Looking for insider tips for the best places to charter? Look no further!
We’ve compiled a list of the top places to visit by yacht below, the ones that keep people coming back year after year. Everyone has their favorites, but these are the ones that win the popularity prize. See below for a sneak peek at the top 5 charter destinations around the world:
Starting off with the British Virgin Islands, they’re the most popular destination in the Caribbean and where most yachts are based. This is island hopping at its best. With a variety of things to do, from beach bars and restaurants, to natural attractions, BVI has it all. The Baths on Virgin Gorda will lead you through amazing rock formations, where giant boulders form caves and filtered sunlight makes for the perfect Instagram photo opp. You can’t forget Jost van Dyke’s famous Soggy Dollar Bar, the birthplace of the painkiller! Soggy Dollar coined its name from visitors traditionally swimming ashore, handing over soggy bills in exchange for the well-known Caribbean cocktail. There’s also many family-friendly activities that are good for all ages. From great nightlife to remote beaches and anchorages, BVI is truly a choose-your-own-adventure destination.
There's a little bit of something for everyone in the islands. The geography of the area makes it a sailor's paradise, with good wind and relatively flat water in the sailing channels. There are also many small islands that can only be accessed by boat, making it a popular charter destination for first-timers and experienced sailors alike. The islands are beautiful year-round, with the exception of hurricane season (August 1st to November 1st), when most boats are hauled out of the water due to insurance reasons. However, sailing resumes in November and lasts through the end of July.
The Bahamas is another great charter destination, with 700 islands, but only 30 of them are inhabited. The Exumas and the Abacos are the main cruising areas. While some people opt to charter in Eluthra, it can be challenging as there are not many yachts based there. A better option would be to fly into Nassau, which has a major international airport with direct flights from various regions including Europe, mainland US, and Canada. The peak season to visit would be between February to July, which shares a similar latitude with Florida. While the weather can be unpredictable during December and January, it is still possible to experience cold or hot temperatures. Despite hurricane season during August through October, people still charter in The Bahamas. Many people are willing to take the risk during hurricane season, as they can always return to mainland Florida if necessary. However, it's important to note that hurricanes can still pose a danger.
The Bahamas are picturesque, with vibrant blue turquoise waters and the opportunity to get away from civilization. It is a bit more remote than some other destinations, with limited beach bars and restaurants, but the natural beauty and unspoiled nature make up for it. In the Exumas, visitors can interact with the famous swimming pigs of all different sizes and feed them when they come up to you. Compared to the Exumas, the distances between the islands in Abacos are not as vast, making it more family-friendly and providing several towns and stops along the way.
The Greek islands are a favorite destination in the Mediterranean. With so much history and culture to explore, you could spend weeks here without seeing everything. You can experience a mix of popular and less-known destinations. For instance, you can visit Mykonos, a well-known island with a bustling nightlife and excellent food. On the next day, you could find yourself in a quieter place mostly populated by locals. You can explore a remote anchorage with only one restaurant or an island like Hira where donkeys are used for transportation. During a one-week charter, you might spend about four hours a day sailing between islands, with the opportunity to go wine tasting, visit beach clubs, rent a scooter, and more. Greece offers yachts at every price point, from mega yachts to catamarans to monohulls, making it accessible to a wide range of travelers. Charters in Greece and the Mediterranean are available from May through October, with July and August being the peak season.
Croatia is another popular destination that offers a similar vibe to Greece with its medieval fortresses. Dubrovnik, the city on which King's Landing was based in Game of Thrones, is a must-see destination for fans. Sailing between islands or along the coast takes about four hours, and the most popular place to embark from is the city of Split. One-way charters from Split to Dubrovnik or vice versa are available, but require early planning. Keep in mind that Croatia is further north than other Mediterranean charter hotspots, so late October may have cooler weather.
Let’s explore the other side of the world now - Tahiti. Tahiti is one of those destinations that people can't get enough of. It's a place that captures your heart and draws you back year after year. A popular way to experience Tahiti is to split your time between a week on a yacht and a week in a hotel, giving you the best of both worlds. The Society Islands are the most popular destination for sailing in Tahiti. To get there, you would fly into the main island of Tahiti, specifically into Papeete, and then take a smaller plane out to the Society Islands where you can pick up your yacht. Once you're there, you can enjoy beautiful cruising, snorkeling, and diving, with a variety of stunning locations like Bora Bora and Raiatea waiting to be explored. Visiting a pearl farm and a vanilla plantation are some of the popular activities in Tahiti, but most people go there for the breathtaking blue waters, making it a bucket list destination for many.
The peak season is from May to October, but clients charter there all year round since there is no significant hurricane season or cold weather. Although it may get slightly rainier in the winter, it does not hinder the fun as the rain typically lasts for a short period. However, it's worth noting that charters in Tahiti require more advanced booking than any other place in the world.
One of the reasons why clients book charters in Tahiti further in advance is because of the long flight for those coming from Europe and eastern US. Additionally, there are limited options for yachts in the area, particularly in the luxury market range, as many yachts only stay in the region for a year or two before moving on to other destinations. Therefore, it is important to book early to secure the best options.
As charter and vacation booking professionals, we are here to assist you in selecting the perfect boat and planning a memorable vacation for you and your group.
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