|Guest cabin configuration:|
|3 Double en-suite cabins with A/C|
|Children Min. Age||Water safe|
|Half Board Available||Yes|
|Home port||Red Hook, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands|
Free Ingwe is a 45ft Leopard crewed catamaran available for inclusive crewed charter vacations sailing the Caribbean Virgin Islands from St Thomas.
Free Ingwe offers three double en-suite guest cabins and offers good value for groups interested in exploring the dive sites throughout the Virgin Islands.
Home port: Red Hook, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Winter cruising area: Caribbean Virgin Islands
Summer cruising area: Caribbean Virgin Islands
Includes 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners and standard ship's bar.
Each cabin has private head with shower.
Spacious covered cockpit for dining and lounging plus large forward trampoline.
Registered BVI fishing vessel, (2)Stand-Up paddle board/Kayak combo, See DIVING section.
Greg & Michelle
Greg Evans & Michelle Collins, South Africa
Born and raised in South Africa, Greg and Michelle have known each all their lives. They grew up in the same town, attended the same schools and shared the same circle of friends. After high school each sailed off in different directions to pursue careers in the Yachting world.
Greg and Michelle kept in touch as they hopscotched their way round the Caribbean and Mediterranean and as fate would have it the old friends were reunited when each accepted a position on a Mega Yacht based in Brazil. The rest as they say is history!
Together the couple have chartered in some of the most spectacular locations around the world including Mediterranean, Seychelles, Panama, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and the Virgin Islands (which they quickly fell in love with as their favorite place of all).
Loving the laid back charm of the Virgin Islands, Greg and Michelle jumped at the chance to join Free Ingwe.
Greg's love of sailing coupled with his engaging personality led to his first job as a sailing instructor in South Africa. Eager to gain more experience (and see more of the world) Greg joined on with a yacht delivery company, making several Atlantic crossings to charter bases in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and British Virgin Islands. It was on his first visit to the BVI the hook was firmly set! Greg aimed his sights to the crewed charter industry and advanced through the crew ranks, gaining valuable experience and exposure along the way. ..read more
From his early days as a deckhand on a 43 m Perni Navi to Captaining a Classic Schooner in the Seychelles Greg has pretty much done it all. His professionalism and strong work ethic coupled with his easy going personality and great sense of humor make him well loved by charter guests and fellow crew members alike. As a Padi diver master, avid fisherman, water sport enthusiast and excellent tender driver Greg ensures his charter guests have just as much fun in the water as they do while sailing and relaxing on-board.
Michelle began her career in the restaurant and hospitality industry landing a position with an exclusive catering company known for their high profile weddings and corporate functions. Although first hired for her high end service skills Michelle was quickly drawn to exquisite chef creations. She asked to join the kitchen staff as chef assistant and she never looked back. Michelle's formal chef training began at Antoinette's Cookery School, a small school in South Africa known for its culinary themed courses focusing on different cultures, countries and gastronomic experiences.
Michelle's reputation for impeccable service and emerging chef skills led her to her first chef/mate job cruising the Mediterranean on a private yacht. As the Med season ended Michelle learned of a position of a small cruise liner as Animation and Entertainment team leader. Always up for a new adventure Michelle joined MCS Cruise line for the winter season and continued to travel the high seas.
Described in a few words Michelle is easy going and sociable with a flair for making new guests feel like old friends in no time.
Listed below are any confirmed reservations or unavailability, as well as current holds / options. Note: this calendar is not always 100% current. Please contact us for more information about available dates aboard this yacht.
Hours required between charters: 24 hours
Contact us for rates and current availability or to book a charter aboard Free Ingwe!
You both are so much fun!! Thank you for a memorable,fantastic week. we had a wonderful week, great food, great company, new friends. Couldn't ask for more.
-Sandy & Dennis
- Julie, Taylor and Kevin.
Thank you so so much Greg and Michelle. Missing everything already, my morning view from the front of the boat, fabulous food, all the special places/beaches, the awesome snorkeling, gorgeous sunsets, rainbows. I can go on and on. You guys are the perfect crew. Tot ziens
Marissa Groeneveld Willems
Their knowledge of the islands was impressive! And I think I've made life long friends of the both of them!
