4 Ways to Go Greener While Sailing

Often, a yacht charter vacation is an opportunity to be out on the water and getting back to nature. Therefore, many look for ways to be more environmentally friendly while enjoying a blissful getaway in locations such as the French Riviera, Amalfi Coast, Greece or the Caribbean. Whether you are chartering for the first time or are a seasoned charterer, it’s never too late to make changes to be more environmentally friendly on board

Waste Management

Responsible waste disposal and recycling are incredibly important onboard your yacht charter, especially when trash and garbage can quickly end up in the ocean, either by accident or as a result of careless behavior onboard. Keep all garbage and items to be recycled secured somewhere on the boat until you can permanently and properly dispose of them onshore. This way, you can enjoy your charter by swimming with nature, not with garbage.

Check out our green chartering page here!

Reduced Plastics

Many catamarans in the BVI and elsewhere in the world are now employing the use of reusable water bottles. Try to stock your boat with a few plastic products as possible. If you are chartering without a crew, purchase water in larger containers and then refill reusable bottles or glasses as needed. Having less plastic bottles and cups on board will not only benefit the environment, but it will also minimise unwanted clutter.

Eco-Friendly Products

Many are not aware that all on board fluids flow directly into the ocean. Therefore, opting for EPA-approved household products has a significant impact on the environment. There are many eco-friendly product options available, so all you have to do is read the labels and look for soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, and other common cleaning solutions made with natural ingredients. If you want to contribute to ocean conservation positively, only apply marine-safe sunscreen.

Carbon offsetting calculator

Leave Nature as You Found It

In locations from Tahiti to Sardinia, the beauty you’ll find is not possible in any other method. Observe and enjoy the natural surroundings, without disturbing anything along the way. When snorkelling or diving coral reefs, be particularly mindful not to touch anything with your body or equipment. Rather than taking home shells or dead coral as a souvenir, take a photograph instead. As travelers and sailors, most of the cruising and charter community has an interest in preserving the integrity of our premier vacation destinations and maintaining a respectful relationship with the environment. By sharing responsibility with small, thoughtful contributions, we can make a positive global impact, and leave a positive legacy behind for generations to come.

Contact one of our Charter Brokers today to book your Yacht Charter!

Romance Isn’t Dead

With the most romantic day of the year fast approaching, many begin to think of how to show their significant other how much they love them, whether it’s a candlelit dinner or a long weekend away. However, there are many spectacular cruising grounds to choose from at any given time of the year, offering alternative ways to search for a winter vacation. Here are the Boatbookings Team’s favourite romantic destinations.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is well known as being one of the most romantic destinations, with pastel-hued buildings continuing to attract loved-up couples year in and year out for honeymoons, proposals or vacations. For a true level of Romance, head to Ischia, well known for its spas and a short distance from Capri. In Ischia, enjoy an unforgettable, romantic dinner in Ristorante Emanuela, where you can choose from steamed fresh seafood or blue lobster, ending your meal with homemade limoncello under the moonlight.

Seychelles

The Seychelles offers impressive granite boulders, white beaches, and coral coloured sunsets, epitomising true paradise. However, nestled within the luscious greenery of its gardens and beaches, you’ll find Eden, a hub of creole gastronomy. This beach-side sanctuary offers the ultimate romantic atmosphere, overlooking the beautiful sands of Beau Vallon Beach. Make sure you try the delicious Tajima Wagyu beef carpaccio and yellowfin tuna with asparagus. Head back to your yacht and enjoy a romantic nightcap under the stars.

Martinique

Martinique itself is completely dynamic; it combines rugged mountains with wild forests, rivers and waterfalls as well as the important coves and bays for your charter, there is plenty for you to explore during your vacation! Martinique offers natural hot springs, exotic black sand beaches and scenic hiking trails. As Martinique is a French Territory, it offers an exciting mix of both classic Caribbean and French culture which is demonstrated in their spoken language of creole. Enjoy a dip in the cascading waterfall near Falaise River before going to a Rum Distillery and enjoying the local products. Some of the best restaurants in Martinique include Le Rendez Vous, which has a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea, and Le Touloulou, where you can taste some of Martinique’s best seafood!

Contact one of our Brokers today to help organise your next charter!

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!

Top 3 anchorages in the Southern Ionian

Me working exceptionally hard on the bow of our girl PARIS.

There’s a special place in my heart for the Ionian. I have lived, sailed, swam, and grew as a person there. From Lefkas to Kefalonia, these islands are what I called home onboard a 2015, 37ft Bavaria called PARIS.

She may not look like much, but this girl got us through some bad weather, sticky situations, and above all, our refuge.

