Mauritius is becoming a hot spot for Australian paradise seekers with a rising growth of 8.1% increase in visitors in 2013. Total Australian visitors were 18, 393 in 2013 compared with 17,009 visitors in 2012. Australia has out-performed all other markets in December with an impressive 33.6% increase for the month.
Found in the Indian Ocean and renowned for being a melting pot of cultures, Mauritius offers experiences to suit every type of traveller. From food lovers, to adventure travellers, or for those who want to just sit back and relax on some of the most beautiful beaches with the whitest sand and clearest water.
Named after Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau, Mauritius offers unparalleled luxury with 4 and 5 star resorts, world renowned spas, championship golf courses, adventure activities, surfing, diving, sailing, European shopping and much more. Tourists often find themselves in a state of delight and surprise as they tour this incredibly culturally diverse tropical paradise.
With such a growing interest from Australia, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) launched a Facebook page specifically for Australians.
The biggest attraction in Helsingor, Denmark, is the Kronborg Castle, known to the rest of the world as Elsinore, known universally as the setting of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. While no one has spotted the ghosts of dead kings recently, a new museum has appeared out of the mist. Elsinore’s new Maritime Museum was designed by the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group. The glassy structure features a U-shaped dry dock laced with slanted floors and zigzag passageways that evoke ocean-rocked ships’ decks.
Maritime relics, from torpedoes to Lego pirate ships, mix with electronic maps and films that explore the romance of the sea, shipboard existence and trade, both centuries ago and today. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to run your own trade company, navigate by the stars and ink a sailor’s tattoo. Denmark has been actively adding museums of late. Copenhagen’s new Blue Planet aquarium is the largest in Northern Europe.
Every ship of Star Cruises is a world-class theatre in its own right. There is nowhere better to catch dazzling live entertainment as the leading cruise line in Asia-Pacific presents stunning production shows from entertainment capitals around the world such as Paris, London, Berlin, and St Petersburg.
To make every cruise holiday a magical experience for our passengers, Star Cruises’ dedicated and talented entertainment team has prepared a splendid line-up of performances for 2014, ranging from dance to magic and from acrobat to Kung Fu. Wait no longer to catch these highly anticipated debuts and returning favourites with newer and even more dazzling choreography.
“Stone of Atlantis” staged on SuperStar Virgo is a tale set in the lost ancient city of Atlantis. Hidden deep in the city, the legendary Stone of Atlantis is imbued with incredible power. Dive into the myth as we conjure the power of the stone with a world-class ensemble of performers including sensational American violinist Bryson Andres, Shaolin Kung Fu masters, Pantera Duo from Russia and acrobatic group Trilogy from Ukraine. Their breathtaking acts will leave the audience exhilarated and astounded.
From now until mid October, European top illusionist Vincent Vignaud will star in “Dream”, a magnificent spectacle of grand illusions featuring exceptional new acts. Driven by his fascination with circus and his passion for magic and illusions, Vignaud surprises the audience with his incredible acts perfectly complemented by superb music, choreography and stage effects.
In “Hot! Hot! Hot! A Brazilian Show” debuting in April, beautiful Brazilian dancers will showcase signature dance styles such as Samba, Capoeira and Salsa in flamboyant costumes. Get off your seat and groove to the exuberant music while enjoying the dynamic whimsical dance show of pure energy and colours and diverse motions. Their Latin dance techniques, combined with the impressive performances of European acrobats, will leave the crowd stunned and their jaws dropped.
Also starting April, SuperStar Aquarius will present the magnificent production of a romantic fairytale “Somewhere in Time”. The captivating search for one’s true love through the wonders of time is highlighted by an array of fascinating stuns as it takes the audience to a world where anything is possible. Inspired by magic and legends, the show is set in a place full of secrets and endless dreams.
“Simply the Best” lives up to its names and beyond. The show is a spectacular feast of dance and acrobatic wonders performed by highly skilled acrobats and talented Star Cruises dancers from Europe including a world class Spanish ballroom duo.
