The sun sets over the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Photo: Subzero Images/WMRT
Bermuda has long been concerned about illegal immigrants, allowing yachts only a three week stay before an involved process for an extension. Now the country is recognising the value of the yachting fraternity by allowing yachts a three month stay.
Bermuda is located about 650nm off the US coast and is a British Overseas Territory
In Bermuda's House of Assembly on Friday May 27 Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief said that Cabinet has approved the revised policy for visiting yachts.
From 1st June visiting yachts and their crews will be granted a maximum 90 day stay on arrival in Bermuda.
Crew members will not only need to provide proof of citizenship but also the means to repatriate themselves by air. They will also need prove they are covered by health insurance and make a declaration that they will not seek or take up employment in Bermuda.
The fee for this long stay will be a hefty $250, and extensions for up to a further 90 days will also be permitted on application to the Department of Immigration.
The Minister said, 'Visiting yachts and crews spent over $10 million in Bermuda in 2010. Extending the permitted length of stay will increase this contribution to the local economy and do more to further the positive image of Bermuda as open for business and demonstrate more red carpet and less red tape.'
The Minister also gave the background for the move, saying, 'In 2005 the cruise ship industry signaled its need to change the deployment of ships to Bermuda. Our niche vessels like the Zenith, Horizon and Norwegian Majesty were being phased out for use in other markets. Responding to that change became the task of the Government and other important stakeholders at our ports.
'The Government is on record as having encouraged the creation of a mega-yacht port for Bermuda and has suggested either end of the Island as possible venues. The historic elegance of St. George’s and its spectacular natural harbour makes it a fine spot for this activity.
'Visiting yachts and crews spent over $10 million in Bermuda in 2010. Extending the permitted length of stay will increase this contribution to the local economy and do more to further the positive image of Bermuda as open for business and demonstrate more red carpet and less red tape.'