I have been telling all my friends that this is the way to travel and if they want the best to call You!
Seriously you will not regret booking a trip with the group!
- MG Perdue
Definitely by far the best vacation our group has ever had! Thank you to Greg and Michelle for a fantastic time. We feel as if they are family that welcomed us home! Can't wait until next year!
Brian and Sue
Michele and Greg were wonderful hosts, accommodating all our needs and then some. Beautifully prepared meals daily and most excellent tour guides!! Can hardly wait to do it all again! Thanks for the adventure!!
B. Aarts & Company
Free Ingwe is more spacious than you might imagine. Each couple had their own bedroom with Queen-size bed and private bathroom with shower. On deck, there is plenty of room to spread out ... grab a cozy corner to read, sit at the back table to play cards, or take a position upfront to watch the
world go by. Life in the BVI is very casual, which could not be more suitable if you are looking for a laid-back, stress-free getaway. I could not be happier about our week and I would recommend this
adventure to everyone looking for a relaxing holiday filled with beauty, lots of water activities, great food, and a lot of laughs!
The Captains knowledge of the islands was imparted throughout the trip as we moored at our various locations, explored the sites, snorkeled, and spotted delightful sea and land creatures. The food we ate onboard served on the outdoor deck, was delicious, especially paired with a cocktail or two.
We can not wait to return!!
B. DeVroome. Ottawa Ontario
The whole experience was the highlight! Being boat owners, we never dreamed there would be so much space and that it would be so comfortable for a whole week! We were all pleased with the smoothness of the boat, the views were spectacular, the water was perfect a #1 vacation!! (Ben said this has been our BEST vacation outranking Alaska and Hawaii and Playa del Carmen)
Only thing to add possibly one more paddleboard, room permitting. And of course the mega-yacht slide
We loved the crew!!! Michelle and Greg were an exceptional pair as chef and captain. WE LOVED THEIR ACCENT and learning about South Africa was very memorable. Ben tried to sell them on being the next YouTube sensation! We appreciate all their efforts to make our vacation special! They are VERY gracious and patient host and hostess. Not sure how they put up with so many different guests and their personalities, but these two are pros!!
ALL the meals were delicious and well beyond what we are used to!! Highly recommend FULL board because Michelle is THAT GOOD!! Michelle put forth a tremendous effort to make each and every meal perfect and savory. We enjoyed the vast assortment of placemats, napkins, tablecloths and table runners more than we have at home!!! Greg set the table for most meals and did a wonderful job hopefully John and Ben learned a few things. We are not used to such fancy dining. It was really hard to not help with the dishes ha! And the cocktails and appetizers were yummy, too! Another treat we never indulge in at home.
Greg was fantastic at planning our itinerary each day and getting us there!! He picked great spots for dinner, snorkeling, diving and all the water sports. Weather sometimes got in the way, but we had fun and saw the sights. We especially loved the Captain Talk each morning explaining where we were going, local stories/history and what we shouldnt miss seeing at each location. Amazing how many dingy rides we went on!
Cultural exchange was immensely enjoyable!! Americans are really sheltered, so its wonderful to hear how things really are in other parts of the world!! Greg and Michelle have seen and done a lot for their young age and they are both great storytellers. We enjoyed their company immensely.
Christmas Day was wonderful! Michelle made a terrific breakfast (even better than previously awesome breakfasts!), decorated the table, the chocolate milk even had ribbon and bows, and Santa hats on Greg and Michelle! Michelle created a fabulous Christmas dinner for us the roast was perfection! And a super special South African dessert was the happy ending to a great day! It was odd not being at home on Christmas, but this was such a memorable trip we are so happy we dared to make a change
And.. we met Foxy! That was fun and he was very entertaining.
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated Greg and Michelle, and their dedication to my complete satisfaction on my charter. They were truly outstanding in every aspect of their hospitality and service on my charter.
Because I was on charter as a solo guest, they were forced into a role that most crew does not experience. While it may be seemingly easier to work with just one guest, it has challenges around socializing and entertaining that can be exceedingly greater, due to no other passengers being on board to entertain one another.
