From white-sand islands to frigid ice fields, windswept coastlines to sleepy fishing villages, a yacht can take you anywhere your sense of exploration wants to go. With the world at your sandled feet, however, it’s hard to decide in which direction to set sail. Here are a few ideas to get your wanderlust kickstarted.
The Amalfi Coast
At just 30 miles long, Italy’s Amalfi Coast offers far more than it’s diminutive stature might suggest. In fact, it has everything you could possible want in a Mediterranean getaway: dramatic coastlines, sleepy fishing villages and sparkling Riviera waters. Among Positano, Pompeii and Amalfi itself there are as many designer boutiques as historical ruins, while Capri and the Bay of Naples are a short jaunt away. If you’re looking to explore the best charter destinations Italy has to offer, the Amalfi coast is where you need to go. Just be warned: high season can get seriously busy.
A little more relaxed than the Caribbean – and a little more humid – the Maldives is as paradisiacal as you might imagine. It’s a sleepier pace of life there so if you fancy spending your days alternating between lounging on the beach and diving the many breath-taking reefs across the island-dotted Indian ocean then you couldn’t ask for better.
More than almost anywhere though, the Maldives is a true luxury destination, with resorts catering to the well-sandalled traveller. You can check out what our editor thought of Anantara in our travel section, but I’d posit that Velaa Private Island is its equal.
187km North of the capital of Male, Velaa is the pinnacle of laid-back luxury. The villas blend into the natural environment, while the restaurants make the most of the local culinary treasures (you’d better like seafood). If you’re looking for something a little more active there’s the prerequisite array of watersports of course, but Velaa also has it’s own golf course. No matter how long you spend there, it’ll never be quite long enough. velaaprivateisland.com
As you can see from a couple of yachts in this guide, the best explorer vessels can take you to even the most remote regions in the world, and few are more remote than the Arctic. Northern Norway is the perfect jump off point for one of the most adventurous charter routes available and allows you to experience everything from the polar bears of Svalbard to snowmobile expeditions across the frozen tundra.
You’ll need a proper ice-breaker if you want to head even more north, but it’s worth it for a true once-in-a-lifetime charter experience. Just make sure you wrap up warm.
The British Virgin Islands
Consisting of 50 volcanic islands scattered across the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are a haven of white sand coves, sedate, turquoise waters and plenty of rum. Well, it did once play host to a good number of pirates, and what is a pirate without their rum?
There are a ton of diving spots across the archipelago, from Diamond Reef just off uninhabited Great Camanoe Island to the scattering of shipwrecks that didn’t manage to avoid the piratical locals. Wherever you head to, you’ll be starting from Tortola, arguably the Caribbean’s yachting capital and the perfect base from which to explore this year-round tropical paradise.
If you have some experience at the helm of a sailing yacht, you’ll soon find yourself gravitating towards the dramatic, windswept Atlantic coastline of New England. There’s a good reason it’s the homeland of preppy yachting style.
The various capes and inlets make for a tough but satisfying yachting experience and, even if you yourself aren’t all that confident travelling under your own wind, you can always hire a crew that is. If you want a wonderfully exhilarating seafaring experience, look no further; just don’t expect it to be all that comfortable.