Dream Yacht Charter has lost around 60% of its St Martin and BVI fleet as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the company's founder Loic Bonnet confirmed in a statement this week. However, the business remains strong and business continuity plans are in place, Bonnet said.
“Our Caribbean fleet capacity will be restored by the end of this year. Dream Yacht Charter had 70 boats in St Martin and the BVI when Irma hit and we anticipate 60% will be declared a total loss, although we’ve yet to have a final report from the loss adjusters,” Bonnet said. “While the impact on our fleet and 2017 revenue is significant, it is more than manageable and we’ve rolled out our business continuity plans.”
“The pre-Irma fleet in the St Martin and the BVI represented just 25% of our Caribbean fleet across Puerto Rico, BVI, St Martin, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Vincent & Grenada before Irma. We had been careful not to grow any one base too big in the Caribbean because of the risks, so we are well spread globally with +47 bases worldwide and +900 boats,” Bonnet said.
In order to mitigate hurricane impacts, the company had purchased 20 new replacement boats for the St Martin and BVI fleets, to be delivered by the end of 2017, and added 30 catamarans to its Martinique fleet.
The company's St Martin and BVI bases will be open by mid-November.
“Our bases in Antigua, Martinique, St Vincent and Grenada are fully operational. Our fleet in Guadeloupe escaped damage from Hurricane Maria, as our Caribbean operations manager relocated boats to bases further south. Our Puerto Rico fleet didn’t sustain major damage and our base will be fully operational mid-October. Our thoughts remain with the people of all the islands so devastated by these two storms.”
Bonnet added: “We remain committed to the Caribbean and its wonderful communities, all of which rely heavily on tourism, including the yacht charter industry, and the islands need our support now more than ever. Keep faith in the wonderful Caribbean people to rebuild and recreate the paradise that we all know and hold so dear.”