The first events of the year have started off the luxury yachting calendar in hot and exotic locations. Warm climates are drawing charter guests in greater numbers as ever-more adventurous destinations are becoming available on the charter market. Take a look at these spectacular up-and-coming destinations to sail to in 2018 and discover a land of beauty before the crowds follow.
Chile has an exciting range of natural wonders to see during a yacht charter vacation, and it is also one of the longest countries in the world.
There are plenty of things to do and see such as National Parks, the towering Torres del Paine, sapphire coloured lakes, glaciers, forests and rivers. Whether you prefer hiking, photography or painting, the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine is really worth a visit with its huge mountains, blue icebergs and pampas grasslands. Wildlife like guanacos shelter here among the horn shaped peaks called Cuernos del Paine that overlook the plains.
Spend halcyon days horse riding, kayaking, trekking or cycling and discover caves, fjords and waterfalls along the way. When cruising in Chile you may even spot penguins, killer whales and dolphins. Chilean fjords can be navigated by boat and a luxury yacht known as PLAN B can be hired to charter these magnificent waterways.
Puerto Natales is a city on the south-eastern edge of the park which is steeped in history, culture and colour. Sample some of the local cuisine with a refreshing glass of Chilean wine.
The best time to go to southern Chile is from November until March: The weather is warm with temperatures at approximately 14°C/57°F.
Oman also has a beautiful coastline and although not seeming to be an obvious destination for superyachts, it’s definitely worth a visit. There are luxury boutiques and hotels in abundance and with its warm climate during the winter, Oman is a Middle-Eastern gem waiting to be discovered.
If you’re an adventurous explorer who likes luxury and something a little different, Oman could be for you. It has plenty to keep everyone entertained, from traditional Arabian souks, mountain hiking and wild desert adventures, so your group will be quite spoilt for choice. The Barr Al Jissah complex near Muscat provides the ideal base to explore the rest of Oman. On the coastline are three Shangri-La hotels that offer around 22 dining options in case you ever want to try the cuisine away from your luxury yacht.
Why not hire a helicopter that can take you into the desert and get a taste of the wild side of this amazing country? Try quad biking, sand boarding or see if you can negotiate the sand dunes in a 4×4. You can always head to Oman’s Grand Canyon for a fantastic trek to see the vastness of the area and its rugged beauty.
The coastline of Oman is something else -here you will find great snorkelling and diving opportunities, or you could try your hand at fishing. Explore the underwater world to see sea turtles and brightly coloured fish.
Fancy a luxurious spa treatment? Relax in the Chi Spa in Barr Al Jissah to wind down, or if you’ve still got some energy, make your way to Muscat. There are plenty of retail stores in the souks selling gold and silver jewellery along with traditional textiles.
The best time to travel to Oman is during the winter months of October-March. Temperatures reach 30°C/80°F while in the summer months, April-September it gets very hot at over 40°C/104°F degrees.
New England is noted for its seafaring and maritime history. There are many activities, things to see and special events for yacht charterers. It’s a small place with shops, restaurants, museums, rugged coastlines dotted with lighthouses and quiet anchorages. If you love anything nautical, then New England is just right for you.
Wherever you cruise in New England there are nautical museums close by, so choose a few to include in your visit before your trip begins, and also explore Martha’s Vineyard or spend a day or two on New England’s wonderful sandy beaches. There are lighthouses, food festivals and breweries to savour or for the more energetic, head to the beautiful White Mountains that are speckled with waterfalls.
Boston is also a good place to visit: You could watch a Red Sox baseball game or take a walk along the waterfront to the New England Aquarium or Quincy Market.
While in New England, spend a day in atmospheric Maine or cruise to Butter Island for a lobster dish. You might even see seals on the rocks here as you enjoy the spectacular views. Have your camera ready and watch out for whales, who come through the area on their way to breed.
