La Bella Verde Talks Balearic Sailing, Sustainability & Global Success

Posted on August 14, 2018

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

Images: Tamara Sini

As anyone who has spent an extended amount of time on the island can tell you, the White Isle has an inexplicable and unpredictable energy that will, every now and again, give you a push in the right direction on the path of fulfilling your dreams. And so it might be a random, yet unsurprising coincidence that the story of eco-friendly catamaran charter company La Bella Verde began when founding members Charlie and Alistair bonded over a vintage shirt from the famous Sant Jordi market – when they met on a mountain in Bulgaria!

Charlie laughs, “We were at a festival and I saw Alistair coming over the top of the hill at 6am, this dread-locked person in snakeskin leggings and this cool shirt. I asked him where he got it from, and it turned he had bought it at Sant Jordi market, and was living in Ibiza like me.” And as Alistair, who, at the time, was sailing a boat called The Life Of Riley with third La Bella Verde co-founder Maarten, fell madly in love with Charlie’s friend Mia – they are now married and Mia has also joined the LBV crew – it seems that this partnership was indeed written in the stars.

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Five seasons after the trio started their eco-friendly catamaran tours around the Balearic Islands after converting the original Life Of Riley by installing solar panels for a cleaner way of sailing, and the company is growing at an ambitious pace. This month, two brand new boats are set to join the existing fleet, and there is talk of expanding not only into Europe, but worldwide. The young and creative team is certainly not short of drive, passion and commitment, with each of the boys sporting the La Bella Verde logo – a tribute to the four elements and symbol of unity, with an outline of the flower of life behind it – as a tattoo. We caught up with the crew halfway through a successful season to find out what’s next…

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La Bella Verde Interview Essentialibiza 2018 By Tamara Sini La Skimal006

How has the La Bella Verde project evolved over the past five years?
The idea stemmed from finding old catamarans and giving them a new life by converting them to using solar power, but now we are using these original moulds to have some brand new boats built. They should be arriving any day now!

What sailing routes do you offer?
It’s a little bit weather dependent, but as well as sailing to Espalmador and Formentera, sometimes we go from Salinas to Es Vedra. But we have found that people who come here on holiday like to do a little island-hopping, and so the route going from Salinas to Espalmador, and then Formentera, is very popular. We usually sail until around the 10th of October.

We have heard you prepare an amazing picnic for your passengers, too!
Yeah, we do. All of the smaller ingredients, like the salad leaves and cherry tomatoes, are home-grown in the garden by one of our captains, who also created the picnic menu!

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Sustainability is something that is very important to you as individuals and as a company…
Yes. That’s why we have set up a foundation that is not only fundraising to protect the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Salinas and Espalmador that we frequent, but also working with local venues and supermarkets on improving their ‘plastic footprint’. We want to create a whole platform for living more consciously and we will take the foundation to every site that we’ll expand into. On Ibiza, we have opened a little hub in an old sailing school on Salinas beach, from where we operate the foundation and educate the children that come down to learn sailing on sustainability and marine preservation. But it’s actually amazing how green and environmentally aware a lot of the younger generation are already living.

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Tell us about your international expansion plans!
We’re kind of looking all over the world. We’ve just been to Berlin, where we have been talking about setting up some riverboats. We will start in Europe, but then possibly expand into America, with all its big lakes and beautiful coastal areas. We want to incorporate a bit of the authentic culture from each place by inviting local artists to decorate the boats and doing some arts and crafts. There aren’t really many places in the world that we couldn’t go with our concept, so we’re going ‘uber-global’.

Further Information & Reservations
t: +34 603 131 174
fb: www.facebook.com/labellaverdeibiza
w: www.labellaverde.org

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