Like many sailors who have sailed in one particular area, you tend to have your favourite anchorages – your ‘go-to’ place which is versatile and enjoyed by many a ‘crowd-pleaser’ if you will! Below I talk about my top three anchorages and why you should incorporate them in your itinerary.

Number 1. KIONI – Ithaki Island.

The pretty bay and harbour of Kioni on the small island of Ithaki.

Check out our 7-day bareboat sailing itinerary here!

Why?

  • Kioni, in my opinion, has the cleanest water due to how quiet it is. In the evenings you MUST go swimming! It’s absolutely teeming with phosphorescent algae which sparkle when disturbed.
  • You can, more often than not, find a place to drop anchor and tie off to a rock, and if there’s space, on the town quay.
  • The town is quaint, with a few stunning restaurants located along the harbour wall and up in the foothills overlooking the bay.
  • Fantastic holding, and normally fairly quiet.

Where?

Kioni pin drop.

Kioni is located on the northeastern tip, protected from the northwesterly prevailing winds. Many sailors tend to hot-foot it down to (big) Vathy located further south which subsequently means that Kioni is fairly quiet, even during high season.

In this lovely town, the time has stopped in the previous century

When?

This anchorage is best enjoyed overnight. It provides protection from the prevailing NW winds and is best viewed early morning!

Anything to watch out for?

A common phenomenon happens pretty much everywhere in the Ionian and that is the Katabatic winds. Most of the tiny anchorages in the Ionian are hidden and tucked away between hills. As the air cools, and the land is warm, it pushed air and funnels between the hills. From around 5:30 PM onwards it can get pretty breezy. It normally settles by about 7:30/8 pm so make sure your anchor is well dug before heading off for your fresh greek dinner!

Number 2. Foki Bay – Kephalonia.

Yes, before you ask it really is called that – and it is truly stunning.

White yacht moored in the bay of Foki beach with cypress trees in background, Fiskardo, Cefalonia, Ionian, Greece.

Why?

  • The Trees. I nicknamed this bay ‘Little Canada’ because of the Cypress trees that almost fall into the water.
  • The caves. Accessable by tender or simply swim in! Turn your outboard off just as you enter the caves as people swim in and out of them. The Caves were used for mining in the ’50s and still remain now. Don’t worry if you’re scared of small spaces as these caves are absolutely massive. They are so big you could easily fit a two-story house in them! Take a torch and enclosed shoes (don’t wear flipflops as some bits are quite steep).
  • The beach. Sometimes while sailing around you just need some time on a beach! Well, this bay has one. In the top right-hand corner is an adorable beach with a quaint taverna serving the best drinks!
  • You can walk into Fiskardo for some shopping, it’s around 1.5-2km walk.
  • The water is CRYSTAL clear!

Where?

Foki bay is based on the northeastern tip of Kephelonia, a stone’s throw (or 10-minute tender ride) into the famous Fiskardo, boasting up-market restaurants and beautiful jewellery shops.

When?

This is a perfect lunch spot, or evening stopover (if the winds are favourable). Great holding for lunchtime with the most stunning scenery to enjoy your freshly prepared lunch!

Foki Fiskardo with crystal clear and transparent water, Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece.

Anything to watch out for?

In the high season time, the beach is buoyed off to protect the swimmers, make sure you don’t get caught up in there. Try and head as far in towards the beach as possible as most of the superyachts take the entrance area as its deeper. This will also protect you from the swell that is created from the passing ferries.

Number 3. One house bay – Atokos

Beautiful bay in Ionian sea, called One house bay.

Why?

  • The pictures speak for its self. One House Bay, characterised by the one house which sits by its self in the foothills.
  • The crystal blue water and picturesque beach are just some of the reasons you should stop over here!
  • Gorgeous scenery.
  • Deep blue water.
  • Excellent walking.

Where?

One House Bay is on the Southeastern corner of Atoko Island, East of Ithica island. The island is only home to goats, which the shepherd attends to every 4th day.

When?

A perfect lunch spot when travelling from the eastern islands to the western islands. If the winds are favourable, you can possibly stay here overnight, please bear in mind it offers little to no protection.

Getting first-hand knowledge about the area is key to creating a memorable charter. I have traveled extensively throughout Greece and the Meditterenian to visit destinations to provide you with the best recommendations and advice. Looking to explore the Southern Ionian? Speak with Alice today at an@boatbookings.com!

