Imagine a sailing vacation on your very own all-inclusive crewed catamaran while your every need is looked after. A time-share charter vacation is a novel concept for the crewed charter industry; one that offers the opportunity to explore the seas in a way that many dream about, but few actually get the chance to experience. But it’s one that’s now available to BVI thrill-seekers, and the options are both affordable and exceptional. Owning a boat is no longer for just the opulent few. And the boat in question? The Lagoon 440.
The 440, designed by Lagoon’s indomitable duo of Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost, was voted Best Charter Catamaran at Cruising World’s 2005 Boat of the Year competition held at Annapolis last October. In fact, the judges went so far as to say ‘…choosing the best cruising boats required judging from the perspective of a couple or a family--a shorthanded crew. But well-designed and -executed charter boats are a bit different. They must accommodate several couples in nearly identical comfort. Measured by that standard, the new Lagoon 440 had no peers.”
In March 2005, the BVI Yacht Guide test-sailed the 440 and came back with a similar response. We noted happy motoring from the two Yanmar 4JH4TE turbo engines, little slamming in high seas or in the wake of the larger ferries, and a smooth and precise cutting action from the hulls. Up wind, in the little breeze there was, we found her abilities comparable to a similar-sized monohull, and her sail set-up easy to handle, with plenty of room, both in terms of cock-pit size and boom height. Her safety features were innovative and accessible, and her deck layout very manageable. We raved about her comfort levels, and how the vertical windows in the saloon meant more space, light and visibility; and described her cabin layout as extremely ergonomic.
As a crewed charter boat, this big cat offers as much by way of luxury as it does space; and, let’s face it, luxury is not a word usually associated with the word ‘bareboat’. There’s room for 8 to lunch in her outside dining area, and the galley can more than cope with demand. Each cabin offers en-suite heads and is well-lit by huge, fixed portholes. A huge head and separate shower stall lie forward of the steps. A sailing party of 6 with 2 crew? No problem.
The BVI Yacht Guide team’s conclusion was that the Lagoon 440 had been designed and marketed to target both the charter market and private sector offering performance and comfort within a controlled budget. In fact, the luxurious three-cabin owner version was probably just what every sailing enthusiast could possibly want.
So, how does it work?
Elite Island Yachts, a division of Festiva Resorts, has joined up with the Catamaran Company to offer an all-inclusive, full service experience rarely found in the yacht charter industry. With a fleet of brand new Lagoon 440s berthed at The Catamaran Company Charter bases in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, sailing with Elite Island Yachts allows the traveller to explore some of the most sought after Caribbean sailing destinations in style. Choose to purchase a 7 night all inclusive charter package, membership or place a Lagoon 440 into there unique charter fleet and enjoy all the charter benefits.
The Cruise Club
The venture offers a low-cost alternative to the avid sailing market, and membership of their “The Cruise Club” division allows members to charter as often as they would like, out of any of Elite Island Yachts’ charter bases, at a fraction of the retail cost. Members pay a one-time fee, allowing them access from twelve to thirty six charter vacation weeks which can be used over the course of twelve years. Members can choose to occupy up to all three guest cabins, or they can choose to use a single cabin as a stateroom charter, paying only an all-inclusive per-person fee, which covers the costs of provisioning, crew, activities, and port fees. “Our charters are nothing less than first-class with the highest levels of service and amenities. Our crew will schedule all of your activities, prepare all your meals and even offer you your favorite cocktails,” says Festiva Resorts’ CEO Don Clayton. “To maintain the quality and integrity of our fleet of luxury catamarans, each member pays an annual maintenance fee which is due at the first of each calendar year or at the time of booking your cabin charter. An all-inclusive fee is then paid each time you charter one of your weeks. This nominal fee is an incredible value as it goes to offset the cost of your charter's crew, all your meals and beverages (including your favorite spirits) and variety of onboard activities, including scuba diving for certified divers!”
Purchase For Charter
The Catamaran Company now offers you the opportunity to purchase a Lagoon 440 on a guaranteed income charter program in Tortola, BVI. Enjoy a well-maintained catamaran in a crewed yacht fleet and six weeks of owners time or more. The owner may choose between bareboat or crewed charter when utilizing his charter weeks.
Who we are?
Elite Island Yachts’ fleet of 440s is owned and operated by Festiva Resorts. Founded in 2000, Festiva Resorts is one of the fastest growing and innovative vacation ownership and hospitality companies in the industry. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Festiva owns, markets, and manages hotels and resorts in both the US and Caribbean.
Festiva Resorts’ reputation in the vacation ownership industry offers Cruise Club members many additional travel benefits. Members are automatically enrolled in one of the industry’s exchange companies, Interval International or Resort Condominium International. Members are also eligible to join the Festiva online travel store, which gives them access to discounted rates at more than 3,000 resorts and cruise vacations worldwide. “Our goal is to create the best possible vacation product for each of our members and owners. The Cruise Club enables us to introduce these types of vacationing options to the charter industry.” states Clayton.