Michelle's cuisine and general attendance to me was absolutely perfect. I went with half board based on precious experience, and simply not knowing how skilled she was. After one day, I was so impressed that I wanted to save a few of my meals for later in the week because they were so good! Her positive attitude and morning greeting with coffee in my hand, as I emerged from my state room.
Greg was an excellent Captain and he navigated the boat into comfortable anchorages each and every day. His skills as a sailor were equally impressive, as we enjoyed some excellent times under sail. Additionally, his handling of the tender was far more comfortable and accommodating than I had previously experienced. Finally, he was an outstanding diver, and despite being relatively new to the area, lead me on dives that were absolutely fantastic. Interestingly, I had done several of them, many times previously, but his calm and deliberate ways made all of them far more enjoyable than I had ever experienced there.
Overall, it was one of the best charters I have ever had. I will definitely return sooner than later. I would highly recommend them!
Thanks again for having me!
By Alona T.
This story of a recent adventure in the British Virgin Islands is not so much about food, but a combination of experiences including sea spray, friendship, appreciation of a job well done and some very fine cuisine. Free Ingwe is a 45 ft. sailing catamaran that we chartered with two couples. Although, our captains wanted to try navigating their own boat, we decided to trust the skills of a hired Captain and a Chef on the high seas of the Caribbean. As we sipped our first Painkillers (rum drink) at Malloy Molones in St. Thomas, we met Captain
Austin and Chef Philippa. As they dingy us to the boat, we are very aware of our age and how young they are.
Captain Austin took control right away and we were off on the brilliant blue waters with the sails to the wind. We truly learned to respect his control of the Free Ingwe and his knowledge of the area. His suggestions suited each of us including excellent sailing, scuba diving coves, snorkeling in the turquoise waters, and sitting on the white sandy beaches.
Our Half Board (breakfast, lunch and two dinners) gave us the opportunity to try a variety of restaurants following Captain Austins suggestions. We had a gourmet dinner in a treehouse on the island of Virgin Gorda, wearing no shoes on a beach we gorged on grilled spiny lobsters, and took part in a BBQ buffet with entertainment provided by stilt walkers and finished the evening ending with dancing under the stars.
Chef Philippa, a graduate of the Ashburton Cookery School in London and has a law degree, divides her time between the galley, assisting the Captain, and as a Master Scuba Diver. She led our tentative divers to a shipwreck and other underwater sites. Her skills in the 5X 5 galley were exceptional. The small area included all the tools of the trade except a microwave. The freezer was well stocked and two refrigerators held the fresh products. She did use a food processor as the tossing of the boat was a bit dangerous for a knife.
All meals were served on deck in the balmy air. Every breakfast was different and the Brioche French toast with banana rum sauce was perfect with our morning coffee or tea. Lunches included wraps, grilled chicken, Mahi Mahi and Captains famous cheese burgers. Cocktail hour, which always started pretty early, was accompanied by appetizers as Romesco sauce with pita slices or caramelized red onion crostini. Captain Austin, with a Business Management degree and family restaurant history, excelled at the barbeque. His beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly for each taste. This was served with wonderful cream and garlic scalloped potatoes, grilled asparagus, Marsala wine braised shallots and Balsamic sauted cabbage with chocolate mousse as our dessert. The galley became a sweat box as our Chef prepared each dish including a made from scratch cheesecake that was exceptional.
As the days went by we became an Ingwe (Leopard) family with lots of laughter, storytelling and even better friends. As we departed it became evident that each of us was of the same thought - if we were to do those early years over again it would be our wish to live on a catamaran, and sail the ocean blue. Sounds good, but we never had the skills of our gracious crew.
It just would not be enough to say we are happy with the cruise. Austin and Philippa were soooo accommodating and did such a fantastic job with each and every request we made.
I dont think weve been anywhere, anytime when weve been treated so wonderfully. Every day was better than the one prior and every evening was magical. The sailing was outstanding. The food was scrumptious and so pretty I couldnt help but take pictures of it.
Their knowledge of the islands and the places they took us too to snorkel, walk the beaches and just hang out were soo beautiful.