Award-winning Italian magician Ernesto Planas takes you on the magical adventure “Spellbound”. Witness the enthralling magic and illusions as he takes on a quest as a heroic wizard helping a young girl to become the world’s best acrobat. Featuring the amazing block juggling act of Marta Paley from Russia and the incredible mix of music brought to life by the fabulous Star Cruises dancers, the show will definitely leave you spellbound.
Besides our in-house production shows, lucky guests will have the chance to attend the concerts of hit Hong Kong stars in March and April. Catch Cantopop legend Francis Yip on SuperStar Virgo on 12 April for her rendition of unforgettable timeless classics. Guests may also be invited to join heartthrobs Ruco Chan and Edward Siu for a 1-Night cruise on 21 March on Star Pisces or be treated to a night of great music and fan interactions with actress/Chinese opera singer Tse Suet Sum and actor Ngo Ka Nin on 25 April.
To enjoy these fascinating performances, join Star Cruises’ voyages of discovery and surprise. From 7 April to 30 October, SuperStar Virgo will embark on its Hong Kong homeport deployment, offering the 4D3N cruise to Kaohsiung and Taichung, the 4D3N cruise to Sanya and Halong Bay, and the 1-night high seas adventure every week. From 2 April to 31 October, SuperStar Gemini will be offering five regular itineraries: the 4D3N cruise to Penang and Langkawi, the 4D3N cruise to Kuantan and Pulau Redang, the 3D2N cruise to Malacca, the 3D2N cruise to Pulau Tioman, and the 3D2N high seas cruise.
SuperStar Aquarius, currently based in Kota Kinabalu calling at Bintulu and Muara weekly, will be deployed to Keelung to offer regular itineraries to Ishigaki, Yonaguni and Naha from 9 April onwards. SuperStar Libra will continue its year-round deployment in Penang, offering high seas cruises and itineraries to Phuket, Krabi and Langkawi. Star Pisces will offer a 1-night getaway from Hong Kong to South China Sea every day.
On Star Cruises, every journey is a voyage of discovery and surprise.
From A To Z – Yachts Adela and Zenara – A Fine Fleet Is Assembling For the 2014 Gill Commodore’s CupFebruary 27, 2014 on 10:43 am | In Beachbooker, Caribbean, Sailing, St. Maarten | Comments Off
Simpson Bay, St. Maarten – The countdown to racing continues. In just over a week’s time, dozens of yachts and hundreds of competitors will assemble in the waters off St. Maarten for the 34th annual running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.
To kick off the action on March 6, over 40 spinnaker-flying race boats will set sail in the Gill Commodore’s Cup, the traditional warm-up series sponsored by Gill, the regatta’s official technical apparel supplier. Then, on March 7, the main event – the three-day St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – will commence.
Photo by Bob Greiser
“Racing on the waters of St. Maarten in early March…what’s not to love about that?” said David Pritchard of Gill North America, the sponsor of the event. “Gill NA is proud to once again sponsor the Gill Commodore’s Cup, a warm-up and tuning day prior to the start of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. “Please stop by the Gill booth or visit our retail partner, Budget Marine, and check out the technical ranges, including our new Race Collection and UV ‘HR 2014′ branded kit.”
Measuring in at nearly 90-feet, the largest boat in this year’s fleet is British magnate Sir Frank Chapman’s Oyster 885, Clare, representing the venerable Royal Thames Yacht Club. Another formidable entrant from the United Kingdom, the 72-foot ketch-rigged Zenara, designed by Robert Clark and built in 1972, will join Clare on the starting line, as will countryman John Wilson and Idea of London, a 78-footer designed by Reichel/Pugh.
Another powerful offshore racer is Cuba Libre – coincidentally, when she competed in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World Race with an all-female crew, her name was Heineken. The Bruce Farr-designed 64-footer is now under the command of another British team who are veterans of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and they hope to make their mark beginning with the Gill Commodore’s Cup.
Speaking of all-women crews, this year’s St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will feature at least one: Sophie Olivaud’s J/109, Albacor IV, from nearby St. Barths. And the popular J-Boat brand is well represented in the fleet, with Robert Armstrong’s J/100, Bad Girl; Richard Wesslund’s J/120, El Ocaso; Jim Madden’s J/125, Stark Raving Mad IV; and Peter Lewis’s J/105, Whistler, all slated to race in St. Maarten this year.
