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An article written by our staff and featured in The Charter Connection


NEW CRUISING GROUNDS
Ed Hamilton & Co has researched many new yachts and bases this summer and can offer some exciting alternatives.
August 2008

We have long been known as the top independent agency for Caribbean yacht charters, both bareboat and crewed. Ed was one of the early managers at The Moorings and later started his own bareboat company in Tortola, so the company naturally focused on The Caribbean from the beginning.

What people may not realize is that we also book charters all over the world, (you can see the myriad destinations and even vote for your favorites in Ed’s article on worldwide cruising grounds).  In the past few years, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of our customers looking to cruise the Med. This may seem counterintuitive with a steadily rising Euro, but so far in 2008, we’ve seen a nearly 300% increase since 2006 in charters booked in the various Med destinations – charterers are clearly a passionate and resilient bunch!

The company’s philosophy, and the cornerstone of its success, has not been to just list boats and book charters, but to help and advise our customers on choosing the right boat, the right crew, and the right cruising area for them. That takes more than just a website and an 800 number....it requires in-depth knowledge of the charter operators, boats, crews and destinations, and a dedicated staff to put it all together for the individual customer.

Last year, Ed & Barbara visited France, Italy, Corsica, Sicily and Croatia (see Ed's article on parts of the trip in a past newsletter).  This year they concentrated on Greece and Turkey, and attended the Crewed Yacht Shows in Poros and Marmaris.  You can read more about Ed & Barbara’s trip in the May and June archives of our Blog.

Ed also found the time in between viewing numerous crewed yachts, to visit a number of bareboat bases to inspect their fleets and facilities. He intentionally visited all of the bases on “turnaround” day, (bareboat operators try to maximize bookings by booking all charters Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday, and turning all the boats around in several hours). This is the best time to truly see how the companies perform, and judge which ones have it together, as well as viewing the true condition of the boats before they’ve been polished. As a result, we’ll be offering a greater number of options to our customers. Two of the larger companies are listed below, but there are many excellent mid size fleets we can discuss.

Kiriacoulis – the largest bareboat company behind The Moorings and Sunsail, offering a large fleet of monohulls and catamarans in Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Italy, France and Malta. Kiriacoulis also has bases in St. Lucia and Martinique. 

Vernicos Yachts – another large operator who sets the standard for yacht charters in Greece with bases in the Ionian, Sporades, Cyclades, Dodecanese, and of course Athens serving the Saronic Gulf.  They have a large fleet of monohulls, cats and poweryachts, plus bases in Turkey.

Offering a wider range of boats and companies is exciting, but it can’t be done without a great team of people who have a passion for arranging yacht charter vacations. Adding Susan Lengyel is part of this plan. Not only did she become Sunsail's top bareboat agent in the 12 years she worked there, but she brings the experience gained from booking thousands of charters all over the world and chartering in many of these destinations herself. You can read more about Susan in our article welcoming her.

Ed Hamilton & Co's reputation is built on thorough research, a great staff, high standards and 25 years in business (Ed has been in the industry for 36 years) - plus our very high volume provides invaluable feedback. Tell us your plans and let us make some recommendations for your next charter - wherever you want to go!



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  Ed Hamilton & Company
24B US Route 1, Edgecomb, ME 04556

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Tel (207) 882-7855 / Fax (207) 882-7851

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