The 5 Best Places for Sailing Charters This Summer
Oh, hello sweet summer! Ok, perhaps it’s a little premature to be celebrating our favorite season of the year, but with summer in full-swing, and school’s out, and days off are all about soaking up as much family-friendly fun-in-the-sun as possible.
From boat drinks to beach days, nothing beats the great outdoors during those much-anticipated summer months—especially when you’re enjoying them amidst a second-to-none family vacation in a rave-reviewed location.
Whether you already had summer travel plans on your radar or are just starting to churn up some great getaway ideas, we’ve taken the liberty of doing your homework for you, so here are the top five places worth visiting this summer if you’re in the mood for the most unforgettable family vacation, ever…
Does an off-the-beaten-path summer escape featuring uncrowded anchorages and charming little beach bars strike your fancy? Well then bestow your trust in Belize’s “adventure coast” to deliver undisturbed relaxation and a plethora of rewarding experiences both on and off shore. As home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize boasts some of the best snorkeling and diving conditions you’ll ever encounter. Plus, the Mayan ruins will not only take you back in time, but the impressive hand-built structures will also take your breath away.
Unspoiled and less crowded than other parts of the Caribbean, Belize is a laid-back paradise very similar to the cruising grounds of the South Pacific. Known for world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, superior chartering in protected waters, and unparalleled natural beauty, a Belize cruising vacation is unique and special.
Belize is a small country in northern Central America just a bit larger than the U.S. state of Massachusetts. To the north is Mexico and to the west is Guatemala. The western Caribbean fronts the rest of Belize. One of its most remarkable features, making this destination splendid for a Belize cruising vacation, is the Mesoamerican Reef that stretches approximately 350 nautical miles from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down along most of the Belizean coast. Only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is larger. In Belize, the reef shelters more than 400 cayes. Most are fringed with additional reefs comprised of at least 50 species of hard and soft coral. Manatees, whale sharks, and roughly 500 species of tropical fish thrive in these waters, and all manner of seabirds are plentiful, including the Magnificent Frigate and the Brown Booby.
CRUISING IN PLACENCIA
A Belize yacht charter vacation offers balmy easterly trade winds year round averaging between 15 and 22 knots that virtually guarantee a wonderful cruising experience every day in calm waters tucked behind cayes and reefs. Passages are short and the navigation is mostly line-of-sight. Plotting courses and heeding the chart is advised due to the many reefs. Keeping a good bow watch and reading depths based on color changes is also important due to seasonal changes in sand bars. A Belize yacht charter is well within the reach of captains who have basic skills in coastal navigation. The beauty and unique character of these waters lures less experienced and veteran charterers alike to return time after time for more adventures in one of the best snorkeling and diving locations in the Western Caribbean. Year-round temperatures range from 74°F to 84°F.
A Belize cruising vacation naturally focuses on the superlative onboard experience, scenic anchorages behind palm-fringed or mangrove-lined cayes, and the fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving in some of the clearest water anywhere. Forays to restaurants on the cayes to sample local cuisine and exposure to Belizean culture add to the pleasures. However, a Belize yacht charter can encompass much more, and often does. Many guests add extra time at the start or finish of their adventure to include a guided dive excursion to the Great Blue Hole, a geological wonder of the world located within Lighthouse Reef, or sightseeing tours of the Mayan ruins inland.
DREAMING ON 47 Feet. (Cat) Sleeps 6 Guests in 3 Queen(s)
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
A globally-iconic Caribbean destination that needs no introduction, the boat lover’s paradise British Virgin Islands continue to rank high on many travel lists, even after enduring a direct hit from history-making hurricane Irma in 2017. The uplifting stories of triumph that have come from the BVI as of late are proof that these beloved islands are stronger than any storm mother nature throws at them and more importantly – this very special place is still a prime location for making wonderful vacation memories.
Stretching throughout the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are a kaleidoscope of aquamarine waters, sun-soaked harbors, and white-sand beaches. Distinct ports of call can be found among the more than 25 pristine islands that make up the BVI.
Throw away the to-do list and leave your day to chance, where you can search for turtles off the shores and find yourself gazing across the sea from a hilltop bar. Fill all your senses with spectacular scenery, delectable cuisine, and soft-sand beaches. The coral atoll of Anegada is the resting point of many a sunken ship and offers amazing underwater views for diving. From sprawling beaches to small villages you’re sure find your own reason to cruise back on another return voyage.
CRUISING IN TORTOLA
Travel windward through the British Virgin Islands and catch the steady trade winds as they carry you to nearby destinations. Navigation is a breeze between islands lined with protected bays and sounds formed for easy anchoring. Throughout the islands you will find any of your requirements just a short trip away, from onboard provisions to onshore restaurants and a night out. Those new to the chartering scene will find the tranquil seas and easily plotted courses of the BVI a perfect place to build upon their experience. And whether you are at the helm or resting on the sundeck you will find there is nothing like island hopping from the deck of your own yacht.
