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Summer is approaching, the lockdown is slowly lifting and the skies are safely opening… For many of us, reuniting with our family and friends post lockdown will be a priority. Yacht chartering provides the perfect opportunity for a secluded getaway, and with many people looking to avoid public spaces, there isn’t a more relaxing and tranquil way to traverse the world than aboard a yacht.
We have prepared for you a series of “Charter close to home” to show you the destinations at your doorstep that awaits you this summer. We will start our Charter close to home Series #1 with the Americas for our clients based in North & South America. We are presenting the 4 destinations (New England, Alaska, Bahamas, USVIs) that we hope will inspire you.
Essentials about New England…
New England is blessed with a magical climate resulting in warm weather throughout the summer right up until October. A stretch of coastline that is steeped in history and picturesque beaches complimented with excellent seafood cuisine.
7 days sample itinerary:
Day 1 – Newport to Block Island
Newport is the popular place to start a New England charter, it’s the sailing capital of the world and has a long and rich history to explore. The Museum of Yachting and old mansions are an interesting way to spend the morning, or admire the views along the 3 mile cliff walk. Newport is known for it fresh seafood cuisine with an abundance of restaurants to choose from.
Block island is only a quick cruise away with 17 miles of pristine beaches. A stark contrast to the city, the preserved Victorian houses scattered across the island give it a charm that make it an ideal get away to enjoy the fresh breeze and beaches.
Day 2 – Block Island to Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard has been home to many prominent figures including a number of presidents. Its popularity stems from a laidback and rustic atmosphere making it a quaint escape from bustling city life. Edgartown, the oldest and largest town on the island, is a unique settlement to be explored by foot or bicycle. Enjoy a round of golf at the Farm Neck Golf Club or visit the wildlife sanctuary at nearby Chippaquiddick Island before heading to Menemsha beach for sunset.
Day 3 – Martha’s Vineyard to Nantucket
Explore the Elizabeth island chain to see impressive views of the eastward archipelago and enjoy some time on the water. Nantucket is an old whaling hub first settled in 1659, characterised by its unpainted cedar-shingle buildings and some 700 shipwrecks surrounding the island. Step into the Whaling Museum for a detailed account of the island’s past and wander through the streets discovering the many shops and restaurants it has to offer. Although popular with tourists, the island boasts crisp waters and bountiful wildlife along its shores.
Day 4 – Nantucket to Provincetown
At the top end of Cape Cod lies Provincetown. Thought to be original Mayflower landing site in 1620, it is known for its vibrant culture with numerous galleries and restaurants serving fresh local lobster. Follow the bike trail down the outside of the Cape to admire the expansive sand dunes and beech forests trails.
Day 5 – Provincetown to Plymouth
Crossing Cape Cod Bay be sure to keep an eye out for grey seals and whales feeding in the summer. Plymouth offers an immersive experience into the history of the founding pilgrims. Be sure to visit the Mayflower II, a replica of the original sailing ship that crossed the Atlantic.
Day 6 – Plymouth to Boston
Boston is a city rich in culture and history, combined with the city’s localised ambience, make it an exciting place to finish a charter. Follow the 2-mile Freedom Trail stopping at 16 historical sites for exposure of Boston’s interesting history. Equally, head to the renowned Museum of Fine Arts revered for being one of the oldest in the country. Be sure witness one of Boston’s acclaimed sports teams play, such as the Red Sox, to experience the city at its most energetic.
Day 7 – Disembark in Boston
Soak up the last of the city atmosphere with a relaxed morning aboard before disembarking.
Essentials about Alaska…
Alaska is a true wilderness to be explored. This popular destination has more coastline than all other US states combined, meaning a visit by yacht is the best way to maximise your experience. The South-Eastern coastline offers breath-taking scenery through dramatic fjords and is bursting with wildlife within the Tongass National Forest. Summer is the best time to witness the salmon run, track down bears on Baranof Island or go whale watching beneath breaking glaciers.
7 days sample itinerary:
Day 1 – Juneau to Tenakee Springs
The capital of Alaska, Juneau, is the gateway to the Inside Passage. Soak up the panoramic views over the city before setting off by taking a guided tour through the forests up Mount Roberts. Spend the afternoon exploring the native town of Tenakee Springs. With an abundance of activities feel free to wander the local art galleries, kayak the bays or bike through local logging trails.
Day 2 – Tenakee Springs to Baranof Island
Baranof Island is hailed for its striking landscape featuring some of the highest mountains in Alaska. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike up to the lakes to witness the astonishing views or relax in the Baranof Warm Springs besides a towering waterfall.
Day 3 – Baranof Island to Red Bluff Bay
Travelling along the Chatham Strait, try your luck at fishing for halibut in the tender or spotting sea otters along the shore. Red Bluff Bay is one of the locations you can see bears fishing for salmon, with the area having one of the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. You can take sea kayaks around the bay getting up close to waterfalls and surrounding mountains.
Day 4 – Red Bluff Bay to Cannery Cove
Frederick Sound (along with Chatham Strait) is one of the only places in the world you can witness humpbacks ‘bubble net feeding’. While whale watching in the tender you will also commonly see killer whales patrolling the sounds. On the shore, visit a local sea lion colony before dropping anchor in Cannery Cove in Pybus Bay.
Day 5 – Cannery Cove to Holkham Bay
The Brothers are two small islands offering a chance to experience more of Alaska’s diverse wildlife such as local deer and river otters. With a stop here to explore the weathered landscape, the yacht can then head to Wood Spit Cove to enjoy the dramatic scenery, with bald eagles, seals and wild goats frequently spotted.
