S/V Physalia, crewed and operated by her owners Chris and Kaya.
Masters level marine scientists, Chris & Kaya can offer your clients a deep immersion into the ocean world, each of them able to engage in discussion on any point of curiosity about the ocean, geology, and wildlife that abound in the Virgin Islands.
They also cater to specialty water sports including kitesurfing and wing-foiling support, as well as onboard SCUBA diving with diving instruction available.
Possibly unique to Physalia, they even have a 15´ double/single scull crew-style row boat on-board in addition to their normal dinghy.
They love treating their guests to out of the way anchorages, scenic naturalist guided hikes, fishing, free diving, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Their top-notch culinary offerings feature local ingredients and cuisines from around the world and have gotten rave reviews.
The third member of the crew and official ship´s ambassador is a very well-behaved and well-trained local pup named Waldo who melts hearts everywhere he goes. Please consider them for your clients, they won´t be disappointed!
Cruising Area of Physalia
3 QUEEN CABINS.
If guests are interested in Kiteboarding, the crew will build this into the itinerary and make the necessary arrangements.
Captain is not a certified sailing instructor but is happy to teach guests the basics of sailing.
2 Stand-Up Paddle boards
Selection of snorkeling gear for all guests
6 Fishing rods and tackle - Shimano
Double/Single skull row boat
Yacht offers onboard diving.
Dives for certified divers are $60 per certified diver
Referral Dive certification $295
Discover Scuba Diving $200
Additional scuba diving equipment will cost an average of $150 per person/per week. Scuba gear includes a BCD, regulator, weights and tank. Crew will arrange rental equipment on behalf of the guests and have it onboard when guests arrive
Wetsuits, if desired, need to be rented.
We use organic/locally grown produce when available. We provide guests with reef friendly sunscreen and bath products/toiletries. We provide filtered water to limit single use plastics. We provide re-usable water/beverage tumblers to limit plastic/disposable cup use. We use marine/reef friendly dish soap and cleaning products for the interior and exterior of the yacht.\ We use re-usable grocery bags. We are affiliated with ´Sailors for the Sea´ - Keeping our Waters Blue by Boating Green! Our crew are guided by this organization in reducing our footprint. We support ´Sailors for the Sea´ initiatives. We provide information to our guests on the best practices for ´Traveling Green´ Inspiring our guests on the importance of the preservation of our oceans and the beautiful islands in which we vacation. Maximize the use of sail power, to minimize engine emissions. We have a separate battery bank for the A/C (this means the generator does not have to run at night)
Physalia Crew Profile
Chef /First Mate
MEET YOUR CREW - Captain Chris Stubbs and Chef/First Mate Kaya Carrion
Chris has been sailing since he was a small child growing up surrounded by the barrier islands and marshes of the Carolinas. His first jobs were teaching sailing and then crewing larger monohulls which led to several months aboard a 120´ schooner in New Zealand at 18. At the College of Charleston, he doubled in Anthropology and Geology with a minor in Archeology while first working as a Divemaster and Aquarium Diver, and then later joining the scientific and marine crews aboard oceanographic research vessels. Chris continued working aboard research and survey vessels through grad school while completing his Masters in Geology at UCSB. In this time, he made the first maps of tens of thousands of seafloor methane seeps in offshore California, the Gulf of Mexico, and Siberia. He also began taking friends on epic bareboat sailing adventures in the Channel Islands while advancing his scuba background and exploring his new obsession of kitesurfing.
Following grad school, he continued working in the marine geophysical survey and oceanography industries beginning in Antarctica. In 2013, he established his own freelance consulting business, and to date has worked in all the world´s oceans and continents while maintaining an excellent offshore safety record. A passionate maritime tour guide, Chris holds a 100-ton USCG Master Captain license and loves introducing his charter guests to the wonders of the Virgin Islands. A life-long extrovert, Chris loves meeting people from all walks of life and sharing stories. He spends his free time traveling, kitesurfing/foiling, trying to break out of the beginner ranks of free diving and wing foiling, and playing in the ocean with his fiance Kaya.
Kaya grew up in her family home in Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, Kaya spent her life fishing, crewing, and living aboard powerboats traversing the British, US, and Spanish Virgin Islands. Her childhood experiences on the water inspired her to pursue a career in marine science and she has since completed first her Bachelor´s and then her Master´s degree in Marine Biology. When Kaya began her undergraduate studies she was introduced into the world of scientific diving at Florida International University where she worked in a seagrass ecology lab and gained experience with research diving throughout the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, including Dry Tortugas National Park. Kaya graduated summa cum laude, with undergraduate research experience, and membership into Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Her marine biology career continued soon after in the Virgin Islands, where she worked as a research assistant and expanded her diving experience, becoming a certified technical diver with TDI advanced nitrox and decompression diving.
