Any non-European crew requiring a visa in order to fly in and join a yacht will know that Spain has not been the optimal Schengen zone country to arrive in first. Spanish authorities have in the past offered only Transit Visas with two-day validity to travel through the zone. However, this changed earlier this year… While there was no fanfare at the time, the introduction of a new Schengen Visa Code in February meant that Spain joined other Schengen members in issuing 90-day, multi-entry Schengen visas! No longer must you plan to arrive first in France, Germany or elsewhere for your 90-day ‘golden’ visa, to enjoy the freedom to move freely around Europe or leave and re-enter in your time off. Another change the new code brought in is that you can now apply SIX MONTHS in advance of your intended arrival, compared with three months previously. This means that you can start planning your 2021 season already and get your visa in place. (The latest you can apply for it is 15 calendar days before your trip) For assistance with your 90-day Schengen visa application and to obtain the required invitation letter, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
September is looming into view already, signalling the final weeks of the usual Mediterranean season. But this season has been anything but ‘usual’, with many trips curtailed or cancelled altogether, due to the wretched coronavirus. So, here’s a suggestion for owners and charterers to spend some bonus time on board this year, in a safe destination and with warm weather. Without crossing the Atlantic. The Canary Islands have much to offer cruising yachts and their guests. Long established as a stop-off for passing transatlantic traffic, this archipelago boasts enormous biodiversity and natural beauty, as well as cultural and architectural variety. The icing on the cake is a year-round warm climate and more Michelin-starred restaurants per square inch than you’ll find in many yachting hotspots. Click here to read the Canary Islands chapter of the latest edition of ‘The Y Yachting Itineraries’. Hard copies of the guide are now available, so please contact us for your copy.
Looking beyond the imminent Mediterranean cruising and charter season, you may need to complete your TA and exit EU waters later this year. Consider doing this by visiting Melilla. Melilla is part of Spain, but is not in the Customs Territory of the EU (TAU) or the Territory of VAT application (TAIVA). This makes it a useful point in finalising Temporary Admission, as part of the Inward Processing Regime (RPA). Why not spare yourself the usual ‘cost of doing business’ in Algeria, with the associated inconvenience, and instead enjoy Melilla’s renowned hospitality and professionalism! And, in the event that coronavirus is still a cross-border problem to contend with, you will also avoid the need to quarantine upon your return to Spain. Oh, and as Melilla is part of the Territory of Application of Special Taxes (TAIIEE), you’ll find it very advantageous for tax-free refuelling and provisioning too! Contact us for assistance or information.
Here at Estela, we normally print the 330-page ‘The Y Yachting Itineraries’ every April, but this year is like no other. The coronavirus lockdown meant we were forced to stop the clock, until now… We are printing the 2021 edition at the end of next week, which gives us the unusual opportunity to share a complete draft of the book with you ahead of printing. And, if you like what you see, it’s not too late to get involved! Today, the back cover, inside front cover and inside back cover are all available and you can make them yours at last-minute prices. Obviously, time is running out, so these prime slots are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. We know many plans and budgets have been affected by the COVID emergency. At our end, we unfortunately lost some advertisers when budgets were suddenly frozen, so we now have some prime slots still available. Distribution will extend into next year’s season, making up for the months lost this year and providing a longer shelf life than ever before. And with fewer pages of advertising throughout the book, your placement will stand out even more. The Y 2021 highlights: Extend your Mediterranean season! Melilla to Tangier; Mediterranean itineraries with an exotic twist Canary Islands; The forgotten year-round cruising destination Balearics; Gastronomy special Panama; An extraordinary […]
Coronavirus protocols and best practice for captains, crew, owners and guests The coronavirus outbreak has thrown the maritime industry into turmoil, with no vaccine or treatment available for the time being, and testing not yet universally available. It’s fair to say that yachting has some unique challenges with COVID-19 on the scene. We asked some specialist maritime medical experts how captains can mitigate the risks of cruising with owners or chartering with guests. Specifically, what steps can captains take to minimise the health risk to crew in the day-to-day operation of their yacht? Dr. John Ross is an emergency physician at the Halifax Infirmary, Nova Scotia, Canada, and serves as medical director of Praxes Medical Group, a private sector telemedicine provider to remote sites around the world, and as provincial advisor on emergency care to the Deputy Minister of Health. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC) in emergency medicine and is a professor of emergency medicine at Dalhousie University, with a focus on acute airway management. He also works as a trauma team leader, teaching rural trauma team development courses throughout the Maritimes. Michelle Currie is Operations Manager for Praxes Medical Group. Michelle […]
Given the current border closures, restrictions on travel and uncertainty about the Mediterranean season, we are understandably receiving MANY queries from crew about their visa status. Anyone in Spain currently, stamped onto a boat but with an expired tourist or Schengen visa, should not worry about overstaying. Visas are currently suspended and no punitive action will be taken by authorities upon inspection. However, travelling to anywhere that is not your country of residence on an expired visa, or stamping off a boat without departing the country, may prove problematic. There are no easy answers, but if you have a specific question about your visa status, we will do our best to find you an answer.