Of course the anniversary dinner was a special request and frankly we didnt expect much. You know some crackers and meat n cheese plate on some rock. We thought many times of retracting the request as it did seem a bit presumptuous to us. I am so thankful we didnt. We awaited them at the bar while they went off who knows where to prep. We were getting bit nervous as the shadows grew longer and no sign of them. Then just in perfect timing Austin came up with the dingy and said, (I though as a bit of a tease) well we stole a little piece of beach from Richard Branson and then he took us to a perfect beach on Mosquito Island. They had the barbeque going, a beautiful beach blanket laid out with a rock heart and our names etched in the sand. There was a silver champagne bucket with chilled bubbly, which they graciously pour for us. I saw my first green flash as the sun went down. Then the candles came out and our first course of grilled prawns and another round of bubbly. As they were through out the trip, the two of them were quietly and mysteriously working together to prep and would show up just in time to pour some more or open the second bottle. (I really dont know how Philippa does this) The main course was Grilled chicken with a tasty mushroom sauce, camp potatoes and Asparagus. It was delicious. We had fried Pineapple for dessert and then dingied back to the boat. We never saw them putting everything back in the dingy and it could not have been more perfect for us.
As a final omen of fortune when I awoke the next day there was a rainbow ending right at our beach. WOW. Not sure how they planned that, but I am sure it was their Karma at play.
An amazing trip! I would do it again in a heart beat! Best trip, best location, and best crew!!! The boat was bigger than the pictures shown to and that was a pleasant surprise. Food was great and the rum flowed like wine lol. We had a blast and can't wait to do it again!! And when we do it'll be aboard Free Ingwe!! Thanks for everything Austin, and Philipa!!
Was the yacht everything you expected?
No. It WAS ABOVE AND BEYOND what was expected! From yacht to crew.
Any particular highlights or areas of recommendation for improvement.
Highlights include the crew! Austin and Philippa made our FIRST experience on a yacht not only memorable but enjoyable as well. We are planning to yacht again because of our experience with them!
How would you describe your crew?
Austin King was a great captain, held great conversations, and was very hospitable. I must say Naomi was hesitant before going on the yacht to be in close quarters with ppl she would barely be meeting but she said they made her feel comfortable right away and forgot instantly they were once strangers. Phillips was great as well. Excellent chef and catered to us above and beyond our expectations. She made us feel extra special with her amazing cooking! We must say, we felt we made lifelong friends with Captain Austin and chef/mate Philippa.
Did the meals meet your expectations in regards to the quality and presentation?
Yes! From Day one! Evan is typically skeptical to trying new things but he enjoyed her cooking from day one so much that he tried every dish (AND LOVED IT!) and this includes the salmon bagel (Evan is notorious for not eating fish) but he loved it! Naomi, Evan and the group were beyond satisfied and asked for seconds not bc we were still hungry but we couldn't believe the quality of food she could deliver from that tiny kitchen! Her cooking was better than any island food that Leann and others were asking for recipes to take home!
Were the itinerary, activities and pace of your charter as you liked?
Yes! We had so much to do! Austin & Philippa seem to have an excellent grip on reading the groups energy levels and the types of activities we would like.
Please give an example of something your crew did to make you feel special.
For Naomi, she loved the salmon bagel. When I say "loved" this is an UNDERSTATEMENT. She casually mentioned to Evan that, "I wish I could have this tomorrow morning too, it's so good! I ate it all before I could take a picture!" I believe Philippa overheard this because the next morning she said, "Naomi, I have extra salmon and bagels. Would you like one this morning?" She had that days breakfast ready but was so sweet and very thoughtful of her to go out of her way to prepare me my salmon bagel and I could finally take a picture of as well.
Evan had so many questions regarding being a captain and flooded Austin with thousands of question but Austin answered every one of them with enthusiasm and kept the conversation going. Evan even said, "Austin makes me feel like a captain. Like I can do this too!" Austin was very sweet and taught him so much about being a captain on a boat! To the point where I think Evan might switch careers! Lol
Was there a special day or moment that youd like to share?
