Dream Yacht Charter founder, Loic Bonnet, said: “Our fleet and business remains strong after the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria across the Caribbean, which hit St. Martin, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Puerto Rico particularly hard.
“Our Caribbean fleet capacity will be restored by the end of this year. Dream Yacht Charter had 70 boats in St. Martin and the BVI when Irma hit and we anticipate 60% will be declared a total loss, although we’ve yet to have a final report from the loss adjustors. While the impact on our fleet and 2017 revenue is significant, it is more than manageable and we’ve rolled out our business continuity plans.
“The pre-Irma fleet in the St. Martin and the BVI represented just 25% of our Caribbean fleet across Puerto Rico, BVI, St. Martin, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Vincent & Grenada before Irma. We had been careful not to grow any one base too big in the Caribbean because of the risks, so we are well spread globally with +47 bases worldwide and +900 boats.”
Since the the hurricanes, we’ve worked to mitigate the impact on our customers by:
- Purchasing 20 new replacement boats for the St. Martin and BVI fleets to be delivered by the end of 2017. They will include Lagoon 52s, Bali 4.5 catamarans, Dufour 520 and Sun Odyssey 519 monohulls
- Purchasing the Regis Guillemot fleet in Martinique, adding about 30 catamarans to our fleet in this popular destination
- Planning to fully re-open our St. Martin & BVI bases mid November
- Relocating customers with St. Martin and BVI charters in September and October to other Caribbean bases or destinations, such as Grenada, Antigua, Martinique, the Mediterranean, Seychelles, Asia, Pacific, Bahamas and Mexico
- Finding replacement boats or relocating customers with St. Martin and BVI charters in November
- Planning to fully re-open Puerto Rico by mid-October
Our bases in Antigua, Martinique, St. Vincent and Grenada are fully operational. Our fleet in Guadeloupe escaped damage from Hurricane Maria, as our Caribbean operations manager relocated boats to bases further south. Our Puerto Rico fleet didn’t sustain major damage and our base will be fully operational mid-October. Our thoughts remain with the people of all the islands so devastated by these two storms.
Loic added: “We remain committed to the Caribbean and its wonderful communities, all of which rely heavily on tourism, including the yacht charter industry, and the islands need our support now more than ever. Keep faith in the wonderful Caribbean people to rebuild and recreate the paradise that we all know and hold so dear.”