The issue of coronavirus testing is a live one, with much information and disinformation being shared on social media and, worryingly, by some agencies. The Balearic government has approved the provision of clinical tests by just two private hospital laboratories in Mallorca. The PCR test (checking for coronavirus) has an efficacy of 80-90%, with results available after 24-48 hours. The price of the PCR test is capped at €200 for non-residents, or €150 for permanent residents. In addition, an immunological test is available, checking for antibodies, to indicate whether someone has had the virus. This test is available additionally or separately, at €50. The two tests are carried out by physicians at a private hospital after carrying out a general medical check, costing €103.42. In total, we offer the following procedure: Medical check €103.42 PCR test €200.00 Immunological test € 50.00 Additionally, Estela charges a €35.00 + VAT fee for agency assistance and administration. Best practice is to take both tests after 6/7 days of arrival into Mallorca, to allow time for coronavirus cells to develop following possible infection. Optionally, new arrivals may choose to take the immunological test immediately upon arrival, where the presence of antibodies would […]
From today, Friday 15 May, Spain has brought into law mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from outside Spain, including returning nationals and permanent residents. GENERAL All international travellers will be subject to hygienic sanitary checks upon arrival Health authorities may contact quarantined persons to track their movements When symptoms such as fever appear, cough, shortness of breath, fever, or other symptoms, quarantined arrivals must telephone the health service on 061, indicating they are in quarantine for coming from abroad Cross-border workers are exempt from these measures Travel agencies are obliged to inform in-bound passengers of these measures at the beginning of the ticket sales process Airlines must supply passengers with a public health form, stating your intended location during quarantine, which must be submitted upon arrival CREW ALL persons arriving from outside Spain have to serve a two-week quarantine. This may be served on board, as long as this is confirmed by the captain or management of the vessel. Arrivals, by air or sea, must provide proof of address (or vessel) where they will quarantine. Upon arrival of a yacht from outside of Spain, time spent sailing/cruising non-stop before arrival in Mallorca counts towards time to be spent in […]
Today, on Tuesday 12 May, the Spanish government has announced a tightening of restrictions on arrivals into Spain, bringing the already-required 14-day quarantine for new arrivals into law. This new law comes into effect from Friday 15 May. In order to protect the healthcare system as movement restrictions within Spain are eased, the authorities intend to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and control capacity, enabling early identification and containment of sources of contagion. In order to minimise the risk coming from people arriving from outside the country, new measures for the implementation of control and isolation are to be introduced. – All international travellers will be subject to hygienic sanitary checks upon arrival– Health authorities may contact quarantined persons to track their movements– When symptoms such as fever appear, cough, shortness of breath, fever, or other symptoms, quarantined arrivals must telephone the health service on 061, indicating they are in quarantine for coming from abroad– Cross-border workers are exempt from these measures, including crew– Travel agencies are obliged to inform in-bound passengers of these measures at the beginning of the ticket sales process– Airlines must supply passengers with a public health form, stating your intended location during quarantine, which must be submitted […]
Port of Melilla, with the agreement of the Government Delegation, has reopened to yachts wishing to carry out operations in the port or for long stays, taking advantage of Melilla’s financial&custom benefits. To enter the port, these requirements must be met: -Declaration of the captain with body temperatures of each crew member. -Only crew are permitted on board and upon arrival, crew will be tested for COVID-19 (by AP) -Obligatory 14 days’ quarantine on board, before being able to disembark. -Obligatory to use a consignatory agent for supplies during the 14-day quarantine. Contact us for assistance or information