Photo by Bob Greiser
As always, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and Gill Commodore’s Cup will showcase some of the top boats and sailors from the Caribbean, including local St. Maarten favorite Ian Hope-Ross, aboard the Melges 32, Kick ‘em Jenny, and a pair of well-sailed yachts from Antigua, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension, and Patrick Halloran’s Beneteau First 40.7, Caipirinha.
All of those yachts will be on the lookout for Otra Vez, a Ker 43 from Houston, Texas, that’s skippered by William Coates. Team Otra Vez has moved up through the ranks, previously sailing a Beneteau First 36.7 and then a J/122, which were also called Otra Vez. In fact, in 2011 aboard the J/122, the crew was the CSA 5 class champion. But their new boat, built by the highly respected Salthouse yard in New Zealand, will definitely be the quickest of them all, and it will be interesting to see how the team fares with their fresh ride.
Gill’s David Pritchard noted that there’s extra incentive for this year’s top boat in the Gill Commodore’s Cup. “Keep in mind the overall winner of the day’s racing will receive Gill UV shirts for the entire crew,” he said. “Now we’re talking Serious Fun!”
The Gill Commodore’s Cup is one out of two pre events of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. On Tuesday March 4th the Budget Marine Match Racing will take place. This is an invitation only event, but a spectacular day of racing, which makes it particularly interesting for spectators. So much is going on; it’s a full week of Serious Fun!
For over three decades, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing-and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment-in the Caribbean. Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world’s best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: Serious Fun.
For full information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com
New adventure sailing company Rubicon 3 (www.rubicon3.co.uk; 0203 086 7245) has launched a series of expeditions to begin in April 2014, departing from the UK, that will put adventure seekers on top of the world, thanks to a route that takes in the Arctic Circle.
SAIL | TRAIN | EXPLORE
With trips lasting from two weeks, Rubicon 3′s expeditions are a unique combination of serious sailing on a specialised 60′ expedition yacht (Hummingbird), high-quality sail training, plus the chance to explore spectacular islands, coastlines and cities. The routes take in some of the most iconic shipping forecast areas and offer rich cultural delights. The company’s philosophy is ‘Sail, Train, Explore’ and this blend of voyaging, sailing training and cultural exploration sets Rubicon 3 apart from others.
Rubicon 3′s first 2014 sailing adventure (The Hanseatic Route) departs 16 April – 4 May and costs from £1,995pp. This exciting route is off the beaten track for most sailors – guests will experience open-water sailing in the North Sea, Amsterdam, the Kiel Canal and the beautiful city of Gdansk, as well as some incredible history. The trip departs from the UK and the price includes berth accommodation and all on-board meals. Also included is a pre-departure RYA Essential Navigations course, a seamanship pack and access to on-board tuition from instructors.
Other routes include stop-offs at cities including Riga, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Edinburgh, plus destinations such as Shetland, the Orkneys, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and the Arctic Circle.
No previous experience required – all training included
Rubicon 3′s crew of up to eight will be made up of like-minded adventure seekers, eager to escape the typical 9-to-5 routine. Anyone over the age of 18 can join the expedition and no sailing experience is necessary – a key part of Rubicon 3′s philosophy is to provide hands-on sail training, both in-port and on-passage.
Exposure to the culture, language and history of thirteen different countries, mixed with the teamwork and personal challenge of ocean sailing on a 60′ yacht makes Rubicon 3′s expeditions an excellent choice for Gap Year students and of interest to university admissions officers.
With two full-time Yachtmaster Instructors, there is normally an instructor-to-client ratio of at least 1:4, meaning that crew can take part in as much or as little sailing instruction as they wish.
Run by skilled and experienced British sailors
British sailors Rachael Sprot and Bruce Jacobs are fully-fledged ocean yachtmaster instructors, and are both MCA Master 200 and Office of the Watch 500-qualified, with a wealth of experience on the water behind them. Rubicon 3 was created after they realised there was a growing demand for adventure travel and a desire to learn new skills along the way. Add to that a route heading east and north, a rarely explored region, and expeditions split into different-length legs, and the expeditions become a trip of a lifetime, which can dove-tail into everyday life, or become a much longer voyage of discovery.
