Art & Antiques Take to the High Seas

Bonita Springs, FL, October 05, 2006 --( 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.

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.

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.”

Dealer Support
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 Fine 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.”

Grand Luxe Logistics
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.

Contact Information:
For further information, please contact:
David Lester, Principal, Expoships LLLP

Please visit: for press updates online

Expoships, LLLP
Marnie Gloor
David Lester
Managing Principal