Broker Ben’s Top 5 Insights for Your 2019 Charter

1. Book your 80-150’ motor yacht in Greece now, or you will miss out. Some of my top recommendations are JULIE M, BLADE 6, THEORIS, TACOS of the SEA and BARENTS SEA. Explore the secret anchorages of the Peloponnese, as well as the Cyclades hotspots (Paros, Mykonos, Milos) in 2019.

 
2. Everyone loves Italy, particularly the Amalfi Coast but have you considered Sicily? With fantastic island hopping throughout the Aeolians, chic hillside villages (Taormina) and volcanoes to explore (Etna), the area has something for everyone.
 
3. Give Ibiza a go. It has the best beach clubs and nightlife, but it also offers natural beauty and some of the finest sunsets in the Mediterranean. Check out Cotton Beach Club (Cala Tarida), Benirras Bay and Isla Tagomago for some of our top picks.
 
4. The Bahamas are the ultimate water sports playground. Easy island hopping, cerulean waters, hidden cayes to explore, it’s the perfect family retreat.
 
5. Explore somewhere off the beaten track and learn to sail in Sweden. Yacht: ICHIBAN (Swan 70) Captain Jan is the perfect teacher to guide you along your Scandinavian adventure, while Chef Kirsten will showcase the wonderful local cuisine. Bring on the Elk meatballs!

Miami Biscayne National Park: The Underwater Treasure Chest of History, Colour and Buried Secrets

Biscayne National Park holds a myriad of mysteries, secrets and natural wonders; ranging from jaw-dropping scenery to vast coral reefs, alive and bustling with a full spectrum of tropical fish and other aquatic wildlife- there is a lot more to see than meets the eye!

https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?id=2D26C3A2-1DD8-B71C-075BADACCBAB5346
Biscayne Bay

Biscayne National Park is one of the largest marine parks in the National Park system. Comprised of 95% water as well as a portion of the third largest coral reef in the world, this National Park is almost exclusively accessible by boat. If you really want to see why Biscayne is so widely renowned, you’ll need to get below the surface to really experience this treasure chest of history, nature and an unforgettable display of colour.

https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?id=1B47EAB8-1DD8-B71C-07741C526309197A
The Secrets Beneath the Surface

The human history of this immense body of water and scattering of islands dates back almost 10,000 years, to the very first Native American settlements and Caribbean societies. Buried amongst the bejeweled coral reefs many meters under the water, or nestled safely within the timeless, emerald forests and twisting maze of mangroves, the history of humanity is embedded into the nature of Biscayne Bay, swallowed up, but not forgotten. Biscayne Bay holds the key to a myriad of secrets, and it’s up to us to find the clues and piece together the puzzle of life.

https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?id=2D26C3A2-1DD8-B71C-075BADACCBAB5346
Boca Chita Key

During the 17th and 18th Century, Biscayne Bay was the centre of operations for a notoriously revered pirate: Black Caesar. The name of Black Caesar resonates throughout history; being the subject of many myths and tales, it is said that Black Caesar had used Elliott Key and Old Rhodes Key as bases for buried treasure that had been seized from North American ships and trade ships of other nationalities. The evidence of major conflicts is laid-bare on the bottom of the ocean in the form of shipwrecks, cannonballs and various other relics, preserved over time, that have been gracefully absorbed into the natural world and transformed into beautifully established, perfectly functioning vibrant coral reefs, alive with a myriad of flashing colours.

https://www.nps.gov/bisc/learn/historyculture/maritime-heritage-trail.htm
The Sunken Wreck of Erl King, 1891

Biscayne National Park has something to offer for everyone; from lovers of history, to those who become captivated by the wonders of the natural world, to those who become captivated by the warmth of the sun and the sparkling, golden sand. The Maritime Heritage Trail, preserved carefully by the park rangers, paints an illustration of human history through various nautical skeletons and ancient infrastructure, such as the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, which was built in 1878. This trail is only accessible via boat, so if you want to travel through history then get in touch with us about Miami Day Charters!

What some may see as the biggest attraction of Biscayne National Park can be found absolutely everywhere; under every rock, hidden in every nook and cranny; on land, in the sea and even in the sky… This is referring to the vast range of wildlife that inhabits Biscayne Bay, from the smallest insect to possibly the largest crocodile you will ever see, Biscayne Bay is home to a surprisingly wide variety of animals.

American Flamingo

For SCUBA divers, there is an endless list of sealife to be found beneath the surface; ranging from Turtles, Seahorses, Angelfish and Scorpionfish to a myriad of Shark species (including Great White) and the more friendly Dolphins– if you’re lucky you may even bump into a peaceful Manatee, which is a protected species in this National Park, but everywhere you look there’ll be something waiting to catch your eye!

For twitchers (bird watchers to the layman), Biscayne National Park offers an enchanting assortment of bird species; from your Common Loon, to the American Flamingo, to the rather self-descriptive Greater Yellowlegs, to name a few. On land, there is a spectrum of reptiles, butterflies and insects for you to search for, as well as native rodents such as the Key Largo cotton mouse.

