PEARL YACHTS: THE NEW PEARL 80 MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT FLIBS 2017

The new 24-meter Pearl 80 by Pearl Yachts will make its world debut at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, from November 1 to 5. The new flybridge yacht amazes with numerous features, bright and open interiors, and four guest cabins.

Warwick, October 2017. Impressive manoeuvrability and sea keeping, light-filled interiors and a layout that maximises space are just a few of the main features of the new Pearl 80, the elegant flybridge yacht that will be presented for the first time ever this November at the US boat show.

The new Pearl 80 continues the shipyard’s hugely successful design collaboration between naval architect Bill Dixon, who designs the exterior, and designer Kelly Hoppen, who looked after the interior layout. As all the Pearl Yachts models, in fact, the yacht features original Kelly Hoppen interior design, with a plus. The owner has 3 style to choose from: ‘taupe’, ‘studio’ and ‘luxury’, making possible to customise the yacht while retaining the ‘designer’ interior.

The vast outdoor spaces are equalled by the beautiful calm interior literally flooded with light through the stunning side windows, which give the boat a glamorous profile designed to turn heads. The flybridge, aft of the twin seat helm station, has a covered area with sofas, low tables, a bar unit and a classic sun lounging area right in the stern, furnished with refined chaises longues. The area on the main deck that best expresses the yacht’s character is without doubt the elegant saloon, furnished with light colourways and materials. An electrically operated door separates this saloon from the cockpit area, which has a superbly crafted teak/Corian table surrounded by armchairs and sofas. Forward the galley is separated from the saloon by a rise and fall panel allowing privacy if required, the dining area opposite the lower helm and galley is flooded by light from the overhead double windscreen.

The basic layout of the accommodation has four double cabins, two with double beds and two with twin beds (although the twins can convert to doubles), and all are En-suite. The full beam owner’s suite is a class leader and situated in the centre of the yacht, and all are on the lower deck. The furnishing of these settings is reminiscent of the colours and materials of the day area, although each cabin has its own special style. The result is a sophisticated atmosphere that is also warm and welcoming.

In the engine room, two MAN V12 1800 HP engines give the yacht a remarkable top speed of 35 knots and is comfortable cruising between 25-27 knots. The range at this speed is approximately 300 nautical miles. Other features include a Jet ski garage, Hydraulic bathing platform, foredeck lounge, hardtop with sunroof and a hot tub!

Pearl Yachts will be attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2017 – Stand Red Zone DE 2

 

Unforgettable Watersports Experiences

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Living on an island, I was fortunate to have an amazing array of water sports to choose from as a child. After all, being brought up on the Coral Coast of the exotic Fiji Islands has its advantages and amongst a host of watersports like surfing, sailing and canoeing, people from our town and visitors enjoyed river rafting as well. It may not be as dramatic as the Futaleufu River’s Terminador rapids but still provided an exciting experience.

Naturally, finding out more about the Futaleufu River brought back a host of childhood memories. Heard surging from a quarter of a mile away, the Class V stretch of white water at Futaleufu cascades over and around imposing granite boulders for eight-tenths of a mile, and it lives up to its name.

The river, which runs more than 120 miles through Chile, drops 3,000 feet from beginning to end, and through its most challenging section of rapids, the Futaleufu drops 45 feet per mile, which is 33 feet more per mile than the Colorado River when it passes through the Grand Canyon.

In Patagonia, which emerged as a world-class white-water destination a little less than three decades ago, the Futaleufu is the ultimate crown jewel. A group of kayakers first negotiated the Futaleufu rapids in 1986, and the following year a commercial rafting company from the United States attempted the Terminador and other rapids along the river.

Outfitted with a traditional rafting boat full of gear and rafters without paddles, the American company successfully traversed a handful of Class V rapids before reaching the stretch of white water that, based on the impending result, would come to be named Terminador.

The rapid offers no margin for error, and the raft, weighed down by rafters who couldn’t addle, drifted from the necessary line down the left side of the river. Instead, it was pulled down the center of the rapid, where it was trapped (and subsequently destroyed) in a large, violent hole, the section of a rapid below a submerged boulder where the resulting waterfall creates a backward-falling wave of equal strength.

