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Charter yacht could dock in Suffolk

A unique, new entertainment venue has arrived in Norfolk and could be coming to Suffolk, too.

The Virginia Elite is a new, private charter yacht available beginning this week for private events and celebrations. Sales and Marketing Director Tina Swan said the Elite should be able to dock at Constant’s Wharf in downtown Suffolk if requested for specific events.

“We’re totally excited,” said Swan. “It’s perfect timing to get a private yacht charter boat that can take people on more intimate, fine dining, elegant dinner experiences.”

Entertainment Cruises, the parent company of the larger Spirit of Norfolk as well as 29 other vessels, will christen the Virginia Elite at 3 p.m. Thursday. The 70-foot Virginia Elite will be berthed at Town Point Park in the downtown Norfolk harbor.

Swan said the company had an elite charter boat in the early 2000s and took it to Suffolk frequently.

“We used to take it to Suffolk and Smithfield, because there were companies out there that wanted us to,” she said.

The Elite will be ideal for corporate outings, holiday parties, client entertaining, weddings, rehearsal dinners, engagement parties, bridal showers, milestone birthday celebrations and other exclusive events, Swan said.

“Having an event on the boat is completely customizable,” Swan said. “Some people will pay anything for that.”

The Elite will be able to hold up to 80 people. Fine dining on board will include customized menus and hors d’oeuvres, and décor, live entertainment and custom floral arrangements are some of the available options to enhance the experience.

“We can design a route to explore the best of Southeastern Virginia’s waterfront,” Jolene Price-Thompson, general manager, stated in a press release.

Charter fee prices start at $1,500 for two hours, plus the addition of a menu option and other customizable parts of the experience such as the length of the cruise.

Swan said while the market for such elite events may not be what it once was, the Elite already has several events scheduled.

“To have a yacht on the water that’s completely yours — to me, that’s priceless,” Swan said. “There’s no limit on exclusivity and a private event.”

The Spirit of Norfolk has increased bookings and revenues since a $1.2 million renovation last year, and the company expects that the ongoing improvements on the Norfolk waterfront, including the Waterside district, will bring even more business to the Elite — and vice versa.

“There are a ton of people that are excited,” Swan said. “The renaissance of Norfolk has really kicked off in the last 12 months.”