The United States are filled with natural wonders, and 2020 is the perfect time to whisk away family and friends for a luxury yacht charter exploring the charms of either coast, or nearby islands.
From the powerful calving glaciers in Alaska to the soft pink sand beaches of the Bahamas, there’s something new and exciting to tempt all ages and interests within your group. Explore at your leisure and fill the time in transit with your hobbies, the latest films, or some well-earned relaxation soaking in the sundeck Jacuzzi, then get out the water toys and party long after sundown with a professional crew on hand to take care of all the details.
Here are five of the best and most convenient places to charter in and in close proximity to the USA, and there are luxury yachts of all shapes and sizes ready to accommodate your group.
This striking wilderness is breathtaking, and on your cruise, you’ll come across such natural wonders as the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Tracy Arm Fjord, the natural hot springs and waterfalls of South Baranof Island, and the St. Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge which is one of the premier bird viewing destinations in Southeast Alaska and excellent habitat for puffins.
Alaska as a whole is a fantastic destination for those looking to photograph wildlife and be active in nature, with kayaking, hiking, white water rafting and canyoning all possibilities on a trip. Learn more about the history and culture of the area at Juneau, or anchor in Pious Bay on Admiralty islands known as the fabled “Fortress of the Bears”. Be sure to include Frederick Sound to your itinerary if you are interested in watching Humpbacks, Orcas, and Dall porpoises in this world famous whale-watching spot.
Southern New England cruising Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod
New England is wonderfully warm during the summer months and makes a convenient alternative for those looking for a weekend getaway (or longer) without needing to travel too far Cape Cod is a fantastic destination for photographers and artists, who have one lighthouse after another to capture along the gorgeous sandy beaches. The nature reserves in the area provide refuge for migratory birds: Follow hiking trails and listen to birdsong as you make your way from one beach to the next.
Martha’s Vineyard is considered one of the most stunning destinations on the New England coast, and what’s more the ferry journey limits the number of tourists coming from the mainland, while you have your luxury yacht to take you wherever you want to go! The picturesque towns are filled with museums and art galleries, plus there are numerous boutiques and malls for those looking to treat themselves. And as the island’s name suggests, there are plenty of opportunities to taste the locally grown wines and take a bottle home with you.
Nantucket was once the world’s largest whaling port and its history shows in the surrounding mansions, ports and lighthouses. This is another great New England destination for museums and galleries, while there is a choice of eateries and entertainments to fill the hours. Spend a leisurely afternoon among the picturesque houses of the Siasconset Old Historic District, then stroll through the nearby Bluff Walk with an ice cream before making your way to the beach. Your selection of water toys won’t be neglected either – beaches are abundant in Nantucket, and there is even a large sheltered inner bay for family water sports, while the outer beaches have the perfect wind conditions for kite surfing and more.
Northern New England cruising the Coast of Maine
Farther north, temperatures can reach a wonderfully warm 29°C/84.2°F during summer, and visitors can enjoy the last of the summer sun along with the vivid colours of autumn around September. Fishing is a local passion and your professional on board chef will be able to turn your catch into a delectable lunch or dinner to be enjoyed alfresco on the sundeck, or a traditional lobster bake on a private island.
Maine also has a great selection of micro-breweries, vineyards and art galleries, and it’s possible to go biking along the trails stopping at cellar doors on an organised itinerary through the countryside. Photographers will find plenty to catch their eye, from more iconic New England lighthouses to covered bridges and wildlife such as dolphins and blue whales in the Gulf of Maine. When you want to get away from the modern world, there are plenty of secluded coves and beaches among the archipelago to unwind and watch the sunset.
The Florida Keys
The Sunshine State is home to the world-famous SCUBA and snorkelling John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater sea park in the United States, approximately 70 nautical square miles. The Keys provide easy-going entertainment such as museums, restaurants and bars, while out in nature charter groups can enjoy snorkelling, Scuba diving, kayaking and fishing. Other destinations of note include the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, the Dry Tortugas National Park, and the Ocean Reef Club. For a beach picnic using your yacht’s watersports toys, we recommend anchoring off Elliott Key. For those looking for a little city nightlife during a yacht charter, there are plenty of opportunities to dock close to all the action around South Beach in Miami.
The Bahamas is one of the most popular luxury yacht charter destinations for Americans and Canadians, and to reflect this there is a large selection of luxury yachts available of all shapes and sizes to cater to everything from girls’ getaways with a few friends to luxury yachts capable of holding large parties while dockside.
The majority of our charters begin from Nassau, where there are 5-star hotels, boutiques, golf courses and casinos, and cruise the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park for their soft sand beaches, the swimming pigs of Big Major’s, snorkelling Thunderball Grotto and the festivities of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Eleuthera and Harbour Island are a worthy stop for romantics to walk along the pink sand beaches at sunset, and Scuba diving and snorkelling sites are varied and plentiful.
The clear and shallow waters are a great place for beginner Scuba divers to gain confidence, and more advanced night dives, wrecks and drift dives will satisfy the more experienced in the group. For an Out Islands Itinerary, head to Long Island for Blue Dean’s Hole, and the Bight of Acklins to the south is ideal for snorkelling, Scuba diving, fishing and discovering scenic spots by kayak and paddleboard.
Bonefish in the shallows or head out to the deeper spots for big game fish such as wahoo, bluefin tuna and marlin. Relish the sunshine on the white sand beaches of San Salvador Island, Conception Island and Rum Cay, and paddle in the shallow water with little ones as your lunch is prepared by your expert crew.