All of the rafters survived, but news of the event quickly circulated throughout the international rafting community, and for years the Futaleufu was deemed unraftable. It wasn’t until 1991 that Eric Hertz and his company, Earth River Expedition decided to explore the possibilities.

With 20 years of rafting experience and supported by his fleet of specially designed rafts and catarafts (a cross between a catamaran and a traditional white-water raft that offers greater stability through rapids and better rescuing ability), Hertz and a small team of guides spent a couple of years in the early ‘90s making exploratory runs of the river. Initially, Hertz would allow only accomplished rafters with Class V experience to join him on those explorations, although today, 90 percent of Earth River’s clients are beginners.

The classification of white water is not an exact science and rapids can change classes with the rise and fall of a river’s water level. Nevertheless, as a general rule, a Class V rapid is considered the most extreme white water that can be rafted commercially. In addition to being difficult, it can be treacherous.

With the Mundaca, another famous class V rapid, there is the danger of being swept up in the current that slings everything toward a giant hole near the bottom of the rapid – a hole so large that the backward – crashing wave downriver is as high as the initial drop before it. A hole of this magnitude will flip a raft instantly.

Regardless of the rapids faced, what everyone discovers after a full day of rafting the Futaleufu is the river’s uniqueness. The river is fed by the melting glaciers in the Andres Mountains some 8,000 feet above sea level, but because those glacial waters filter through a series of high-evaluation lakes they’re about 20 degrees warmer when they reach the canyon where the river’s rapids begin to form.

Those high-elevation lakes also allow the silt to separate from the water, which makes the Futaleufu clearer than most glacier-fed rivers and gives it a Caribbean-like turquoise hue. According to Hertz, even the canyon’s geology contributes to a unique rafting experience.

The Futaleufu may be unique, but like most high-volume rivers, it’s in danger of losing its identity. From the beginning of Earth River’s involvement in Patagonia, rumors circulated about damming the Futaleufu for hydroelectric power, which is why Hertz bought land at strategic points along the river.

This allowed him to build distinct campsites, each with its own ambience, and it allowed him to block the damming of river at those specific areas. Hertz was careful to take a minimalist approach. He cut down a few trees and made sure every riverbank dwelling was concealed from view along the water.

All four of Earth River’s campsites are different. They range from a sprawling property with communal area recessed into caves, lost beaches, and natural springs to a treehouse community where guests can drift off to sleep while listening to a cacophony of frogs croaking in the nearby lake. Wooden and stone hot tubs are mainstays at every campsite, as are flush toilets and hot showers, but guest expecting luxurious accommodations with white-linen service will be disappointed.

The luxury of an Earth River trip is that novice paddlers can find peace of mind knowing that their guides can lead them down a river famous for its world-class white water.

Harmony of the Seas The World’s Largest Cruise ship

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My first cruise holiday started with Royal Caribbean seven years ago setting sail from Barcelona for a week exploring different European cities along the way and even for a seasoned traveller like me, I was impressed and came to the conclusion that to really unwind, there is no better way than being on a ship miles away from distraction. Especially as the team at Royal Caribbean looked after my daughter as their own leaving me to enjoy the spa and activities on board.

Few weeks ago I boarded again a Royal Caribbean ship that currently is the biggest cruise ship in the world. At 361m in length, it’s longer than both the Eiffel Tower and Burj Al Arab. Spanning 16 decks, it weighs 227,000 gross registered tonnes and has the capacity to house 5,497 guests at double occupancy.

In short, Royal Caribbean’s latest Oasis-Class ship Harmony of the Seas, is a ship of monstrous proportions; more of a floating city than a luxury cruise liner. This nautical marvel boasts spectacular on-board features, many being firsts-at-sea, something award-winning Royal Caribbean International is renowned for.

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For me, the most impressive feature was The Ultimate Abyss, which at 150 feet above sea level is the tallest slide on the high seas and will challenge the nerve of even the most daring of guests. In addition, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides twist and turn over Central Park® some 10 decks below and will thrill water-babies of all ages on board.

Keeping you high up in the air with a birds-eye view is the first zip lines at sea, where you can partake in an exhilarating ride across an open-air atrium suspended above the breath-taking neighbourhood of the Boardwalk with its family friendly activities, eateries and shops. Here, the young (and the young-at-heart) can ride on the full-size carousel which has been handcrafted just for Royal Caribbean and is another fantastic first, before replenishing at one of the many cafes and restaurants found here which include international brands.

