of St Lucia, over rivers and trees – or climbing the Pitons if you have the appetite for adventure and trails.
“There is also horseback riding: you can go through trails to the East Coast and see a totally different side of St Lucia because it is a lot less populated. On the Atlantic side, it’s rougher with less infrastructure than on the west side, and so you can enjoy a pleasant contrast by seeing the range in what St Lucia has to offer.”
Kick-off your Rodney Bay adventure
Currently offering reduced rates of up to 50 per cent, price match deals, and insurance coverage for storage within both the marina and yard, IGY’s Rodney Bay Marina is the perfect jumping-off point to rediscover a Caribbean yachting adventure, as well as helping cruisers reunite from all around the world.
About IGY Marinas
Rodney Bay Marina is part of IGY’s global network of marinas. IGY Marinas is the world’s only international superyacht marina network, with 23 marinas operating in 13 countries across the US, South America, the Caribbean, the UK and Europe.
Covid-19 entry requirements
Fully open to visitors all around the world, the latest updated Covid-19 requirements for Rodney Bay Marina can be found on the IGY Marinas website here.
Image credits: Courtesy of Rodney Bay, Unsplash