Spring Break: The perfect season to charter a superyacht in the Caribbean and the Bahamas

Spring Break: The perfect season to charter a superyacht in the Caribbean and the Bahamas

Spring Break marks a change of season for many, and as the Caribbean and Bahamas yacht charter season reaches its denouement, yacht crews are in full swing, the weather is ideal, and the sea is often at its warmest. So why not dip your toe into the yacht charter world with a vacation cruising the waters around the stunning and varied islands in the area?

With over 7,000 islands to explore in the Caribbean, groups like the Windward and Leewards, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas offer their own individual charm and brilliance. There’s an island to suit everyone, whether you are in search of peace and solitude or the world’s most exclusive beach clubs and party hotspots. You will also have the choice of some of the best motor and sailing yachts and catamarans in the world, crewed by some of the most experienced captains and dedicated crew. The area is home to one of our favourite 40m+ charter yachts: the unique and colourful Vicem Yacht Hatt Mill, whose stunning blue hull and exceptional interiors perfectly suit the vibrancy of the surroundings.

Caribbean hot spots

The Leeward Islands are in the eastern part of the Caribbean and include favourites such as Antigua, St Kitts and the British Virgin Islands. Antigua has a long maritime and yacht charter history and is home to the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, hosted in the stunning Nelson Dockyards which was originally built by plantation owners when sugar cane was the island’s main commodity. The dockyard is worth a visit to appreciate the controversial history of the sugar cane industry and acts as a gateway to the rest of the Caribbean, with the Windwards to the south, the Virgin Islands to the west and the Bahamas to the northwest – and is a perfect starting point for a charter vacation.

Located in the southern end of the Caribbean, the Windward Islands are home to some of the most illustrious vacation islands including Saint Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago. Saint Lucia is a volcanic island where you can even visit a drive-through volcano, make the most of the healing powers of sulphur springs or enjoy the contrasting beaches and rainforests. If you want your itinerary to include visits to some of the best beach clubs, then Barbados is the place to go with clubs including Nikki Beach, Royal Westmoreland and Harbour Lights. Soak up the sun by day and the rum cocktails by night!

The British Virgin Islands are a haven for water sports enthusiasts both in and under the water and most yachts will carry a selection of water toys and SCUBA equipment to facilitate hours of fun. The BVIs will be known by some because of Richard Branson’s luxury Necker Island which can be included on a yacht charter with a night spent on the island. Before the Virgin boss owned his slice of heaven, Dead Chest Cay is said to be where infamous pirate Blackbeard abandoned 15 rebellious crew members with a cutlass and flask of rum each.

Heading north and west the Caribbean opens up into the fabulous Bahamas; islands known for their favourable conditions and shallow waters. The islands, including Nassau and the Exumas, sit amongst miles of irresistibly blue water which is also dotted with secret sandbars and filled with exotic sea life. Captains will have all the local knowledge about where to find these treasures and the crew can organise a trip to see the famous swimming pigs.

Motor yachts, sailing yachts and catamarans – the choice is endless

As one of the most thriving charter locations, the Caribbean has yachts available in all shapes and sizes from mega to modest, with budgets to match. Some of the most exclusive mega yachts can cost upwards of a million dollars a week, while some of the smaller catamarans can be chartered at more palatable weekly rates. A good charter broker will talk you through your options and likely have recommendations at every price point. Just remember that the headline price will not include the Advanced Provisioning Allowance (usually around 25% of the charter fee) or the customary tip (up to 20% of the charter fee). If you are new to chartering, working with a reputable charter broker will ensure you understand all the relevant fees, contracts and obligations of both the yacht owner and the client.

Oceanco and Palmer Johnson are two of the titans of yacht construction and a well-maintained and regularly refitted superyacht can operate premium charters for many years. Two of our favourite experienced ‘Ladies’ are Oceanco’s Lucky Lady and Palmer Johnson’s Lady J, both of which are available for charter in the Bahamas for spring break.

The Caribbean is perfect for sailing thanks to the gentle winds which lace between the islands. Yacht regattas are a common sight across the region and many sailing yachts can be chartered by those interested in competing. If you prefer to sit back and let the crew do the work, then the grace of a sailing yacht can’t be beaten, with both classic and contemporary choices available. Easter is a wonderful time to sail in the Caribbean as it falls in the dry season when the weather is warm, the sea is calm and the winds are gentle – it is advised to avoid the hurricane season between August and October for obvious reasons.

Extraordinary cuisine, exciting water toys and exemplary service

Think of your charter yacht as your own private floating villa with all the luxuries and service you would find in a 5-star hotel. A good crew is at the heart of a great charter experience and a charter broker will be able to guide you in your choice of yacht depending on whether you prefer discrete or hands-on service.

No vacation is complete without the opportunity to try the local cuisine or treat yourself to your favourite cocktails and desserts. In the galley, on a crewed charter yacht, you can expect to find some of the best chefs in the world, with experience ranging from high-end restaurants to exquisite private dining. The fresh ingredients available in the Caribbean and the Bahamas centre around locally caught seafood blended with traditional Bayan, Creole and Latin American flavours. However you prefer to dine – family style, silver service or a BBQ – nothing is too much trouble for the chef and stewardesses. You can also look forward to fabulous tablescapes which will elevate even the simplest meal into a stylish event.

While you dine, the interior crew will turn down the beds, ensure drinks are refreshed and put on a movie for the kids. Meanwhile, the deck crew will be busy garaging the toys and cleaning the decks and outdoor furniture ready for the next morning. Your leisurely start to the day has seen the crew up early, brewing the coffee, preparing breakfast and setting up the water toys. These days the choice of many yachts is endless including exciting power craft, inflatable water parks plus diving and fishing equipment.

Given the popularity of Spring Break for holidays around the world, prices can be at a premium, and competition can be fierce. A good charter broker, with excellent connections, is invaluable for sourcing and securing amazing special offers, even on the best charter yachts.

Temperatures in the Caribbean and the Bahamas in the Spring hover around the 26°C mark with gentle winds and little rainfall. On deck, the temperature can drop overnight so it is wise to bring something warm so you can make the most of leisurely al fresco dinners on board.

Happy Spring Break charterers!

Trina Howes

Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld America is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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