The Grand Luxe at Port

Art & Antiques Set Sail On

Expoships' SeaFair

The inaugural SeaFair tour will commence June 2007 in Greenwich, Connecticut announced David J. Lester, president of Expoships LLLP based in Naples, Florida.  Lester is currently launching his new project which creates a new paradigm business venture for art dealers and collectors.  SeaFair offers a venue through which the world's finest galleries are able to deliver art to collectors' doorsteps in a unique, self-contained ultra-luxe seagoing venue. 

Grand Luxe, the luxurious 228-foot yacht, will carry a rotating mix of 28 highly respected international art and antiques dealers to cities and remain docked during a five-day stay;  affluent ports include the Hamptons, the Cape Cod Islands, Manhattan, Washington D.C., Miami Beach  during Miami Basel, numerous cities along the Floridian coast, Savannah and Charleston.

Gallery View One

The annual tour is divided into segments of two to four weeks.  The majority of segments comprise a careful blend of art, antiques and jewelry dealers while other segments focus exclusively on modern and contemporary art.  A Gala Vernissage will inaugurate each port and raise substantial funds for a prominent local charity.  The Grand Luxe yacht is available for private parties which will be hosted by specially vetted companies.

Gallery View Two


As SeaFair is an invitation only event, interested parties are urged to apply on-line since early registration to SeaFair is key due to the limited capacity of the Grand Luxe.  However, Lee Ann Lester explains that "We hope SeaFair's participating galleries will act as Art Ambassadors in our chosen ports generating an increased interest in their community art and cultural establishments.  It is our hope that SeaFair can successfully partner with these local art institutions, galleries and other cultural venues to jump start a community wide Art Week that will involve all interested cultural organizations and patrons."

The Skydeck


Thus far, response from prominent dealers from around the world has been outstanding.  David Lester reports more than one hundred dealers have reserved space aboard the Grand Luxe - most for multiple segments of the tour.  Gallery owners already committed have expressed excitement and conviction that SeaFair offers a new solution to rising problems in the art sales market.  "SeaFair is a remarkable and visionary innovation in the art trade," said Alan Rubin of Pelham Galleries in London.  "This concept is fresh, original and just what so many dealers have been waiting for,"  concurred Robert Fishko of Forum Gallery in New York.  Gilbert Lloyd of Marlborough Fines Arts in London and New York agrees stating "I feel certain that SeaFair will undoubtedly be a tremendous success."


"SeaFair is an innovative concept designed to expand the marketing reach of American and International dealers while revolutionizing interest in the local arts and cultural community" said David Lester.  Lester, with his wife, Lee Ann, founded the Palm Beach International Fine Art & Antiques Fair in 1997 and has organized more than 40 international events in the United States and as far afield as Hong Kong.  "In today's challenging global environment, this custom-designed exhibition yacht brings dealers directly to collectors' seasonal residences rather than requiring the collector to travel a great distance in order to visit world-renowned galleries."


Nichols Brothers Boatyard of Freeland, Washington, was selected to build the unique, shallow draft Grand Luxe which will utilize yacht facilities in each community rather than commercial ports.  The vessel has been under construction since August 2005.  "We were proud to be selected as the builder of the first expoship," said Bryan Nichols, President of Nichols Brothers Boatyard.  "We have great respect for the innovative nature of this project and are working closely with David and Lee Ann Lester to ensure that the first class ship is delivered on schedule."

Naval Architects are DeJong and Lebet of Jacksonville, Florida.  Financing is provided by CAT Financial

The Grand Luxe was designed by Luiz de Basto of Miami, the internationally acclaimed designer of a number of spectacular yachts for international clients.  In addition to its museum quality, climate-controlled exhibition galleries, the ship will have both formal and informal diamond level restaurants, champagne and caviar lounge, an open air concert stage on the sky deck, and indoor and outdoor food and beverage facilities.


Each port visit begins with a Gala Vernissage and Designer Invitational Preview


Long Island Sound
(four weeks)

International Fine Art


Port Washington/Oyster Bay


The Hamptons

Jun 5 - 10

June 13 - 17

June 20 - 24

June 27 - July 1 

New England Islands
(four weeks)
International Fine Art


Martha's Vineyard


Cape Cod

July 4 - 8

July 11 - 15

July 18 - 22

July 25 - 29

Long Island/New England Islands
(four weeks)
Modern and Contemporary Paintings

The Hamptons

Martha's Vineyard



August 2 - 5

August 8 - 12

August 15 - 19

August 22 - 26


Boston to New York
(four weeks)
International Fine Art




New York

September 5 - 9

September 14 - 19

September 26 - 30

October 3 - 7

New York to Washington D.C.
(four weeks)
International Fine Art

New York City




October 10 14

October 17 - 21

October 24 - 28

October 31 - November 4

Washington D.C. to Norfolk
(two weeks)
International Fine Art

Washington D.C.


November 7 - 11

November 14 - 18

Miami Beach, Florida
(two weeks)
Paintings, Sculptures and Photography
Impressionism to Neo-Expressionism

2007 Art Basel

Miami Beach


November 30 - December 9


Editor's Note: For further information please use this link to visit ExpoShips on-line