Treat yourself to a well-deserved winter charter in the Caribbean, or for the intrepid traveller - go further afield
Caribbean yacht charters are simply idyllic – 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.
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. On your private yacht charter in the Caribbean you can do as little or as much as you like.
Pedants may tell you that this archipelago isn’t actually in the Caribbean but in fact ever so slightly north, but few Caribbean charters make the distinction.
Most visitors to the Bahamas never make it further than Nassau and Paradise Island, but with over 700 islands, secluded cays, a Fountain of Youth, the largest blue hole in the world and near-perfect weather all year round, these islands have so much more to offer. The Bahamas are a beach and watersports mecca, and there’s no easier, more luxurious way to travel here than by yacht.
The Andros Barrier Reef – the world’s third largest living organism – is a dazzling underwater adventure for any diver looking for a challenge, while if it’s the beaches you’re after, set sail for Eleuthera and Harbour Island and wiggle your toes in the warm pink sand.
The stuff of island fantasy, The Exumas – 365 islands, most uninhabited, several celebrity-owned – make up a 120-mile-chain in the Bahamas.
With warm, clear water in varying shades of blue and green, abundant marine life, thriving corals, sparkling powdery white sand beaches – more than enough of them to make finding seclusion easy – and laidback beachside bars on some of the pretty islands, the area’s appeal is clear. Superb snorkelling, exhilarating sailing, unusual fauna (swimming pigs, friendly iguanas) and an interesting history seal the deal, making this a perfect Caribbean yachting territory.
The Leeward Islands
These islands, which take their name from the prevailing winds that blow north, offer vast aquamarine waters, dazzling reefs, safe harbours, azure lagoons and virgin white-sand beaches. With a myriad of activities, from beachcombing and snorkelling to fine dining and shopping, it’s the perfect place to spend lazy days exploring by yacht.
The race set head to Antigua, while on St Maarten you’ll find a spicy marriage of European and Caribbean cultures and some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean.
Visit the tiny port of Gustavia, on the ultra-chic French Caribbean island of St Barthélemy (St Barts) where the local beach bars sell a dozen types of champagne and serve up fine French cuisine or splash out at the designer boutiques.
The British Virgin Islands
With steady trade winds, protected bays and no shortage of beach-side bars where you can pull up for lunch, the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) is a popular destination for Caribbean yacht charters.
On the largest isle of Tortola, the beach is the star attraction. These powdery white sands are the best in the BVIs, and some of the best in the entire Caribbean. Smuggler’s Cove is difficult to get to – round the westernmost point of the island with a tender for the best route in, keeping an eye out for sea turtles.
Meanwhile, Virgin Gorda is a heady mix of sea, sun and wild nature. The main attraction is The Baths National Park, where massive granite boulders join together to form natural pools of clear seawater on the contours of the shoreline – perfect for floating and catching a few rays. Nearby is Devil’s Bay Beach, a secluded spot where you can daydream, nap or dive – if you can bring yourself to move from the idyllic white sand beach that is.
The Windward Islands – made up of Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada – are some of the loveliest islands on earth.
With their deep blue waters, quiet coves and tropical islands dotted with powdery beaches, emerald mountain peaks, forests sprinkled with jasmine and wild orchids, endless white beaches and star-studded skies – not to mention a slew of activities on offer – these islands will seduce you with their bounty. The only trouble you’ll have is deciding which piece of paradise to head to first.
Whether you yearn for the rugged beauty of St Lucia with its dramatic twin coastal peaks, or Dominica, which is blanketed by untamed forest, or to experience the vibrant culture of Antigua, home to rainbow-coloured villages and smiling locals, you’ll find much to enjoy on a Caribbean charter in the Windward Islands.
For the intrepid traveller
If you’re a regular on the Caribbean charter circuit, then maybe this is the year you should change your cruising ground to the Indian Ocean where we have a selection of yachts available. Superb powder-white beaches, stunning coral reefs, lush tropical vegetation and crystal-clear seas epitomise the picture-postcard beauty of the Indian Ocean. From the Maldives to the Seychelles, these islands are the stuff of travel dreams.
Or perhaps Europeans might want to stay closer to home and enjoy a charter in the Red Sea. A region is famed for world class diving, with over 2000 kilometers of thriving reef and rich wildlife stretching along its coastline. With the perfect balance of culture, adventure, relaxation, beach life, nature and water sports on offer, a visit to the Red Sea is guaranteed to offer something truly memorable on an Edmiston charter yacht.
25th January 2021 |