With this carefully curated selection of winter cruising options, Northrop & Johnson ensures a unique experience wherever you choose to drop anchor this winter.
Whether your dream is to dine beachfront on fresh seafood in the Grenadines, enjoy a cocktail against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset in The Bahamas, or walk on the wild side in Antarctica, the winter season offers countless options for superyacht cruising. Here we profile the season’s hottest destinations and what they have to offer the waterborne.
Best for Families
A playground for superyachts, the Leeward Islands abound with dramatic scenery, fantastic beaches, fascinating history and world-class cuisine. The cruising grounds arguably offer the greatest attractions for all the family, with a variety of activities and culture on offer. Family togetherness is particularly special on a superyacht, but time ashore discovering new cultures will keep children’s eyes wide with wonder. Antigua’s naval dockyard is steeped in maritime history – its forts and colonial buildings will keep the children entertained while they take in a bit of history. Tales of pirates on the island of St. Kitts can be the inspiration for Pirates of the Caribbean-themed treasure hunts, and obstacle courses on the water or on any of the beaches will keep the most active young guests occupied while mom and dad enjoy some quiet time on board. Alternatively, all the islands provide numerous marine adventures, with plenty of scope to make use of the yacht’s toy box.
While the children are thoroughly entertained, acclimatize to “island time” and take advantage of the local flora and fauna signature treatments at some of the finest spas the islands have to offer. Try the Guerlain Spa at the Cheval Blanc St-Barthélémy, or a Signature Island Journeys at the Jumby Bay Spa, Antigua.
YACHTS TO CHARTER IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS
With copious deck spaces and an inviting interior, the 189’ (57.6m) W has ample room for a large family charter. Prices from $450,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 10 guests.
The 205’ (62.48m) PARTY GIRL is the perfect yacht for having fun with all the family. Prices from $490,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
Countless cruising grounds worldwide can be adapted to excellent family charters, but the most popular itineraries involve hopping between islands without too many long transits between. With more than 700 islands, cays and islets at your fingertips, The Bahamas offer an abundance of fun for all ages. Often the islands are just minutes from each other, so exploring the area on a yacht allows for plenty of time to play both aboard and ashore. The most popular cruising grounds are found in the Exumas archipelago, where each island is unique and guests can experience something new every day. Drop anchor and swim ashore to the smaller islets and discover exotic wildlife and spectacular beaches, or take the tender to the larger islands where you will find quaint restaurants and bars, golf courses and boutiques. Sampling a bit of both worlds is the ideal combination.
Any itinerary should consider fishing, be it bonefishing or deep sea; the waters are teeming with mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna and marlin.
YACHTS TO CHARTER IN THE BAHAMAS
The 157‘ (47.85m) tri-deck superyacht BIG SKY is perfect for family cruising. Prices from $180,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 11 guests.
Recently refit, the 164‘ (50m) TCB offers a large swim platform for easy access to her superb array of water toys. Prices from $200,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
Boasting a flexible accommodations layout and plenty of volume, the 164‘ (50m) SILVER LINING is perfect for family cruising. Prices from $285,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
Best for Diving & Island Hopping
What’s half the fun of being on an island? Hopping on and off it, of course – which makes the Grenadines ideal for the waterborne. Comprising a secluded cluster of islands just 100 miles from Barbados, the Grenadines archipelago entertains superyachts and adventure-seekers alike. Sprinkled between the volcanic peaks of St. Vincent and Grenada, the 60-mile trail of palm- studded sandbars, coral reefs and tiny islets hasn’t changed much since Columbus first sailed these crystal-clear waters. With their combination of steady winds, dramatic landscapes and natural harbors, this archipelago offers an abundance of natural beauty, ample dive sites and some of the best fishing grounds in the world.
Cruise from Bequia – one of the most developed islands in the chain – to the glamorous and sophisticated island of Mustique – a private retreat of barefoot luxury. From here, set a short course for the Tobago Cays; five uninhabited palm-fringed islets ringed by pristine white sand beaches and clear waters. Union Island and Petit St. Vincent are next in line with their varied coastlines and offshore islets ideal for diving and snorkeling.
The Tobago Cays are a protected national marine park. Ideal for snorkeling, the calm waters allow you to float over the coral reef.
RECOMMENDED YACHTS TO CHARTER IN THE CARIBBEAN
With her expansive exterior spaces for socializing and entertaining, the 144’ (43.89m) KING BABY is perfect for the alfresco lifestyle that the Caribbean islands are all about. Prices from $195,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 10 guests.
