While the vaccine rollout in the UK continues on course to have all adults given at least their first jab by the end of July, and the number of cases and deaths continues to fall, elsewhere the picture is not so good.
It is currently illegal to travel abroad from the UK on holiday, although the rules may be relaxed on May 17, in line with the governments roadmap out of lockdown. But this is by no means certain, and with cases still surging in many countries, its a risky proposition, and yes, vulnerable to cancellation.
So it is no surprise that Brits have looked closer to home for a well-earned vacation this summer.
With many hotels, B&Bs, campsites and holiday parks already booked to capacity for the summer months, it is no surprise to hear that research has revealed we are expected to spend 7.1bn holidaying at home this summer a whopping increase of 22 per cent from 2019 when Brits spent 5.8bn.
For those with deep pockets, there is a new option. Based out of Gosport Marina, the 1m 82ft Sunseeker Chess is the largest boat of its kind operating along the south coast.
Her captain and co-owner David Goldie had planned to operate out of the Algarve this summer, but with that no longer realistic, he turned his attentions closer to home.
So from May 28, you can charter Chess, from 5,000 a day, all inclusive.
David has a 35 year career in the Royal Navy behind him (he is therefore entitled to fly the distinguished Blue Ensign), holding the rank of Command Warrant Officer of the Surface Fleet, reporting directly to the Second Sealord, by the time he retired. From there he worked as compliance officer for Carnival Cruise Line, before moving into the world of superyachts in 2012.
He bought Chess in May 2020 with a friend, and she was put in for a complete, four month refit down at Turnchapel, Plymouth.
We've had a lot of work done, as you can see, says David as we chat on the bridge. There's been lots of things done, particularly for guests' comfort, all the showers refurbished, all new bedding throughout, all matching towels, full aircon system refurbished, engine serviced, gearbox, generators, just to give me confidence as the captain...
There's no point in being the best looking boat in the marina if you can't get it out there.
For guest comfort, we completely changed the satellite system so we now have four external wi-fi aerials that gives us much more range for 4G and 5G it's unlikely we'd ever go any distance from the UK coast where you don't still get full wi-fi on-board.
An affable chap, David very much gives the impression of doing this for the love of the job.
It was a case of, I'm in a position to do a job that I want to do, not need to do. If you spend all your adult life at sea, then the opportunity to go back to sea as the captain of your own superyacht... The opportunity came up for me to do that.
With Chess available to charter for as long as your budget allows, they have one, three, five or seven day itineraries to take you as far as Falmouth in Cornwall.
Hopefully we can tap in and provide a high-end service for the UK staycation market which is now the market we're looking for, says David, family bubbles of eight or less, although we do have fixed itineraries, the charter is actually chartering the boat, so let's say for example, they've got a sister who lives in Jersey, or Dublin, that's where we'll take them.
While they are committed to British waters this year, David is making no decisions beyond that.
We'll look and see how this season goes, and I don't just mean financially because I'm not in this for the finance side of it. But if it is profitable, enjoyable, and there is a market, then we'll seriously consider staying here.
What we've got to be careful of is if we go to yachting hubs like Palma or the south of France, we're suddenly not the largest yacht in the marina. At least on the south coast, we are the largest yacht available for charter. We would lose that if we went to Palma- we would just be another 25m boat, along with the 50 other 25m boats.
Alongside David are the other crew, chef Nick Mayer, a specialist in French and Asian cuisine, and stewardess Sarah Watson, who are there to cater to your every whim while on-board.
Yachting service providers, West Nautical look after Chess.
Managing director Geoff Moore has extensive experience in the world of superyachts, both as crew, and on shore in management.
It's a very strange old-school sort of industry built on personal relationships, he explains.
It's an unpaid industry until you deliver. When we deliver, we get paid it's like a no-win, no-fee situation.
If David doesn't have a good season, then we've failed in our job, and we haven't got a penny. So you put as much effort in as you can to deliver.
This is a world which very much depends on building trust with your clients.
