A Very British (Virgin Islands) Christmas!

Specializing in Caribbean charters, here are our top 5 reasons to charter a yacht and why the British Virgin Islands is officially one of the best places in the world to charter for your 2020 holiday season!


Escape the bleak mid-winter and spend Christmas 2020 island hopping between the white sand beaches of the British Virgin Islands. The world’s best sailing conditions, island hopping, world-class scuba diving grounds, and a Christmas day conch meal. All of this plus an unforgettable New Year’s Eve makes the British Virgin Islands the only place to charter a yacht this Christmas!!


Christmas day on the yacht

Whether you’re a seasoned yachtie or sailing around the best sailing grounds of the Caribbean is something you’ve always dreamt of, a yacht charter in the BVI is guaranteed to make 2020 your best Christmas yet.

Although you’ll be on a yacht in the Caribbean, don’t worry there’s still plenty of decorations to make you feel just at home. Expect to see masts with fairy lights going to the top, red and white bikinis and palm Christmas trees!

Spend this Christmas walking around the white sand-beaches of Anegada and join in the local celebrations! Chose from having your own personal crew onboard to sailing solo around the many BVI white-sand beached islands.


New years eve at Foxy’s

Be sure to head to the island of Jost Van Dyke to bring in the New Year. Foxy’s on the island is renowned as being one of the top 5 parties in the world on New Year’s Eve.

Instead of celebrating the ‘New Year’, this bar celebrates the ‘Old Year’s Night’, making this iconic location different from every other New Year Party on the globe.

Hop off your boat and enjoy being in one of the best places in the world this New Year. Be sure to catch the theme before deciding on your outfits!


December diving

Switch the traditional family board games on Christmas day for a scuba diving lesson! Scuba dives are an extremely popular Christmas day activity and really make it a Christmas day to remember.

The BVI waters surrounding the islands of Norman Island are renowned for being extremely clear during the months of December and January. The Caribbean waters are full of different corals, turtles, shipwrecks and thousands of different species of fish.

Surprise your loved ones with a diving course and give the gift of the ocean this Christmas!


A Caribbean Christmas lunch

Eat like a local and celebrate the festivities with a freshly grilled lobster or conch! Head over to the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda for your Christmas lunch, be sure to book early this year as most restaurants serving local Caribbean Christmas delicacies tend to get booked up very quickly.


Unrivalled weather conditions

The trade winds blowing across the islands of the BVI offer a consistent breeze, ideal for sailing and for keeping slightly cool during this period. Christmas is without a doubt one of the best times of year to visit the BVI due to long, sunny days with ocean breezes coming through in the afternoon and slightly cooler evenings.

The BVI is known for ‘line of sight’ sailing and protected bays for anchorages and sailing. Unlike other locations in the Caribbean, the waters in the BVI are usually a lot calmer than many other locations.


Aftermath of Irma

Despite the saddening damage, caused by hurricane IRMA in 2017, the BVI’s are being cared for and maintained. The process of rebuilding infrastructure has been a work in progress since the hurricane struck, however, the BVI is back on track and the boat standards and sailing grounds are as popular as ever.

Don’t let the damage caused in 2017 put you off from a yacht charter in the BVI this Christmas – the BVI is up and running. For current information, we please see our “what is open in the BVI after Irma” page, which is updated regularly.

Give Santa a change from the chimney and let him slide down your mast this Christmas! Get in touch today!

Inside the Sunseeker 161 Superyacht

The prestigious British shipyard Sunseeker continues to push the boundaries of yacht design. In collaboration with the Dutch shipyard Icon Yachts, the Sunseeker 161 will be the largest yacht in the manufacturer’s history. It will also be the first that they have ever built in metal. Sunseeker has already sold one hull and we look forward to many more models entering the Mediterranean charter market in the near future.

So what can you expect from the largest Sunseeker ever built?