More recently, Kaya´s marine science career focuses on tropical coral and fish ecology. Her diving experiences have been incredibly unique with hundreds of scientific dives completing surveys for coral health, coral reef fishes, lobster, and more. Kaya is also a highly experienced boat operator and anticipates finishing her USCG 100-ton Master license in 2022. Apart from her ocean experiences, Kaya is fully bilingual and grew up in a family of passionate foodies including several professional chefs. Her food passion started with Puerto Rican cuisine, but grew after traveling the world where she learned and became passionate about authentic foods from Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Greece, and many other countries, cooking and learning from locals at homestays throughout her multiple backpacking journeys. Kaya can provide signature dishes from many regions of the world and cater to a broad array of pallets.
Fun fact: In her free time, Kaya loves underwater photography! Check out some of her favorites on instagram! @kayacarey
Kaya and Chris met on a marine science job in Culebra, PR in 2015 and were soon spending every free moment together. After the job, Chris followed Kaya first around Puerto Rico, and then began visiting her between jobs. Conspiring with her sisters, Chris surprised Kaya during a visit to see family in Ireland when she finally agreed to be his girlfriend. They have since crossed the US via campervan, traveled through an additional dozen countries, and lived in CA, FL, PR, and the USVI together. They have made a point of taking regional cooking classes as they have traveled the world, and take pride in being adventurous eaters. They are both passionate marine scientists with teaching experience at the university level, and love introducing their guests to the wonders of the ocean world. Their combined skills and experience offer travelers a broad array of options for indulging in all aspects of life at sea. Avid photographers, they can offer guests add-on packages of drone and underwater photos from their trips. While both at home in the USVI, they specialize in the BVI and Spanish VI where Kaya grew up cruising and they both know intimately. Chris and Kaya got engaged on a trip to Australia in 2022.
Physalia CalendarAvailableBookedHold (can be challenged)Unavailable
Physalia Reservations & Port Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Details (Holds can be challenged)|
|Jun 10, 2023||Jun 17, 2023||Booked: Tortola, TBD to Tortola, TBD|
|Jun 19, 2023||Jun 24, 2023||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Jul 01, 2023||Jul 31, 2023||Unavailable: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Aug 01, 2023||Oct 31, 2023||Unavailable: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Dec 27, 2023||Jan 03, 2024||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Mar 01, 2024||Mar 08, 2024||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Mar 10, 2024||Mar 16, 2024||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|May 20, 2024||May 27, 2024||Booked: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
|Jun 01, 2024||Oct 31, 2024||Unavailable: Yacht Haven Grand to Yacht Haven Grand|
Physalia Rates / weekThe prices shown are for the entire yacht for a week-long (7 nights) charter. Inquire for lowest rate.
Low price: $16,000
High price: $22,000
|Season||2 Pax||3 Pax||4 Pax||5 Pax||6 Pax|
Yacht terms: All Inclusive
An all-inclusive charter covers all provisioning and running expenses. This includes a captain and crew that is fully trained and committed to your safety and enjoyment of your trip. A chef will provide the kind of exceptional, personalized meal preparation that you would expect of a five-star restaurant. The listed rate may not include all local taxes, cruising permits, premium beverages and scuba activities. Inquire for more information.
ADDITIONAL RATE DETAILS
Yacht is able to charter in the BVI
St. Thomas pick-up and drop-off.
BVI Cruising fees are excluded.
CHRISTMAS $24,000 (Up to 6 guests and must end by 12/26)
NEW YEARS RATES: $26,500 (Up to 6 guests)
HALF-BOARD RATES (7/4/3 BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER): $150 discount per person
4 lunches and 3 dinners ashore at client expense
LOCAL FARE OPTION (7/5/6): $75 discount per person
2 lunches and 1 dinner ashore at clients expense
CHILD DISCOUNT: No child discount offered
LESS THAN 6 NIGHT CHARTERS DIVIDE BY 6 RULE: (Rate / 6 X #Nights)
Rate divided by 6N X number of nights. For 6 nights divide rate by 7 X 6N.
Physalia Guest Reviews
A Delightful Adventure.
Wow, this was a trip of a lifetime. I spend part of the year living in St. Thomas and expected this to be like my experiences on my friends’ boats. It was far more wonderful! What a delightful adventure! Amazing food, personalized SCUBA experiences, secret beaches, undiscovered places, a whole marine education in a week… it was more than I ever could have expected and so much fun!
