Photography by Darren Gill
24 October 2022
The 2022 Princess Australia Owners’ Rendezvous at Hayman Island in the Whitsundays was held in picture-perfect conditions, with 14 boats and more than 90 owners and their families and guests from all over the east coast and New Zealand, drawn by the genuine camaraderie and love of family, friends and the finer things.
“We were blessed with amazing weather, glorious sunsets and exceptional hospitality at the InterContinental Hayman Island, and this year, more Princess owners than ever before,” said Greg Haines, Dealer Principal for Princess Yachts Australia, who hosted the four-day event.
Most of the Princess fleet headed north from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and made the 600-nautical-mile journey to the Whitsundays over several days, arriving at Hayman Island in time for the festivities.
Haines organised Princess Rendezvous 2022 shirts, much to the amusement of guests who embraced the theme with gusto.
The fleet of 14 Princess motor yachts berthed at Hayman Island Marina. Owners and their guests were spoilt by the lavish five-star accommodation and amenities at the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort as they prepared for the first night’s Welcome Cocktails followed by the Gala Dinner.
Adam Essex, General Manager Princess Asia-Pacific joined the revellers and there was a segment via Zoom with Princess management in Plymouth, UK sharing the brand’s vision and commitment to their owners all over the world.
Essex was effusive in his praise for Haines and the Princess Yachts Australia team for their organisation of this year’s event, describing it as “exceptional seamanship on display in paradise.”
Greg Haines described the mood of this year’s get-together as “unfettered family fun”.
“Boating is all about family and it’s something we really encourage. We want owners to get the most out of their Princess motor yachts, catch up with old friends and meet new ones.”
The itinerary this year was the result of feedback from 2021 which suggested a lay day after the first night celebrations, for people to sleep in, enjoy the sunshine and take advantage of all the amenities the resort has to offer.
The first evening, guests were treated to a cocktail party at Bar 50, sponsored by Volvo Penta, which was followed by the Gala Dinner in the Arkhurst Ballroom which featured exceptional cuisine on grazing platters and a 6-piece live band.
Jan and Mike Becker from the Sunshine Coast, owners of the Princess 52, Delta Flyer, took part in last year’s event and were eager to attend this year.
“It’s an idyllic setting, we’re all there with the love of boating in common and share stories,” said Jan. “This year was brilliant! Even better than last year!”
The Gala Dinner was a particular highlight. “It was held in a magnificent Ballroom, so much food, a great band and people just let rip and danced the night away,” said Jan.
On day 2, optional activities were scheduled from mid-morning and included informative sessions with the team from Volvo Penta covering topics such as maintenance and future technologies.
There was a Tips & Tricks session aboard Scott Davis’ boat, Latitude, and Scott shared practical advice and his knowledge of Princess motor yachts acquired over his 15-year association with Princess.
At sunset, canapes and cocktails, sponsored by Pantaenius, were a fine way to finish the day.
Simon and Kate Jupe, with their three children, twins Paige and Ethan, aged eight, and Chelsea, 10, have been attending the Princess Rendezvous for four years.
They cruised from the Sunshine Coast aboard their Princess 52, Daydream for a three-week sojourn in the Whitsundays at the start of September and ended their trip with the four-day Princess Rendezvous, “the icing on top,” according to Simon.
“We look forward to it every year – it’s our true, dedicated family time. It’s the highlight of the year. Our children love the boat and they’ve grown a whole lot in their self-confidence and helping on board.
“It was great with all the activities and fun for the little ones. They’re old enough to enjoy tubing and wake surf. Our kids are close to Greg’s kids, and our friends took their boat up this year with their three kids as well.”
That boat, Why Knot, was previously Simon and Kate’s, which their friends bought when Simon and Kate moved onto their new Princess 52.
One of the highlights for Simon was the cruise in formation to Whitehaven Beach on day 3, which he described as “absolutely spectacular”.
A massive marquee was pitched on the pristine white sand beach and a lavish seafood spread and barbeque was provided, courtesy of Seakeeper.
“It’s a very special day and the kids realise how lucky they are to experience it,” said Simon. “We arrived to a wonderful banquet and ice-cold Veuve Clicquot Rich.
“The kids were looked after and played games while some of us tried Fliteboard efoiling, with varying success! We all returned to Hayman exhausted and elated!”
Simon and Kate were pleased with the format of this year’s event which included a day off to enjoy the resort while their kids took part in the InterContinental’s Planet Trekkers Kids’ Club program of fish feeding, pizza making master class and lunch in Amici Restaurant.
“It was great to have some time together by the pool and just soak it all in. Total relaxation.”
On the final day, the Farewell Beach Brunch was held at Bam Bam Cabanas, sponsored by Sanctuary Cove Marina.
Jan and Mike Becker said they were thrilled with every aspect of Rendezvous 2022 and would sign up for next year’s without hesitation.
“When you buy a Princess, you’re welcomed into the family, which means support, care, and being surrounded by passionate people,” explained Jan.
“But really, the boat sells itself; it takes a great team to keep people happy and engaged in the brand. Greg and Scott have put Princess back on the map in Australia, and Andy knows everything about engineering – we learnt so much!
“Management in the UK reaching out to us at the Gala Dinner was pure gold! It shows they’re not stagnant, they’re listening to their customers, and evolving and keeping pace with changes in technology.”
Jan and Mike love the Princess Rendezvous “because all the owners are on the same page, there’s a great vibe, we make new friends and have so many things in common”.
“Everybody was there with their families – it’s such an inclusive event. A boat is a big investment, so it’s very special that Princess Australia recognises that and rewards owners with these amazing social events.”