At some charter companies, the fleets of boats can feel cookie-cutter and impersonal—stripped of any details that make clients feel like they’re aboard a true home away from home.
That’s why Waypoints Yacht Charters strives to provide a boutique-style, elevated yacht charter experience aboard boats that have character and high-end amenities, with everything from the softest blankets to the best coffee machines ready for guests to enjoy.
“The boats each have their own story,” says Susan Restauri, who, along with Waypoints president Kirstie Palmer, brings a combined 45-plus years of charter-industry experience to helping Waypoints Yacht Charters’ clients have the best possible experience.
The company’s fleet of new-model yachts is housed at four bases—in the British Virgin Islands; US Virgin Islands; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Annapolis, Maryland—always in the heart of these incredible locations for easy access to all the best sights and activities.
Waypoints BVI is located at Nanny Cay on Tortola, just a short walk from local restaurants, beach bars, provisioning spots and more. The location has an on-site spa and swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, and luxury showers, among other amenities, so charter clients can relax and feel at home even before they set off to explore the islands. There are several grocery stores in nearby Road Town where bareboaters can provision, and there are several beverage companies to choose from as well.
The US Virgin Islands location is at Frenchtown on St. Thomas, a hub of activity in the island chain. In fact, guests who start their charters here can go from the airport to the base in a 10-minute cab ride, which puts them afloat in their anchorage in less than two hours after getting off the plane. Or clients can linger near the base and take some time to check out all the local restaurants and duty-free shopping. Grocery stores are bountiful for provisioning, and some services will do provisioning in advance of the client’s arrival, so the food and stores merely have to be stowed on the boat before setting off.
In downtown St. Petersburg, the Waypoints Florida base marina is at an award-winning hotel that adjoins Vinoy Park and Beach Drive, overlooking the Vinoy Yacht Basin in Tampa Bay. Clients arriving from nearby locations can leave their vehicles in one of several easily accessible public parking lots, and access for clients flying in from farther afield is easy from Tampa International Airport, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport or Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
Up in Annapolis, the Waypoints base is in historic Eastport, overlooking the United States Naval Academy. Charter clients can walk or take a dinghy ride to the historic Annapolis downtown, which is filled with quaint shops and restaurants, before heading out to explore Chesapeake Bay on the boat. Grocery provisioning is convenient at this base too, with delivery available from several stores. There’s also the option of a private onboard chef from the Annapolis base, with sample menus available on request.
And no matter what other questions clients have at any of the Waypoints locations, the staff is highly experienced and prepared to answer.
“Everybody who works with us has sailing experience,” Restauri says, adding that the Waypoints staff is composed of far more than just people who take bookings over the phone. “We can actually tell you about these boats and locations.”
Options for how to enjoy time on board abound in each of the four base locations. Clients can choose to book as bareboaters or with a captain, and can select from sailing monohulls, catamarans and motoryachts from top-notch manufacturers, including Fountaine-Pajot and Dufour. Each yacht is privately owned with comfort and performance amenities such as generators, air conditioning and watermakers—again, setting the fleet apart from those that offer stripped-down boats with virtually no creature comforts at all.
Making sure clients can choose from a fleet of high-quality boats is a hallmark of the Waypoints Yacht Charters brand. One of the things that helps the team at Waypoints ensure access to top-notch charter boats is the company’s exclusive partnership with Atlantic Cruising Yachts, one of the top yacht dealers in the world, with locations across North America. ACY introduces the Waypoints brokers to yacht owners at the time they are buying and outfitting their boats, a process that lets the Waypoints team make sure from the start that everything charter guests expect will in fact be on board.
And, after a charter is booked on any boat, the Waypoints team goes above and beyond to make sure that everything the client requested is ready to go.
“We had one situation in Annapolis where a charter client didn’t get his beverage order, which he had placed himself at a local store,” Restauri says. “A member of our Waypoints team drove to the liquor store for him. That’s the kind of personalized service that sets Waypoints apart. It’s the extra step that we’re willing to take. We want people to feel totally special.”
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