While there continue to be places around the globe that are still very much in the grip of the pandemic, the world is slowly starting to open up again. When it comes to travel, for most of us it will be local for now — with trips to the coast or the bush — but as restrictions continue to ease, perhaps it’s time to start planning to go further afield.
There’s no doubt that people will still need to remain cautious, and what better way to remain socially distanced and in your own bubble than on a private yacht charter?
But where do you go? Keeping relatively close to home doesn’t mean compromising, with the chance to hang out on your own private deck in the waters around Mauritius, the Seychelles or the Maldives. Imperial Yachts has a good selection of yachts available if you want to explore the Indian Ocean islands.
Recently, Denison Yachting in the US revealed the top 10 favourite charter destinations. Sure, it’s probably not the most statistically accurate list, but for the sake of exotic daydreams, we’re happy to go with it.
It’s no surprise that they’ve picked the Florida Keys as their number one destination. This is Denison’s back yard, as they’re based in Fort Lauderdale, but we can think of worse places. The Florida coastline includes some great spots to dock if you feel like breaking your bubble and hanging out with the locals, plus there are great coral reefs and water sports to enjoy. Other US destinations on the list include Alaska, Mexico and even New England.
Many of the best destinations though are further south, in the Caribbean, and one that everyone can agree on is The Bahamas. You can just sail around or find a deserted beach to enjoy a picnic prepared by the crew. Dive into the beautiful waters or just laze around on the deck with your favourite tipple. Yes we know, we’re getting a bit daydreamy again.
One of the best spots in the Caribbean is the Leeward Islands. You might not recognise the name immediately, but this group of islands includes Antigua, Barbuda, St Barths, and St Kitts and Nevis. It’s a fantastic option for yachting, not just because of the many wonderful places to visit and the beautiful waters and beaches, but because it’s part of the Caribbean travel bubble.
Most countries will require a negative Covid-19 test for the foreseeable future, even to travel to neighbouring islands or districts, but the Leeward Islands have teamed up with other Caribbean nations to make one test valid throughout the area, making exploring much easier. Check out Nicholson Yacht Charters for some options, but there are plenty of great operators to choose from catering to the region.
The British Virgin Islands are a very popular spot for yacht charters and great to explore in a crewed luxury sailing yacht. Not only are there plenty of blue waters to anchor your yacht in, but the islands themselves provide a great opportunity to go for a stroll along a secluded beach, hike up into the hills or just relax at a beach bar before getting back on board and sleeping beneath the stars.
Alternatively head to Turks and Caicos (a group of 40 islands in the Caribbean), which I’d never heard of and, frankly, thought was somewhere near Turkey. I’ll be sending a stern e-mail to my old geography teacher. Pelorus are a good bet for these not-in-Turkey regions, although they’ll probably look after you if you do want to relax in Turkish waters, too.
Costa Rica is another popular option for luxury yachting, or you could head to Europe where these days it’s all about Croatia. The blue-green waters of the Adriatic are proving to be as enticing as the Mediterranean and like many popular spots of the Med, the sea is contrasted by the ancient buildings along the coastline.
Croatia has become extremely popular in recent years, offering great hospitality, superb cuisine and fantastic places to explore. It also provides a great opportunity to just cruise around visiting Montenegro, Italy and Sicily. There are plenty of charter options in the area but what better choice is there than the beautiful Africa I, which is moored near Croatia and which you can book through Yacht Charter Fleet.
Whether it’s cruising in the Atlantic off the coast of Cape Town on board Princess Emma or exploring the islands of the Caribbean, we’re all eager to get onboard and enjoy some luxury again. The freedom of the open sea seems like the perfect antidote to a year of cabin fever.