Activities on board included rock-climbing on two 43ft tall climbing walls which flank the open-air AquaTheater, home to a full spectrum of awe-inducing aquatic aerial displays and FlowRider® surf simulators.

If you are travelling as a family, the kids are treated to days with their favourite DreamWorks® characters; from breakfasts in the main dining room to special ‘meet and greet’ experiences during the day and the renowned Adventure Ocean® Youth Program also offers those aged between three and eleven years an entertaining line-up of activities and games.

For guests looking to just chill out without an adrenaline rush, Harmony of the Seas offers relaxation in droves too. Sit back and soak up the sunshine around one of four pools or inside the adults-only solarium with its serene whirlpools. Pamper yourself at the advanced VitalitySM Spa with the fitness centre and extensive number of treatment rooms.

As the sun sets, the ship comes alive. Take a stroll through Central Park® with its bustling al fresco piazza before stopping in one of the many signature restaurants such as Chops Grille, for a bite to eat. On board Royal Caribbean you can even enjoy restaurants featuring celebrity chef partnerships such as Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver.

My favourite place was the futuristic Bionic Bar, a technology-forward venue complete with two robotic bartenders that shake, muddle and mix a wide variety of drinks made to order. In fact, Harmony of the Seas is the first Oasis-class ship to feature this photo-worthy outlet.

As a theatre lover, I have watched international productions around the world and the ship’s Broadway’s hit musical Grease in the spectacular Royal Theatre left me impressed with its talented cast and performance. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, prepare to be dazzled by the theatrical grace of world-class skaters in one of two extraordinary ice shows.RCI_QN-OceanviewBalcF.jpg

Following a day of exploring the world, its exotic cuisine and interesting cultures, there is nothing better than returning to the comfort of your private stateroom. Harmony of the Seas features 2,747 beautifully appointed staterooms that offer luxurious and comfortable accommodation, many with spectacular views out towards to the sea, and with four main categories there is something for every preference.

For a real taste of luxury at sea, book yourself into one of the stunning suites where guests will get to enjoy the benefits of Royal Suite Class including your very own Royal Genie, the ultimate insider, crafting exclusive one-of-a-kind experiences just for you.

Highlight of my travel was also a day tour of the Bahamas as the ship docked to lets us explore the local sights. On board Harmony of the Seas, you’ll find everything you want from a cruise holiday and then more than you’d ever imagined possible. Guests’ leave with stories to tell and travel that has inspired, for Royal Caribbean’s biggest ship is a destination in itself, a cruise that’s unlike anything else at sea.

*Holiday makers can avail themselves of a 10% discount using the promotion code #VIP-Marine-Life when booking between 10th December 2016 and 10th January 2017 to experience Caribbean sailing in 2017 on Oasis class ships.

 

 

 

New summer offers by Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah

Shereen Shabnam Kempinski-Palm-JumeirahIts hot and I just feel like staying in a luxurious room all day fasting, reading and chilling while fasting – so I started looking at local hotel offers not that my work schedule will allow even a day off but loved the pictures from Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah – They just unveiled new offers for the summer for guests from the UAE and other countries including lower prices on suites and villas and free breakfast.
The offers, which are valid until September 2015 , also involve large discounts on services at the SPA and other facilities as well as internet, children’s club and free transport to and from Emirates Mall.
The hotel is ready to receive families and other guests from the UAE and the remaining GCC countries to enjoy summer and spend quiet holidays in a luxurious atmosphere, according to the hotel’s general manager Mr Alessandro Redaeli.

Alessandro Redaelli (2)Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, the fourth royal-style building on Jumeirah Palm, comprises 244 suites and pent houses, has an advanced SPA, a large number of restaurants and bars, other facilities, as well as a clean 500-metre beach strip. If I do decide on a staycation in the next 2 weeks, this place is definitely an option.

Kempinski Palm Shereen Shabnam

Mike Rutzen at Atlantis – education on Great White Sharks

With Mike Rutzen & the beautiful Rima at The Lost Chambers, Atlantis

After driving on race tracks, bashing dunes, sky diving and generally doing anything that raises the blood pressure, my next big adrenaline driven adventure will be diving with sharks…..inspired by none other than Michael Rutzen, who is known as one of the few people in the world who free-dives with Great White Sharks and campaigns for their preservation around the world.

