Exotic escapes: Discover the top paradise islands to visit by luxury charter yacht
Yacht charter vacations have traditionally been centred around the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. However these days, charterers are looking for something far from the well-travelled routes and superyachts oblige by offering exceptional long-range capabilities.
When most people think of paradise, their mind drifts to white sandy beaches, azure blue water and gently swaying palm trees on tropical islands in far-flung corners of the world. They offer a sanctuary, a slow pace of life and allow your problems to melt away. Collections of islands are perfect for charter vacations as they offer plenty of interest with secluded coves, coastal villages, varied culture and cuisine plus an abundance of beautiful sea life to explore.
So where are these select locations where you can find tranquillity away from the crowds whilst still appealing to your sense of adventure? We invite you to sit back and relax and enjoy our guide to the best exotic yacht charter destinations.
Seychelles is an island nation with some of the most wonderful coastline environments in the world. The archipelago consists of hundreds of islands and inlets scattered over an area of 400,000 sqm situated northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
The beaches and the ocean life are the big draw of the Seychelles and with the calm waters, it is perfect to explore by luxury charter yacht. The main island Mahe alone has 70 stunning beaches each offering something unique and backed with dramatic rock formations. Discover giant tortoises and huge flocks of sea birds, plus impressive underwater wildlife with hundreds of brilliantly coloured fish and coral species.
Away from the coastal activities we recommend visiting the prehistoric palms at Vallee de Mai, where the huge leaves of the Coco de Mer palm will leave you aghast and you might spot the rare black parrot. Visiting the capital Victoria lets you experience the rainbow-coloured Hindu Sri Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple and the National Museum of History where you can begin to explore the local Creole culture. Continue your education by tasting some of the exquisite local cuisines! Being on board a charter yacht will give you the opportunity to travel to Aldabra which is a remote UNESCO-listed island and home to the largest population of giant tortoises in the world.
For those who enjoy an action-packed vacation why not play a round of golf at the Constance Lemuria resort on Praslin, dive with sharks and rays or saddle up and take a horse ride through the shallows on a white sandy beach. Many charter yachts have diving equipment and dive masters on board while the experienced local crew will be able to recommend and organise the best activities for your taste.
Also in the Indian Ocean, nearer to Sri Lanka, is the idyllic Maldives, an archipelago consisting of over 1,000 coral islands. The marine wildlife, tropical climate and white sand have been attracting visitors for decades making the Maldives a mecca for luxury travel and home to a choice of high-end resorts. Travelling on a charter yacht gives you the freedom to visit ‘local islands’ like Huraa, Hithadoo or Maafushi and explore traditional Dhivehi (Maldivian) cuisine at a café or tea shop with fish, such as mahi-mahi is at the heart of many local dishes. Back on board the chef can recreate cuisine using fresh local ingredients, cook your favourite comfort recipes or impress you with their signature international dishes.
On board your own yacht you could spot a playful pod of spinner dolphins who are found in great numbers in the clear blue waters around the islands. These fun-loving creatures are a quintessential part of a tropical vacation and will often pursue a boat to play in the wake. Always follow the instructions of your captain and crew when you encounter local wildlife and be mindful to preserve their natural habitat.
Year-round sunshine, warm water and yacht life will likely have you sunbathing and swimming in bikinis or shorts, but remember the Maldives is a traditional Muslim country so be respectful to local customs and standards of dress when exploring away from the large international resorts.
You’ll never forget a charter vacation and you will certainly never forget French Polynesia, a collection of gems hidden in the South Pacific Ocean. You may be familiar with the names Tahiti and Bora Bora but there are five archipelagos in French Polynesia with a total of 118 islands. The more developed islands offer sophisticated nightlife with restaurants and bars while the deserted beaches of some of the smaller islands are only accessible by tender from your yacht. If you’re not lucky enough to find a pearl, then back at one of the many luxury boutiques you can purchase beautiful jewellery featuring pearls in a range of different colours.
The islands were first settled by migrating Polynesians as early as 500BC and were later discovered by European explorers during the 16th century and eventually colonized by France. As such the islands inherited a rich and vibrant culture from their ancient ancestors. Polynesian artistry—which includes weaving, woodcarving, and tattooing—is grounded in the mythology of that heritage.
Basing yourself on board a luxury yacht allows you to indulge in an array of water sports, including snorkelling and scuba diving, while on dry land you can hike through lush rainforests and encounter unique wildlife. Most yachts come equipped with a range of water toys and crew who know the best places to anchor for a unique experience. They can organise trips inland and arrange for local guides to create a bespoke tour.
For those seeking a slice of heaven nestled in the South Pacific, a luxury yacht vacation around Fiji will be a journey that will awaken the senses, rejuvenate the soul, and offer memories that will last a lifetime. Your charter broker is the key to creating your perfect itinerary, designed to reveal Fiji’s most breathtaking marine life and mesmerizing landscapes. Make sure you find a reputable charter broker with experience in the region who will make it their priority to create your perfect holiday. Sailing and motor yachts of all shapes and sizes are available for charter in this idyllic location and many superyachts visit regularly, so whatever your budget a good charter broker will match you to your dream yacht.
The largest island is Vita Levu where you’ll find the capital Nadi and many luxury resorts and hotels. A short cruise across to the island of Malolo will likely have you moor at the Musket Cove Yacht Club and Marina. This iconic marina attracts visitors from all over the world with facilities to match. The restaurants and bars offer the perfect choice for an on-shore dinner or drinks and anyone arriving into the Cove will receive a warm welcome. If you are looking to surf, then the nearby Cloud Break is a must and regularly voted one of the 10 best and most challenging waves in the world.
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If you prefer tranquil coves and white sandy beaches then your captain and crew will find you a delightful, secluded spot to set up a beach picnic with a delicious lunch, your favourite cocktails and umbrellas to protect you from the sun. Nothing will be too much trouble for a dedicated and experienced crew, so make sure you discuss your requirements carefully with your charter broker.
Comprising nearly a thousand scattered islands, the remote Solomon Islands beckon intrepid travellers with its untouched beauty, diverse marine life, and vibrant indigenous culture. From dense rainforests to turquoise lagoons, the Solomon Islands offer a kaleidoscope of experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to visit.
The Islands are very easy to reach, with their capital Honiara being a perfect starting point for any yacht charter. It takes less than three hours to reach the Solomon Islands from Brisbane and four hours from Sydney and Solomon Islands yacht vacations can be combined with visits to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu,
Tonga or even as far as New Zealand
The Spanish influence from early explorer Alvaro de Mendana is still evident with many of the islands still bearing Spanish names. The warm and welcoming local communities provide an opportunity for travellers to immerse themselves in the traditional way of life. From intricate handicrafts to mesmerizing dance performances, visitors can witness the deep-rooted customs and rituals that have been passed down through generations. The locals’ quiet, yet friendly hospitality creates an atmosphere of genuine warmth and authenticity.
As these remote tropical islands become more popular, the choice of luxury charter yachts is growing, with many using the islands as their home port. For the ultimate yachting experience, many superyachts visit as they circumnavigate the world’s oceans, with owners offering individual weeks and longer-term periods for private charters. For the trip of a lifetime, why not consider trying something new and experiencing these paradise islands from a luxury charter yacht.
Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide.
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