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Coronavirus & Yacht Charter: LIVE Updates on the Travel Status of the World’s Yachting Destinations for Charterers

YachtCharterFleet

2020-05-07

Global travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19 are impacting marina and port closures, which is having an effect on the movement of yachts and the feasibility of private yacht charter. As the global lockdown starts to lift, you can follow our LIVE updates for travel information about all the yachting destinations around the world, monitored and updated daily.

As soon as the lockdown lifts, the travel restrictions relax and the world gradually starts to emerge from quarantine, many of us will be looking forward to a vacation. 

If you’re looking to escape to the seas on a Social Distancing superyacht charter, you’ll need to know which destinations are open for luxury yachts. 

Please get in touch with individual ports and marinas for specific information about arrivals and berths. 

Social Distancing Vacations
As we’ve previously discussed in depth, the way we travel will be very different in the pre-vaccine Coronavirus era. We will have to adjust to socially disruptive measures in all areas of our life, including travel and vacations. Read our article for more on Social Distancing Yacht Charter.

The Mediterranean

France & Monaco

st tropez marina in south of france

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Most of the French ports are closed for non-essential movement. However, if a port is open, they may be able to accept non-scheduled passenger vessels (eg. yachts) on a case-by-case basis. Port calls must be accepted by local police authorities.

Which popular superyacht marinas in France are open during the Coronavirus pandemic?

  • Port Hercules, Monaco: Superyachts must provide a Declaration of Health before they are allowed to enter the harbor. Berth inquiries are accepted 15 days prior to the requested arrival date. Communication with the marina staff is conducted via a WhatsApp group in order to minimize contact. 
  • Port Vauban, Antibes: The situation is being constantly monitored. The port is continuing to operate with a limited number of staff members.
  • Port Saint Tropez: The central marina in St Tropez marina has suspended its activity. The management will announce when book berthing will be available again.
  • Port Calvi, Corsica: Port Calvi is accepting berth booking requests.
woman stands on luxury yacht
port hercules marina in monaco with luxury yachts in the bayislands lerins off the coast of cannes

When will France yacht charter resume?

It is still unclear when yacht charters in France will resume. However, here are some key dates which may impact charter activity:

  • May 11: France is set to relax its lockdown on May 11. There is currently a debate about whether nautical activities, such as boating and the use of the small PWC (personal watercraft), will resume on this date.
  • Early June: If boating and nautical activities do not resume from May 11, they are expected to resume in early June.
  • Mid-June: Yachting may resume in mid-June, as long as yacht-goers maintain Social Distancing and adhere to local rules and regulations.

Italy

coastline of italy

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Ports and marinas are not officially closed in Italy, but there are many restrictions making it more difficult than usual to enter and exit the Italian ports. Furthermore, cruising along the Italian coasts is not allowed. All vessels entering Italian ports are kept in quarantine and they are not allowed to disembark if they have not received the port authority’s permission.  

All vessels coming to Italian waters must apply for Free Practice (unless they left and re-entered the same marina), meaning a yellow flag must be displayed on the vessel. The passengers will be put in quarantine and body temperature will be taken before they receive the marina’s approval to dock. 

When will yacht charter in Italy resume?

It’s likely that yachting activity in Italy may not resume as normal for a while. As the former epicenter of the outbreak, it is of paramount importance that Italy avoids another outbreak, and will be stringent about international travel via air and sea. 

Key dates for Italy include:

  • Early May: Italy's general lockdown is relaxing in early May, as the country starts to implement a phased exit strategy. It is unclear how this will impact yachting.

Spain

man sits on yacht in ibiza during yacht charter
ibiza aerial image photo 8

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Yachts arriving into ports must clear arrival with local authorities. Guests and crew from overseas are not allowed to disembark in ports until they have completed a quarantine. The marinas will ask yachts to provide the required documents and information, including the yacht’s name, certificate of registry, origin, departure date, ID of all crew and passengers, and to fulfill the health declaration forms. 

Which popular superyacht marinas in Spain are currently open during the Coronavirus pandemic?

  • Puerto Banus, Marbella: Puerto Banus Marina is accepting berth requests at this time.
  • Ibiza Marina: Open only for refuelling.
sandy beach and clear water in spain

When will yacht charter in Spain resume?

Yacht charter in Spain is thought to continue under new normal conditions from June onwards.

Some key dates for Spain include:

  • 11 May: Spain will begin to ease its nationwide lockdown on May 11. Navigation for pleasure or charter purposes can be performed as ‘tourism for limited groups of people’, but it is expected to be within the geographical limitation of a specific province or island. It is expected that the authorities will allow a maximum of 12 passengers on board yachts.
  • 8 June: Geographical limitation of movement of yachts and boats is expected to end, allowing more flexibility for vessels.

Greece

navggio bay, shipwreck cove with blue water and white cliffs

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: In March, it was announced that all Greece would temporarily suspend all cruises, yachts and other recreational passenger vessels from stopping at Greek ports, essentially implementing a strict ban on movement between ports. This restriction was set to come under review in mid-April. It is unclear whether this has happened. 

Which popular superyacht marinas in Greece are open during the Coronavirus pandemic?

It is still unclear which ports in Greece are open to yachts. It's best to contact the Greek harbours and marinas directly. 

bay in greece with blue sea

When will yacht charter in Greece resume?

Greece is one of the first countries in Europe to publish a plan for re-opening the country's travel and tourism sector. The three-point plan mentions superyachts and marinas specifically, and it is expected to take effect from July 1. 

Greece is perfect for a Social Distancing vacation, with plenty of remote islands and secluded spots where you can escape the crowds. Plus, it's primed for exploring by boat, so yacht charter in Greece is expected to be hugely popular later this summer.

