The 55th Annual Antigua Charter Yacht Show started at the beginning of the week and we, the team from the Luxury Charter Group, are here inspecting the almost 100 vessels on display to ensure that we have the most up-to-date first-hand knowledge of the all of the vessels available for you.
This is the largest private charter yacht show in the world. It is an impressive line-up of boats. We love the chance to meet the Captains and crew, as well as getting an intimate knowledge of the boats' layouts and amenities; what distinguishes one boat from another and will therefore make your charter the vacation of your dreams. We also know how important the cuisine on board is, and having a chance to sample some of the chefs' delights is all part of being able to match the right boat for your needs.
But while we are here to look at boats we are also in one of the iconic Caribbean destinations so we thought it was worth revisiting why, apart from the show, so many luxury charter yachts use Antigua as their base.
One of the reasons is that there are great direct flights from both the US and Europe; such a wonderful advantage over spending time in transit lounges. There is also a fantastic infrastructure in Antigua built around the superyachts that base themselves here making it easy for the crew to provide you with almost everything you could possibly ask for.
But Antigua offers so much more than that. Antigua is the quintessential Caribbean island ... sunshine and blue skies, sweet white beaches with aquamarine crystal seas. There are some amazing hotels and resorts dotted around the island as well as a very local flavour with markets and friendly islanders.
Antigua is also a place of history which dates back to "stone-people" some 2400BC. Most Antiguans are of African descent from the slaves brought to the island to work in the sugarcane fields from the late 1600s onwards. By the end of the eighteenth century Antigua had become an important tactical port and a valued commercial colony and much of what is of interest to an amateur historian on a luxury crewed yacht charter in the region dates from this time.
Most notable, of course, is Nelson's Dockyard, where the Yacht Show is based, the restored Georgian British naval shipyard at English Harbour surrounded by nature trails and the ruins of historic forts. The Dockyard is home to beautiful old stone warehouses that house hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums. Both the Admiral's House Museum and Dockyard Museum trace the site's history from the 17th century to the present.
But one could not leave Antigua without acknowledging Antigua's beaches. The locals tell us there are 365 beaches on the island ... one for each day of the year. There are also huge coral reefs with an abundance of sea-life to entertain both snorkelers and scuba divers alike.
Antigua is the largest English-speaking island in the region with sunshine hours to rival any other island in the region. It is also hosts some great sailing events. The Classic Yacht Regatta dates back to the 60s and has evolved into a celebration of stunning sailing boats. The Regatta is world renown for the sleekness and beauty of the yachts that you see here, the fierceness of the racing and the spirit of the after-party, making this a week not only to remember but to treasure.
There are many reasons why Antigua is one of the most popular Caribbean islands ... and why your next Caribbean yacht charter should include this island!
Contact one of the charter specialists at the Luxury Charter Group to find out more about Antigua along with the yachts available here.