The time to visit New England depends on whether you prefer hot or cooler weather and enjoyment for the activities such differing seasons bring. During the autumn, you can admire the incredible changing colours of the trees while winter promises plenty of snow. May to September are the warmest months, so if you want to lie in the sun, book a yacht charter for this time of year.
Although travelling restrictions for Americans in Cuba have not been completely lifted, they have been eased a little. The superyachts HIGHLANDER and AXIOMA can now be chartered for the first time to Cuba. Havana is a place you feel has stopped in time, however taking a charter yacht here means you have ample luxury on board, providing you with the best of both worlds.
There are plenty of things to see and do, for instance, Ernest Hemingway’s former home is here, and luxury charter guests shouldn’t miss the Havana Club rum factory and museum. Old Havana has many historical sites of interest – there are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza San Francisco de Assis, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de Armas. To end the day, the canon ceremony at La Cabana is also well worth a visit.
Probably the best time to go to Cuba is from December to May when it’s the sunniest. The wet season starts in June and from August to October there’s the additional chance of hurricanes.
Considering the striking landscapes and unique diversity of the local wildlife, what could be better than a luxurious superyacht charter to Australia? Queensland has seen a recent rise in visitors by motor and sailing yacht, proving that Australia is a popular choice with holidaymakers of all backgrounds.
The Whitsunday Islands provide great underwater adventures that encompass beautiful sunsets, crystal white beaches and an amazing marine ecosystem. Australia is also perfect for snorkelling enthusiasts.
Arrange a cruise around the Whitsunday Islands and incorporate one of the seven natural wonders of the world into your holiday: The Great Barrier Reef. Ideal for divers, photographers and ecologists, the reef is a fantastic destination for people of all ages and you could spend days diving and snorkelling in Blue Pearl Bay, Hook Island Bay or Butterfly Bay. Whitehaven Beach is one of the Whitsunday’s gems and visitors shouldn’t miss the chance to sail to Nara Inlet, where you will find a fabulous collection of ancient aboriginal cave paintings before you journey on to cool down under the waterfall at Cid Harbour.
September is one of the best months to go to Australia as temperatures aren’t too high and there’s usually lots of sun although visitors do need to keep an eye out for jellyfish, which tend to visit these waters during October until May.
Known as Burma many years ago, Myanmar has many beautiful islands off the Mergui Archipelago in the south. These islands are largely uninhabited and untouched. There are rain forests here, soft white sandy beaches and lots of adventure in the jungles.
Spend lazy days on the peaceful beaches lying in the sun on the Similan Islands. You could hike up the impressive mountain on Great Swinton Island to take in spectacular views of the surroundings.
The water around Clara Island is the perfect place to spot turtles and amazing marine life. You could even take a canoe through the mangrove trees on Lampi Island, which is now a national park. With magnificent diving sites in the Mergui Archipelago, south-west of Lampi at the Three Islets, you’re sure to have a wonderful vacation.
Between October and May is the dry season, so visiting Myanmar from November to February is considered the best time to go.
Beautiful Norway just can’t be beaten as a hotlist destination for 2018. The western fjords are a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of rugged cliffs and beautiful valleys at every turn. Norway is ideal for those who like to stay active and have a passion for nature at its best.
Sail around the western Norwegian fjords stopping off at Pulpit Rock to take a walk, and if you dare to, you could try one of Norway’s longest zip lines.
Take a stroll along the Post Road at Rullestadjuvet Gorge or spend some time at the Viringfossen waterfall. There are many activities in Voss including indoor sky diving and white-water rafting.
For something a little different, go cycling to the Bondhusvatnet Glacier in Sundal or to Lake Bondhusvatnet, both of which are spectacular. If it’s a city break you prefer, make your way to Bergen. Here you can enjoy lively night life, a great selection of restaurants and a fantastic sample of local ale in the vibrant bars.
As Norway doesn’t have a really cold climate, July and August are the best times to go. Enjoy long, lazy days and warmer temperatures at this time of year and discover the mesmerising Norwegian fjords on board a luxurious superyacht.