The Sunseeker 161 will offer unrivalled deck spaces for alfresco dining, socialising with friends and holding cocktail events. Moreover, you will enjoy a plethora of sunbathing spaces and a contemporary beach club. Imagine anchoring in the cerulean waters of the Bahamas each winter before crossing to Croatia and the Greek Islands. Heaven!

Sunseekers are established and sought-after charter yachts. Their designs and features like zero-speed stabilisers make them extremely comfortable for the first time charter guest, as well as an experienced yachtsman. While you wait for the next models to be released, there is already a fantastic selection for you to try in 2020. AQUA LIBRA in Greece is one of our top recommendations which is already booking for summer 2021!

The Broker Team know the best Sunseeker yacht for your next charter. Whether it is a day charter on the French Riviera onboard the Predator 68 REHAB, or a week on the 28m Sunseeker PLAY THE GAME in Ibiza, you’re in expert hands. We look forward to making 2020 the best year of holidays yet!

Top 3 sailing destinations for newly qualified skippers.

So, you’ve just passed your skipper qualification and you’re looking for somewhere to test out your new skills. The only things is; where?! Seeing as 71% of the world is covered in water you have a lot of choices, but it’s making the right choice that will better your first experience as a skipper.

Number 1. The Ionian, Greece. (July and August).

Foki Bay, Ionian.

The Ionian is the perfect place to shake out the sails on your own! With protected anchorages and steady calm winds during the high season, it’s the perfect alternative to the Cyclades.

  • Most of the sailing is done by line of sight, so don’t worry too much if your chart reading isn’t slick yet.
  • Various anchorages offering great holding and even better protection from prevailing winds.
  • There are many town quays which means free moorings! If you cant get onto that, then you can always moor up to a restaurant for a free night. (You will have to eat in the restaurant).
  • Winds are very consistant F1/2 in the morning F2/3 in the afternoon and 90% of the time they will be north westerlies.
  • The Ionian is less saturated with yachts compared to the Cyclades meaning maneuvering/mooring is less stressful.

Number 2. French Riviera, France. (June and September).

Porquerolles, French Riviera

The French Riviera is not just for the rich and famous, its also for bareboaters too! You have the stunning Lerins islands or the picturesque Île de Porquerolles, located southwest of St Tropez.

  • Coastal sailing, always line of sight.
  • Protected anchorages between the Porquerolles islands. The water around there is similar to the Caribbean!
  • June and September is less crowded and less competition with the big superyachts
  • Enjoy beautiful french cuisine along the Cote d’Azur.

Number 3. Split, Croatia. (June and September).

Plakinski Islands 

Croatia is becoming one of the fastest-growing yachting areas in the world and it’s not hard to understand why. The island-hopping, line of sight sailing and picturesque anchorages creates a perfect place for you to test out your new skills.

  • Steady winds throughout the morning and afternoons
  • Warm weather, and ever warmer seas!
  • Easy anchoring, with mooring buoys at almost every anchorage.
  • Island hopping sailing, so you are able to do short stints and no exhaust your new crew.

If you are a newly qualified skipper, and need some advice on sailing locations do not hesitate to get in contact with us. We are all sailors, and travel experts, this means we are better to advise on your perfect charter holiday!

Catamarans For Your 2020 Yacht Charter

As most people within the yachting industry do, I was sailing in Devon in the summer and sailed past a late 1990’s Fountaine Pajot catamaran. It looked old, battered but well-loved, painted bright yellow with a hand-painted tiger on the side. I sailed towards this boat and instantly wanted to be on board. This struck me that the basis of this catamaran is how the charter and yacht design market has come into play.

People bought catamarans for maximisation of space and for comfort, it took the rest of the world 10 years more to figure out that catamarans were an excellent choice for families and first-time sea-goers. Over the course of the last 10 years, catamaran popularity has gone beyond expectations. Catamaran charters are both popular in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Bareboat catamaran charters allow for a taste of luxury without a superyacht price tag.

