Windward Islands Yacht Charter Guide | Caribbean
Discover the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Martinique on your luxury Windward Islands yacht charter vacation in the Caribbean
The Windward Islands are a Caribbean yachting paradise named after the English ships in the 18th century, bound for Jamaica, were blown to this group of islands due to the prevailing trade winds in the West Indies. They include the Antillies Islands of Martinique, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. This stunning arch of islands offer the true essence of a Caribbean yacht charter - tropical island scenery, secluded anchorages, beautiful beaches, stunning sea life and laid-back pace of life.
St Vincent and the Grenandines are a group of islands that make up one country. Other than being next door neighbors, they bear no relation to Grenada , despite the similarity of the name. These islands provide a refreshing break from the BVIs, giving you the sense of a land far less developed and far less “discovered”. No jet skis, aquascooters, or spearfishing are permitted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Here there is a conscious effort towards protecting the spectacular natural heritage of the islands.
The prevailing winds and currents are north to south, especially in the winter months. It is comfortable to sail southward from St. Vincent down to Union Island, with the wind and the swell. Steaming north can be more of a struggle but the islands are close together and a round trip can easily be accomplished in a week to ten days. But…the main point of the Grenadines is not to 'accomplish” anything. As one visitor put it, "There is never enough nothing to do…”.
Grenada is located south of the Grenadines and north of Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. It is popularly known as 'The Spice Isle' because of an abundance of locally grown spices and a culture of music, dance and food built into the image of 'spice of life'.
St. Lucia lies south of Martinique and north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. An English speaking island that was originally French (until 1796), the island boasts unspoiled natural beauty: dramatic mountain peaks, tropical rain forest, and beautiful, secluded white sand beaches.
From afar, the island is easily recognizable by its mountain peaks: Piton Flore (north), Mt Beaujolais (center), Mt Magasin (south), Gros Piton and Petit Piton (southwest coast). Adventurers can rent four wheel drive vehicles for exploring or go inland on foot for spectacular hiking.
Yachts typically arrive into Rodney Bay, a safe and tranquil lagoon. To the south lies the capital city of Castries, a bustling, historic center, and then, along the the southwest coast, small, traditional fishing villages and Soufriere, the oldest town on the island.
Martinique is a French Territory which enjoys a striking dual culture- head to the north to experience the laid-back typical Caribbean atmosphere or to the south for a slice of France.
The north of the island is mountainous and lushly forested while the south is more easily traveled featuring some impressive geographic features. The South receives most of the tourist traffic due to its ease of travel and because of the many beautiful beaches, restaurants and amenities of this region. The beaches from Pointe de Bout, Diamant, St. Luce, St. Anne and Les Salines are also very popular.
Some of the best restaurants in Martinique include La Cave à Vin, where you will find some classic French cuisine, 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! During your visit you should also be sure to get involved in some of the island’s best activities, such as scuba diving to see the wreck of the 1902 volcano ships, and climb up to the St Pierre Mount Pele volcano itself!
Dominica sits between Guadeloupe and Martinique. The name means "Sunday" in Latin, so named by Columbus because he discovered it on a Sunday.
Dominica has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" for its unspoiled natural beauty. It is one of the youngest islands in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by volcanic activity. The island offers the charterer lush mountainous rainforests, home of many very rare plant, animal, and bird species.
Trinidad and Tobago is situated northeast of Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. The country consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and 21 smaller islands. Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the main islands; Tobago is much smaller, comprising about 6% of the total area and 4% of the population. The nation lies outside the hurricane belt.
Trinidad is a bustling island that offers excellent sailing, snorkling and watersports. Trinidad is the birthplace of calypso music and steelpan. The key cultural event of the yearon Trinidad is the Carnival - a the biggest celebration on the island not to be missed.
Tobago is a true Caribbean island paradise, offering a lush hilly terrain, excellent diving and beaches, and a relaxed pace of life. Nearly all Tobago's bays have a reef for excellent snorkeling. Most of the more popular beaches are situated around the airport area, Crown Point. These have coral white sands and beautiful clear waters. Some of the more remote and untouched bays include Englishman's Bay, Castara, and Parlatuvier.
Barbados is the most eastern island in the Caribbean, with an area of 430 square kilometres. Under British Rule from the 1600s until 1966 - it is a mix of British, African and Caribbean culture.
Barbados is an all-coral Caribbean island, providing beautiful white sandy beaches and great diving (but relatively fewer bays and inlets). Visitors can explore Colonial Bridgetown, mangrove forests with monkeys, the Mount Gay Rum refinery and of course miles and miles of beautiful beach. Because it is relatively secluded and unprotected, it can be tricky to cruise by yacht.
There are infinite ways to spend your holiday in the Windward Islands. It is just as easy to find a quiet cove each night for a peaceful diner on board with your group, as it is to find the many restaurants and bars for late night entertainment. If you'd like any further suggestions about the Windward Islands, please feel free to get in touch with our experienced brokers.
Our Caribbean destinations: The Leeward Islands | Antigua | British Virgin Islands | Grenada | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Spanish Virgin Islands | St Barths | Anguilla | St Martin/Maarten | St Lucia | St Vincent and the Grenadines | US Virgin Islands - St Thomas, St John, St Croix