Charter broker, Nicolas Benazeth, a leading expert in luxury yacht charter, shares his insights into his pick of the top best luxury yacht charter destinations.
With so many incredible spots to choose from and so little time for that elusive holiday, you want an expert to guide you in a direction that can make you too have the ultimate charter experience. Here Nick shares his top 10 yacht charter picks based on his personal and professional experience.
“Described as “romantically isolated” the islands are a perfect holiday place for boating, sunbathing and swimming.”
1. La Maddalena Islands, Sardinia
La Maddalena is the main island of an archipelago off the north-eastern tip of Sardinia. It is made up of o islands, islets and rocks. The unspoiled coastline and the low-key beaches make for an attractive charter destination. Described as “romantically isolated” the islands are a perfect holiday place for boating, sunbathing and swimming. When you want to step off the beach and explore or shop, the main Island’s town is also called La Maddalena and is home to several ruins and beautiful historic buildings.
2. Patmos, Greece
Patmos is one of the “Dodecanese Islands” and a great destination for yacht charter cruising for sailing and motor yachts. Most charter yachts can be based in either Kos or Rhodes and others in Paros (Paroikia port) to the west and Samos (Pythagorion port) to the north. Forbes magazine voted Patmos as “Europe’s Most Idyllic Places To Live”, but chartering a luxury yacht here is pure bliss too!
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is one of the most popular Croatia yacht charter destinations in the Mediterranean and Croatia itself has so many things to see and do like the museums, architecture, boutiques and markets. You can dine in the best restaurants, bistros and cafés and hot the multitude of night-clubs. There are many motor yachts, superyachts, sailing yachts and catamarans available in the Summer for charter and you should most certainly visit the “the pearl of the Adriatic”. The stunning city and its Old Town, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, will provide you with arts and culture galore and the beaches by day will dazzle.
4. Kotor fjord, Montenegro
The Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska, or ‘the Boka’) is usually described as the Mediterranean’s only fjord and although this technically not true, it might as well be with how beautiful this place is. There is much to do once you set up base and anchor and Boka’s small area means you can spend time exploring the whole place or make quick of great activities like mountain biking, hiking or kayaking. If you are looking for cultural there are art museums and churches and ruins from the empirical days to explore as well.
5. Komodo, Indonesia
Indonesia is an exotic and wonderful place to cruise. Luxury charter yacht RAJA LAUT visits the untouched Komodo National Park in the Summer season and the park, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage, is renowned for its unique subtropical flora and fauna with ancient volcanoes, emerald green water and the famous Komodo Dragons. Komodo is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and one of the world’s best dive sites. Komodo has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature but there is also no shortage of people and their fishing villages to visit. More Indonesia info.
6. Formentera, Spain
Formentera, near Ibiza, is found on the Spanish coast within the Mediterranean Sea. Yachting enthusiasts and sailors all come here as a base port and Formentera is a Summer cruising ground for luxury yachts and superyacht charters to explore. The Isla Espalmador is another island just off the Island of Formentera and is uninhabited. It is well known for its untouched beaches and is on every yacht charter enthusiasts list in the Summer months. With Ibiza right next door you have the best of both worlds.
7. Girolata, Corsica
Girolata is a hard-to-get-to-but-worth-it little village near the Scandola Nature Reserve in western Corsica, about 35 km north-west from Porto. It is part of the Corsica Natural Park. The scenery and wildlife here is remarkable and the water is as clear as day. The little village surrounded by ocean runs up the mountain and the infamous red rock region makes this vision even more incredible. There is a small beach in Girolata and the little natural harbour brings in the smaller yachts that explore the coastline.
8. Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Positano on the Amalfi Coast has colourful houses down the side of the island to the sea and you can visit great restaurants and fashion shops here. But spend your time on the beach once you disembark your superyacht and grab some pizza or gelato and relax while you eat like the other beach goers. Don’t forget your bikini ladies, after all, Positano was the first town in Italy to import them from France. Laurito, a tiny beach in Positano, is separated into a free beach and a private beach so make your way there see which side you end up on!
9. Porquerolle Islands, France
Sail your charter yacht to the small archipelago of Iles d’Hyères, and see the amazing beauty of this natural island. There are four islands in the Iles d’Hyères, with one of the main being Ile de Porquerolles which gives you protected anchorages in most conditions along its sheltered north shore. Porquerolles is off the French Riviera between Marseille and Cannes and you can drop an anchor here. Then explore the island where many ride bicycles around in the Summer months. Many French visit in late Spring, September and October but late May has Porquerolles at its most beautiful and is great for families.
The Arctic, not your usual destination but fast becoming very popular. The incredible glaciers, ice caps and icebergs make way for whales who will see your luxury charter yacht and greet it. Other wildlife you could encounter are musk oxen, reindeer, mountain hares and arctic foxes. What more could you possibly want? Well maybe a little luxury inside your yacht and there is no shortage of that, especially on superyachts like expedition yacht LARS, who remains in the Northern Europe waters after she has reached Greenland. More Greenland Info.
Nick is a senior charter broker with many years experience organising luxury yacht charters worldwide and a further 5 years previously working within the luxury travel industry. Having been born and raised on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Nick has always had a passion for the sea and the outdoors. After studying Biology at Imperial College in London, and spending a year as a guide in luxury safari camps in southern Africa, he moved back to the UK, where he spent 5 years organizing luxury tailor-made and adventure holidays. With projects to manage ranging from polar expedition cruises and whale watching trips in the Pacific to luxury safaris in Botswana, he gained a valuable understanding of the high-end travel and service industry. Moving to the south of France, he then worked as a luxury charter broker in one of the leading yacht brokerage companies….more.