Training is central to the company – both have spent many years encouraging and nurturing individuals new to the sport of sailing. A key aim of Rubicon 3 is to encourage people to learn the skills to have their own adventures in the future.
“While sailing schools can create a series of exercises, there is no substitute for learning on-passage. During our expeditions, you will be learning in the real world where constantly-changing conditions deliver a hands-on understanding of how the oceans behave. We know our customers will return with a broad set of experiences which will give them the confidence to take their sailing further,” says Sprot.
“We also wanted to develop a route that had elements of mystery, the exotic and remoteness,” adds Jacobs. “The reaction to our route has been incredibly positive and there are some really iconic destinations, seas, oceans and straits for people to add to their log books.”
Here in Maine, a gorgeous day sailing the pristine waters of Penobscot Bay aboard a Maine windjammer will often end with someone picking out beautiful melodies on their guitar by lamplight or singing along with new friends. This year, to cater to guests who like to hear or even make music, the captains of the Maine Windjammer Association are offering special cruises where passengers can enjoy music to their heart’s content.
Songwriters Jenn Schott and Melissa Peirce will join the Stephen Taber for a four-day Summer Solstice Music Cruise.
Schooner Gam: gospel to blue grass: To kick off the 2014 sailing season, there’s an evening Jam that takes place during the Schooner Gam on June 9th. Half a dozen historic windjammers will raft together at the end of the day so guests can tour all of the different vessels as well as enjoy an evening of music ranging from blues and rock to blue grass and gospel.
Joining in the festivities during the Gam, musical guest Shanna Underwood will be sailing aboard the Lewis R. French during their Schooner Gam Cruise. Shanna has been performing throughout Maine, mesmerizing audiences with her bluesy voice and alt-country music. She’ll be on for the full four-day cruise ((June 8-12; $660).
And once again, the Noble Charlies will be headlining an acoustic set from the deck of the Stephen Taber during the Schooner Gam, with soulful slide guitar, spicy Cajun accordion, sweet blues harmonica, and a full rhythm section to hold down the low end and put some swank in your plank. This is always a big-hearted ramble through the American roots lexicon; if you have the chops, bring your ax! The Noble Charlies will play a nightly post-dinner concert on the Taber all week, with informal guitar and dobro lessons during the day for those who want to sharpen their skills (June 6-11; $788).
Country: One week later, Captain Noah of the Stephen Taber will welcome back songwriters Jenn Schott and Melissa Peirce on a four-day Summer Solstice Music Cruise. Having written songs for the likes of Lonestar, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood, these talented women know how to create a memorable cruise. Each night will end with an informal concert featuring their chart-topping songs and utterly charming harmonies (June 16-20; $638).
Celtic: Captain Kip of the Victory Chimes will again be offering a mid-August four-day Irish Music cruise.
The Irish Music Cruise came about by chance several years ago, when a group of friends from Rhode Island came out on the Victory Chimes with instruments in tow. The group did informal jam sessions throughout the trip, and by doing so inspired a specialty cruise.
Guests are encouraged to show their Celtic pride on this lively, foot-stomping cruise. Passengers aren’t required to know how to play the whistle or bodhran, as guests with any musical ability – or none at all – are more than welcome to come aboard. Guests gather on deck in the evenings to enjoy a pint, play favorite Irish tunes, and tell favorite Irish tales, all in the company of friends new and old. Music and schooners have a long history together, and the Celtic Cruise is a perfect opportunity to enjoy both (August 16-20; $825).
Back by popular demand, Hank Cramer will be singing and sailing aboard the Isaac H. Evans this August.
Folk: Also in August, the Isaac H. Evans welcomes Hank Cramer, one of the Pacific Northwest’s best-loved folksingers. Armed with a booming bass voice, a slat-top guitar and a keen sense of humor, Hank has recorded 20 CDs and several music videos. Sea music is his special love. Given the popularity of Hank’s cruise last season, Captain Brenda looks forward to sharing him with guests again this summer (August 21-25; $760).
Originating in the early 1940s in Trinidad by descendents of slaves, pan is now played and performed by musicians world wide…even in Brooklin, Maine.