Location may not be everything but in the British Virgin Islands it’s what makes cruising so pleasurable. With its stretch of islands in the northeastern part of the Caribbean, charter guests can expect beautiful blue waters flowing into shaded caves and onto soft-sand beaches. Coral reefs surround the coast in an array of colors and are home to just as colorful marine life. Further inland bars, shops and restaurants spill through the winding streets and timeless villages are filled with the famous laid-back island ambiance.
DIAMOND GIRL 103 Feet. (Power)
Sleeps 8 Guests in 2 King(s), 2 Queen(s)
GAMBIT 51 Feet. (Cat)
Sleeps 8 Guests in 3 Queen(s), 1 Twin(s) SCUBA
Sailing season in the Mediterranean only extends from May to October, so summer is the most ideal time to visit the infamous Game of Thrones filming site in Croatia. From the mesmerizing Dalmation Coast to the classic architecture and traditional culture, Croatia is an enchanting destination that has the power to make your intimate island-hopping vacation feel like a time-traveling fairytale.
The Dalmatian Islands in Croatia are among the most famous in the Mediterranean region. Wild, rugged, and mostly uninhabited, many are protected as national parkland and offer a varied and diverse cruising ground for an Agana yacht charter vacation. The cruising is splendid, encompassing long and short passages to charming anchorages amid rocky islets, ancient villages steeped in history, and translucent waters.
An Agana yacht charter typically focuses on the more than 30 islands off the central Dalmatian Coast near the city of Split, including lovely Solta, Hvar, Vis, and Brac. The Kornati National Park lies to the north, with a mostly barren landscape. So many small and large islands are in the park it has been likened to a maze of unparalleled natural beauty. Pristine beaches, lively nightlife, fine cuisine, secluded coves, fascinating historic sites, and an unspoiled natural setting make an Agana yacht charter an unforgettable adventure on the water.
CRUISING IN AGANA
An Agana cruising vacation can include long or short passages among the beautiful Dalmatian Islands. There’s always ample time to go ashore to explore ancient towns, savor the local cuisine, or simply stroll around to see the sights. In May and June, the waters are exceptionally inviting, with balmy and fair westerly winds of about 15 knots, creating a very family friendly setting for an Agana yacht charter. In July and August, the wind drops off even more, promising calm weather most of the time. The prime season runs from April through November, though in the autumn a strong northerly wind called the bora is possible. The tidal range is insignificant, about two feet at the maximum. You will find Agana yacht charter accessible and stress-free. During the cruising season the average daytime temperature is 73°F.
An Agana yacht charter features a wonderful blend of the historic and the natural, with ancient cities and towns situated in beautiful harbors fronting islands with sandy beaches and lush vegetation. Serene anchorages far from the crowds or bustling towns with boutiques, restaurants, and bars are all attractions of the central Dalmatian Coast, where wildlife abounds, the snorkeling is excellent, and history is ever present. An Agana cruising vacation is a voyage into some of the prettiest offshore channels in the Mediterranean region, a sojourn to remember on the Adriatic Sea.
IPHARRA 102 Feet. (Cat)
Sleeps 12 Guests in 1 King(s), 3 Queen(s), 5 Double(s), 3 Twin(s), 2 Pullman
SAVARONA 92 Feet. (Sail)
Sleeps 6 Guests in 2 Double(s), 1 Twin(s)
ASHA 91 Feet. (Power)
Sleeps 9 Guests in 3 Double(s), 1 Twin(s)
Sleeps 8 Guests in 3 Queen(s), 1 Twin(s)
There’s something special about style-savvy St. Martin that every traveler must experience for themselves and that still holds true, even after last year’s devastating storm. So, if you’re comfortable with a vacation that offers a delightful mix of upscale leisure, delectable dining, premier shopping, and stunning white-sand beaches, then 1/2 French, 1/2 Dutch St. Martin will not disappoint.
The Windward and Leeward islands form the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea. Stretching from Grenada to Martinique, the Windwards got their name because British ships cruising from other colonies frequently had to beat the weather to reach them.
The northern islands of the archipelago are more to leeward, so the British called them the Leeward Islands. They begin in Dominica, just above Martinique, and arc gently northwest for a bit under 150 miles to include Guadeloupe, Antigua, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Anguilla, and many others. They end near St. Martin 150 miles east of Puerto Rico. These waters are an ideal location for staging a St. Martin yacht charter to a variety of destinations throughout the Leeward chain.
Whether the island is British, Dutch, French, or independent, each has unique characteristics ranging from the upscale and trendy to the laid-back and isolated. Some islands are mountainous remnants of ancient volcanoes carpeted with lush rain forests. Others are low-lying, flat, and rimmed with incredible white-sand beaches and coral reefs teeming with sea life made to order for an unforgettable St. Martin charter vacation.
CRUISING IN ST. MARTIN
Because of the extent of the cruising ground a St. Martin yacht charter represents a diverse offering of offshore adventures. Charters with short passages and easy navigation or spirited open-water passages and negotiating reefs to drop anchor in secluded island settings are both possible in the Leeward Islands.
