Often we are asked by clients, ‘Where is a good location for me to charter a yacht in the colder months of the year?’.Whilst there is no ‘one’ preferred destination, there are numerous places around the planet that we would recommend for anyone who wants to ditch the cold and trying temperatures of the Mediterranean and Europe.
Where to go?
There is a myriad of options that still operate under calmer cruising conditions from November to March, but we have selected three of our personal favourites to discuss within this article.
Known as ‘The Sleeping Giant’, The Bahamas has long been adorned as an ideal hideaway for yachties in the colder months of the European calendar. Famed for its pristine, white sandy beaches, flavoursome fresh seafood, glorious sunshine and splendid weather, there is plenty to keep visitors coming back year after year.
Visiting the Bahamas aboard a yacht gives you the perfect opportunity to see the world-famous swimming pigs, which live on Big Major Cay. Their history is shrouded in mystery, but legend has it that they were brought to the uninhabited island by pirates centuries ago and, somehow in that time, have learnt to love swimming!
There is plenty of stunning scenery to take in whilst visiting The Bahamas, from the stunning pink sandy beach of Harbour Island with it’s inviting and warm waters, to the amazing shallow water interactions at Dolphin Cay, an impressive man-made facility which was opened in 2007 in response to 17 orphaned dolphins, whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It has since become a must-see location for all wildlife enthusiasts, providing unprecedented access to interact with dolphins.
The Bahamas are home to the world’s third-largest fringing barrier reef (the third-largest living organism on planet earth). Placed over a mile off the Eastern coast, this runs parallel to the island. The depth of the barrier reef reaches a whopping 6,000 feet into the tongue of the ocean. The reef’s underwater forestry is home to a huge variety of unique and gorgeous exotic marine wildlife, including over 160 species of fish and coral. This provides both snorkelers and divers alike with a beautiful, living portrait.
If you are interested in absorbing the history and culture that these fantastic isles offer, you definitely want to include Nassau as part of your itinerary. The capital of The Bahamas, Nassau gives visitors an amazing insight into the Bahamian way of life. Sample the delectable John Watling rum from the distillery, eat some authentic local-favourite fish fry in Arawak Cay or perhaps even wander through the historic forts and houses scattered throughout the isles, and piece together for yourself the fascinating history of The Bahamas.
Some people argue that the Caribbean is one of the most ideal yachting destinations in the world, known for its scenic tropical landscapes, laid-back atmosphere, beautiful weather and diverse cultures.
With over 7,000 islands to choose from, there is plenty to persuade yachties to return. An array of hidden beaches, dive stops, unique beach bars and sheltered anchorage mean that there is ample opportunity to pause and take in some of the dazzling sunshine.
And if its gorgeous nature reserves that you are seeking from your travels, it would be a good idea to plan a trip to the Dunn’s River Falls and Park in Jamaica. One of the most famous natural sites in all of Jamaica, the impressive waterfall trickles down into a variety of refreshing pools creating a beautiful, unique terrain.
Wildlife and stunning untouched landscapes are aplenty in the Caribbean, but no more so than the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica. The vast array of fauna is split up into 14 different segments, which allows hikers to make their own decision about the level of walking they do. Commonly referred to as ‘Nature Island’, the trail encompasses the entire circumference of Dominica, opening up every part of this beautiful island for trekking.
Between December and March, every year, the Sanctuary of the Humpback Whales in Samana opens its doors to the public as around 2,000 humpback whales visit to reproduce in the warm waters of the Atlantic. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness whales that come from seas as far as Iceland and Greenland in the Caribbean Sea, seeking a warm-water mate. Samana is considered to be one of the best spots for humpback whale watching in the world.
Elsewhere, there is a multitude of great food and delightful cocktails to be enjoyed. Whilst charming beach barbeques can be found almost anywhere in the Caribbean, there are some particularly amazing restaurants on the isles of Antigua and Barbuda. Pigeon Point Beach, on the English harbour, is swamped with a slew of boutique eateries, including the famous Catherine’s Café and the lovely Bumpkin’s Beach Bar.
Boasting a collection of over 1,000 islands to explore, much like the Caribbean, the Maldives has been a long-treasured gem amongst the yachting community. The piercing blue waters and untouched coral make the Maldives the perfect beach getaway, but there is so much more to these fascinating islands than beach huts and palm trees to explore.
The Maldives are famed for their stunning variety of exotic marine life, boasting waters with eight times more reef fish than anywhere else in the Indian Ocean, and the largest manta ray and whale shark feeding stations known to exist anywhere in the world, a delight for any aquarist.
Hop from island to island on board your vessel and experience a huge variety of islets, each with their own unique character and personality. The world famous Vaadhoo Island enables visitors to witness the ‘Sea of stars’, a natural chemical reaction, found in very few places in the world whereby Phytoplankton (a marine microorganism) releases a blue luminescent glow, creating an incredibly romantic picture for anyone who witnesses this natural phenomenon.
A must-see for any visitor to the Maldives is the world-famous underwater restaurant at Hurawalhi. A truly special gastronomical experience, Hurawahli’s glass-surrounded eatery allows diners to intimately observe the ocean 5.8 metres below the surface. Delicious food options are aplenty for guests of any dietary requirement who choose to dine at this iconic restaurant.
There are activities and experiences aplenty in the Maldives. Guests can partake in activities such as snorkelling, diving, fishing, surfing, local island visits, submarine dives, uninhabited islands, BBQ’s, sandbank visits, visits to the capital city, luxury resort spa hopping, cultural island visits, experiencing local cuisine, underwater restaurant dining amongst a myriad of other activities which Sophia Tutino Yachting can help provide for you.
There are various locations you can choose to escape the winter blues on board a yacht. At Sophia Tutino Yachting, we take pride in the standard of yacht charter that we offer our clients, so stop thinking about your dream yacht holiday and book today!