Steel Drums: Capping the season, the WoodenBoat Sail-In on September 9th will attract the entire fleet to Brooklin for festivities that include the acclaimed steel drum band, Flash in the Pans. Known for their ability to get people dancing, Flash in the Pans is one of the largest community steelbands in the United States and is in high demand throughout New England. Guests can tour the WoodenBoat School and Campus, enjoy steamed mussels and other snacks and dance to the tunes of Boomps, One O’Clock Jump and Jab Jab.
For the 150 other trips that don’t specifically feature music as a theme, guests can rest assured that live music and storytelling happen spontaneously on most trips. Guests jump in with vocals, if they’re inclined. Captain Garth of the Lewis R. French says his crew keeps their banjo, trumpet, guitar and mandolin handy for playing anything from Johnny Cash and Jimmy Cliff to sea shanties and blue grass, and guests are encouraged to bring their small, acoustic instruments along. In 2013 alone, we counted 28 different instruments plus a professional opera singer!
For more information about music cruises, visit www.sailmainecoast.com
The fishing village of Stonington is one of the more beloved and often frequented stops on many windjammer cruises. Some of the schooners visit Stonington on almost every trip during their season. Because there is a lobster cooperative in town, it is a popular spot to purchase lobsters just before sailing to an island for a beach-side lobster bake.
Travelers with big-ship cruise experience know that every excursion comes with a price. What starts out sounding like a reasonable all-inclusive vacation can quickly mushroom into a trip that costs twice as much. Cruises aboard Maine Windjammer Association vessels, however, never charge extra for anything!
Shipboard life on a traditional Maine windjammer is entirely unstructured. Typically, windjammers will sail for six hours or so, making the most of the day’s wind and tide, leaving time for an afternoon visit ashore. Since there are more than 3,000 islands dotting the coast of Maine, there are unlimited overnight anchorages. Once the sails are down, guests are free to go ashore if the setting is right. Here’s a random sampling of typical “excursions” that might take place on a week-long windjammer cruise:
Stonington Shoretrip: spend a few hours touring one of the busiest fishing villages in Maine. Check out boutiques and art galleries. Poke your head into the Granite Museum and learn about Maine’s famous quarries—blocks of Stonington’s distinctive granite, some of it shipped by the fleet’s very own windjammers, were used in New York’s Rockefeller Center, approaches to the Manhattan and George Washington Bridges and the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
Beachside Lobster Bake: Come ashore for a traditional lobster bake with all the fixin’s on a pristine island beach. While dinner’s cooking, stretch your legs with a hike, practice your stone-skipping or take a dip in Maine’s crystal clear waters. You’ll never know what you’ll find on your island adventure…a herd of sheep, a piece of perfectly worn seaglass, ruins of an 1800s “cellar hole” or perhaps the most peaceful spot on Earth to savor a sunset.
With a distinctive plumb bow, champagne transom and majogany and cherry wood, the Stephen Taber’s wherry is a very fine-looking boat that guests love to take for a sail at the end of the day. Captain Noah built the wherry in 2008; he hopes to build another so guests and crew can enjoy match races.
Small-Boat Exploration: Every windjammer comes with 2-3 small boats that are available for use once the vessel is at anchor. Take a moonlit row in a classic Whitehall; bone up on your sailing skills aboard a six-person salmon wherry; explore Maine’s nooks and crannies in a skiff. With plenty of time each morning and night, you can discover for yourself why Ratty said, “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Offering courses designed around the arts of sailing, seamanship, boatbuilding and related crafts, the WoodenBoat School encourages students to learn by doing, each at their own pace, in a truly inspiring environment.
WoodenBoat School: Stop ashore at the world-famous WoodenBoat School in Brooklin for a peek at what’s going on in the latest boatbuilding classes. This beautiful 64-acre “saltwater campus” provides inspiration to anyone who’s ever aspired to build a boat, plus guests can stretch their legs, shop at the WoodenBoat Store or take a longer stroll into Brooklin Village, where there are shops, galleries and an old-fashioned general store.
credit: Captain Barry King
Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station, also called Hockamock Head Lighthouse, is a popular stop for windjammer guests.