Fine Dining on the Amalfi Coast

What is the world’s favourite cuisine? Suitable for all ages, tastes and dietary requirements, Italian gets our vote. When chartering a yacht along the Amalfi Coast, you will sample the unique cuisine of Campania. The area is world-famous for lemons and San Marzano tomatoes, as well as fresh octopus, sea bream and shrimps. An Amalfi Coast yacht charter delivers excellent restaurants in each town, but which ones should you visit for summer 2020?

C/O Quattro Passi Nerano

Quattro Passi, Nerano

Quattro Passi in Nerano overlooks the stunning Marina del Cantone in Nerano. Nerano is the first village you will explore on your Amalfi Coast motor yacht charter. First impressions are everything and Nerano will not disappoint!

C/O Quattro Passi Nerano

Chef Antonio Mellino holds 2 Michelin stars for his gourmet cuisine at Quattro Passi. His cuisine focuses on local produce, most prominently lemons and tomatoes. The Michelin guide praises Mellino for his “ability to extract maximum aromas from lemons and tomatoes is unique, lending extraordinary flavour to his dishes.” We know you will be dazzled so book your table for summer 2020 now!

La Sponda at Le Sirenuse Hotel, Positano

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. A favourite for engagements, honeymoons and anniversaries, you will definitely impress your better half. La Sponda at Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano is famous for being one of the most romantic restaurants on the Amalfi Coast. Whether you choose to dine on the terrace or under four hundred candles inside, the views are spectacular.

Chef Gennaro Russo’s menu is based on fresh local ingredients and inspired by the great culinary traditions of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. His motto is “respect for the territory, for local traditions and local ingredients”. His risotto is to die for!

The Boatbookings Brokers know the best restaurants on the Amalfi Coast for every taste. The best yachts and restaurants are booked well in advance so speak to the team today to plan your Amalfi Coast adventure for summer 2020.

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!

A Sailors Christmas List…

What should I get my sailor friend for Christmas? Look no further because we have looked high and low for the best Christmas presents! Now, before we get carried away with sailor (tat) gifts – above all they will probably want to go sailing! Get in touch today to see how you can buy your sailor friend a charter!

1. Wine carrier – need I say any more.

Now, you probably know your friend better than what I do, but I can guarantee that at some point they have panicked about carrying bottles of wine (or gin) around the yacht! “You can drop all the bags into the sea, but at least save the wine!” Sailing is a sociable event, and you can often get invited to share a bottle on a neighboring yacht, now your friends can come prepared with a fashionable wine carrier! What’s better is that they are Handcrafted from recycled sails on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine, USA!!!

2. Garmin inReach – for anything done on the water

“Oh god, they haven’t gone out without their radio have they???!!!” Fear no more, this GARMIN INREACH is both affordable and easy to manage for even the oldest, saltiest sea hands! Weather in the illusive Bahamas, or coastal sailing in the UK InReach works like a Sat phone and provides live online tracking and email and can also be synced with your phone and operated through an app.

3. Floaters – for the “I lost my sunglasses overboard again” friends

I cannot tell you how many times I have lost my glasses. Some say that the Mediterranean is so clear that you can see a wealth of lost sunglasses by sailors checking the anchor. Glasses ropes may have been adopted by the (sort of) older generation (sorry), but with the rise of expensive Ray-Bans and Oakleys, even some of the youngins are now attaching ropes to their glasses! Croakies have a range of fantastic glasses ropes, ranging from single strands to the floaters above.

4. Watch (out) this is for the gadget lover.

When I was working onboard a sailing yacht, the skipper had this watch. It allowed him to sleep peacefully with an anchor alarm, track our course and many many other water-related features. Probably the best feature, and the ultimate test is to see how low you can keep your heart rate while mooring (yes it tracks your heartbeat). These watches come with a series of different straps and colours.

5. Musto Jacket BR2 RACE LITE JACKET

For the fashionista sailor, BR2 jackets are available for both men and women and offer fantastic protection when sailing in colder climates, or for when the wind picks up in the evening.

Best features:

  • 3-layer, lightweight, waterproof and breathable fabric to Musto’s stringent BR2 standard, for prolonged torrential downpours
  • The hood is detachable and can be rolled away, is 2-way adjustable and has a stiffened peak for weather protection
  • Articulated elbows and underarms for freedom of movement
  • Hook and loop fastener adjustable cuffs keep out rain and spray
  • Two half fleece-lined handwarmer pockets to keep your hands warm

6. Waterproof phone casing, with Floating Hand Grip

Underwater filming has gone from strengths to strengths with thanks to GoPro, and now recently underwater drones. You can now make your phone completely waterproof, and film some of the best memories without destroying your phone! It’s of no surprise to many sailors that it is really the salt that destroys your phone – this is a great way to combat that! Film the Mediterranean fish, or film the sunken plane in the Bahamas this is the perfect present for an explorer!

