Solandge Begins Charter Season In The Caribbean

By Ben Roberts

Delivered in October 2013 by Lürssen Yachts, the 85 metre Solandge has quickly become one of the world’s most iconic and elegant super yachts on the global charter market. With Solandge preparing to travel to the Caribbean for the 2014 -2015 Winter charter season, we speak to Captain Brett Fillis in order to get an insight into her new itinerary.

This 85 metre superyacht led this year’s Monaco Yacht Show, winning the 2014 “La Belle Classe Superyachts” Award from the Yacht Club de Monaco and ‘Best Exterior’ in the first-ever Monaco Yacht Show Awards.

Solandge was lovingly crafted as a family yacht for pleasure on extended voyages throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Her generosity is felt throughout and led by Captain Brett Fillis and his team of 30 exceptionally warm, discreet and attentive crew. Designed with outdoor living at her core, she features five extraordinary decks offering an experience similar to that of visiting a friend’s personal home.

The Caribbean is an ideal cruising destination for the world’s most sophisticated charter clients. With more than 2,500 miles of cruising from east to west, the region offers more than 7,000 islands, reefs, inlets and bays and a diverse array of authentic and glamorous experiences. This year, Solandge begins her second Caribbean Winter season.

Captain Brett and his team work closely with each charter client to develop a cruising itinerary to meet the needs of all 12 guests on board. Whether they choose to anchor at a single destination such as Barbados or St Barths or island-hop every day, the Caribbean offers an experience for everyone. Captain Brett has provided his top recommendations for the Winter charter season:

St. Lucia
A mountainous terrain covered in a blanket of thick rainforest, St Lucia is one of the most visually captivating islands in the Caribbean. Solandge will take guests to cruise through aquamarine waters from Marigot Bay to the dominating twin peaks of the Pitons and the sweeping valley below full of luscious vertiginous hillside. The beach here is a natural secluded cove in an official marine park where the snorkelling is superb.

The Pitons
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Southwestern St. Lucia, the Pitons are renowned for hiking and climbing, rising 750 metres above sea level. For the more adventurous, Captain Brett suggests a visit ‘the world’s only drive-in volcano’, a complex that includes a geothermal field with natural sulphurous hot springs.

Often referred to as the Caribbean’s most perfect island, Bequia is one of the last true vestiges for the sea-faring elite. Princess Margaret Beach is a glorious, 460-metre stretch of golden sand fringed by cedar and almond trees, and, remarkably, undeveloped except for a single beach bar.

Renowned for its international jet set visitors, Mustique remains timeless with an authentic private-island vibe. A staggering nine beaches feature on this tiny 1,400-acre paradise. Our favourite is Gelliceaux, tucked away in a sheltered bay where the sand shelves steeply and the swimming is idyllic. For our family guests, the island’s intimacy and security allow teenagers to roam safely on their own.

Situated on the continental shelf of South America, the biodiversity of Tobago is unlike that of most other Caribbean Islands. Home to an astounding number of tropical ecosystems and more than 3,000 species, the island features an exquisite array of uninhabited cays, lagoons full of green turtles, fine coral reefs, colourful fishes, crystal clear waters and beaches of powdery white sand. It’s a snorkelling paradise.

Known as Spice Island, Grenada is one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean. Nothing is over commercialised and St George’s has one of the most beautiful harbours in the region. The Grand Etang Lake is a natural-water filled crater of one of Grenada’s extinct volcano’s located 550 metres feet above sea level. Surrounded by rain forest and waterfalls, this is an ideal spot for swimming and exploring.

St. Barths
Strikingly similar to the Cote d’Azur, St. Barths is French elegance at its finest. It’s a playground for guests that want to enjoy nightlife, shopping and chic beach clubs. New Year’s Eve is a great celebration and a perfect night to be moored off Gustavia Harbour on board Solandge. It’s an impeccable location - just close enough to enjoy the fireworks but far enough to ensure ultimate privacy for guests.

The Bahamas
The 700 islands of the Bahamas offer the best of British Colonial-infused elegance. Stunning beaches, nightlife, shopping, diving, snorkelling and fishing are plentiful across these islands. Our favourites are Exuma, Fowl Cay, Staniel Cay, Great Guana Cay and Shroud Cay.

Solandge will now begin her Atlantic crossing in late November and will spend the 2014-2015 Winter charter season in the Caribbean. To find out more, click here to watch the video feature filmed on board in Monaco this year. 

By Ben Roberts
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