Hockamock Lighthouse Tour: Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan’s Island is an especially appealing anchorage: not only is the harbor well protected and picturesque, passengers also have a chance to stretch their legs with a short walk to the Burnt Coat Light Station on Hockamock Head. Windjammer guests are treated to many lighthouse views during their cruises, but this lighthouse is especially attractive because it’s accessible, there are miles of trails surrounding the headland, and guests can walk right up to the 142-year-old lighthouse where they can get a real sense of its historical significance and authenticity. During the summer, the 8-room Keeper’s House is open to the public and features art and history exhibits.
At the southern tip of Isle au Haut, passengers from the Stephen Taber enjoy a chance to stretch their legs with a climb up Duck Harbor Mountain. At an elevation of 300 feet, the views of Penobscot Bay are exquisite.
National Park Visit: Hikes on offshore Isle au Haut promise spectacular views and an aerobic workout to the summit of Duck Harbor Mountain. The island’s 18 miles of trails make it easy for guests to burn off the calories they might consume at the island’s renowned Black Dinah’s Chocolatiers Café! Some windjammers also make visits at Acadia National Park.
And the cost for enjoying these excursions? Absolutely nothing! Maine’s windjammer vacations include all meals, accommodations and activities, starting at $475 per person for a three-day cruise.
Being on a windjammer is so relaxing that sometimes guests choose to skip the shoretrips altogether, although for passengers who want to take in the local sights, there are excursions of one sort or another offered every day.
The Maine Windjammer Association includes 8 traditional sailing vessels that offer 3- to 6-day adventures out of Camden and Rockland, Maine, from May to October. For more information about windjamming, visit www.sailmainecoast.com
When the winter snows melt, Maine bursts into life offering visitors the opportunity to experience the best of what Maine has to offer. Birds are migrating, fields are blooming and cultural and culinary festivals are in full swing! And that’s exactly when the windjammers set sail for the summer.
Because Maine offers so much to do and see, many visitors choose to piggyback vacations. After sailing with Maine’s windjammers in mid-July, it’s possible to then spend a couple days at the world-renowned North Atlantic Blues Festival featuring some of the best musicians in the world.
The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland features the world’s greatest lobster cooker, designed to handle 20,000 pounds of lobster!
In early August, the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland celebrates Maine’s signature dish with boat and foot races, arts & crafts, a parade, music and more. Where else can you meet a sea goddess, tour a US Navy ship and witness 20,000 pounds of lobster being served fresh from the sea!
Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show – also in early August – enhances the windjammer experience by giving passengers the chance to meet with the artists, boatbuilders and craftsmen who know all the ins and outs of building and maintaining a traditional ship. There are also architects, furniture makers, and jewelers on site.
For bird lovers, Maine Birding Trail’s Winged Migration Tour offers an opportunity to see throngs of migrating sea birds and if haunted history is your thing, the Red Cloak Haunted History tours offer lantern lit walking tours in town areas along Maine’s mid-coast.
Fall events celebrate the bounty of Maine’s farms and the sea! The Common Ground Fair in mid-September is a celebration of rural living that promotes organically grown Maine produce, alternative lifestyles, the revival of forgotten skills and demonstrations of technology appropriate for the future.
Whoever guessed pumpkins could provide so much fun!
The Pemaquid Oyster Festival features music, educational exhibits, boat rides, and more than 12,000 oysters harvested fresh from the Damariscotta River. If a pumpkin derby or pumpkinboat building captures your fancy, visit the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta over Columbus Day Weekend.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that’s going on – visit the Maine Office of Tourism’s website for a full calendar of events. For more information about sailing this summer, visit our fleet page. www.mainewindjammers.com
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico – March is a month that Riviera Nayarit celebrates its spectacular beaches and exciting range of top quality water sports facilities. From March 16 – 30, Riviera Nayarit will host – for the third time – the country’s major sailing competition, the Mexico Cup Regatta.
Approximately two thousand participants and four hundred boats will compete in The Mexico Cup Regatta which includes three main competitions: the Ocean Class, J24 and Windsurf. These three races will take place in the Marina Riviera Nayarit at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, an activity-rich marina sheltered by a tranquil cove and a spectacular boardwalk. The Marina hosts several globally renowned sailing events throughout the year and is considered the Pacific Ocean base to some of the area’s most luxurious yachts.