Catamarans are well known for their maximisation of space, sleek interiors and stable sailing. Catamarans are becoming more commonly regarded as the perfect charter vessel across the world. I would recommend a catamaran charter for exploring either the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Greek Saronic Islands, Croatia or the Amalfi Coast.

Catamarans to choose from for a 2020 yacht charter:

The last few years have witnessed the release of a lot of different catamaran models, the models are getting bigger and better by the year. After having travelled across the global boat shows and reviewed the yachts in person, the below are my favourite catamarans for a 2020 yacht charter across the globe.

The Lagoon 46

Brand new for 2020, the Lagoon 46 promises to bring harmony onboard and is considered to be the next stage of yacht charter. The exterior has a new design and combines modular front and aft cockpits a cooking area at the back and safer access to the bow. The Flybridge is larger and is dedicated to manoeuvring and relaxation. The interior has also had a refresh, the design is more elegant than the previous Lagoon 450 and the cabins maximise space more efficiently than previous Lagoon models. This is the most renowned catamaran brand in the world and has kept up with their reputation via the release of the Lagoon 46.

The Saona 47 (Fountaine Pajot)

This Saona 47 model catamaran was launch to celebrate Fountaine Pajot’s 40th anniversary. She was launched in April 2017 and boasts, safety, comfort, space maximisation and strong performance in heavy winds. Her lines are distinctive and the Fountaine Pajot aesthetically French touch is obvious throughout. Her saloon boasts natural light and the storage onboard is unrivalled. She is a great choice for a family charter and puts safety above all.

The Dufour 48

Dufour 48 is my personal favourite catamaran for a 2020 yacht charter. This catamaran encompasses innovation and beautiful interiors. Her features are spacious, light and gripping. She is the perfect family 2020 charter boat both in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. If you want to sit back and relax, add a skipper and a hostess for your yacht charter. If you are looking for a catamaran with style, the Dufour is the best choice possible.

To conclude, from the three new models choose the Lagoon 46 for quality and comfort, the Saona 47 for value for money, space and safety and importantly the Dufour 48 for unrivalled catamaran style. Her design is chic and modern, if you want to sip on a glass of rose with canapés on a gorgeous bow, this is the boat to choose for your next catamaran bareboat or skippered yacht charter.

Find out more about the Boatbookings team or contact broker Alice directly to help you plan your 2020 charter experience on one of the best catamarans!

How about the Azores?

Capelinhos Volcan view from above

So you’re fed up with the crowds that flock to the Mediterranean (sailors and nonsailors alike) and you’re looking for something new to conquer. How about the AZORES? The Azores offer steady winds either side of July and August, with July and August providing comfortable calmer winds perfect for families. Looking for a challenge? Charter in March and April where the winds are strong and steady.

Why?

Are you into your nature, geography, and sailing? Would you like to see whales, dolphins, lagoons, extinct volcanos, fajas, and unique anchorages? Then this cluster of islands located in the Atlantic could be for you. Located roughly 1,400 miles west of mainland Portugal, the Azores boasts 9 exquisite, prehistoric islands ready for you to explore. The archipelago is comprised of 9 islands each with its own individual character.

São Miguel Island – Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Itinerary

Start from Horta and explore Sao Miguel, Pico and Terceira Island all within one week. If you are planning on doing a two-week charter (which would be advised as there is just SO much to see) then you can go further afield and explore the islands such as Graciosa Island and Sao Jorge island.

Azores landscape with waterfalls and cliffs in Flores island. Portugal.

Getting there

Direct flights are available from most major airports (within flying distance!) From the US you have the luxury of choosing between Azores Airlines and Delta Airlines. You can fly directly via Boston, Oakland, and New York City. Flight time from Boston is roughly around the 4.5-hour mark with the UK being the same. Tap Air Portugal and Ryanair fly most frequently to the Azores.

Panoramic view over the Sete Cidades lake on Sao Miguel Azores

Want to find out more? Contact us today to find out how you could sail in the Jurrasic world of the Azores!