New York, New York – Reported by Kim Kavin for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
The winter charter season brings opportunities for yachting of all kinds, but the biggest is New Year’s Eve in St. Barths. To fit in with the gliteratti, choose one of these top charter yachts.
One of the best ways to get noticed during New Year’s Eve on St. Barths is to be aboard a brand-new megayacht filled with fabulous things. The 196-foot CRN Darlings Danama, launched in late 2011, is an outstanding example.
The décor aboard Darlings Danama is stunning in its contemporary simplicity and comfortable warmth. Tai Ping silk carpeting has been hand raked to create an effect similar to beach sand. The main salon’s bar and coffee table are covered in hand-applied papyrus. Stingray skin enrobes cabinetry throughout the yacht, creating a textural complement to the silver leaf on many of the interior walls.
A glass elevator takes charter guests to all decks, including the outdoor decks for fun in the sun. Darlings Danama carries two Castoldi jet tenders along with Sea Doos, underwater scooters and more. When it’s time to relax, the sundeck hot tub awaits, or guests can enjoy an air-conditioned sundeck salon with outstanding views. The lowest weekly base rate is about $423,349 for 12 guests with 16 crew.
You may remember Faith by her original name: Cakewalk. This 205-foot Feadship was a world-class phenomenon when she launched in 2000. Faith recently got a new owner, and he has spent the past summer refitting her to once again make her the talk of the docks. She will make her post-refit Caribbean debut this winter, just in time to show off her fine new looks in St. Barths for Christmas and New Year’s.
The interior aboard Faith will no longer be ornate, which was Cakewalk’s original style. The stunning cherry woodwork will remain throughout the guest areas, but it will now be complemented by a fresh, neutral, contemporary décor thanks to new fabrics and more. Her sundeck is being rearranged, too, with the pool moved forward to provide fantastic views over the bow. That should be a terrifically private spot for champagne in Gustavia Harbour as the clock ticks toward midnight on December 31. The lowest weekly base rate is about $466,298 for 12 guests with 17 crew.
All heads turn when the 122-foot Heesen Aurelia enters a harbor. The yacht’s name pays homage to the famous Lancia Aurelia race car of the 1950s, while her orange and blue hull stripes match the racing colors of today’s Gulf Oil-sponsored GT race cars. Inside, well-known designer Bannenberg takes Aurelia’s racing pedigree to an elegant level. Upholstery patterns are based on racing treads, carbon-fiber detailing is reminiscent of Lamborghini dashboard paneling and headboards in some cabins were hand stitched at the Ferrari factory. The lowest weekly base rate is about $128,730 for eight guests with six crew.
Sea Force One
When it’s time to throw a party, a great chef is key. The 176-foot Admiral Sea Force One’s chef has trained in Michelin-star restaurants. In 2011, the yacht welcomed 140 guests for a Cartier-sponsored party. The lowest weekly base rate is about $306,775 for ten guests with 13 crew.
Any great party on New Year’s Eve needs to be followed by some serious pampering and relaxation. The 194-foot Benetti Meamina provides all of that and more, right alongside plenty of fun for the kids if they still have energy to burn. While many charter yachts offer an onboard masseuse, Meamina offers that plus a personal trainer for yoga and strength exercises. The lowest weekly base rate is about $386,536 for 12 guests with 15 crew.