The white sandy beaches and clear warm seas of the Caribbean offer respite from a bleak British winter. St Lucia’s Cap Maison or Sandy Lane in Barbados will never go out of fashion, but for a unique, luxury holiday nothing compares with chartering a private yacht.
Imagine you are at the most exclusive holiday resort imaginable, but it’s reserved just for you and your family. There’s an ever-changing backdrop and if you tire of snorkelling, fishing or jet-skiing you can enjoy a silver service dinner on a normally inaccessible private island.
The award-winning Axioma, a 72-metre super yacht unveiled to great acclaim at the Monaco Yacht Show two years ago, is heading to the Caribbean in December and available for charter. It’s one of the largest, most successful private yachts available for charter – a true mega-yacht with a crew of 20 and every conceivable facility on board to enhance your holiday experience.
Axioma boasts a cinema, spa, gym, pool and deck Jacuzzi. Its wow factor comes from the spectacular atrium gallery at the aft end of the main salon, created by combining two decks. Amongst the crew are a trained masseuse and water-ski instructor, whilst chef, Stephen Paskins, has worked at Michelin star restaurants and this year won a coveted award as the world’s best super yacht chef.
“Once we welcome guests aboard and they walk into that awesome atrium with its sublime mezzanine flooded with light you can see them relax straight away,” says Captain Mark Giblin. Designer Alberto Pinto was given a brief of creating a light, summery house style; the yacht feels like a home from home.
Chartering your own yacht gives you complete flexibility. You choose the itinerary and the destinations, what you eat and how you spend your days. Axioma’s cruising speed is 14 knots, but a limousine tender with a speed of 40 knots can get you to lagoons and coves that would otherwise be unreachable.
In all, around 1,400 owners of super yachts – out of a total fleet of 6000 yachts of 24 metres or bigger – make them available for charter. Unlike on a cruise, you have complete privacy and a personal, tailored holiday experience. “We have completely re-decorated the yacht for a surprise party on board, organised last-minute dinners on private beaches and provided live entertainment in local restaurants,” says chief stewardess Suzy Sawers.
Axioma, which is chartered through Yachting Partners International (YPI), can take up to 12 guests. As you’d expect, it doesn’t come cheap – chartering it for a week costs around €525,000 per week (the price will vary depending on the time of year and how early you book it) and that doesn’t include food or fuel. But it’s a holiday you certainly won’t forget.