While I had planned on blog featuring another “PERSONAL FAVORITE” Lagoon 560 called Viramar, I realized that I need to put that on the back burner to discuss the topic that everyone is talking about: The Coronavirus. As someone who works in the travel sector, it would be foolish for me to not address the topic this week.
As the situation is obviously changing by the hour, many are wondering what to do about their travel plans and vacations. While it is obviously a concern in my industry, I will say that if you are wondering “where to go, and what to do” this spring and summer, a private yacht charter might be your safest bet. A “floating personal hotel” allows you to experience water activities, customized meals tailored to your family’s requests and an itinerary that is based on what your group wishes. This vacation all happens from the safe and secure confines of your private boat, where you are only interacting with your close family and friends.
While I sympathize with what the cruise ship industry is currently going through, the number of viruses that have spread through a cruise ship have been long documented. As a Private Yacht Charter Broker who specializes in finding the best boat that meets the needs of each group, I have long felt my industry is the antithesis to the cruise ship industry.
With that in mind, I spent the week chatting with several charter yacht managers on St Thomas discussing the virus as clearly it’s a topic on everyone’s minds. To put guests minds at ease, I thought I would share a bit of the “Behind The Scenes” measures taken between charters that are less than glamorous. I met up with Rachael C. , the Booking Manager of Charter Caribe to ask if they were taking additional measures to ensure safety on charters. Her answer and everyone else’s this week was simple, “NO.” “We have long been committed to thoroughly cleaning, scrubbing and sanitizing each boat between charters since we began managing yachts. We hire professional cleaners who are literally out there with toothbrushes scrubbing on their hands and knees between charters. While this virus is certainly a concern, we are always vigilant in cleanliness. Additionally boats are scrubbed every morning during charter (often while guests are asleep) and cabins get a general tidy. Linens are swapped once during charter as well.”
Most weekends, I am currently found on the docks at Red Hook or Yacht Haven Grande awaiting arrival of guests. Therefore, I now witness the team of cleaners who attack each and every charter boat I book with a vengeance. It takes a village to prep between charters which is one of the reasons most yachts prefer 48 hours between charters whenever possible.
As of the time of this post, there are still no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the U.S. or British Virgin Islands. Several people have been tested but thus far all tests are negative.
I will continue to monitor the spread and educate guests who have upcoming charters on the status of spread in the region they are chartering.
For more information on cleaning and sanitizing airplanes….I found this article written by CNN really helpful: Airline Industry Cleaning Protocols ….I’ll give you a hint: Their advice involves all of us….washing hands!