There is nothing more luxurious than a holiday aboard your very own private yacht. It is the epitome of relaxation, fun and pampering, with a great dollop of adventure added in too. For first time yacht charterers though, it can seem a daunting experience, and you might have a lot of questions about the practicalities of signing contracts, Advance Provisioning Allowance’s and logistics. Yacht charter brokers, and companies offering sailing holidays will be able to answer your questions thoroughly long before you put pen to paper and buy your flight tickets to whichever alluring destination you’ve picked.
With all the talk of practicalities, it’s time to focus on what to expect on board your yacht. After all, this is the whole reason you’re going. Whether you opt for a luxury crewed superyacht charter or a smaller yacht with just a captain on board, then your choice of activities and services may vary somewhat. Imagine the difference between a 5* hotel resort and a self-catering villa. You still get the gorgeous destination, the adventure and beautiful accommodation. It is only the service level which will be different.
A Day on a Luxury Superyacht
On board a superyacht, everything is designed to be perfectly tailored to you and your guests. Long before stepping on board you will complete a detailed preference sheet, where you make a note of your wishes, likes and dislikes. It will include everything from the kinds of foods you like, the destinations you wish to see, the activities you want to experience and the facilities you would like on board. Your charter broker will ensure that they have matched you with the perfect yacht and a crew who can fulfil all of your holiday dreams.
Start as you mean to go on
A typical day therefore depends wholly on you. Breakfast, cooked by your personal and highly trained chef, will be served on deck, the gentle waters lapping against the sides of the boat in a rhythmic tune. Your first refreshing dip off the swim platform beckons, or perhaps it’s time to make use of the treasure chest of water toys such as kayaks or stand up paddleboards to explore the coastline.
A short cruise along the coast allows time to soak up the scenery as you make your way to your next destination. Whether you crave the party atmosphere of a beach club or want to seek out secluded bays in which to anchor, your captain will have created the perfect itinerary for you. With a cruising breeze and a glass of something fruity in your hand you can unwind on the deck loungers as you amble through tiny Caribbean islands or past craggy Mediterranean shores. On anchoring, lunch could be a luxury beach picnic prepared exclusively by your chef and crew, or an onboard affair as you gather together around the dining table to plan your afternoon.
An Afternoon of Pampered Bliss
The afternoon stretches ahead with a tantalizing array of ways to unwind. Choose to head ashore and indulge in a spot of retail therapy as you peruse the boutiques of luxury marinas, or get lost in the labyrinthine old cities which have existed for centuries. If culture calls, visit ancient monuments or world-class museums as you get to know some of the best yacht charter destinations in the world.
Back on board, you can send the kids off on the water toys while you succumb to the relaxation of a massage on the deck. It is the perfect antidote to an afternoon of sightseeing. And as the afternoon sun sinks into a blue horizon it’s time to get ready for the evening ahead. The bright lights of chic bars and clubs might lure party-goers ashore, or it may be that an evening of fine dining on board, surrounded by family and friends, is more your style. Whether it’s letting loose, or watching the stars from a Jacuzzi on deck, the evening will be one to remember.
A Day on a Sailing Holiday
If you have sailing experience and are looking for a bareboat charter, the boat will be yours to do with (mostly) as you wish. With the qualifications you will need to have to hire the boat, you will no doubt have experience on the water and of sailing and know what you like and don’t like. For those with little or no experience of sailing holidays however, you will be accompanied by a captain and perhaps a hostess for that extra service and pampering.
It is usual to spend a maximum of three hours cruising each day. After all, you want time to enjoy your surroundings, swim off the boat and soak up the natural beauty. You might choose to split your cruising time, doing 1.5 hours in the morning, stopping for a dip and some lunch in a secluded bay, and then carrying on to your next destination in the afternoon when some relaxing time is in order.
Living the Slow Life
On board a captained boat you’ll be cooking for yourself, making your way ashore in the mornings to gather fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and locally caught fish from traditional markets. If your idea of a perfect holiday doesn’t involve cooking, then allow your captain to recommend quaint little restaurants overlooking the water, traditional Greek tavernas or mouth-watering Spanish tapas bars. The food and culture are one of the true joys of a sailing holiday, whether you’ve chosen to cruise the sun-splashed Thai or Indonesian islands, explore the wildlife-laden reefs of Australia’s Gold Coast, or set off on a fishing holiday in the Florida Keys.
A sailing holiday is all about taking your time, and the unhurried pace of life soon envelopes you. Under wind (or engine) power, you cruise along rugged shores and past deserted beaches, stopping where your heart desires. Laze away the afternoon on deck with a book in hand, or grab a snorkel and see what underwater treasures you can find.
However, you choose to enjoy your sailing holiday or luxury yacht charter, the most important thing to remember is that this is your time to enjoy as you choose. With a dazzling selection of destinations to choose from, and all manner of boats waiting for you – from catamarans to sailboats and motorboats – it is the most bespoke holiday you could wish for.
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