Every May the Greek island of Poros plays host to the annual Charter Yacht Show. The island is 31 square kilometres and has a population of 4,000. It is located 32 nautical miles south of Piraeus, the third largest city in Greece and is reached by a Flying Dolphin speed passenger ferry which commutes on a daily basis.
The capital town Poros is a quaint little village neatly settled on top of a volcanic rock with its feet dangling playfully in the warm blue Aegean Sea. Its whitewashed houses with contrasting blue shutters, bright pink and purple cascading bougainvillea soak up the daily sun. The wooden balconies of the Neo-classical buildings proudly display their colourful Fuchsias and Hibiscuses to onlookers. A tranquil atmosphere and blissful ambience is underlined by old terracotta roofs lining its narrow streets filled with little shops and cafés inviting you to sit down.
It is against this backdrop that the main harbour rolls out the red carpet to welcome about 80 super yachts from across the oceans to come and strut their stride on a two kilometres coastline turned catwalk.
As the super models arrive they skilfully line up close to one another and while their stern lines are fastened their passerelles are lowered. Deckhands ensure that what needs to shine is shining and stewardesses are adding their final finesse touches to the cabins and salon. You will find the executive chef in the galley busy preparing mouth-watering canapé platters, decadent pastries and the aroma of fine Mediterranean cuisine lingering in the galley corners. The captain keeps a watchful eye that his yacht and crew are shipshape before the yacht brokers and central agents are invited on board.
As your eyes follow the names of the yachts you immediately recognise some old favourites and notice the new models on the ramp. You need to leave your shoes behind as you step aboard the passerelle that leads you onto the yacht. A welcoming hand shake from the Captain awaits you and friendly greetings from the crew members. Once business cards have been exchanged you are offered something to drink. The table on the outside deck is usually decorated with beautiful fresh flower arrangements and loaded with enticing items to eat.
As you step into the interior of the yacht you are confronted with a definite onslaught on your five senses. Your feet are hugged by white plush carpets that refuse to let you go. Stylish furniture encased in the latest haute couture textile flair from leading fashion houses, showcased against expensive polished wooden panels, leaves a lasting impression. As you descend down the staircase to the cabins below your eyes are captured by striking pieces of artwork clinging to the walls or parading on tables. The implementation of lighting effects to create special ambiances has become artistry in itself.
The ensuite bathrooms are a marvel. The finest marble is reflected in tall mirrors along with fancy showers, Jacuzzi baths, elegant taps and exquisite vanities stocked with luxurious designer bath soaps exuding delicate fragrances. The fanciful folding of bath towels into animal shapes leaves a subtle mark of adeptness. Name dropping of the vessel’s architect or interior designer is certainly allowed.
On the outside decks there are various areas for guests to chill out or sunbathe in absolute privacy. Water toys such as jet skis, banana rides and scuba diving gear are on standby should the participants feel they need an adrenaline rush. High tech quality giant LED televisions and Wi-Fi internet keep you connected to the outside world. Superb sound systems play the latest hits songs and there are plenty of movies for you to watch.
You have a choice of several yachts on which to enjoy your Happy Hour after a hard day’s work viewing these beauties. With a glass of wine in hand you sit down to discuss your day’s findings with colleagues and make a mental note of yachts not to miss the next day. From there you move on to a cocktail party or you sit down for an invited dinner.
On the last day of the show the captains blow their yacht air horns simultaneously. It scares the hell out of the lazy cats sleeping on the warm terracotta roofs. This gesture signals the end of the show and ushers in the new summer yacht charter season. Goose bumps cover your skin as the blasting sound travels over the sea and you are grateful to have been part of such a fantastic show. With enthusiasm we now all look forward to a successful and prosperous charter season ahead!
Thank you to all the yacht owners and central agencies for their hard work and fabulous hospitality. It is much appreciated. A big thank-you also to The Poros Charter Yacht Show Organizing Committee for a professional and enjoyable show!
Till we meet again.
© 2012 Carla for Royalty YachtsCarlo van Niekerk
International Yacht Charter Broker