Before we boarded, a friend said, “you are going to learn so much this week.” Indeed I did. I am so much more knowledgeable about all things ocean VI thanks to these incredible humans.
You keep going Kaya and Chris, the experience you are creating is something of magic.
Perfect Combination of 5 Star Hotel and a Robinson Crusoe Adventure!
The trip was a combination of a floating 5 star hotel and a Robinson Crusoe adventure! We started and ended each day with a gourmet prepared-from-scratch meal from Kaya and during the day we went wherever the wind would take us. Well, it felt that way with visits to deserted beaches and wrecks (and the occasional wild beach bar), but of course the itinerary was well and carefully curated to give us the best possible experience.
Kaya’s knowledge of the seas and its inhabitants is amazing and Chris’ captaining, dive leadership, and knowledge of everything is incredible, but be warned that you may have to ask Chris to repeat an explanation because the depth of his geological knowledge was over our heads once or twice.
The trip could not have been better. Thank you for showing us the best of the BVIs and USVIs above water and below.
There really aren’t enough words to describe how much we enjoyed this trip! We have never been to the Virgin Islands before, and have not chartered ever, but I’m convinced we could not have chosen better than Physalia!
Chris and Kaya were the best hosts! So many things about this trip were amazing because of them. Their knowledge of the area, and of the sea and sea life, gave us insight we would not have had elsewhere. They were so kind, so patient with all our questions, and so flexible in adapting to our likes, dislikes, and limitations. AND - I CAN NOT SAY ENOUGH GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE FOOD!!!!! I have been blessed to eat in many excellent restaurants, and the food this week was better than all those experiences. The flavors, the variety, the presentation, all absolutely top notch!
The Virgin Islands are absolutely beautiful all day, every day, but what made this an unrivaled experience was the choice of Physalia, Chris, and Kaya! Thank you for everything, and we hope to visit again in the future!
Relax At Sea
My mother picked this trip because she wanted to relax at sea. Even though I was not ecstatic at the idea as I was tired of traveling after doing it for a while, I found it helped me find that relaxation I needed. Going to sleep with the motion of the waves is like being sung a lullaby when you were a baby, and always having panoramic views is a beautiful thing. Both Chris and Kaya are good people, hardworking, and smart! You can see the breadth of experiences they’ve had based on how they approach topics and of which topics they speak about. Kaya is a great cook and a sensible person, making sure people always feel good. Chris is a great captain who you can have great conversations with and is a grounded individual with a good heart. I enjoyed having the trip with them.
Muchisimas Gracias - Thank You So Much
Bianca Cogorno review April 8, 2023
“Muchísimas gracias por tener la suerte de estar en Physalia. La mejor comida hecha por Kaya y el mejor capitán, Chris, que nos dio mucha seguridad en la navegación. ¡La comida mejor, imposible! ¡Lo mejor de lo mejor! Cariñosos, buenas personas, gracias por todo y por tan linda experiencia!”
“Thank you so much. We are so lucky to have been on Physalia. The best food prepared by Kaya and the best captain, Chris, who gave us so much security while sailing. ¡Better food would have been impossible! ¡The best of the best! Loving, good people, thank you for such a beautiful experience!”
I picked this vacation for my senior trip and I´m so glad I did!!! This trip was the most exciting, yet relaxing trip I have ever been on. Every day we had a new adventure and I was never bored. We were able to go to so many places and see lots of sea animals. Chris and Kaya are such kind people, who know basically everything about the ocean and were able to teach me so much!! Kaya is also a super good cook, and everything she makes is so good! I don´t think I have a favorite place, because they were all so good, but I loved the Baths, and loved it when Chris and Kaya guided me through swimming through an underwater cave thing. This is the coolest vacation I have ever been on, and I never want to leave!! (Waldo is also SO cute!)
This trip has been amazing. I have only great things to say. Chris and Kaya were both great captains, and they were both very knowledgeable about everything. I really enjoyed everything that we did. From snorkeling to fishing to cruising around the beautiful islands of the USVI and BVI. Each spot that we went to was so unique and fun, and Chris and Kaya’s expertise made these places even more fun. I really enjoyed seeing many different sea creatures that I never imagined seeing.
The Rhone shipwreck was awesome, and learning about the history of the ship made it even more awesome. Each and every spot that Chris and Kaya chose for our journey was unbelievable, and the beaches and clear water left me speechless. Everything that we did this week was truly amazing, and they are things that I will cherish forever.
Something else that I will never forget is the sensational food that Kaya cooked. Every single thing that I ate on this charter was phenomenal. Kaya cooked, prepped, and baked everything to perfection. I truly can’t decide what my favorite dish or dessert was, because they were all so so so good. Kaya’s cooking was by far my favorite food of anything I ate on this trip. The techniques and cuisine that Kaya cooked was mastered to perfection. It shows you how much she cares about her guests and loves to cook when she wakes up at 4:30 AM to make a fresh loaf of sourdough bread.
