Summer Escape Planning – when can we leave on our Yacht Charter Holiday?

Covid-19 Pandemic is now coming to an end we hope.

Published by Jason Ford on 25th March 2021

After a very long time of uncertainty the future is now looking a lot brighter. Almost half the UK population now have high immunity from receiving their first vaccination or natural immunity after recovering from the virus. Many people are keen to escape to the sea and let go of all their worries and concerns, enjoying the calm, tranquillity and vast space of the sea. With the timetable announced for coming out of lockdown and vaccine passports being trialled it seems people will be able to escape on holiday again between the end of May and middle of June. Ryan Air has already adapted their App to be able to upload vaccine certification and other coronavirus documentation. China is the first country worldwide to introduce a ‘vaccine passport’ and will accept travellers from countries with similar schemes in place; according to ‘The Sun’:

‘The Chinese health certificates show a user's vaccination status and recent coronavirus test results. They're being hailed as the world's first virus passport, with similar schemes planned in Britain, the US and the EU. The QR code-based digital certificate will "promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said today. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: "The pandemic is still with us, but the world economy needs to be restarted and people-to-people exchanges resumed with no more delays."’

France has announced trials of a vaccine passport scheme with the hope that it can be introduced by May. According to ‘The Local France’:

‘France will try out a Covid-free status digital pass for air travellers with flag carrier Air France starting a month-long trial for some flights, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said on Thursday. Airlines battered by travel restrictions are pushing hard for a global standard that would reassure passengers over contagion risks onboard and accelerate an eventual recovery for the sector. For Air France flights to the French Caribbean territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe, passengers will have to present a phone app that shows either a vaccination certificate or a recent negative Covid test. The system would require partnerships with testing facilities that would provide the digital proof. “The goal is to see if it works well in real-time” by reducing checks that are drastically slowing boarding and arrival procedures, Djebbari told RMC radio. “It could offer a preview, or at least a large-scale test, of a future ‘travel pass'” that would “ensure against fraud and shorten waiting lines,” he said. He did not specify if Air France would use a system being developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is being tested by several international carriers.’

By end of April and for start of the season in May we believe all will start to settle down well. Yachts remain available for booking in some destinations and we are open to assist in case you have already booked or indeed in case you wish to discuss your long term charters and sailing holidays in 2021 ... Transatlantic crossings and long-term charters lasting from 4-40 weeks have in particular been very popular. 

Lagoon 450S shown on this news is one of the boats available for ARC and ARC+ crossings in November with many crews sailing across the Atlantic just  before, during or immediately after the ARC 2020 for example.  With 4 en suite cabins, EPIRB, automatic lifevests and a number of other features, the Lagoon 450s is an ideal sailing catamaran to go across the Atlantic and she is again available for 2021 and 2022 crossings. You can pick her up in Croatia or Italy and sail to Canaries, before crossing to St Lucia or Martinique. The charter rates start from 16,000 Eur with boats such as BAIL 5.4 (2021), Lagoon 50 (2019), Lagoon 42 (2018) and a few superyachts from 70-140ft also available for cabin or outright charters. Long term charters on similar boats, some lasting up to 18 months even and including ONE WAYS and CROSS-COUNTRY sailing are also available.  A Lagoon 50 in Antigua is for example sold for 12 weeks at a rate below 40,000 Eur.  A Lagoon 450F (2020) is available in Croatia from around 26th Sept 2021 this year, for just around 12,000 Eur / 4 weeks.  An older Lagoon 450 (2012) is on the other hand less than 9,000 Eur for the same period.

In terms of other countries, the most poular yachting destination in the Mediterranean tend to be the Balearics.  As a result, Spain is also pushing for trials and will go ahead with a scheme for tourists from the UK as soon as possible regardless of how long it takes the EU to implement a scheme. According to the website ‘Schengen Visa Info’:

‘Ibiza, as well as Balearics, have urged Spain’s government to introduce a vaccine certificate as soon as possible in order to help the tourism industry recover from the COVID-19’s devastating situation. In this regard, Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said that the country wants “to have a wide variety of tools to reactive mobility. “We want to be pioneers, and we are the most active champions of digital vaccine passports to facilitate international mobility. We were pioneers with [last summer’s] Balearic travel corridor by becoming the only country to open during the pandemic, and we’re working on being pioneers again and putting our foot on the accelerator,” Maroto pointed out.

Spain’s Tourism Minister also highlighted that the country had created an inter-ministerial commission managed by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to ease the use of COVID-19 vaccination certificates and enable the launch of a pilot project in order to test their efficiency. The news came after Spain recently announced that it seeks to create a vaccination passport for all travellers wishing to enter the country from the United Kingdom’s territory. Spain’s government announced that in case the European Union fails to reach a joint agreement with the United Kingdom regarding the vaccination certificates, it will create a “green corridor” for all Britons who have taken the vaccine against the deadly virus. Such an announcement has been confirmed by the country’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes.’

If you are itching to get away and want a sailing adventure to look forward to then now is the best time to get a good deal before the Summer rush to book. If you cannot travel due to restrictions then it is easy to rebook free of charge for a later date, subject to any seasonal price differences. There is still a lot to be done but we are well on our way to getting back to the way of life we are used to and are in a much better position than a year ago. Covid cases have dropped right down again and we must ensure they do not climb too high again. However, before we know it summer will be here and we can travel safely without having to worry about getting ill or spreading the virus. If everyone on board a flight is confirmed as immune or has a negative test, then being on a plane followed by your own private yacht may well be one of the safest and most relaxing places to be this Summer.


This news refers to LAGOON 450S available for Transatlantic crossings out of Croatia or Italy


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