Mike is so passionate describing his unique adventures as he travels extensively around the world to create an understanding and respect for this great predator, sharing his knowledge and involving as many people as possible in his conservation battle.  I met Mike at Atlantis, The Lost Chambers as he was with the Atlantis Marine Team who are keen to go to Fiji to experience the awesome dive sites there. (I reckon I have convinced marine conservationist, the beautiful  Rima Jabado to hang out in my flat in Nadi while doing day trips diving near untouched islands – since we have over 330 beautiful islands, it’s a diver’s dream paradise)

Mike Rutzen is sweet, down to earth and if you love the marine world as much as I do being an Island girl, watch Mike’s travels and activities which are extensively documented on TV programmes including ‘Beyond Fear’ with National Geographic, ‘Sharkman’ and ‘Shark Night’ on Discovery Channel, ‘60 Minutes special’  with Anderson Cooper, ‘The Great White Shark’ on CNN and ‘A Living Legend’ on BBC Natural World. Mike has been face to face with one of the greatest predators in the world, with no protection and no fear!

I hope someday I also get to spend some time with Steve Kaiser of the Marine Sciences and Engineering team at Atlantis –  I believe he works hard to provide education to the masses about sharks through a number of activities including the thrilling Shark Dive in the Shark Lagoon at Atlantis. It would also be great to talk more about Rima and her work on marine conservation and I reckon that will be a whole new blog on its own…watch this space.

Guests to the next Lost Chambers ‘Family Fun Day’ will be able to meet Michael Rutzen and hear him speak about Shark Conservation. Other Atlantis activities include special educational sessions with marine animal specialists, interaction with the Atlantis scuba divers, touch and feel marine exhibits, face painting, treasure hunts etc.

You can also meet ‘Shark Man’ Mike face to face as he will describe tales of his adventures diving and protecting sharks around the globe on Saturday. In his talk “The Great White Shark Carcharodon Carcharias – Behaviour and Conservation,” He will tell stories about diving with sharks; his free-diving and behavioural observations; eco-tourism as a winning solution and his research and future projects.

I warn you though…Mike is so passionate about his work, the enthusiasm rubs off on you and like me, you will find yourself navigating the high seas in no time! Thanks to the awesome team at Atlantis who always have interesting activities lined up at The Lost Chambers for kids like little diva @NJD2000, we as adults also end up learning about environment, conservation in a beautiful setting like Atlantis.

I am starting diving courses with Al Boom next month when my traumatised left arm is back in action so I can do the shark dive at Atlantis – super excited. (And no…the arm was not traumatised flipping the car on a race track as all my near and dear ones seem to think). 

Innovative concept from Gulf Craft for outdoor entertaining space

The dynamic guys at Gulf Craft Inc., the largest manufacturer of luxury yachts and fiberglass boats in the Middle East and Asia last Saturday showed VVIPs at its shipyard’s the largest ever hull construction – the Majesty 135.

I already wrote about the awesome 30th anniversary gala celebration we attended at Gulf Craft’s yacht manufacturing facility in the UAE … These guys know what they are doing and are the nicest, warmest people you will ever meet so its always a pleasure being with them.

The Majesty 105 is the latest in a series of revolutionary concepts created by Gulf Craft. It represents both, the degree of engineering, design and technological sophistication already achieved by the company during its three decades in the business as well as its ability to anticipate and meet the need for striking new superyacht concepts tailored to diverse cruising needs.

We had the exclusive opportunity to tour the striking blue-hulled, triple-decked superyacht which features 5 staterooms, including a luxurious owner’s stateroom, 2 crew cabins and one captain’s cabin, 8 bathrooms in addition to a dayhead. The Majesty 105 runs on 2 Caterpiller C32 rated engines and can reach top speeds of 27 knots.

The interiors are furnished in gold teak veneer with soft, light carpeting and furnishings in a sea-inspired colour scheme that gives a nod to Mediterranean elegance. Extensive exterior space – including an outdoor steering helm and a hard-topped sundeck fitted with comfortable sofa seating, a wet bar, fridge, icemaker and barbeque makes this the perfect yacht for outdoor entertaining.