The trade winds typically blow from the northeast to east November through March and east to southeast April through October, ranging from 10 to 25 knots. They are the power behind the north equatorial current, which usually isn’t a factor except where it intensifies around the ends of some islands. Tidal currents are weak due to the slight tidal range of about 1.5 feet. The Leeward Islands have one of the most pleasant climates in the entire Caribbean, with average year-round temperatures holding at about 80°F (26°C).
ST. MARTIN HIGHLIGHTS
A St. Martin yacht charter usually encompasses several key activities in addition to the delights of making passages in the balmy trade winds in one of the world’s premier cruising grounds. Many guests enjoy a charter that includes going ashore to enjoy shopping, dining out, dancing in nightclubs, trying Lady Luck in a casino, and sightseeing at historic sites such as the many forts scattered throughout the Leeward Islands. On other days, snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, kayaking, beach combing, and relaxing in the cockpit with a refreshing cocktail eases the cares of a busy life. A St. Martin charter vacation promises all of these diverse experiences, and some of the best cruising in the Caribbean.
MILK & HONEY 125 Feet. (Power)
Sleeps 10 Guests in 1 King(s), 3 Queen(s), 4 Double(s), 1 Twin(s) SCUBA
AMERIGO 56 Feet. (Sail)
Sleeps 6 Guests in 1 Queen(s), 2 Twin(s)
LOTUS 52 Feet. (Cat)
Sleeps 6 Guests in 3 Queen(s), 1 Twin(s)
NIRVANA (POWER CAT) 47 Feet. (Cat)
Sleeps 8 Guests in 4 Double(s)
Few places exude exotic charm and mysterious beauty like southeast Asia’s “Pearl of the South”. Known for its lush tropical scenery, ancient Buddhist temples, bold-flavored street fare, and iconic James Bond Island, Thailand is a top-trending travel destination all around the world and it’s easy to see why. Hands down, the best way to experience all that the “Land of Smiles” has to offer is by boat, cruising the emerald-green Andaman Seas and hopping from one vibrant location to the next.
As you begin daydreaming about how to spend your summer vacation days this year, imagine de-stressing in these five splendid destinations and decide which one is most desirable to you and yours. Each stunning location is unique in its own way so no matter where you go this summer, an unforgettable adventure story awaits. All it’s missing is your signature touch.
Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is endowed with unparaleled tropical beauty. Of its four distinct regions, the southern peninsular reaches of the country are of the most interest to sailors. The cruising grounds off the east coast of the island of Phuket are among the finest anywhere.
Towering pinnacles of limestone jut from the emerald-colored and sheltered waters of Phang-nga Bay. To the south, the famous Phi Phi Islands stand as jewels of the Andaman Sea. More than 130 picturesque isles lie within the province of Krabi alone, and the offshore marine preserves of the Similan and Surin islands are internationally famous as one of the world’s top scuba diving sites. A Phuket cruising vacation offers a multitude of scenic and secure anchorages, pristine white-sand beaches, rugged uninhabited islands, and lively nightlife and resorts. The warm, hospitable people of Thailand enhance the enjoyment of a Phuket yacht charter, making the offshore adventure all the more memorable in a nation often called the Land of Smiles.
CRUISING IN PHUKET
The waters off Phuket’s east coast are situated in a protected swath of the Andaman Sea, ensuring excellent and safe cruising all year long. There is a wet and a dry season, all based on the monsoons that influence the weather and wind directions. On Thailand’s west coast, the northeast monsoon begins in November, ushering in light to moderate northeasterly winds between 10 and 20 knots, cooler temperatures, and drier conditions. In May, the southwest monsoon begins. Southwesterly winds gradually strengthen to more than 20 knots at the peak of the rainy season, which occurs in September and October. In most other rainy season months, it only rains for a couple of hours during the late afternoon. Daytime temperatures average 89°F from July through February, and 61°F at night. It’s hotter March through June. The tidal range can exceed eight feet, which creates swift tidal currents in narrow channels. Navigation is often line-of-sight. However, a careful eye on the chart and GPS is advised because of the numerous coral reefs.
A Phuket yacht charter unfolds in an exotic part of the world with stunning scenery and easy passages, which is what makes cruising in Phang-nga Bay and the Andaman Sea so appealing. Secluded coves fringed with majestic limestone cliffs and pristine white-sand beaches indent many of the islands, and just offshore are coral reefs resplendent in hues of brown, orange, green, and blue. Marine parks set aside as natural preserves to protect the tropical birds and abundant sea life make exploring these waters a voyage into an unspoiled paradise. Enjoying the culture and savoring the local cuisine is a delightful aspect of a Phuket cruising vacation, as is the snorkeling and scuba diving. For charter guests interested in nightlife, Phuket is known as Thailand’s premier resort island.
ORIENT PEARL 90 Feet. (Sail)
Sleeps 10 Guests in 1 King(s), 2 Queen(s), 2 Twin(s)
LADY KATHRYN 78 Feet. (Power)
Sleeps 6 Guests in 2 Queen(s), 1 Twin(s)
BLAZE II 61 Feet. (Cat)
Sleeps 8 Guests in 1 King(s), 3 Double(s)