In conclusion, all of Kaya’s food was out of this world delicious, and I can not speak more highly about her abilities as a chef.
This fishing was also awesome, and we caught and released many different kinds of snappers and jacks. We even caught and released a stingray and an awesome bar jack. This was one of the highlights of my trip. And again, Chris and Kaya’s knowledge made fishing here even more fun. All in all, this trip was such a fun time. Being able to spend time with my family in maybe the best place in the world is something I’ll never forget.
I’m so glad that Chris and Kaya were our captains, and I’m so glad that I got to spend time with them and my family in this unbelievably beautiful place. Thank you Chris and Kaya!!! I really hope to do this again, and maybe next time become SCUBA certified by Chris. I will never forget this trip, thanks again Chris and Kaya!
Best Decision Ever!
Our week on Physalia is one that will stay with us forever!
We chartered this boat for our daughter’s high school senior family trip, and it was the best decision ever. Chris and Kaya were absolutely amazing. Their knowledge and experience far exceeded our expectations, and only made the voyage even more perfect than we had hoped. It’s hard to pick the best part of the trip, because we saw so many amazing places.
We opted for half-board, but if we ever have the chance to do it again, we will go full-board. Kaya’s meals were AMAZING. Better than any restaurant we ate in, and easily on par with a high end chef. To say this was one of our most memorable, (if not THE most memorable) vacatio we have ever had, would be completely accurate, and we would tell anyone that has the opportunity to get on their charter, definitely take it!
Every Day An Amazing Adventure!
We spent seven amazing days onboard with Chris and Kaya and can’t say enough wonderful things! Every day was an amazing adventure, from beach days to the Baths to Scuba diving with sea turtles! Our kids were finishing their scuba certification and were very nervous about it, but Chris and Kaya put them at ease and helped them through every step and by the end of their 4 dives, they were so comfortable and excited about diving! We really appreciated the way Chris and Kaya carefully planned the trip. We had to adjust our itinerary due to the north swell this week and we’re so grateful that they suggested that we do. We would have missed going to the Baths because it was closed - we would have been so sad to miss it!
Now for the food… just wow!!! Every meal was thought out so carefully and the flavors just out of this world! We really enjoyed watching her bake from scratch everything from corn tortillas to sourdough to bread rolls and so much more! The homemade sourdough and bread rolls were literally in the top 5 things I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating in my life and I lived in France so that is saying a lot!! My son said the lemon ricotta pancakes were the best thing he’s ever tasted!
Chris and Kaya worked so hard to make this an amazing trip for us and we are so grateful! We’ll be back for sure! We will really miss Waldo and are also so impressed with how well behaved and fun he was!!
Oh, and our 14 year old daughter is really interested in science and nature and it has been so fun that Kaya and Chris are both scientists! It’s been like having an encyclopedia onboard! We really enjoyed learning so much about all the birds, sea life, and topography of the area!
What an absolutely amazing trip we’ve had!!
Beautiful and Exciting
Anna - 14yrs old
My family took a trip on this yacht and it was amazing! This is the most beautiful and exciting trip I’ve ever been on.
I love boats so much and it’s so refreshing to be on this boat. We went scuba diving and Chris was my instructor. We saw 2 sea turtles and lots of fish! I was so excited to see the turtles because that was one of my goals for the trip.
Kaya is an amazing cook and I’m not usually adventurous as far as food goes - her food is so good!
We’ve also gone to the beach and that was really fun!
I would definitely take this trip again!
We could not have selected a better boat or a better crew.
This is our first sailing experience and it was fantastic. We could not have selected a better boat or a better crew. Kaya and Chris are amazing hosts, guides, educators, conversationalists, and just great people! We enjoyed all our time spent with them and Waldo! :) Kaya is the most wonderful chef who was very attentive to our preferences. Every meal was a 5 star experience. Kaya is so inventive and meticulous to ensure each meal was a complete dining experience.
Chris is a wonderful dive teacher and very patient to assist my husband in re-learning to dive. The foil was a bonus as well. We never once worried for anything and all our expectations were exceeded! Well done and many thanks!
What a wonderful customized experience!
