Late in 2019, some of our clients, business partners and friends reported lock-downs in China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, even Japan and Vietnam.  We did not pay attention and thought it’s just some kind of short-term distress somewhere else, without any major repercussions. for us or life in general.  How wrong were we …

In mid-January this year, the coronavirus named Covid-19 spread with certainty and some speed across Europe and the rest of the World.  Wet markets or the sale of exotic animals for consumption within them, or nearby Wuhan laboratory were blamed for the outbreak, with Chinese government being the main culprit for allowing the spread of the virus abroad, but not in places such as Shanghai or Beijing.  Whatever the truth and source, it is unquestionable that travel and holidays are affected like never before.  Flights are cancelled, two week quarantines are the norm and sailing and indeed yacht charter holidays have become impossible in many parts of the world, even for the local population.

With some positive news coming out in the first few days of May however, we are starting to look forward and the light in tunnel starts to appear.  It will hopefully not be a brief moment of enlightenment, but a new start with less war and more freedom, sailing and good life.   The good news is also that charter terms and conditions have been updated for most boats in the meantime.  You can now book some boats with full 100% refund guarantee in case you are unable to travel, arrive to your chosen destination or indeed even leave your homeland due to Covid-19 related lock-downs or disturbances.  The payment terms for most yacht charter holidays, including bareboat hire, skippered or luxury crewed yacht charters and superyacht rentals are also updated so that lower deposits are expected, in most cases less than 50%; in some cases only 10% to secure the deal initially.  We can also accept various types of payments, from bank transfers in Euros, US$’s or GBP Sterling, up to almost any type of debit or credit card as well as major crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and maybe even alternative ones such as Cardano, Ripple/XRP, BAT, Ox, Stellar, Binance Coin, Neo, XMR, Tezos, EOS or Ethereum Classic and so on.

The coronavirus situation in most sailing destinations is similar, although there will be minor or major differences from country to country and continent to continent. Greece will open islands to visiting boats only as of 27th June 2020 for example, Croatia on the other hand hopes that introduction of World Health Organisation recommended procedures of Test, Track and Trace, after local tourist centres and airports are being supplied by up to 2 million latest and best Covid-19 testing kits Made in Germany, which apparently produce illness outcomes within 10 minutes, is hoping to have a full uninterrupted summer holidays, including full sailing season starting in May already.  France is allowing visitors from Europe without quarantine already as of 11th May as well.

What is the fact though, is that sailing on a private boats offers best type of self-isolation during a holiday.  With advanced provisioning in place and fully equipped yachts, to include generators, watermakers and solar panels, yachting crews can plan a week or a fortnight long escape from socialising with others easily.  Improving cleaning and introduced sanitising  is also part of a daily routine on all boats and fleets are ensuring they are ready to accept yacht charter clients when they get to their chosen destination.

The same is the case with superyachts and luxury boats where testing of the crew is also part of new and improved Covid-19 yacht charter preparations.  All those planning to hire a superyacht or a luxury sailing boat, de-luxe gullet or any type of a crewed charter yacht, can rest assured that we as your charter broker will ensure this will be confirmed prior to both booking and your arrival.

And while the blame game between politicians looking to score points is likely to continue, the good news is that scientists and health officials from all countries including China, USA and EU amongst many countries are working together and exchanging relevant information.  Some therapies are also proving beneficial and individual medication will help one or the other patient.  With high percentage of those recovering from the respiratory illness even without life-saving vaccine in sight, we remain positive that many sailing crews will indeed be able to go on a well deserved yacht charter vacation during the summer 2020.  And if not, we lead the way in advance booking and long-term charters which can allow you to plan well in advance.  Add to this option to join to some informal or formal regattas, or even transatlantic crossing events such as ARC 2020 and ARC 2021 and the life looks brighter.

Get in touch with us at A2A YACHTING to explore your options including buying a new or used boat or commissioning the purchase of a new and bespoke PUCCINI YACHT with HYBRID or ELECTRICAL engines,  or a luxury house villa on the water both of which will allow you to enjoy self-isolation, lockdown and avoid socialising with anyone other than your family members for a longer period of time.

Wishing you all the best and enjoy your lockdowns; some lovely aspects of family life have come to the fore in the last few weeks. If and when we beat the coronavirus, those memories will stay with us forever.