Best Destinations for Luxury Sailing Holidays
We asked three sailing holiday experts to recommend the very best locations around the world for the yachting experience of a lifetime.
British Virgin Islands – Nautilus Yachting
For a very special sailing holiday, Nicola Richardson, Director of Nautilus Yachting, recommends the British Virgin Islands.
“The tropical feel of warm trade winds and idyllic anchorages with palm fringed beaches make this my favourite Caribbean sailing destination,” she says. “Drop anchor in a secluded cove, swim above coral gardens, dive on sunken shipwrecks, and enjoy rum cocktails at a driftwood beach bar – the BVIs were made for fabulous sailing holidays.“
What to expect:
Perfect sailing conditions and sheltered passages round the islands make sailing in the British Virgin Islands a delight for all levels of sailors wanting to relax in this Caribbean paradise. Steady winds guarantee enjoyable sailing and a trip to Anegada will test navigational skills. There are dozens of white sandy beaches and hidden coves for you to discover. An amazing variety of underwater life and the warm crystal-clear sea make snorkelling off your yacht a delight.
What can Nautilus Yachting offer?
There’s a full range of yachts in the BVI from small 31’ sailing yachts from around £1,000/week to high specification yachts and catamarans over 50’, some with spacious owner’s layouts and air conditioning, from around £5,000/week. There’s also a great range of flybridge motorcruisers and powercats for those skippers who prefer power to sail. With return airfares around £800/person, paradise is very affordable.
Find out more here.
The Seychelles – Sunsail
This personal recommendation comes from Peter Cochran, Operations Manager Sunsail
“The Seychelles are often called paradise on earth and for good reason – with porcelain white beaches, shimmering aquamarine waters and an idyllic way of life, it is hard to conceive of a more perfect sailing holiday destination.
“The Eden Island Marina on Mahe, the principal island of the Seychelles archipelago, is the location of Sunsail’s yacht charter base in the Seychelles and offer the perfect starting point for your sailing holiday.”
What to expect:
The warm seas of the Seychelles make this an unparalleled choice for water sports aficionados and the reefs of rainbow-coloured fish will enchant divers and even the most jaded of game fishing enthusiasts cannot fail to be impressed.
A Seychelles yacht charter is usually concentrated on the Inner Islands of the archipelago, all of which are located close together, making for short passages between them. These are tidal waters with a range of approximately 5 feet.
From April to October there are predictable winds around the Inner Islands, the wettest months are December to February. Year round, winds range from 5 – 20 knots (5 - 23 mph) and temperatures from 28 to 30 C (82 - 86 F). This is a destination for the more experienced sailors and perfect for skippered charters.
What can Sunsail offer?
On a Seychelles Yacht Charter, with Sunsail, all yachts are equipped with the highest specification to help provide comfort, performance and fun onboard; so all that’s left for you to do is relax and enjoy your sailing holiday with family and friends.
Mahe is a Level 3 sailing area. Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area. Level 3 - Equates to 20 days sailing, 400 miles on an equivalent yacht or RYA Day Skipper qualification with experience to a higher level.
Prices for a week’s charter start from £4375 for a four-berth Sunsail SS 444 Premier Plus Cat (based on four sharing) during September in Mahe. The price includes damage waiver, advance fuel, a small contribution for the Sail 4 Cancer charity. Flights and transfers can be arranged individually. We can also provide a skipper and chef.
Find our more here.
The Galapagos – Imaginative Traveller
Charlie Hopkinson, Managing Director of Imaginative Traveller, says the Galapagos has it all!
"It's a bucket-list destination and with good reason," says Charlie. "I've spent a lifetime travelling around the world but can honestly say that the Galapagos Islands is an ABSOLUTE MUST for wildlife lovers, which is why I'm so excited about our latest adventure. A two week cruise aboard Cachelote, in air-conditioned ensuite cabins, this fully escorted cruise where a 'hands on deck' approach is welcomed, takes in not just the popular eastern islands, but also explores the much less visited western islands, too."
What to expect:
A sailing adventure in the Galapagos is a wild-life lovers dream come true: you'll be snorkelling with sea-lions, spotting blue-footed boobies, visiting the Giant tortoise breeding centre on Isabela island, swimming with marine iguana's, seeing whales and dolphins, snorkelling sunken craters and lagoons and more. It's really a case of 'adventure by day, comfort by night,' with days spent hiking and exploring the many islands, each with their unique eco-systems and a geography shaped by volcanic activity which are home to a myriad of animals, birds and sea-life. It doesn’t need to be all 'go,go,go,' though. Active days can be interspersed with opportunities to sunbathe on beaches or even wander around the shops, cafes and bars on the larger islands, while evenings are spent on the boat, eating a communal evening meal.
What can Imaginative Traveller offer?
An incredible Galapagos Wildlife Cruise for18 days costs from £4,465 per person, excluding flights.
With a maximum group size of 12, this 14 night cruise allows for full exploration of the entire archipelago.
Starting in Quito, Ecuador's capital city, passengers take a flight to Baltra Island before taking a short ferry crossing to Santa Cruz island, visiting the Charles Darwin Centre to learn about the ecology of the islands and the centre's turtle hatchery. After that, you board the boat, which will be 'home' for the next two weeks', at Peurto Ayora, the island's main town.
"The trip also ends on a high; an exciting flight back to Quito over the volcanoes of the Andes, where you get to catch glimpses two massive volcanoes, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi which dominate the skyline of this part of Ecuador," says Charlie.
Find out more here.
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Article by Jack Bartrop