Unlike a lot of holidays, a yacht is super-personalised because the itinerary, what you do, when you do it, is completely up to the guests. There's really no other holiday like it. You, your family your bubble would be on the yacht, and you can eat and drink what you want, but you've got to tell someone what you want.
That broker is knowing the ins and outs of your family, if your child's got an allergy, or your mother-in-law only drinks this particular thing, that takes a lot of trust.
If I'm good at my job, I know that this customer like a mojito at 6pm and his wife wants an aperol spritz, so when they step on board, their favourite drinks are there waiting for them. They know the kids' names, they've got Paw Patrol ready on TV because they know they like that.
When the custom's at this level and it's a bespoke service, they want the impossible, and they demand the impossible. But for us it can't be the impossible - we've got to deliver it.
They deserve that attention, they want it, and they get it.
When asked if there have been any really out-there requests, he diplomatically demurs: Many, but not many I can repeat... It's when people expect the impossible, well, not the impossible, because we make it happen. And that's the problem, the better you are at your job, the more the impossible becomes possible, and the demands go up and up.
It's something silly like being in the middle of nowhere, a deserted island in French Polynesia, and it's February 13, and they go: I need 250 red roses tomorrow for Valentine's. Look where you are, I can get you a pineapple, I can get you a coconut... But you make it happen. It will cost a lot to fly them in, but if they're happy with the price.
The impossible is possible, within reason. With anything we can control we have to deliver it because that's what the client demands.
Providing a luxury holiday option at a time when demand is high, should stand Chess in good stead.
The staycation market this year has boomed, which is great for the wider tourist industry, if you look at boutique hotels, all hotels, campsites, whether its for a tent or a luxury motorhome, everything's booked. Everyone wants a holiday after the year-and-a-half we've been through, and what's great for Chess, it's that they're new to the market the availability's there on a first come first served basis.
We should be absolutely fine, there's no flights involved, there's no pandemic passports, or whatever, we should be able to guarantee their dates happen.
You've got the luxury elements all other luxury options are totally booked, every spa hotel is rammed all summer, all villas and house in Sandbanks are completely booked all summer, this has the availability, so it's really well positioned in the market.
People just want to get away and do something this summer. We've got people who've booked Chess already this summer, they've had foreign cruises booked for this year, but which have now been cancelled.
The money's come back to them and they've looked at what else is available...
My experience on board Chess
As you board Chess you are politely asked to remove your shoes.
It nicely sums up a lot of what you are getting on Chess it is a boat that you definitely dont want to be sullying with your dirt from on shore.
You are literally stepping into another world a world where your every (realistic) whim is catered for and so it should be at five grand a day. Everything reeks of the highest quality.
Although she is 16 years old, the recent top to bottom and inside out refurb means youd be hard-pressed to know Chess hadnt just been put in the water for the first time. This is five, six, however many stars you want to give it, luxury.Low ceilings are often a problem on yachts, not so here, even captain David is fine at 6ft 4in.
And the cabins are nicer than our bedroom at home complete with his and hers sinks in the en suite, the softest of towels and monogrammed dressing gowns.
Meanwhile the bridges array of controls and panels makes ground control at Nasa look antiquated.
While youre out on the water, should you want to go kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, or just fishing off the stern, Chess is equipped for that.
If the weather refuses to co-operate, the technology guarantees you still have broadband, so can access Netflix et al.
But chilling out up on the top deck, in the sun, with a glass of prosecco this is definitely the life for me.
If youre lucky enough to be able to afford Chess, good for you.
The rest of us better get busy saving those pennies or hoping for that lottery win!
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.
