Over 60 yachts lined the docks of IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas for the 2018 USVI Charter Yacht Show in November. Over 100 brokers from around the world attended the show, viewing yachts ranging from 45-111 feet in length. The 2018 show marked the largest in over two decades in attendance, number of yachts, and average yacht size.
The size of the show this year demonstrates how much marine tourism is on the rise in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both private and public sector investments have been supporting the infrastructure projects to bolster the marine tourism industry in the USVI. The U.S. Virgin Islands are becoming a sought after destination for yachts because of the facilities and amenities offered. Other benefits to charter crews in the USVI as opposed to other destinations are that it is easy to fly into St. Thomas, and the island offers many places to provision, obtain parts, and make repairs. The USVI has become a full-service destination, while still offering the secluded, uncrowded nature that many people are looking for.
The USVI Charter Show is now one of the biggest in the Caribbean, partially because of the infrastructure that has been developed in recent years to accommodate the size of these yachts. “The infrastructure and facilities at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande are world class,” says Dare Blankenhorn, co-founder and director of St. Thomas, USVI-based Charter Caribe.
IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande is part of of the larger IGY Marinas company, founded by Andrew Farkas. The 2019 USVI Charter Yacht Show will take place from November 9-13, 2019.