Erwin Bamps, COO of Gulf Craft was of course in his element – rightly so as he has done an amazing job with all the arrangements for the unveiling of the Majesty 105.

According to Erwin, the Majesty 105 was conceptualized for the yacht owner who likes to spend the majority of his time above deck, With a steering helm on the sun deck and an interactive outdoor entertaining and lounging space, this is the sort of yacht that would allow you to spend time admiring the coast on an island-hopping itinerary or catch all the action moored alongside waterfront racing circuits like Yas Marina Circuit or the Circuit de Monaco. (I’m pretty sure my friends at Yas Marina will be delighted).

It was also superb to catch up with Sultan….a personality to watch out for in the future as he is one of the younger generation of Emiratis who will carry on the legacy and the amazing work of his family and forefathers. Especially as the younger generation have the support of industry stalwarts like Saeed Hareb, Nabil their teams and families.

All I can say is that this baby is awesome – I already tweeted some pictures of both Majesty 135 and Majesty 105 from the exclusive preview @Fijianchick. Enjoy!

With Saeed Hareb
Erwin Bamps, Saeed Hareb, Mohd Al Shaali & Nabil Farhat at the Majesty 105 launch


The awesomeness of Yas Marina

How cool is this place - Image courtesy Yas Marina team

Whenever I venture towards Yas Island Abu Dhabi, people automatically think it is to fratenise with car manufacturers on the circuit – but diva is not only hooked on super cars….as an island girl, I love everything relating to the sea and my current favourite place to hang out in Abu Dhabi is the Yas Marina.

Now…it has been gut wrenching not tweeting or blogging about it but I did promise dear Jonathan when I do touch on it, it will be from the heart and I will talk about my adventures there from experience – unfortunately I have only been able to do whistle stop tours recently while testing the latest cars. (Yas Island is the best place to cruise around in open top convertibles in the evenings amongst other super cars that are there for a spin on the tracks).

Having orange juice with the GM of Yas Marina Cedric Le Rest during my lunch break at Radisson earlier in the year was the first time I got to know all about Yas Marina and the fabulous way its managed by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas. Samer from Yas as well joined us for a bit of laid back chat and between Samer, Cedric and Jonathan, I found out more about Yas Marina in that one hour than I had from all my adrenaline driven visits to the Yas Island.

Camper & Nicholsons is widely recognised to be one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious yachting business names, with origins dating back to 1782. The company has specialised in marina and waterfront development for over 40 years and has provided services to clients in more than 25 countries worldwide.

Their projects range from small marinas through to developments over 500 hectares. Camper & Nicholsons Marinas International Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Limited, listed on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange. Camper & Nicholsons currently operate marinas in Abu Dhabi, Grenada, Italy, Malta and Turkey.

The guys at Camper & Nicholsons are awesome – they recently announced that berth occupancy has doubled in the last 6 months and Cedric believes its due to their extremely competitive annual berth rates – which now includes an F1TM berth.

The best bit here is the VIP Privilege Card that offers berth holders a variety of discounts and value added services to Yas Island facilities. The 2012 Annual Berth rates (starting from 16,455 AED inclusive of a berth at 2012 Formula 1™ week) and the 2012 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Grand Prix berthing tariffs which start from 10,395 AED. One superyacht to have recently taken an annual berth at Yas Marina is the 95m Indian Empress.

The competitive tariffs, coupled with the success of Yas Island Show Weekends, featuring international superstars such as Madonna, Janet Jackson and Elton John have helped to reinforce Yas Marina’s position as an attractive home port for yachts of all sizes.

Yas Marina features a variety of dining and entertainment options ranging from fine dining at Cipriani or Yotto, to more casual settings like Stars ‘N’ Bars and the vibrant Allure Night Club by Cipriani. I absolutely love Cipriani and it was everything Cedric had said about it to me months before.

Located at the heart of the Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island and located 10 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, 20 minutes from central Abu Dhabi and 45 minutes from Dubai, Yas Marina has 143 berths for yachts up to 150m in size.  Visitors to the marina can enjoy easy access to pristine coastlines, 200 uninhabited islands and the nearby cosmopolitan cities…….looks like a place tailor made for diva!