Cruising Itinerary for the Windward Islands in the Caribbean
Why choose the Windward Islands cruising grounds?
When you want a complete escape from the office and modern distractions, a luxury yacht charter to the natural wonders of the Windward Islands is exactly what you're looking for: Spend a week amongst uninhabited cays and swim with turtles amongst colourful coral reefs, or discover the region's phenomenal sandy beaches fringed with pine trees or natural rainforest.
Towering mountains, volcanic mud pools, tumbling waterfalls and thermal spas await inland, while along the coast of the inhabited islands there are usually some fantastic restaurants, beach clubs and cafes. The transparent and shallow waters of the Caribbean make this an excellent destination for yacht charter groups with young children on board, who can clearly see any potential dangers in the water while also having clear views of the wildlife from a distance.
Scuba divers and snorkelers will be in their element while swimming around reefs, century-old wrecks and unique attractions such as the underwater sculpture park in Grenada, and outside of the reserves there is plenty of opportunity to let loose with the motorised water toys for some high octane fun.
Take your comfortable accommodation, luxury amenities and professional crew with you wherever you travel so that, even though the scenery changes, the quality of your luxury yacht charter remains exceptional.
Day 1: St. Lucia
Begin you luxury yacht charter in the must-see destination of St. Lucia which is best known for the towering mountains called the Pitons, which have UNESCO World Heritage Status. A hike to the summit will take you through rainforest, past waterfalls, volcanic mud pools and hot water spring which you can wallow in on the way.
The port towns are the right balance between development and authenticity, with the bars, clubs and restaurants to be found along the seashore and little else to tear you away from the majestic landscapes and the flora and fauna which are to be found within.
This is to say nothing of the marine environment, which is the typical crystal clear turquoise to be found throughout the Caribbean, beneath which there are unique sites such as the Anse Chastanet Reef, which varies in depth from 3m/9.8ft to 40m/131ft and octopi are amongst the inhabitants of this beautiful reef, along with thousands of tiny colourful fish. Rest on tranquil sandy beaches or on the sunbeds back on board your luxury yacht.
Pigeon Island is also a popular spot to visit, with military ruins to explore and Fort Rodney offering 360° views of the surroundings. Kayak along the coast and visit the Carib Caves, or head to the eastern side of St. Lucia for large sandy beaches away from the main tourist trails.
Sample the island delicacies with a visit to rum distilleries and chocolate factories at Gros Islet, and pick up some new accessories at the bespoke jewellers.
In the evening, watch the vibrant sunset as you savour a sumptuous meal prepared using fresh ingredients by your expert on board chef.
Location highlights: The Pitons, Anse Chastanet Reef, Pigeon Island National Park, Fort Rodney, Carib Caves
Day 2: St. Vincent & the Grenadines
The next islands to the south are St. Vincent & the Grenadines, another paradisiacal location for nature lovers to explore and discover remarkable locations such as black sand beaches and the Owia Salt Pond as well as hikes to the La Soufriere Volcano and the Dark View Falls.
Visit the locations used in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, such as Fort Charlotte and nearby Kingstown with its lush Botanical Gardens, then cruise over to Bequia for the amazing Scuba dive and snorkelling spots along the north west coast, including shallow Rocky Bay and the wreck of M/Y VIVIANA. Guests looking for a bit of pampering have a choice of luxury spas to rest and rejuvenate before a candlelit meal surrounded by palm trees and the sound of waves gently lapping the shore.
Location highlights: Owia Salt Pond, La Soufriere Volcano, Dark View Falls, Fort Charlotte, Rocky Bay dive site, Viviana dive site
Day 3: Mustique
The private island of Mustique is a haven for bird life and the perfect place to sit back and take life at a far slower pace. Macaroni Beach and lagoon Beach are two of the largest stretches of soft golden sand on the island but by far not the only places to rest up in picturesque surroundings. Spend the afternoon making the most of the motorised water toys and then head to Basil's Bar for music and cocktails at sunset.
Location highlights: Macaroni Beach, Lagoon Beach, Basil's Bar
Day 4: Canouan
The bays and coves around Canouan give you plenty of choice anchorages to host your own parties on board or to spend quality time with the other guests on board. Hiking trails follow the coast, and the luxury resorts provide spa facilities and a golf club to complement your own on board amenities.
The shallow waters and sheltered Friendship Bay and Glossy Bay make excellent training grounds for young swimmers and those learning how to use the water toys for the first time, and snorkelers are richly rewarded with plenty of colourful fish in the crystal clear sea. Farther out, a trip to the coral reef surrounding the island will prove even more rewarding.
Location highlights: Friendship Bay, Glossy Bay, Tamarind Beach, Shell Beach
Day 5: Mayreau
A haven for luxury yacht charter groups, Saline Bay, Twassante Bay and Carnash Bay on the western side of Mayreau are common anchorages where you can meet up with other holidaymakers and swap adventures and tips on the best places to visit. There is a great selection of bars and restaurants along the sandy crescents on the western side of the island, and when you want to head off for some time to yourselves and the water toys, the eastern side has pristine deserted beaches that look out onto lagoons, islets and the Tobago Cays beyond.
Those looking to explore the main settlement won't need long, and a short stroll will take visitors from the beaches past The Combination Cafe, Denis’ Hideaway Bar and Restaurant and Bob Robert Bar to the beautiful Church of the Immaculate Conception.
The shallow century-old wreck of the PURUNI is located just 12m/39ft underwater and the transparent waters make this a great introduction to practise the skills for this type of dive. Catch your dinner with the on board fishing gear for a freshly prepared lunch, complemented by a fruity cocktail from your sundeck bar.
Because there are no cars on Mayreau, this is the perfect destination to get out your hiking boots or e-bikes and explore along the trails and reach from the north to the south with ease.
Location highlights: Saline Bay, Twassante Bay, Carnash Bay, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Puruni dive site
Day 6: Tobago Cays
East of Mayreau is this exceptional natural reserve comprised of five cays and Horseshoe Reef, which is home to Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherback Turtles, eagle rays and nurse sharks.
This is an excellent place to take family members of all ages on a wildlife spotting tour, and the shallow sandy lagoon between the islands is a great place to swim, snorkel and play with the non-motorised water toys.
The five cays are Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Jamesby and Petit Tabac, the latter being another filming location for The Pirates of the Caribbean. After a satisfying day swimming with curious wildlife in their natural habitat, watch the sun sink over the horizon and the stars come out in the unpolluted night sky.
Location highlights: Baradal Turtle Watching Reserve, Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Jamesby, Petit Tabac
Day 7: Petit St. Vincent
Another jewel among the Grenadines, St. Vincent is a choice destination for wildlife watching, and as you unwind in your sundeck Jacuzzi with a cocktail in hand you might spot a pod of migrating dolphins or whales. There is bountiful seafood for a memorable meal on the penultimate day of your Windward Islands luxury yacht cruise, and lobster, grouper and conch are just waiting below the waves.
There are over two miles of white sand beaches and this private island has a great selection of diving and snorkelling sites before guests rest on board in air conditioned interiors watching a family film with a selection of indulgent desserts.
Location highlights: Petite St. Vincent Port
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