Some key dates for Greece include:

  • May 4: Non-essential businesses begin opening their doors.
  • May 8: Plans for new safety measures for yachts, marinas, hotels and airplanes expected to be finalised.
  • June 1: Some hotels and restaurants are set to reopen, as well as domestic flights.
  • Mid-June: Tourists are being invited back to the country from mid-June onwards, providing the infection rate in Greece continues to slow. International flights will resume around this time, or in late June. 
  • July: It is hoped the tourism industry will be back up and running by July. 

Croatia

river in croatia leading to the sea

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: As of May 5, all yachts measuring over 24 meters are allowed to enter Croatian ports and berth (as long as the marina is still operating). For all yachts that arrive prior to May 18th, a 14 days quarantine will be required. There is a possibility that quarantine may not be required after May 18th, but this is still yet to be confirmed. 

Which popular superyacht marinas in Croatia are open during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Following an evaluation on May 4, several marinas in Croatia have now 'partially normalized their activities'.

The following marinas are all operating under these circumstances:

  • ACI Marina, Dubrovnik
  • ACI Marina, Split
  • ACI Marina, Trogir
clear water in croatia bay, with sandy beaches
woman sits on bow of yacht in croatiasandy beach in croatia, great yacht charter destination

When will yacht charter in Croatia resume?

Although there is still no official announcement, it is most likely that visitors will be allowed to fly into Croatia as of June 1st, under the condition they possess a fresh PCR test (conducted not longer than 48 hrs prior boarding) showing they have tested negative for COVID-19.

Some key dates for Croatia include:

Early May: New measures pertaining to Croatia's nautical sector set to be announced.

May 11: Restaurants and coffee shops allowed to reopen.

An important note on overseas travel to Europe from outside the Schengen Zone

Certain European governments have mentioned the possibility of opening borders between Schengen states first, and reopening for intercontinental travel at a later date. 

The Schengen Zone (or Schengen Area) is an area comprising 26 European states that have eliminated certain border control measures, such as passport checks, at their mutual borders. 

All of the yachting destinations listed above are part of the Schengen Zone, except Croatia.

America

Miami (and wider Florida)

waterways in florida, yacht cruising along the water

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Ports in Miami are operating under restrictive measures, but you can still move between certain marinas in both Broward County and Miami-Dade.

Which popular superyacht marinas in Miami are open during the Coronavirus pandemic?

If you're looking for more information about the ports and marinas of Miami, please get in contact with them directly.

city of miami overlooking the sea

When will yacht charter in Miami resume?

On the weekend beginning May 2, many of the waterways across Miami began to reopen between certain hours. Citizens must wear face masks, practice Social Distancing and abide by other socially disruptive measures. This is a positive sign for yacht charter in Miami in the near future.

Key dates for Miami and South Florida include:

  • 6 May: Some waterways in Fort Lauderdale are expected to open from May 6.
  • June: The Florida Keys might reopen to visitors.

Caribbean & the Bahamas

Bahamas

yacht in marina at atlantis paradise hotel
clear water in the bahamas with two yachts on the surfacebahamas deans blue hole

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Mostly all closed, with strict limitations on travel between islands in a bid to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. While the Bahamas has reported extremely low case rates, the country is trying to ensure that the Out Islands, which are less equipped to handle the Coronavirus, are not infected.

Which popular superyacht marinas in the Bahamas are open during the Coronavirus pandemic?

At the time of writing, it is safe to assume that most marinas in the Bahamas are closed to superyachts. However, we will be continually monitoring the situation and providing updates for individual marinas and ports across the Bahamas.

secluded beach and cove in the caribbean

When will yacht charter in the Bahamas resume?

The Bahamas has been very strict about its containment measures with regard to COVID-19. Many of the Bahamas' more remote islands don't have the medical resources to handle a pandemic, so it is imperative that the Bahamas continues to enforce strict border controls. At this time, it's unclear when the Bahamas will reopen for tourism. 

The Virgin Islands

blue sea in the usvi's

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Temporarily closed

The US Virgin Islands has announced a 5-point plan which hopes to see the islands reopen in time for June 1.

It's still unclear whether the British Virgin Islands plans to follow suit or whether it will be remaining closed to visitors for longer. 

Leeward Islands (St Martin, St Barts, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda and Guadeloupe)

aerial shot of us virgin islands

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: It's currently unclear how much movement is being allowed between the marinas in the Leeward Islands. We will be sure to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

When will yacht charter resume in Antigua, St Barts and the other Leeward Islands?

None of the islands in the Leeward Island chain have yet to make a statement about the future of travel and luxury yacht charters.

However, government officials in Antigua have said they would like to see rapid-result COVID-19 tests being performed on all visitors flying in from overseas.

Meanwhile, St Barts held the record for one of the last places to be infected by the Coronavirus. It has reported six cases, but no deaths, from the virus. 

Windwards Islands (Martinique, St Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada)

windward islands blue sea and jungle covered interiors, great yacht charter destination

International travel restrictions: Yes

Ports: Mostly closed

Which will yacht charter in St Lucia and other Windward Islands resume?

No official information has been published by St Lucia, or any other islands in this north Caribbean island chain. At the end of April, St Lucia relaxed its Coronavirus measures after 15 patients who tested positive SARS-COV-2 made full recoveries. 

We will be sure to update you with further information about all of these yachting destinations.

If you have any updates about any of the information above, please get in touch with us.

For more information, travel advice and news regarding yacht charter and COVID-19, please refer to our Coronavirus and Superyacht News

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