Every day was awesome! I think we each had our own favorite day. Our each own favorite island and that's why we enjoyed the trip! In particular, Naomi saw an ad for "dolphin interaction" and screamed in enthusiasm about how she's wanted to "kiss a dolphin since forever!" The group has always known about Naomi's "obsession" with dolphins and laughed it off and said they would explore the island and lay on the beach while she "went to kiss a dolphin." Evan said he would go with her but wouldn't do it, Austin saw Naomi was a little upset no one wanted to share in the moment with her so he said, "I'll join you Naomi. I'll do it too." And he did!! This is above and beyond of what is expected from a captain and even customer service! Even the other tourists were surprised that our captain joined me and said we must be on one great boat! Evan said he liked & respected Austin even more for joining me when he didn't have to.
Would you spend another vacation with this yacht and crew?
Honestly, we cannot imagine another vacation without THIS yacht and crew!! Of course we would!
On a scale of 1 10 with 10 being excellent, how would you rate:(add any comments you feel pertinent)
Yacht 10 but I think a keuring or new coffee maker would definitely be helpful!
Would you recommend On Deck Charters to your friends?
Yes! 110% with Austin and Phillipa as crew!
Philippa gave our youngest Kyle so many important "Chef Jobs" to do while she prepared meals; he was so smitten with her and he began talking "Irish" after we returned home. Kenna rarely left the captains chair (or stopped talking and asking him questions). Each morning as Austin prepared the boat to sail he would get a few pillows to prop Kenna up so she could "keep watch" with him. What a saint he is...
Austin guided daily snorkel scavenger hunts for the 3 kids and my brother who doesn't dive. This was helpful as my brother would not have been comfortable in the water alone with all the kids. Philippa led us on some great dives and gave me helpful pointers/feedback after each dive. My confidence as a diver grew leaps and bounds throughout the week!!
A special thanks to you for allowing us to change the pickup/drop off spot last minute. We are not sure of the rule changes ect..., but we are so grateful you had everything under control. We saved so much time and money (and stress) not having to ferry over to Tortola.
My worries were put to rest within minutes of pulling away from you at Red Hook. They were completely enthusiastic and accommodating to my every need. They are much different from my previous experience, but it was truly a relaxing vacation. We explored new dive sites, blazed new courses around the islands I did not know well, and showed me things I had not seen. It was easily one of the most fun charters I have had there.
Even when things beyond their control they improvised and resolved the issues quickly and completely. For example, the dive shop was not open on Jost on Saturday and we had no full tanks....most crews would have said lets do something else. I wanted to dive the Cathedral, so Austin took the tender to Tortola and returned with tanks ready to dive. We still had time for Soggy Dollar, Foxys for Happy Hour, and two football games. Returning to the boat, I wanted a late night snack, and Austin whipped up a "gourmet" grilled cheese while Philippa and I planned out the next day's dives.
Since I was coming alone for a great portion of my charter, it had to be tougher on the crew to keep me entertained; but you would never have known it. In fact on one day alone we hit four islands, made two dives, I did four water ski runs, we made happy hour at Foxy Taboos, and still had time for three meals on board, and a night cap at Foxy Taboos. That was a typical day!
Great crew, fun boat, and very accommodating owners. I will be back sooner than later!
-Julie,Taylor & Kevin
I want to take the time to truly thank you for your suggestion to book with Matt and Melissa on Free Ingwe - what an awesome couple of individuals, and what a great team they make! They took care of our diverse group, and yet everyone felt like the vacation was tailored to them individually.
Matt showed an expert knowledge of the area and the workings of sailing vessels, answering our many, many questions, and was always kind and patient. Melissa has a very funny sense of humor, and is a master of cuisine, delivering a continuous cavalcade of delicious treats and sumptuous meals, magically from inside a small galley, and yet each night topped the last!
Also, both Matt and Melissa are accomplished divers - we felt really safe and very well-guided on all the dives, and saw some amazing things - my tarpon fishing buddies will never believe that I got to swim with a school of tarpon :) We also enjoyed the time at Peter Island - we were greeted with the most fantastic morning rainbow we have ever seen - I am sure Matt and Melissa ordered it up especially for us :)
Again, what an absolutely awesome trip - we will be back, and we can't to see our new Caribbean friends again!
Brett Z, aboard Catamaran Free Ingwe sailing the Virgin Islands