The insider's guide to Caribbean charters
Caribbean yacht charters are the stuff of dreams – if Heaven was a place on earth it would surely be here amid the colourful reefs, sugar-white sands and palm-fringed islands that freckle the Caribbean Sea under cloudless skies like nature’s own beauty spots.
The string of Caribbean islands can roughly be split into two – the Greater Antilles to the northwest, which includes the larger islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rica, the Cayman Islands and Hispaniola, the dual-isle of Dominican Republic/Haiti (as well as practically speaking, at least, the Bahamas), and the Lesser Antilles, a chain of islands that stretches all the way from the Virgin Islands in the north to Grenada in the south.
With over 7,000 islands to choose from in this paradisiacal playground – of which fewer than 10% are inhabited – Caribbean Yacht charters offer the chance to drop anchor on your own desert island and cut yourself off completely from the rest of the world. Here you can bathe and snorkel in turquoise waters or doze off beneath a swaying palm tree, the silence broken only by the kiss of the waves upon the shore or the squawk of a parrot in the tropical trees above.
Of course, there is lots of culture and heritage to experience too, not to mention thrilling adventures to be had, whether you want to explore vibrant underwater worlds or trek amid unspoiled rainforest.
When we think is the best time to charter a yacht in the Caribbean
With year-round sunshine, Caribbean yacht charters are very popular. There is a tropical maritime climate in the Caribbean, with temperatures ranging from 24°C (75°F) to around 32°C (90°F).
Wet season runs from May to October, making November through to May the preferable time for Caribbean charters. Spending Christmas in the Caribbean or ringing in the new year on a private island or at an exclusive beach resort here has almost become a rite of passage for the jet set.
If you’re cruising the Bahamas on Boxing Day, Junkanoo is a festival of colourful parades and parties that fizz with the energy of the Rio Carnival and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras – you can join in the fun or just soak up the energy as you sip rum cocktails in your sundeck’s hot tub.
Our favourite places to eat, drink and party on a Caribbean yacht charter
If you like exotic food, you’ve come to the right place. The Caribbean’s history as a place of migration and enforced slavery means today it’s a fusion of different cultures and cuisines – menus feature everything, from African to Cajun, Indian and Latin American influences, and many in between. Choose from the refined elegance of places like St Maarten’s Le Pressoir, where you can dine on contemporary French cooking in an old colonial house, and more casual scenes such as the one at Basil’s Bar on the isle of Mustique where you can pull up the tender for a dinner of grilled lobster.
Of course, for many, it’s after the sun goes down that the Caribbean really comes into its own and there is lots of choice for those who like to dance ‘til dawn.
At Daddy D’s in the Bahamas things don’t even really get going until midnight, while St Barts has long been known as the Caribbean capital of cool and you haven’t lived if you’ve never visited the secret back room of Le Ti St-Barth.
Our recommendations on things to do on a Caribbean yacht charter
With the chance to swim with pigs in The Exumas, horses in Jamaica and manta rays in The Bahamas, Caribbean yacht charters offer endless edge-of-your-seat activities. Thrill-seekers might like to try night kayaking in transparent boats or even take a night-time scuba dive when the marine world becomes even more colourful.
There are plenty of adventure to enjoy on land too – you can zip wire through the rainforest on St Lucia or take a vintage car ride in Havana. Alternatively, simply chill out in some of the most amazing spas of anywhere in the world, such as the private isle spa of Jumby Bay just off the coast of Antigua.
If you’ve come to the Caribbean to be seen and to spend then St Barts, a sort of St Tropez meets Caribbean chic is the place to be, while resorts don’t come much more perfectly plush than Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla.
What is the currency in the Caribbean?
There are 13 different currencies currently in use in the Caribbean but the East Caribbean dollar, the US dollar and the euro most widely used. Ensure you have a good amount of US dollars in your wallet on your Caribbean yacht charter and you’ll be fine.
Language spoken in the Caribbean
Though there is a wide variety of Creole languages, as well as Spanish, Dutch and French, English is first or second language on most islands and all tourism providers speak it.
Time zone in the Caribbean
Most Caribbean islands use one of two time zones. In the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas they observe Eastern Standard Time (Greenwich Mean Time -5 hours). Confusingly, on the other side of Hispaniola, in the Dominican Republic, they observe the Atlantic Standard Time Zone (Greenwich Mean Time -4 hours), as do all the islands of the Lesser Antilles. However, as some islands observe Daylight Saving Time and some don’t, this does mean local time is not always the same between the islands.
Yachts to charter in the Caribbean
There are so many Caribbean yacht charters available it can be hard to know where to begin, which is where we come in. Let our brokers guide you to find the perfect boat for your private yacht charter in the Caribbean.
19th August 2021 |