Generally speaking, the further ‘down island’ you go in the Caribbean region, (in other words, the further south you travel) the more ‘Caribbean’ the islands become in character. The Bahamas, situated just off the coast of Florida, tend to have a more American feel to them, and are more touristy than the islands of the Lesser Antilles just off the coast of Venezuela. The Bahamas are blessed with excellent facilities, including state-of-the-art marinas, resorts, and almost limitless duty-free shopping opportunities.
The Greater Antilles consist of the larger islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and Puerto Rico. Generally speaking, the Greater Antilles tends to be less visited by charter yachts due to a relative lack of facilities compared to elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Similarly, the Lesser Antilles see fewer charter yachts because of their distance from the US mainland and more complicated international transport connections.
The Leeward and Windward Islands, which include the Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Barts, Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Barbados (among many others), typify most people’s idea of the Caribbean. Here you will find gourmet dining or beach barbecues, full-service marinas or deserted anchorages, top-notch casinos or a game of dominoes in the shade of a palm tree.
When to go
The main Caribbean sailing season runs from November through to July. The Caribbean primary ‘high season’ is from mid-December to March,
when the winter escapees from North America and Europe arrive in their greatest numbers.
The hurricane season is from late July to early October, although hurricanes are in general rare in the southern Caribbean. Unfortunately, they can be prevalent around Cuba, Bahamas and the east coast of the U.S. every few years. This is the least expensive time for chartering in the Caribbean and there are some really good deals are available. However, as well as running the risk of storms, this time of year also tends to be associated with lighter (or non-existent) winds.
As with many boating locations the Caribbean shoulder season, in this case from April to July,
is also a great time to charter a boat as there are less shore based visitors, some lovely settled sunny weather, and warm yet steady breeze.
Where to go
The Bahamas are situated southeast of Florida, off the US coast, the Bahamas have become a sought after destination for charters with the more than 700 islands, both sprawling and shallow, rising from the sea and their surrounding reefs, together with the delightful local island culture, all create the attraction. Sail to Great Abaco Island, circled by a number of smaller islands and home to picturesque colonial towns. Sails of all shapes and sizes dot the Sea of Abaco but under the water, the walls of coral and huge schools of tropical fish create incredible diving and snorkeling experiences.
Considered “the king of yacht charter vacations” this traditional hot spot for yacht charters, is located over a huge area and offers fantastic diversity. A truly magnificent experience and holiday where ever you may choose to be in the various Island groups.
This part of the Caribbean is a wonderland onshore, but it also has an ocean laden with treasures, from tiny beach ridden coral atolls all the way through to substantial mountainous islands exuding rich and colourful cultures.
Famous for its beautiful waterways and islands from which there is no better way to experience these, than from the deck of your charter yacht and for anyone not sure where to charter, the perfect place to begin.
This jewel area of the Caribbean hosts yachting year-round, with a rainy season from July through October.
From its distinctive cuisine to its language, The Windward Islands exude the ambiance of Paris with the warmth, friendliness and spice of the West Indies.
As with most of the Caribbean, The Windward Islands yacht charter season runs from November through to July.
The types of yacht charters available for a vacation in the Windward Islands are all the main types including motor, sailing, skippered, crewed yachts, catamaran, power boat, sailboat, luxury yachts and superyacht charters.