Read the rest here:
- Overthinking the silence - Chessbase News - June 11th, 2021
- Jan Werle: Beat the King's Indian - Chessbase News - June 11th, 2021
- Alethea AI and artist Robert Alice launch Sothebys auction of the first intelligent NFT - VentureBeat - June 11th, 2021
- How Philipp Grubauer used blood, sweat and technology to launch the Avalanches Stanley Cup run: Ive never seen a goalie do that - The Denver Post - June 11th, 2021
- NBA playoffs 2021 - What could shift Jazz-Clippers and every conference semifinal series - ESPN - June 11th, 2021
- The Supercar/Hypercar Wars Continue, But The Roadster Still Has An Ace Up Its Sleeve - CleanTechnica - May 30th, 2021
- Slitherine announces a plethora of new wargames at 'Home of Wargamers 2021' - The Next Web - May 18th, 2021
- How Stupid Does Governor Whitmer Think Michiganders Are? - wbckfm.com - May 18th, 2021
- Mad pawns can save the day - Chessbase News - Chessbase News - May 5th, 2021
- Reality is irreversible - The Monthly - May 5th, 2021
- ASTRA Reveals 2021 Best Toys for Kids Finalists The Toy Book - The Toy Book - May 5th, 2021
- Is Bioelectricity the Key to Limb Regeneration? - The New Yorker - May 5th, 2021
- Chess.com's New Events Feature, The Perfect Platform To Follow The Candidates - Chess.com - April 21st, 2021
- Turing AI: 'We can help develop a product in an eighth of the time, minimum' - FoodNavigator.com - April 21st, 2021
- The Machines Gambit - The Good Men Project - April 5th, 2021
- A sandwich, a beer and ... here's what you see on TV (and what to avoid) - Prudent Press Agency - April 5th, 2021
- Spurning the morsel - Chessbase News - April 5th, 2021
- Is AI Next in REI Education? - Think Realty - April 5th, 2021
- The IBM 305 Ramac: The secret grandfather of Deep Blue? - Chessbase News - March 9th, 2021
- Feeding the flames - Chessbase News - March 9th, 2021
- NEW - Andrew Martin: The Grnfeld Formula - Chessbase News - March 9th, 2021
- War Of The Wingmen: New Robot Fighters Promise To Transform Aerial Combat - Forbes - March 9th, 2021
- Businesses offer help as problems remain in Texas from winter storm - Yahoo News - February 20th, 2021
- Wet Start To The Weekend - Yahoo News - February 20th, 2021
- Chess and Artificial Intelligence (2) - Chessbase News - February 17th, 2021
- What is the secret of Wesley So's success? An interview - Chessbase News - February 17th, 2021
- Five Issues Washington Should Consider In Reviewing A Lockheed-Aerojet Merger - Forbes - February 17th, 2021
- Artificial Intelligence And The End Of Work - Forbes - February 17th, 2021
- Why Ricciardo said 'yes' to McLaren the second time they asked RaceFans - RaceFans - February 17th, 2021
- Opera Euro Rapid SF: Carlsen and So reach the final - Chessbase News - February 15th, 2021
- Letters: 'Darlington Borough Council has a terrible record of looking after heritage sites, maybe they shouldn't keep Locomotion No 1' - The Northern... - February 12th, 2021
- Fat Fritz 2.0 - The new number 1 - Chessbase News - February 10th, 2021
- 25 Years Ago, Chess Changed Forever When Deep Blue Beat Garry Kasparov - Slate - February 10th, 2021
- Chess In The COVID Era | Webster Kirkwood Times | timesnewspapers.com - Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc. - February 10th, 2021
- 10 Things We Want From The Legend Of Zelda's 35th Anniversary - TheGamer - February 7th, 2021
- Travis Kelce is the best tight end in football. Just ask any NFL player. - The Union Leader - February 7th, 2021
- 120 things you probably didn't know were created by Black inventors | Venture - Daily Hive - February 6th, 2021
- Red Sox Truck Day approaches and theres a different feeling in the air - BoSox Injection - February 4th, 2021
- The future is augmented - The Bookseller - February 4th, 2021
- How to Use a Chess Engine? Your Quick & Effective Guide - February 3rd, 2021
- Stockfish+NNUE, Strongest Chess Engine Ever, To Compete In ... - February 3rd, 2021
- Top Chess Engine Championship - Wikipedia - January 30th, 2021