The 130’ (39.62m) LIONSHARE has every toy imaginable, including a commercial grade compressor plus five sets of SCUBA gear for certified divers. Prices from $130,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
The 191’ (58.2m) UNBRIDLED offers unique aquatic experiences with SCUBA instructors Captain Gui and Cathryn Garcia overseeing the diving program. Prices from $295,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
The award-winning crew aboard the 164’ (50m) CHASING DAYLIGHT ensure every yacht charter is unforgettable. Whether it’s a themed dinner or a watersports lesson, their enthusiasm is second-to-none. Prices from $205,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
Featuring stunning outdoor entertaining areas and an extensive array of tenders and toys, the 157’ (47.9m) MIRABELLA is perfect for cruising the Grenadines. Prices from $165,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
Throughout the islands, coral reefs & stunning beaches provide every opportunity for all manner of watersports.
TOP FIVE REASONS TO CHARTER THIS WINTER
- Berthing: Outside of the absolute peak season, berths are readily available with far lower prices than in the Mediterranean.
- Favorable charter rates: The winter cruising grounds have a much longer low season than the Mediterranean summer season, so there are well-priced offers to be found (outside of Christmas and New Year).
- More availability: Most charter yachts have a few weeks of availability during off-peak periods allowing you to plan later.
- Quiet anchorages: The majority of anchorages tend to be quieter than those in the Mediterranean, making it more pleasurable overall and allowing for more spontaneity.
- Climate: Aside from Antarctica, the recommended winter cruising grounds have a balmy climate with temperatures of 86°F – while it can be as chilly as 46°F at home!
Best for Adventures
For those looking for true escapism and adventure, a charter along New Zealand’s extensive coastlines combines a little bit of luxury with dramatic encounters. Year-round sunshine, diverse natural landscapes and untouched native forests make the North and South Islands the perfect outdoor adventure destination. Whether your itinerary takes in the marine reserves and islands lying off North Island, or heads to South Island to glide along the Marlborough Sounds, the best of New Zealand is all about taking to the water.
There are several popular cruising itineraries for New Zealand, including the beautiful Bay of Islands and the stunning Marlborough Sounds.
As the demand for bucket list adventures continues to increase, so does the explorative nature of the experience. A rise in intrepid charterers and owners coveting an immersive voyage in the most remote parts of the planet has led to more explorer yachts cruising to off-the-beaten-path destinations, including Antarctica. Few have experienced the enormity of this vast continent, which has to be the most adventurous of cruising grounds. Cruise through a maze of protected channels found along the Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast with mink and humpback whales. Further south, discover vast icecaps along the east coast and a wildlife oasis like no other along the Scotia Arc.
December and January welcome the sun for 20 hours a day, while February and March are the best months to journey deeper into the polar circle as the pack ice is at a minimum.
RUGGED LUXURY CHARTER IN ANTARCTICA
Discover the vast ice continent aboard the well-heeled, iconic 414’ (126m) explorer yacht OCTOPUS. Prices from $2,200,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 12 guests.
Despite their recent rise in popularity, the cruising grounds remain beautiful & unspoiled.
Best for Green Escapades
Wending your way in and out of Indonesia’s archipelagos, you can discover attractions ranging from the majestic Raja Ampat Islands to the stunning Komodo archipelago. Despite their recent rise in popularity, the cruising grounds remain beautiful and unspoiled, blessed with year-round warm temperatures, a colorful underwater world and ideal sailing conditions. The largely uninhabited waters are home to the country’s largest marine national park, a huge number of world-class dive sites, and the highest recorded marine biodiversity on earth. Scientists have cataloged more than six times as many coral species in just a few acres that live in the entire Caribbean.
Hike through the rainforest on Rinca Island for your first encounter with a Komodo dragon. Measuring up to 11 feet in length, this endangered species is carnivorous and an experienced guide is essential.
A cruise through the Galápagos is a remarkable experience
for all, but for nature lovers, it is the ultimate dream. An eco- haven off the coast of South America, the cruising grounds are a pocket of the world that time forgot. Step back to a world as it may have been before humans walked the earth, where penguins strut alongside tropical flamingos and whales share the waters with giant turtles. The Galápagos are made up of 12 main islands and hundreds of islets and rocks floating in one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Discover landscapes of wild mangroves, volcanoes, inland lagoons, cliffs and stunning coastlines – the islands deliver a revelation at every anchorage.
Teeming with sharks, sea lions, seals, turtles, rays, mantas and reef fish, the Galápagos provide wonderful opportunities for experienced divers (authorized diving only).
AWARD-WINNING SUPERYACHTS TO CHARTER IN INDONESIA
The 213’1” (65.2m) LAMIMA merges luxury with tradition. Featuring seven staterooms, a PADI diving center, onboard spa therapists and a yoga instructor, and an expert tour guide, she is the perfect yacht on which to discover Indonesia. Priced at $154,000 per week, all-inclusive, for up to 14 guests.
GALAPAGOS FAVORITES FOR CHARTER
Become one with nature in the Galápagos while cruising aboard the 164’1″ (50m) AQUA MARE. Prices from $196,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 16 guests.
Discover the islands and islets of the Galápagos islands while cruising aboard the 141′ (43m) INTEGRITY. Prices from $99,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 16 guests.