Boat charter operator changes tack
You may not be able to cruise this summer, but you can spend a couple of hours on Keerome Maybury's 55ft yacht Traveler.
The owner of Traveler Charters Bermuda said the freeze on tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic had forced him to change tack.
“We have had to pivot more aggressively towards local business,” Mr Maybury said.
“There is no shortage of people who have had their travel plans interrupted this summer. We are trying to market to the people who are looking for avenues to make up for the disappointments as far as travel and recreation are concerned.”
His boat's capacity is ten, including the crew.
“That leaves space for seven to eight passengers per second-phase policy,” he said.
“The boat is quite spacious. Traveler accommodates the numbers being enforced right now very comfortably.
“With the type of service we offer, we don't find ourselves catering to our maximum of 40, normally anyway. Most people want the boat to themselves.”
Mr Maybury launched the business a year ago.
“My background is more finance,” Mr Maybury said.
“I was working in a space that was doing a lot of consolidation quickly. In 2017 I found myself on the business end of a merger closing down the Bermuda office of the company I worked for. I took garden leave to get back to myself in terms of family and relationships.”
He decided to buy a small boat to enjoy the water more.
“A Boston Whaler would have been fine,” he said. But when he came across a photograph of Traveler on a boat sale website he was mesmerised.
The boat belonged to David Saul, a former premier, who was an avid marine enthusiast before he died in May 2017.
“We set up a viewing and I fell in love with it right away,” Mr Maybury said.
“It had been a pleasure craft and very well maintained. The boat is a reflection of Dr Saul's meticulous approach to everything.”
He bought Traveler in 2018 and registered it for charter.
“Our original intention wasn't around making profits,” he said.
“It was covering our costs. I would say things went better than expected. We had a soft launch in 2019. We consciously didn't make too much noise about it. This was supposed to be our first season as a registered business.”
Leading up to summer 2020, Mr Maybury placed advertisements in several local magazines such as The Concierge, which caters to the Rosewood Tucker's Point.
“It was a bit disheartening that we spent thousands of dollars on that exposure, and then Covid-19 comes out of left field and the party is done,” he said.
“That was a bit unfortunate. All you can do is adjust tack. This first season we will be more focused on the locals as opposed to being so targeting visiting clientele as expected.”
Clients can order everything from lunch-box service to a full five-course chef's table meal.
Traveler Charters Bermuda works with a number of different high-end chefs and restaurants to achieve this.
Last year they had the greatest success marketing to clients at Rosewood Tucker's Point.
“They had some really effective people on the front lines such as Kavin Gibbons, the concierge,” Mr Maybury said.
“He did an amazing job of selling the boat to guests.”
Mr Maybury said the aim was to offer services that other charter boats do not, such as “sip and paints”, on-board wellness treatments and massage services.
“Of course, we still need to wait until spas return to service before offering that again,” he said.
In May, the business donated 15 per cent of all charter proceeds to food programmes such as Eliza DoLittle Society.
• For more information, call 705-6326, or e-mail email@example.com. Also see Traveler Charters Bermuda on Facebook and Instagram