7. QUBA SAILS – little bits and bobs.

The much loved, British nautical brand QUBA has always been ahead in their fashion. Created by two friends in a seaside town in Devon, QUBA creates sail bags, cushions, jumpers, beanbags from reclaimed sailcloth. Ofen seen on the quaysides in the Caribbean and Greece, be sure you have a QUBA sail bag on your list for Santa!

Horizon Yachts FD92 will launch in 2020

Horizon yachts will continue to build their popular Fast Displacement line with the 28m FD92, which is scheduled for delivery in July 2020. The historic power catamaran manufacturer is famous for delivering standout charter catamarans operating in the Caribbean. These catamarans are fantastic for exploring destinations like the Bahamas with their small drafts, as well as fast island hopping in the Virgin Islands.

The tri-deck Horizon superyacht was designed from the owner’s desire to build a yacht with both an enclosed sky lounge and an open flybridge. The FD92 will feature an extended hull for greater exterior spaces. For those interested in lifestyle, she is perfect for al fresco dining and lounging. The forward jacuzzi area is the perfect place to relax at anchor with a glass of champagne. Can you see yourself anchored in the magical Colombiers bay in St Barths?

The Horizon FD92 has five cabins. These will include a full-beam master on the main deck and four further staterooms below. There will be accommodation for three crew aboard. Spend your days relaxing on the foredeck sunpads and a jump in from the fully-equipped swim platform. Enjoy captain’s cocktails in the bar on the upper deck before sampling your chef’s delights. There is no better holiday than chartering a yacht.

Watch this space for the latest manufacturer news and releases, as well as destination insights into the world’s best yacht charter destinations. Contact the Boatbookings Team today!

Yacht Charter Review: Asia Update

The Asia Pacific region is one of the most exciting yachting destinations in the world. Where else can you find such incredible culture, diving and mouthwatering cuisine? The governments of Thailand and Indonesia have always restricted access to visiting yachts. However, there has recently been a shift and Myanmar is the latest country to relax its laws.

Myanmar welcomes Visa-On-Arrival Program

Visitors from Australia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and Switzerland can now enter Myanmar on visa-on-arrival at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw International Airports. These 6 countries join Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Indian and mainland Chinese nationals. Myanmar is one of the area’s best kept secrets offering ultimate tranquility!

Phuket is the leading Asia Superyacht Hub

Phuket is the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’ with close proximity to Phang Nga Bay, Myanmar and Malaysia. Marinas on the island can provide berths for yachts up to 130 metres in length. These marinas are now offering full service with excellent dockage facilities, so can cater to the world’s best superyachts.

C/O Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Thailand

“Between two and three new marinas are expected to open at Ao Po, Ao Kung and Ao Makham in the future,” reports Wiwat Chitchoetwong, referring to new development projects on Phuket. “The successful marinas in Phuket are being looked at now as models for marinas at Surat Thani province’s Koh Samui resort island in the Gulf of Thailand and Chon Buri’s Pattaya on the eastern coast”, added Mr. Chitchoetwong. 

Tempted by Southeast Asia? There really is no better time to explore the area. The Boatbookings Brokers have lived and travelled around Southeast Asia extensively, so you’re in expert hands for your 2020 yacht charter.

Yacht Charter for Miami Super Bowl 2020

The Boatbookings Broker team love Miami! Where else can you find such a metropolis on the water? Home to a fusion of fascinating cultures, centres for art and theatre, as well as a thriving food scene, Miami has something for everyone. But in 2020, there’s something even more exciting about to hit this city! Bring on Super Bowl LIV, which will commence on the 2nd February 2020 at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Not that Miami needs much help, but the Super Bowl 2020 will transcend the city into party atmosphere. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are the headliners for the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show. The premium Miami resorts have hiked up the prices but there are always options, especially on the water. The only way to embrace the luxury of Super Bowl LIV is onboard a Miami yacht charter.

Miami will attract the world’s most expensive super yachts for the Super Bowl. You are guaranteed to be amongst good company. Kick back on the Azimut 100 INTERVENTION and be pampered by Captain Jose and his crew. With accommodation for 8 guests in 4 cabins and available for weekly or short charters, INTERVENTION is the perfect partner to Super Bowl LIV.

Further ideas could include coastal cruising on the Ferretti 88 CINQUE MARE or transfers around the city on the 54 Searay WHY NOT. The Boatbookings team will have you covered!

Watch this space for further insights into how you should celebrate the Super Bowl in Miami, as well as Spring Break!