Since The Superyacht Owner’s last visit to Christophe Harbour in early 2015, the Kittitian development has undergone a significant transformation. The infrastructure for the planned marina – with the biggest berths set to cater for 91m – is now fully established with 23 slips for yachts up to 64m. This season has already welcomed some prolific yachts on the dock, proving that the new Caribbean marina is steadily establishing itself as a viable berthing alternative to the more traditional hubs of Antigua, St Thomas and St Maarten.
Christophe Harbour in January 2016
Born from the owner of SY Andromeda la Dea, Buddy Darby, the vision for Christophe Harbour is to create a luxury hub with a multitude of developments that will attract people away from the tried-and-tested spots. A few yachts have already bought freehold berths, perhaps foreseeing the increasing shortage of berths in the Caribbean.
One of the yachts to visit the marina in January was SY Timoneer. While admitting that the project was a brave one, Captain Peter Metcalfe certainly sees the potential. “The job they have done on the docks is high quality and if the buildings are built to the same standard, Christophe Harbour will be a very pleasant staging post,” he says.
The Pavilion, Christophe Harbour
Captain Luke Humphries of MY Galaxy is equally enthusiastic about its future. “St Kitts is a beautiful island and the development at Christophe Harbour, although only in its infancy, is incredible,” he comments. “When the development is complete it will provide a great alternate base for superyachts to operate from. The dockage provided is excellent and the hospitality of the staff and locals alike is great.”
Metcalfe adds that there is still some work to be done in creating a major superyacht hub in the near future, due to the lack of infrastructure and suppliers in the vicinity. “A yacht hub needs a buzzing local community with all the facilities and activities to keep the crews there,” he explains. But with the development’s building momentum and long-term investment plan, there is much room for this to grow.
SALT Plage Beach Club, Christophe Harbour
The plans for infrastructure for yachts aren’t stopping at the marina: a new refuelling initiative is being set up in Nevis at Long Point Port and the marina village development is currently in build to provide further amenities. A landmark ‘Customs House’ will house customs offices for yacht guests, marina services, a fitness centre and crew lounge. The road access that was previously an issue is already being dealt with and once more yachts are in the area, a core of ‘yacht friendly’ local businesses is sure to follow.
Furthermore, as of 20 March 2016, Christophe Harbour will be offering in-berth fuelling for yachts at every slip position. The marina will have an onsite tank to hold 44,000 US gallons and the team will be able to pump 125 US gallons of Ultra Low Sulpher Diesel per minute. Tax and duty free concessions will mean that St Kitts will compete on prices with many of more traditional fuelling points on the Caribbean map.
"Having an alternate location in the heart of these Caribbean cruising grounds for in-berth fuelling at competitive pricing is an essential improvement to the regional offering," explains Aeneas Hollins, director of yachting at Christophe Habour. "With full-length, alongside docking and 24-hour access to the marina with no bridge restrictions, Christophe Harbour will be an economical and attractive alternative to the traditional superyacht fuel options in the area."
Perhaps one factor that sets the island apart is the YU Lounge St Kitts, which opened its doors in 2014. This private jet terminal is located adjacent to the existing main terminal building at the RLB International Airport. The Superyacht Owner was able to experience the YU Lounge treatment, which is designed to deliver seamless, efficient and customer-centered services – a significant draw for providing owners and guests with fast and efficient access to Christophe Harbour.
Christophe Harbour is yet to reach its full potential, but it is still in the early stages of development. The most important factor is that all the ingredients are there for a very special yachting destination. During our visit, many cited St Kitts as ‘like Antigua was 25 years ago’, and the development builds on this very cleverly. The authentic Caribbean feel that some of the other islands have lost has been preserved and encapsulated by Christophe Harbour in a sophisticated and elegant way, setting up the perfect stage for the superyacht fraternity to flourish.