“It’s incredible for us to be chosen to host the Regatta for the third time, based on our world class marina, superb facilities and organization, plus outstanding beaches,” said Marc Murphy, Managing Director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is our pleasure to remain as the host for this incredible event that attracts such global recognition in the world of sailing and other water-based events.”
From March 23 – 30, the Laser Class, Optimist and Club 420 will take place at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta. In addition, the Regatta’s Kiteboard Class (March 25 – 29) will take place in Bucerías with participants considered the best in the field.
This year’s competitors include Sean Farley, world Kitesurf champion, as well as Demita Vega and David Mier y Terán, silver and bronze medal winners in their respective Windsurf categories during the Pan American Games of 2011.
Other exciting events during the month include the Punta Sayulita Longboard & SUP Classic (March 7-9), a stand-up paddleboard and surf competition in the boho-chic Sayulita and the 22nd Banderas Bay International Regatta (March 12 – 16), which showcases competing coastal and off-shore yachts.
Designed to be fun but competitive, the event also features nightly entertainment with live music. Raising funds for a good cause, it is the signature event of the Vallarta Yacht Club.
About Riviera Nayarit
Mexico’s newest destination, Riviera Nayarit, stretches along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just ten minutes north of accessible Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay. Riviera Nayarit offers countless activities, such as: PGA golf courses, luxury spas, whale watching, turtle release, zip lining, surfing, bird watching, international cuisine, and the local artwork from the traditional Huichol tribe. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. For more information, visit www.RivieraNayarit.com or follow Riviera Nayarit’s Fan Page on Facebook.
One of the world’s most spectacular maritime events is attracting vessels – and spectators – from across the globe with more than 35 magnificent sailing ships already signed up for this summer’s historic Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta.
With the prospect of four days of colourful celebrations in the stunning Cornish host port from 28th to 31st August, hotels and holiday providers are reporting early bookings from as far afield as Australia and Canada ahead of this, the first ever internationally renowned Tall Ships Regatta to take place solely in English waters.
The 2008 Tall Ships event attracted over 100,000 visitors to Falmouth, with £12 million of direct expenditure generated for the local economy and media descending from across the world to cover the festivities.
The thousands who witnessed these magnificent vessels setting sail from Falmouth Harbour in 2008, escorted by a flotilla of hundreds of little ships and spectator craft, past Henry VIII’s twin castles into Falmouth Bay on the first leg of the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta, will know just why the historic port will be inundated with visitors for this year’s festival.
From the huge four-masted Portuguese square-rigger Santa Maria Manuela, among nine of the mighty A Class Tall Ships taking part, to the Caribbean-based ketch Ebb Tide to the little gaff cutter Eve of St Mawes – the list goes on. New signings in the next few weeks will include some of the giants of the ocean, all eager to take part in what will be the biggest international sailing event in the South West of England in 2014.
For many this will be the chance not just to breathe in maritime history as they join the celebrations aboard the ships and around the iconic harbour town – but to become part of the Regatta itself as trainee crew-members. Budding sailors of all ages and abilities are signing up for the experience of a lifetime – to play an active part in an epic race from Falmouth to the Isle of Wight and finally sailing up the Thames for further festivities in majestic Royal Greenwich.
Eighteen-year-old Siri Taxbro from Norway, summing up her experience of sail training, says, “I felt like I’d seen more of the world in a couple of weeks than I’d seen in 18 years. The friendships, the people, the mood, the crew, the food, the experiences – everything thrilled me.”
Sam Groom, Festivals and Events Manager at Visit Cornwall, Cornwall Development Company’s tourism service, headed the Falmouth Tall Ships organising team six years ago. She says, “We know from 2008 and the meticulous planning that went into it that this year will be enormous. The event has a huge amount of public and private sector support and we’ve been building on the successful partnerships and long-term friendships that were formed in 2008 to make 2014 an even greater success!”
To keep up to date with all the latest on the Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta see www.falmouthtallships.co.uk, join us on Facebook ‘Tall Ships Falmouth 2014′ or follow us on Twitter @tallships_2014 #tallships
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