62.5m Apogee Captain John on Chartering After COVID
The 62.5m Codecasa-built superyacht Apogee has been docked in the Dania Canal in Fort Lauderdale for the past seven months. As her Captain of 17 years John Fleck tells us, this is the first time since being delivered in 2003 that the seminal charter yacht has not enjoyed a European summer season. The luxury yacht and her crew are now looking forward to making up for lost time this New Year charter season in the Bahamas and Caribbean as restrictions are eased. We caught up with Captain John to learn more about the luxurious experience guests can expect from a New Year’s charter onboard Apogee, including the heightened measures of safety the crew will be taking to ensure utter peace of mind at sea.
Apogee is the ultimate charter yacht. Attended by some 17 crew members, Apogee’s onboard experience is defined by rich and decadent interiors, a fully equipped gym and even her own private night club. And the yacht’s crew have not been resting on their laurels these past seven months either, Captain John tells us:
‘The upkeep of the vessel is of the highest interest to the owner. He simply loves and adores the boat - we have actually just had a new 70-inch AK television installed up in the bridge bar while being docked here.’
Despite her high levels of maintenance though (Apogee underwent an extensive refit in 2019), the unique appeal of this superyacht lies in her progressive in-built volume - remarkable even for a yacht of 62.5m, Captain John tells us. ‘She was a little ahead of her time - main aft decks were shortened on Northern European boats, and when we bought the boat we opted out of an enclosed main aft deck. Which left us with a large area which easily accommodates all the guests in comfort under cover in open air.’
With three outdoor decks available to guests, there is certainly no shortage of socialising or entertainment space on this purpose-built charter yacht.
'She boasts four cabins down below, two of which have king sized beds. ‘The volume is also obvious in the lower guest cabins, that it would be very difficult for anybody to go back to a 50m boat after experiencing that feeling of space.’
So difficult in fact that very often, guests will not charter any other boat.
Apogee enjoys a number of repeat clients, which John tells us is testament as much to the appeal of the boat as it is to the success of her crew - a number of whom have served between 10 and 15 years onboard.
‘Clients have that full experience when chartering Apogee, which is something of an Apogee signature. The owner is very personally concerned about the experience of the guests, he always aims to ensure he has the right crew front of house to take care of them.’
To illustrate the advantage of Apogee’s extensive and doting crew, Captain John told us of one party of repeat clients with a very particular request. ‘They wanted to swim in a new location every morning at 9am - the challenge being that we had to travel overnight every night. But that wasn’t an issue for us with 17 crew onboard; we can very easily run the boat and provide 24/7 service to our guests.’
When Apogee’s Christmas and New Year charter season gets underway, she will return to the Bahamas and Caribbean to catch some winter sun. We asked Captain John about the revamped measures of safety guests could expect during this time.
‘We’ve had plenty of practice while we’ve been here in Fort Lauderdale! We’ve adopted measures you will see in the commercial industry with safety, health and operations onboard. For example, where our boarding ladder is, we have an upright hand gel dispenser for all guests. Products wise, everything will undergo a strict sanitation process as we bring items onboard.’
Apogee’s crew will also be assigning two deputies - another luxury afforded a crew as sizable and experienced as this. ‘That way there will be watchful eyes throughout guiding the safety protocols.’
However, Captain John and his doting crew have been going the extra mile for some time now. John tells us that Apogee’s crew has a forward-looking practice of sending out advance teams to guests’ locations of choice, to ensure standards and requirements are met ahead of the guests’ arrival.
‘This affords us the added advantage of understanding the safety and wellbeing of our guests - the crew are playing an active part onboard as well as off the boat.
Apogee comes perfectly maintained, well equipped and ready to make up for lost time this New Year charter season. We would like to wish her and her committed crew a very smooth and successful season.
"Clients have that full experience when chartering Apogee, which is something of an Apogee signature. The owner is very personally concerned about the experience of the guests..."