On 30th April, Spain’s Ministry of Transport issued the following clarification regarding the phased easing of the Coronavirus lockdown and a return to new normality, specifically for the recreational nautical sector. These are the key steps, as planned, which are subject to amendment in the event that the current health emergency re-escalates. Key steps Phase Zero, from Monday, 4th May You may not navigate by boat for leisure, unless it is done solo, for sport, as an amateur physical activity. Certain sailing boats (eg dinghy) can be sailed as a sport. You must reside in the same municipality where the boat is located and navigation is subject to geographical limitations. NB. Please remember that paddling by oar or hand is not permitted inside the port area, as is sailing. You must motor, or be towed, to outside the port area. Phase One, from Monday, 11th May Recreational cruising may start as a cultural and leisure activity, by limited groups of people residing in the same municipality. Health measures such as heightened hygiene standards must be observed. Cruising is restricted to the waters of the province or island. Phase Two, from Monday, 25th May Recreational cruising is permitted for larger groups […]
The latest edition of our annual superyacht travel guide is ready to go and will come off the press in May, as soon as we are able to resume operations. If cancelled or rescheduled events or activities have re-opened your marketing budget, this is your opportunity to promote new event dates, products or services! Our itineraries are: Melilla to Tangier, Best of Balearics, Canary Islands, Antigua and Panama. There is still time to get involved and put your brand in front of 9,000 owners, captains, guests and yacht industry professionals, so get in touch! Contact us at email@example.com or telephone: +34 971 722 532
Like other suppliers, we have been offered self-testing coronavirus kits for re-sale to clients. The demand for tests certainly exists and we receive enquiries daily, though the efficacy of such tests is doubtful, with accuracy no better than 60%. In other words, you may as well flip a coin. For this reason, we are declining to offer the kits currently available, as we can’t vouch for their usefulness. In particular, a negative reading does not mean the user does not have SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, and can give false reassurance. It is, however, advisable to carry oxygen on board and we can provide you with oxygen kits or spare cylinders. Oxygen is no substitute for medical ventilation, but may be used in emergencies prior to hospitalisation. If you have been in physical contact with anyone with COVID19 or are displaying any of the symptoms below, we can arrange for a test carried out at a private hospital, after consultation with a doctor. Being a private facility, any test or treatment is not free. The local public health emergency number is 061. Symptoms: Persistent cough Headache Tiredness, muscle pain Mucous secretions from the throat Loss of taste and smell
There has been a small number of yacht departures from, and arrival to, Mallorca in recent days. While the guidance around yacht movements remains unchanged, successful representations have been made for allowing yachts to return to their home port or shipyard. Regular arrivals by yacht transporters continue to set local chat forums alight, but as such yachts qualify as commercial cargo, up to the point of discharge, operators continue to work as scheduled. Yachts delivered to Palma may be moved to marinas or permitted to continue on to their home port, so should your yacht be out of position and in need of relocating, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Following revised guidelines issued by the European Commission on 14th April, crew changes may be permissible, though no official decree has been issued to that effect by the Spanish government. This means that an official request to the Spanish authorities must be presented in each instance, in order to obtain explicit authorisation for inbound travel. As consignatory agents, we can prepare and present crew-change requests on owners’ behalf, prior to crew embarking/disembarking. Please note that inbound crew can be required by the Spanish authorities to observe a 14-day quarantine on-shore before embarkation, to be spent in accommodation close to the embarkation point. Arrivals may be infected and are a potential threat to the health of fellow crew members and anyone else with whom they may come into contact on board. Note that an authorisation to enter from Spanish border police does not guarantee permission to board a flight in the country of origin. Contact us for more details