Kayaking through the Mangroves

Biscayne National Park is perfect for fishermen, photographers, artists, explorers, sunbathers – you can see where this list is going, but most importantly, this secluded island surrounded by a plethora of buried secrets is only accessible by boat. Imagine yourself waking up in the morning on board your own private yacht, stepping out onto the sundeck and enjoying your morning coffee with this tropical paradise as your back garden for the day- it can’t get much better than that!

If, after reading this blog, you’re itching to go on an excursion to see for yourself the breathtaking sights and menagerie of wildlife, we can help you, just drop us a message and we will sort you out with a personalised itinerary.

The Peaks of Luxury: How Big and Bold are these Boats going to Become?

I was reading an article, the other day, regarding the new technologies revolved around glass in construction on Superyachts; for example, some yachts now have an underwater viewing deck, such as Feadship’s SAVANNAH, which has a charter price of €1 million a week…

SAVANNAH’s underwater viewing lounge, photo courtesy of https://www.yachting-pages.com

At the sheer astonishment of such a hefty price tag for- well, no one can disagree that SAVANNAH illustrates the snowy peaks of haute-décor luxury, I began my descent down a marble-coated, golden-detailed, velvet-carpeted rabbit-hole with one burning question in mind: How far are these Superyachts going to go in order to obtain new standards of luxury?
I remember, when I was younger, a 50ft yacht was a very impressive sight; lining the harbours of Monaco, Greece and elsewhere around the world; I remember gazing in awe and wonder at any and every boat- big or small. Now, as I get older, I find myself only really looking for the larger yachts; the 100+ footers- the Megayachts. Gargantuan vessels, bright white, like icebergs jutting out of the ocean- an air of calm serenity floating around them, slowly moving across the horizon, dwarfing both people and other boats in comparison. Speculation over who owns them and what the interior is like is all part of the excitement upon encountering these yachts, and one can only imagine the swathes of leather, antiqued wood and Italian marble that spectacularly crowns the inside of these floating palaces.

The Boats during the Monaco Grand Prix, photo courtesy of https://www.f1i.com/infos/programme-tv-grand-prix-de-monaco/

 

Although, since working in the yacht industry, I have to admit I’ve become slightly desensitised to a lot of these ships. Superyachts like VICKY, a 73m Turquoise, and O MEGA, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 83m Megayacht, with all the bells and whistles one expects of a Superyacht, is perhaps starting to become the norm of the luxury industry. This is an industry that will always go by comparisons, with the same question in mind: How can we make it better?

VICKY’s helipad- don’t worry, there’s a plunge pool round back!

Does this mean more gold? More marble? Rarer wood, and fancier light fittings? Does this mean just bigger in general? Stretching 150ft to 250ft? I think, maybe, this means a lot of different things.

All yachts have to be manufactured under certain terms and conditions; such as SOLAS and PYC, which ensure the safety and structural integrity of the vessels. All of these conditions limit the extent to which Superyacht manufacturers can go regarding design, shape and size.
However, where manufacturers may be limited in some aspects of Superyacht design, it’s opened-up a Pandora’s Box of innovations within the technological side of manufacturing. Going back to SAVANNAH, with the underwater viewing salon, that was only made possible due to the advancements in glass technology and the invention of Gorilla Glass.
Progression in computing technology has allowed for much more precise navigation of these Superyachts, allowing the captains to get a more intimate feel for the waves and surroundings, meaning that sailing on through the night will be absolutely no issue! Advanced controls in the wheelhouse also means more control over the yacht itself; security measures such as locking systems, cameras and alarms are all computerised now, so, although you may not see it, it can almost certainly see you!
But, more advanced tech doesn’t just mean stronger glass and computerised security, it also means more fun, more luxury, more comfort- it just means more!

Wheelhouse on board POLARIS I

Stronger glass means that maybe, within a few years, it will become a standard for Superyachts to feature an underwater viewing deck- and maybe the top end ones will feature an entire glass panoramic viewing room! Imagine, wherever you travel, having a changeable, giant and most importantly all-natural aquarium for you to gaze into from the comfort of a plush, leather sofa…

Lightweight construction material such as aluminium has vastly reduced the weight of these ships whilst maintaining the strength of the superstructure, resulting in more room for the fun stuff: that bigger jacuzzi, more gym equipment, more toys and maybe even a bigger tender. It has also opened up a plethora of options for new designs, due to its malleability.

Some Superyachts nowadays look more like spaceships than boats, for example the Superyacht ADASTRA by John Shuttleworth Designs. With boats like this making full use of the modern technologies and new materials being created daily in the construction world, it really makes you think about the future of the luxury Superyachts we have become accustomed to!

Superyacht ADASTRA, photo courtesy of https://www.shuttleworthdesign.com

Whilst the future of Superyachts may be an open book, the one certainty is that- whatever the next move- Boatbookings will be ready to welcome the next generation of nautical vessels with open arms, and provide you with an experience of luxury, technology and innovation!