For travel lovers, the last two years have been extraordinarily difficult. Instead of island hopping around the Caribbean, we’ve wandered listlessly from the living room to the kitchen and back again.
It’s no wonder we’re ready for a change of scenery!
I recently sat down with Kaleigh Kirkpatrick of The Shameless Tourist, a Fort Worth travel agency specializing in luxury travel experiences, to talk about travel options after the pandemic.
“Travel-related businesses have been on a rollercoaster since the pandemic started,” Kaleigh said. “From the lockdowns in 2020 (which lasted much longer in the Caribbean than in the US) to various restrictions causing all sorts of stresses and hoops and hurdles for both clients and crews, it’s been a wild ride for sure!”
When asked what she would suggest for wary travelers who want a unique vacation experience, Kaleigh suggested Sur L’eau.
Sur L’eau (French for “on the water”) is a 75-foot Privilege sailing catamaran that offers chartered sailing vacations to people looking for something different. Their bespoke trips to various islands in the Caribbean with Captain Jesse Van Wyck sailing and Chef Amy Campion creating the best in gourmet cuisine will make your island dreams a reality.
Wait. A chartered sailing catamaran?
Kaleigh said while chartering a yacht or catamaran may seem like an extravagance, it’s really not. “I look at this as a ‘floating villa’ with a full staff… people think about boarding a yacht as something fun and different but don’t equate it to something that they are already doing, that is, renting a home for a group of family or friends. Except this time, you are renting a home with a full staff, which makes it truly one of the most amazing and stress-free travel experiences you can have.”
Captain Jesse Van Wyk grew up sailing the waters off his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. After receiving a bachelor’s in marine animal science, he decided to make a change. He’s managed many charters throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean with his fiancée, Chef Amy.
Chef Amy Campion is a world-class chef who can create menus to fit any dietary needs or restrictions. “Our chef is second to none in creating exquisite dishes that will make you never want to have a meal off the boat,” said Kaleigh. “We provide a very detailed preference sheet a few months before travel in which our chef uses to create the perfect menu to wow our guests.”
When asked what the most popular destination is for sailing, Kaleigh is quick to respond. “The most popular spot for sailing is certainly the British Virgin Islands (BVIs). With so many things to see and do, and with the best way to see them being by boat, a catamaran is really the only way to see the area properly. I personally like to visit Virgin Gorda… [also] the island of Anegada is a bit of a jog from the beaten path of the BVIs, but it offers beautiful scenery and lots of flora and fauna that may not exist in the more heavily visited spots.”
Sound good yet?
Sur L’eau can accommodate up to eight guests in four elegant staterooms each with its own ensuite bathrooms. Queen-size beds with crisp Italian linens of fine Egyptian cotton will ensure a perfect night’s sleep, rocked by the gentle waves. The master suite features a sitting area with a library and a bathroom with his-and-her sinks, a sunken tub, and a separate shower.
The aft deck is perfect for a lazy morning, complete with gourmet breakfast. The bow features a hammock for daydreaming and not one, but two trampolines for cooling off. Enjoy a perfectly crafted cocktail at the bar in the salon or watch the sunset from the sofa on the sun deck.
“Hotels are amazing (especially if you choose the right ones),” Kaleigh said. “But when you have one crew member for a maximum of two guests, the level of service is just over the top. No need to cook, clean, mix a cocktail, or even set up your own beach chair for a full week.” Sounds delightful!
Kaleigh says that the best time to visit the Caribbean is from December through April. While Sur L’eau is available to charter from November through June, Kaleigh says the winter months are best for sailing. She also recommends booking at least six months in advance, so that the trip can be tailored to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.
I would like more info and pricing information please.