Whether you are planning to visit the Mediterranean or the Caribbean with family or friends this Spring or Summer, the best advice we can give you is to book your summer yacht charter early.
The improving economy in the US has boosted vacation demand to the point that the really good yachts and the best deals are running out. No kidding, and I’m NOT trying to instill a false sense of panic, so, if you are planning a yacht charter – plan quick and let us know so we can find the right boat and book it for you before the rush starts. 6 months to a year’s lead-time is about right.
Mediterranean Old World Trips
Here are some charter planning ideas: Let’s start by saying that if you are flying to Europe from the US then you should plan on arriving the day before your cruise begins and spending a night or two in a hotel in a place like, for example, Athens. Many good places to eat but some of the best can be found in the Historic Plaka district where you can enjoy fabulous Greek wines and enjoy traditional Greek entertainment.
The last time that I was in Athens I enjoyed a lovely dinner at an open air plaza with the Acropolis illuminated at the top of the hill. Breathtaking.
From Athens your charter will begin in the port of Piraeus or a marina close by. You can easily travel by local bus to this bustling port or have the luxury of a taxi ride. I personally prefer the local transport but many feel more comfortable with their bags just taking a cab ride.
From Piraeus you have the best options: EAST to Mykonos in the Cylades group of islands, famous for it’s whitewashed houses and windmills with blazing blue roofs the color of the sea. The old town is a maze of shops and restaurants in narrow streets. South to the Saronic Gulf islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses or West through the Corinth canal to the Ionian Islands of Kefalonia, Zakinthos, Corfu and other beautiful green islands
Another great stop in the Greek islands is one of my favorite places, the island of Rhodes. In summer this is a favorite place for British tourists. It is worth the trouble to move off the waterfront and find traditional Greek Tavernas serving authentic food and wines.
One of the most popular islands that you should visit in Greece is Santorini and this stop seems to be on most American visitor agendas. Santorini is a spectacular destination, arguably the most spectacular in the Mediterranean but again this is subjective.
The largest of the Greek Islands is Crete which is home to the Knossos excavations – the site of the Minoan Kingdom which dates back to 4000 BC.
Apart from all the marvelous sights and places of interest and fabulous shopping and eating that you can do, the Greek Islands and the Turkish coast offer breathtaking views and friendly locals BUT ESPECIALLY great food.
I particularly love the Turkish coastline with it’s pine studded hills and quiet coves where the water laps gently onto the sand. One of the great things about this region is that the water stays warm for swimming into September and that is the time that is the most peaceful. Very few tourists. A cruise in Greece and Turkey can be quite unforgettable and enchanting and you will most certainly want to return.
Caribbean Boating Vacations
If on the other hand you are planning a Summer Caribbean family vacation, I do recommend the British Virgin Islands (BVI) especially if you have not done it before.
Protected waters, a bunch of neat little islands to visit and a world famous (notorious?) assortment of bars and restaurants. You will find a really great selection of boats too, since it is so popular with the sailing crowd, there is a great selection of boats here.
These are called the Leeward islands and have a French, Dutch and British feel. St. Barth is an especially FRENCH island with great food and great beaches and the more than occasional Hollywood celebrity to gawk at or take a selfie with.
If you feeling even more adventurous, go further South to the Grenadines, pick up a charter yacht in St. Lucia or St. Vincent and thread your way through the famous Grenadine islands of Bequia, Mustique, Union, Mayreau and the Tobago Cays. Finish up in Grenada and fly home.
Planning Makes the Best Trips
The underlying message however, is to BOOK EARLY, this is the secret. That way, you’ll get the boat and crew you want and avoid the last minute rushes like, “get me on to anything you can find, we’ve already bought the tickets…!!”
Talk to us here at American Yacht, you’ll find a sympathetic and knowledgeable ear and lots of patience to walk you carefully through the yacht selection and booking process.
Call us at 877-759-8263 or use our handy contact form.