Day 6 – Holkham Bay to Tracy Arm
Spend a day cruising up the fjords and have lunch with the spectacular backdrop of the North and South Sawyer Glaciers. These glaciers are known to suddenly shear off into the sea making a dramatic sighting. Return to Wood Spit Cove for the evening and listen to whales breaking the surface in Holkham Bay.
Day 7 – Holkham Bay to Juneau
Finish the trip with a relaxing journey returning to Juneau through the fjords.
Essentials about the Bahamas…
A year-round destination, the Bahamas boast some of the clearest waters in the world packed with wildlife. A perfect escape for a variety of reasons whether its diving the Andros Wall, fishing for renowned bone fish, absorbing the vibrant Caribbean culture or relishing in the relaxing peace. The word Bahamas is derived from the Spanish ‘Baja mar’ meaning shallow sea. This sun-soaked archipelago can be the perfect getaway for those interested in spending the day on a private island or getting close up with nature. Of the 700 islands, only 30 are inhabited meaning there is plenty of space to find your own personal space. If it’s the wildlife that attracts you, a place where the national bird is the flamingo, a vibrant experience is guaranteed.
7 days sample itinerary:
Day 1 – Harbour Island
Famous for its world renowned pink beaches and crystal waters, Harbour Island offers a great place to start the trip and immediately become absorbed into the relaxed Bahamian lifestyle. There are excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities, as well as dramatic diving off the reef. Spend the day exploring the island by golf cart or enjoy a fresh meal at the Sip Sip restaurant.
Day 2 – Eleuthera Island
Pick your own way down the Eleuthera coastline to find the best private spot for you to enjoy. An ideal time to make use of onboard water toys and soak up the sun on deck. Eleuthera is known for its sweet pineapples so be sure try some fresh from the island.
Day 3 – Cat Island
Named after the pirate Arthur Catt, this island is 50-miles of rolling hills and pristine beaches. To uncover the untouched natural beauty of the island explore one of the nature trail weaving its interior or lounge in the best climate in the Bahamas.
Day 4 – Staniel Cay
Part of the Exuma Cays, Staniel Cay boasts turquoise water bursting with wildlife. A distinguished location for superb deep sea fishing, you stand in good luck to catch mahi-mahi, marlin and tuna. If sticking to shallower water there is excellent snorkelling and opportunity to take the tender to Thunderball Grotto, featured in the James Bond film. Other top highlights include Big Majors Spot where swimming pigs roam the shoreline and Allen’s Cay to see large iguana’s native to the Bahamas.
Day 5 – Compass Cay
An ideal place organise a picnic on one of the many private islands. With turquoise waters and white sands it’s 13 beaches are among the best in the world. If you’re looking for a safe thrill, swim with nurse sharks while they are fed at the dock on Compass Cay. A must see is Rachael’s Bubble Bath, a lagoon fed by waves breaking over lava rocks foaming the surface. The remote location and no pollution makes for some of the best stargazing at night so be sure to look skywards in the evening.
Day 6 – Paradise Island
The vibrant Paradise Island is dedicated to fun and relaxation meaning there is something for everyone at the end of the charter. The island host a plethora of resorts and is known as one of the Bahamas top attractions. Restaurants, theme park, casino and golf courses are all available on the island for you to enjoy or have a relaxing end to your trip on the beach. With a short tender ride to Blue Lagoon Island you can also visit the Dolphin Encounter and swim with bottlenose dolphins.
Day 7 – Nassau
The short cruise to Nassau will allow for a relaxed morning onboard before disembarking.
Essentials about the USVIs…
The U.S. Virgin Islands is a year-round destination. Tropical islands, magical beaches and an immersive colourful culture the USVIs are a perfect location to unwind and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
7 days sample itinerary:
Day 1 – St. Thomas
Join the charter in St. Thomas which is known for its snorkelling and pristine beaches. Once a hotspot for historical pirate activity, the island is now teeming with world-class dining and luxury duty-free shopping. In Charlotte Amalie climb the famous 99 steps for incomparable views of the Caribbean.
Day 2 – St. John
Although the smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands, St. John certainly packs a punch. With over two-thirds of the island a designated national park it is well worth an explore down one of the numerous hiking trails and through the ruins. At the coastline there a sublime beaches to choose from such as Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Hawksnest Bay where you can relax or enjoy the water toys in the bay.
Day 3 – Lovango Cay
Anchoring off Lovango Cay gives a peaceful and relaxing experience onboard. The private island is fully self-sufficient and offers a very scenic stop.
Day 4 – Hurricane Hole
On the eastern side of St. John this spot is ideal for watersports. The waters are also teeming with life so this is a great location to go diving and snorkelling.
Day 5 – St Croix Buck Island
A visit to the USVIs wouldn’t be complete without cruising to St. Croix. This tropical island is diverse in its culture and has a fascinating history. Explore the island by jeep to experience the unique and tranquil interior and enjoy the world-class dining, casino and golf course. With gorgeous beaches to choose from, it is common to find yourself swimming with dolphins in its crystal waters.
Day 6 – Little St. James
Situated just off St. Thomas, this private island affords some secluded relaxation towards the end of the visit. Take the tender to easily accessible fishing just off the coast.
Day 7 – St. Thomas
Have a relaxing end to your charter cruising the short distance back to St. Thomas to disembark.