This charter was such a wonderful customized experience. I hardly can express my thanks to Kaya and Chris for their attention to detail at every level! From mapping each day’s itinerary in terms of multiple options, I really liked the kayaks around the rocks, and also the rowboat! I especially loved the sailing! That sound of the motor switching off and just the wind and elements, definitely one of the highlights for me. :) No pressure to do anything whatsoever each day. I had only been on a 4 day charter in Thailand many years ago, so I had forgotten what it was like to be on a boat for consecutive days. I had very little motion sickness at all so was happy about that. It fell away completely once we began the journey. Even so, I appreciated the thought they took into choosing the calm mooring points. Both of them are expert mariners in their waters. It was fun discussing everything over dinner (travels, life experiences, etc…). In general I always like being around scientists and researchers so that was a definite bonus of this trip; in French, a lagniappe, “something extra or unexpected.”
Overall, this was a top level experience. To say nothing of the fantastic gourmet food would be a serious oversight! Kaya is a gourmet chef and it really blew us both away! The way she paired up different ingredients, fresh herbs, so much flavor and variation! Every single day, every meal! Thank you guys so much!
We only have words of gratitude!
Last week we embarked on a week-long journey aboard charter vessel Physalia, visiting the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, as well as other small islands nearby.
For us it was the first time that we went on a charter vacation and we truly loved the experience.
The crew, Captain Chris and first mate Kaya, were incredibly lovable and empathetic, and especially the company of their pet, Waldo, was truly a joy. They were super attentive to all our necessities, Kaya prepared meals that were truly fabulous, and both being marine scientists with profound knowledge of the area, they gave us lessons on marine biology of the Virgin Islands and we were able to learn so much, especially our little Theo of four and a half years of age.
They were especially lovable and patient with Theo, respecting his schedule and tantrums, in addition to facilitating everything necessary for us to enjoy a vacation in the ocean.
We only have words of gratitude for this experience and we want to recommend the experience to all of our friends!
Thank you so much!
Solamente tenemos palabras de agradecimiento
´La semana pasada estuvimos embarcados durante una semana en Charter Physalia, visitando las islas de St.Thomas y St.John, y también algunas pequeñas islas alrededor.
Para nosotros era la primera vez que realizábamos un viaje en un Charter y realmente nos encantó la experiencia. La pareja conformada por el Capitán Chris y su ayudante Kaya fueron super amables y empáticos, y especialmente la compañía de su mascota Waldo fue todo un encanto. Fueron súper atentos ante cada necesidad, Kaya preparó comidas realmente fabulosas, y al ser científicos ambos que conocen profundamente la zona, nos dieron clases de biología marina de las Islas Vírgenes que pudimos aprender muchísimo, sobre todo nuestro pequeño Theo de 4 años y medio. Especialmente fueron super amables y pacientes con Theo respetando sus horarios y berrinches, además de facilitar todo lo necesario para disfrutar unas vacaciones en el mar. Solamente tenemos palabras de agradecimiento por la experiencia y queremos recomendar la experiencia a todos nuestro amigos!
Great With Kids!
Chris and Kaya have taken our family under their sails several times. From teaching my wife and daughter how to venture around St Thomas on Hobie Cats to incredible snorkeling pictures of my son with turtles and stingrays in St John. They are great with kids and have and incredible knowledge base and appreciation of the ocean.
Chris and Kaya were amazing hosts, tour guides, cooks, and sailing experts along with incredible knowledge of St. Thomas and the US Virgin Islands. They facilitated an amazing itinerary that helped create memories our family will cherish for many years. We highly recommend sailing with Chirs and Kaya for a spectacular trip.
Awesome time on the water. They were outstanding and enabled us to all experience a great time. Our group of sailing enthusiasts couldn´t have had more fun as they showcased their expert sailing skills. Their great attitude and hospitality made for a festive time that was enjoyed by all and that will be long remembered.
We couldn´t have had a better experience.
It Was Absolutely Amazing
We booked the catamaran for a trip around St. Thomas. It was absolutely amazing. the crew were beyond accommodating. These guys really enjoy their job and made our experience great. We were laughing the entire time. the boat was extremely clean!
We snorkeled, paddle boarded, took the dinghy everywhere.
We couldn´t have asked for more. We will definitely be using them again and recommending them to friends and family
Perfect Crew For Us
Captain Chris and Kaya were the perfect crew for us. Chris exceeded our expectations! He found the perfect spots for our families to snorkel and enjoy the islands.
I would sail with them any day!
Chris and Kaya were tremendous hosts. From the beginning when Kaya had us remove our footwear until Chris brought us safely back to Charlotte Amalie, we made some great family memories to last a lifetime!
Kaya´s meal preparations were exquisite and Chris´ knowledge of the islands was vast. The sushi night was a fun event, thought of by Kaya!
We are eternally grateful for the professionalism that was extended to our family. Thank you, Chris and Kaya! Hope to see you again!