FrontRunners: Ships Ahoy!

    Northern Star (www.moranyachts.com) is bringing a bit of the European countryside to the Caribbean, where the new 248-foot, five-deck megayacht just became available for charter for $650,000 per week. The vessel can accommodate as many as 12 guests comfortably, with roomy interior spaces modeled after those of a French country home. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.–based Moran Yacht & Ship took delivery of the Lürssen-built boat in October and has staffed it with a crew of 22. At the end of the Caribbean charter season, Northern Star will head to the Mediterranean, where it will be available in the summer for about $1 million per week…. Based on a 1928 transatlantic-race-winning yacht by the same name, the 180-foot schooner Elena (www.ycoyacht.com) entered the charter fleet of Monaco’s YCO Yachts in September. Spanish shipyard Factoría Naval Marín built the new racer to appeal to the fast and fastidious, with a mahogany-paneled interior and accommodations for 10 guests. Elena can be chartered to participate in the Mediterranean and Caribbean regattas, or for more leisurely sailing outside the racing season. Weekly rates start at about $87,000…. Starting in February, Necker Belle (www.burgessyachts.com) will become the first charter yacht in Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition collection, joining exclusive retreats such as Necker Island in the Caribbean. The recently renovated 105-foot catamaran will be available through London’s Burgess Yachts at a weekly rate of $88,000, plus provisioning fees. Amenities on the yacht, which has a seven-person crew and can host as many as 10 guests, include a swim platform and diving board, a water-ski tender, a wine cellar, and an open-air cinema.

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