The owner of three charter yachts in the Caribbean says a client canceled an upcoming booking because of fears of the Zika virus.
This is the first case I am aware of where a charter has been canceled because of the Zika virus spreading north from South America into Central America and the Caribbean.
The owner of the 50-, 62- and 74-foot Xenia sailing catamarans told me last night that a client with a signed contract asked him to cancel an upcoming charter because of this U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning about Zika being reported in the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean destinations. The client’s charter party included a pregnant woman, and many recent news reports have showed Zika’s devastating effect on newborns whose mothers contract the virus during pregnancy.
The owner said that, even though the contract for the booking was signed, he agreed to let the client out of the deal with no penalties or arguments.
“I’m not going to be a jerk about it,” he told me. “We’ll fill that charter [slot] another way.”
The Xenia yachts are part of the Regency Yacht Vacations charter fleet.