Yacht Itinerary for Leeward Islands
Why choose the Leeward Islands cruising grounds?
The Caribbean and Bahamas luxury yacht charter grounds are blessed with year-round warm weather and a profusion of incredible animal species, from octopi and seahorses around coral reefs to colourful parrots and turtles along the shores, and the Leeward Islands have some of the best Scuba diving sites and beaches for a packed week-long itinerary.
Pale white sands and the occasional pink-sand beach make memorable locations for a honeymoon or place to propose, and families of all ages will be taken by surprise by the beauty hidden beneath the clear turquoise blue waters.
Along for the journey is your stash of water toys and experienced crew, who include a professional chef to cater to all dietary requirements on board. There might also be a Dive master, jet ski instructor or masseuse among the crew to further enhance your incredible holiday experience in the uninhabited wilds.
Wherever you go on your luxury yacht charter, the Leeward Islands will be an unforgettable experience that has something to satisfy everyone.
Day 1: Antigua
Begin your holiday with the perfect conditions for water sports and sunbathing in Antigua, where there are 365 beaches to choose from and crystal clear waters for easy snorkelling and Scuba diving.
Half Moon Bay is considered one of the most picture-perfect coastal locations, while kite surfers and wind surfers prefer Jabberwock Beach and Galley Bay respectively in the north.
Shallow Cades Reef is within the marine reserve off the south west coast and at only 8 metres (26 feet) deep, it's a must-do activity for snorkelers and Scuba divers of all levels. The colourful corals attract an array of local marine species, and at nightfall it's possible to spot turtles coming to rest on the beaches. Animal lovers also have the choice of Stingray City for a guaranteed up close encounter with the friendly giants of the sea.
For shoppers and culture lovers there are plenty of vibrant galleries to peruse and you might find a superb memento of your Caribbean luxury yacht charter. Fort Berkeley, Fort Barrington and Fort James are popular landmarks with visitors, and if you want to see English Harbour from above then Shirley Heights offers a spectacular panorama. Kayak along the coast and marvel at the ochre-coloured cliffs known as the Pillars of Hercules then get in some shopping and pick up the local specialty English Harbour Rum for a true taste of Antigua at sundown.
Antigua also has a range of events throughout the year to make a luxury yacht charter in the region even more memorable: Visit in spring to observe the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta or go to Nelson's Dockyard on Christmas Day for its champagne party from midday onwards.
Location highlights: Stingray City, Nelson's Dockyard National Park, Rendezvous bay, Half Moon Bay, Le Bistro restaurant, Hermitage Bay, Shirley Heights, Deep Bay & Fort Barrington, Devil's Bridge, Cades Reef, Antigua Classic Regatta, Antigua Sailing Week
Day 2: Nevis
When you want to take a break from modern life then Nevis offers a world that is a step back in time: Make use of your on board amenities as you cruise from one beach to the next or head out to Scuba dive at the wreck of the River Taw or Corinthian. The wilderness is great for high-speed fun on the motorised water toys, sunbathing in complete privacy or parties under the stars.
The only reason you would want to return to land is to explore historic sites such as the Cottle Church, Montpelier House, the Museum of Nevis History in Charlestown and the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Nevis.
Location highlights: Nisbet Beach, Lovers Beach, Oualie Beach, Gallows Bay, Cottle Church, Montpelier House, Museum of Nevis History, Botanical Gardens of Nevis
Day 3: St. Kitts
St. Kitts is modernising and the window of opportunity to see 'the Caribbean as it once was' is slowly vanishing along some of the more impressive beaches, but with progress comes a whole new set of choices for fine dining, shopping and lavish relaxation.
St. Kitts is a colourful mish-mash of 17th and 18th Century colonial buildings and modern residences, hotels and beach clubs right beside the shore. There are numerous golden sand beaches ideal for families wanting to spend a day swimming with colourful fish and playing with the full complement of water toys on board before cruising on to the next location as lunch is being served on board.
Guests looking to explore on land as well as in the water should hike or bike along the trails from Timothy Hill Overlook, or go one better and paraglide above the hills. Have a glass of rum at the end of a tour of the Clay Villa Plantation House & Gardens and take in the views from the looming Brimstone Fortress. Romney Manor has a boutique on-site for some mementos of your tour, and if you enjoy gardens as much as the tropical beaches then Fairview Great House & Botanical Garden will be a satisfying addition to your time in St. Kitts.