On the recommendation of the European Commission this week, current travel restrictions in Spain are to remain in force until 15th May at least. In general, this means that travel in Europe remains limited to repatriation for nationals or residents. There are, however, exceptions for key workers, such as transportation workers (including seafarers), or those travelling for reasons of safety or emergency. An essential condition is that inbound transportation workers ensure the immediate continuation of the trip. There may be exceptions for people travelling for imperative family reasons, or reasons of force majeure, each assessed on a case by case basis. Inbound travellers without prior authorisation from the Spanish authorities may be denied boarding in the country of origin, while local authorities may yet deny departure, depending on local restrictions and criteria for travel. If you require clarification or assistance, feel free to contact us: Contact us on +34 638 816 803 /+34 971 722 532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last night (9th April), the Spanish government did not renew the interim restrictions that brought all non-essential work activity in Spain to a halt two weeks ago. As such, limited works are again permitted and are set to resume after the Easter break. Now permitted, subject to strict guidelines: Non-essential work inside yards and workshops, by crew and contractors For clarity, these restrictions remain in force: No yacht/crew arrivals or departures Travel remains severely restricted and must be authorised by yachts’ management As ever, enforcement remains open to interpretation by the individuals making inspections, so it is advisable to check with yard management and enforcement officers before proceeding with any non-safety related works. Work sanitation guidelines remain in force: Access to the workplace is prohibited to those individuals tested positive, or symptomatic, or having been in contact with any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases Social distancing guidance must be observed Masks and gloves, at a minimum, must be worn during interaction with outside contractors. Hand sanitiser must be available. To subscribe to our coronavirus special newsletters, please take one minute to sign up: bit.ly/Estela-Coronavirus-Emails. To receive critical updates by WhatsApp (admin posts only, no chatter) click here: bit.ly/WhatsApp-C19-Alerts
Estela is working hard to respond to all the challenges that the coronavirus emergency brings. Now, we are able to provide you with services and products to disinfect your yacht and minimise the risk of spreading the virus on board. Our deep cleaning service uses the most powerful sanitising products, applied methodically by professional cleaners, in accordance with strict usage guidelines. Depending on the most suitable solution for each area of the boat, application is either liquid or aerosol, applied hot, cold or micro-sprayed. The sanitation process takes place after crew members have disembarked. Cleaners will proceed to disinfect all areas and systems on board; crew mess, galley, staterooms, aircon vents, engine room etc. Once crew move back on board, it is crucial to remember that the SARS-CoV2 virus can remain on many surface types for long periods of time. All areas must be cleaned with disinfectant, including door handles, railings, banisters, push buttons, switches and any surfaces touched by hand. Outer clothing or footwear worn ashore must also be cleaned upon boarding. Any items brought on board (including cardboard/paper) such as packages or food items should also be cleaned individually. The above processes are recommended to maintain good health […]
We have heard from a number of yachts still in the Americas, reluctant to cross back to the Med among the current uncertainty. It remains possible to transport your yacht this month, with a number of slots remaining available. As commercial cargo, yachts continue to be transported and can be discharged in a number of European locations, while we are able to secure berths as needed. Contact us to enquire about sailings.
Even with lockdowns in place worldwide, it remains possible for yachts to take on fuel, either in the Caribbean or in Spain. Our bunker partners in Antigua can supply you or we can assist you in Mallorca or elsewhere in Spain, depending on your itinerary. Even if you still have fuel on board, prices now are favourable than before the closures, so it is an opportune time to top up. Contact us to ask about arrangements and pricing.