Yacht Charter GIOIA By Ferretti
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Meet KYLE HOLMES: Yacht GIOIA’s Captain. Originally from Sacramento, California, he grew up sailing the Pacific Ocean, wakeboarding, and commercial fishing. In his formative years, he often went to his family’s house in Mexico where he worked at his family’s fishing company. Simply put, Kyle’s life has always revolved around the water.
When it came time to choose a profession of his own, Kyle knew that no matter what he could not imagine his life away from aquatic endeavors, which led him to pursue a career as a captain after completing four years at the California Maritime Academy. Immediately after graduating, Kyle received his first job on a yacht. For the next twelve years, he has been employed in the industry, with the last seven of those years working as a captain.
He is confident and passionate about his work and continuously strives to make each guest’s experience aboard his vessel memorable in every way conceivable. His extensive knowledge of all things nautical as well as his familiarity with the Islands of the Bahamas make Captain Kyle an invaluable member of the team. When he is not at the helm of Yacht GIOIA, you can find him out racing motocross or cuddled up at home with his beloved French bulldog, Maverick.
Meet MARIANNE VALENZUELA: Yacht GIOIA’s Chief Stewardess. Her passion for traveling led her to pursue a career in the yachting hospitality and service industry. She began her journey in Valenzuela City, Philippines – where she was born and raised. As a young adult, Marianne decided to study Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of San Jose - Recoletos in Cebu City. At the age of 26, she landed a job at a resort in Thailand. She quickly scaled the ranks – going from being the Office Manager to the Resort Manager who was responsible for managing all three of their properties.
That is, until she discovered the joy of working out on the open water which made her realize that yachting is where she was meant to be. Throughout her nine years in the yachting profession, she has served on various vessels ranging from 33m to 143m. Of all the exotic locations she has had the pleasure of visiting, French Polynesia and Australia have been her favorites so far. Her passion for creating a warm and friendly environment is deeply rooted in who she is – both on and off the job.
Her exquisite taste is only matched by her ability to divine the desires of those in her care and deliver an exceptional experience for every guest aboard the yacht at all times
Meet MCKENNA DUGGAN: Yacht GIOIA’s Second Stewardess. Having been to 25 countries on four different continents, she is the poster-child for a well-learned, globetrotting traveler. She may have grown up on a ranch in Texas and lived there until she was about 10 years old, but since then she has called a variety of locales and countries home. This includes living on a 45-meter Privilège Catamaran in Spain and Morocco for several years, living in Costa Rica for three months, living in the United Kingdom for six months, living in Washington state for two years, and even attending high school in Spain.
McKenna spent the majority of her childhood traveling internationally and sailing the Mediterranean with her family, and it would seem as though she was destined to work in the yachting industry considering she comes from a dynasty of women in the profession. In fact, her two older sisters are also employed as stewardesses and her mother is first mate/chief of staff – one could say yachting is quite literally in her blood.
Yet travel is far from her only interest, you’ll find her brushing up on her second and third languages – Spanish and Mandarin. That’s not to say that she doesn’t like to have a good time. She loves music (with a particular fondness for Reggaetón, Bachata, and Motown) as well as baking. Fascinating, entertaining, and brimming with a wealth of knowledge – getting to know McKenna is an adventure in and of itself!
Meet STORM CUTHBERT: Yacht GIOIA’s Deckhand. Born and raised in coastal towns in South Africa, Storm eventually settled in Knysna in the Western Cape province. The ocean has been and continues to be, an integral part of his entire life and he has made it a point to never stray far from it. Furthermore, his deep love, respect, and appreciation of marine life have amplified his fondness for the open water.
In his free time, Storm enjoys surfing, skating, and playing instruments – particularly the guitar. Prior to beginning his career in the yachting industry, he was employed flexing his creative muscles as a graphic designer. While he no longer works in the trade, he still finds great joy in painting and drawing when inspired. Storm has also previously worked as a surf instructor and in hospitality, making his employment as GIOIA’s deckhand a truly natural transition.
When all is said and done, Storm is the kind of guy who always wants to help and he does so with a big smile and a can-do attitude. His outgoing and welcoming nature makes him effortlessly easy to be around and get to know. We have every confidence you will find him as genuinely likable and hardworking as we do!
Meet BEN SHIHAB: Yacht GIOIA’s First Mate. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, he enlisted in the US Marines straight out of high school and started working in the maritime industry in 2007 on dive boats.
Ben has worked on everything from dive boats to sailing vessels. He even worked on a U.S. Naval carrier twice, both times aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) which is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. He holds his 200t Captain’s license and is currently working on obtaining his OOW/500t license as well. Between work and travel Ben has seen five continents and nearly thirty countries.
That’s not all – Ben is also a Safari Guide in Southern Africa, where he guides photo Safaris that focus on conservation. He is an incredibly skilled, award-winning photographer who has had his work published in publications such as National Geographic. Not to mention he speaks fluent Arabic. When he’s not on the job, you will find Ben scuba diving, surfing, or engaging with photography and wildlife
Meet TAYLA WILLOWS: Yacht GIOIA’s Chef. Tayla grew up in South Africa and has always had an innate drive to nurture, making the hospitality industry a natural choice. She got her start in the yachting industry in France aboard superyachts and has since completed numerous professional hospitality courses.
Professionally trained in London, Tayla obtained her Level 2 CTH Certificate in Culinary Arts from the accredited Ashburton Cookery School in Devon.
When asked about her particular culinary style, she uses words such as ‘creative,’ ‘gastronomic,’ and ‘fun’ – but much like any great artist she had to start by experimenting and learning to master many different classic styles of cuisine. She has taken it upon herself to become an expert in the basic techniques of numerous, classic cuisine styles, including (but not limited to) South African, American, Thai, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian. Despite being traditionally trained in fine dining and French cuisine by qualification, her real-world experience has made her comfortable crafting new methods upon request.
Her favorite meals to construct are healthy, home-cooked collations, but she also has a great deal of knowledge when it comes to vegetarian, vegan, and Sirt Food diets and she easily navigates her way through special dietary food requirements and allergies when fashioning her delectable works of art.