- Building My Own Chess Engine Andrew Healey - January 30th, 2021
- Stockfish Chess Engine Download - softpedia - January 30th, 2021
- Play Online Chess at Caissa's Web - January 30th, 2021
- Alto AMT Should it be back? - MotorOctane - MotorOctane - January 30th, 2021
- Does the rift in AI matter to marketing? - MarTech Today - January 30th, 2021
- Scientists say dropping acid can help with social anxiety and alcoholism - The Next Web - January 28th, 2021
- Meet Yash Aradhya, a Bengaluru Formula 4 racer and a recipient of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar - EdexLive - January 25th, 2021
- Dancing, vacuuming, learning: What's next for robots and their creators? - ASU Now - January 23rd, 2021
- Signature Theatre announces cast and dates for 'Simply Sondheim' review - DC Metro Theater Arts - January 23rd, 2021
- SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World', 'Shadow Gangs', and Today's Other New Releases and Sales - Touch Arcade - January 15th, 2021
- Their Uniforms Say Ohio State and Alabama. The Players Are From Everywhere. - The Wall Street Journal - January 13th, 2021
- Ziggurat Interactive Releases First Retro First Friday Pack Of 2021 - Bleeding Cool News - January 9th, 2021
- TV tonight: another day in paradise for detective Ralf Little - The Guardian - January 9th, 2021
- The Board Games Global Market is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of 13% Between 2021 to 2026 - Yahoo Finance - January 6th, 2021
- 50 Best TV Shows To Watch In 2021 - Highest Rated Television Series - OtakuKart - OtakuKart - December 29th, 2020
- Red Bull think they have secret weapon to catch Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas | F1 | Sport - TechnoCodex - December 23rd, 2020
- HBO's Industry creators and Myha'la Herrold break down season 1 finale - Entertainment Weekly - December 22nd, 2020
- Research at Microsoft 2020: Addressing the present while looking to the future - Microsoft - December 22nd, 2020
- Deals of the Week, December 11 to 18 Growth Business roundup - GrowthBusiness.co.uk - December 18th, 2020
- Turns Out Its Pretty Good: Doomscrolling - The Cut - December 18th, 2020
- A Letter to My Kids - The Good Men Project - December 15th, 2020
- Yakuza Remastered Collection On The Way For Xbox & PC - Bleeding Cool News - December 13th, 2020
- Hitman 3 Gets A New Trailer Showing Off The Features - Bleeding Cool News - December 9th, 2020
- Reflections on 40 years: thanks for the memories (we can remember) - NOLA.com - December 9th, 2020
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Review: The Pricing Conundrum - Tom's Hardware - December 8th, 2020
- AI has almost solved one of biologys greatest challenges how protein unfolds - ThePrint - December 8th, 2020
- Demis Hassabis interview: the kid from the comp who founded DeepMind and cracked a mighty riddle of science - The Times - December 6th, 2020
- Online Chess and Working from Home - Chessbase News - December 5th, 2020
- Full Fischer film in YouTube - Chessbase News - December 5th, 2020
- New C360 CEO Howard Wright Sees Broadcast Tech Putting Fans on the Field of Play - Sports Video Group - December 5th, 2020
- This is what would happen if a Hind took on a Cobra - We Are The Mighty - December 5th, 2020
- Hyundai Takes The Wraps Off Its E-GMP Electric Car Platform - CleanTechnica - December 3rd, 2020
- Top 9 Reasons to Rent an RV when you traveling - The Dubrovnik Times - December 3rd, 2020
- Akron flashback: Some childhood toys you never forget - Akron Beacon Journal - December 1st, 2020
- 24 Comments on GM is Paying Cadillac Dealers to Ditch the Brand... - The Truth About Cars - November 29th, 2020
- Skilling Open QF2: Day of the Comebacks - chess24 - November 27th, 2020
- Jelurida Announces Bridge Champ, an On-Chain Version of the Famous Card Game - IT News Online - November 27th, 2020
- The 37 Best Black Friday Smart Home and Kitchen Deals (2020) - WIRED - November 27th, 2020