Location highlights: Majors Bay, South Friar's, Frigate Bay, Sandbank Bay, Banana Bay, Turtle Beach, Clay Villa Plantation House & Gardens, Brimstone Hill Fortress, Romney Manor, Fairview Great House & Botanical Garden
Day 4: Barbuda
There is little to do on Barbuda but to sit back, rest in the sunshine and savour the Caribbean at its most unspoiled.
Both Antigua and Barbuda are a diver's paradise, and while the former location can boast Cades Reef, in Barbuda there is still plenty of coral reefs and 90 shipwrecks for advanced divers to explore. On dry land charter guests can continue to observe the impressive native wildlife at Frigate Bird Sanctuary, home to rare local species.
Wherever you go, you will find the beaches virtually deserted, leaving you a playground for water sports activities or a party on the beach that lasts as long as you can keep going. The Atlantic side of the island is excellent for wind-powered water sports, and children in your charter group will love exploring the caves at Two Foot Bay.
Location highlights: Frigate Bird Sanctuary, Two Foot Bay caves, 17 Mile Beach, Diana Beach, Pink Sand Beach, Coco Point
Day 5: Saba Island
The coastline twists with caves and coves to explore while kayaking or paddle boarding, but the true treasures lie beneath the surface: This renowned dive site is home to turtles, dolphins and sharks in addition to parrotfish and angelfish among the 1,500 fish species that inhabit these waters. The volcanic nature of the surroundings has produced unusual lava formations and volcanic vents deeper down that experienced divers will truly appreciate in the Saba National Marine Park.
On land, the verdant surroundings can be taken in from atop the aptly named Mount Scenery, and the call of macaws will serenade you from the treetops at sunset.
Location highlights: Saba National Marine Park, Mount Scenery
Day 6: St. Barths
Return to the Caribbean's glamorous social scene on St. Barths for the shopping, laid-back dining and relaxation in town and the vibrant nightlife. If you attend in March you will be in time to witness the famous St. Barths Bucket, however the festive season is also a fantastic time to go for the parties and events that cater to families of all ages.
In Gustavia, the Toiny Coast has impressive rock formations hiding shallow pools and sea creatures, whereas Fort Karl has scenic views of the surroundings from up high and makes a great place for a rest after an afternoon of shopping and visiting the local art galleries and museums.
The southern half of the island has some excellent sandy beaches like the Anse du Gouverneur, Anse de Grande Saline and unique natural formations, known as the Washing Machine, the Blow Hole and the Piscines Naturelles.
Colombier beach at the north west tip of the island is a popular anchorage for the beauty and shelter it offers away from the noise of the town at night.
Location highlights: St. Barths Bucket Regatta, Toiny Coast, Fort Karl, Anse du Gouverneur, Anse de Grande Saline, Washing Machine, Blow Hole, Piscines Natrurelles, Colombier Beach
Day 7: St. Martin/St. Maarten
End your week-long Leeward Islands luxury yacht charter in St. Martin, also known as Sint Maarten as it is divided between the French and the Dutch.
Whether you’re looking to pack in some luxury shopping in Philipsburg, a night of partying, adrenaline-pumping water sports or just one more day relaxing in the sunshine before returning to the office, the island has it all.
Sint Maarten more up-beat and fast-paced than its French counterpart and along the beachfronts there are a variety of bars, restaurants and cafes to enjoy the location at any time of the day.
Baie Lounge is one of the most popular beaches with the rich and famous, however Mullet Bay Beach, Happy Bay and Pinel Island Beach are also excellent as you cruise around the island. The eastern beaches are exposed to the Atlantic winds and therefore perfect for kite surfers and other wind-powered water toys, while the western side is more tranquil for young families, beach parties and dining on the sands after dark.
Throughout the year Saint Martin/Sint Maarten also hosts several regattas, the most famous of which is the St. Martin Heineken Regatta. Catch the action one last time before flying out from the airport right beside the golden sands of Maho Beach.
Location highlights: Maho Beach, Baie Lounge, Mullet Bay Beach, Happy Bay, Pinel Island Beach, Loterie Farm, Fort Louis, St. Martin Heineken Regatta
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