Most of my cruising has been on bigger ships, but my best memories are from excursions taken on small sail ships. A day at sea on a catamaran from Cairns to Michelmas Cay to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef - sailing around the Bora Bora lagoon, checking out Marlon Brando's island and swimming in water so clear I could see at least 50 feet down - a day trip in Tortola out to a secluded island to snorkel with new friends - these are just a few wonderful memories that come to mind.
Explore smaller, unique ports, away from the crowds, no lines. How fantastic would it be to extend these sailing experiences beyond just a day?
I was reminded the other day that they can be, and you don't have to own your own yacht!
For those of us not in the market to own a ship, exceptional yachting experiences await. With yachts ranging in size from six guests up to 300, the hardest part is deciding which destinations to explore. Fine cuisine, top notch customer service, comfortable cabins, water sports - all included. Affordable and great values too. Check out these options.
I had always thought one had to be a certified sailor to take out these smaller ships - also known as bare boating. But I was recently reminded that crewed charters on a sailing or power yacht for a group up to 10 people comes complete with a professional captain and gourmet chef. Itineraries and activities are designed around your wishes, pace and schedule. Snorkel, fish, shop or simply relax with a good book during the day . Enjoy cocktails and a gourmet dinner at night under the stars. All included. What a way to spend a week with family and friends!
The Moorings, in business over 50 years, offers all inclusive yacht charters in over 20 destinations all around the world. The British Virgin Islands are the most popular, but you can also explore Spain, Croatia, Tahiti, Thailand and Australia, among some other spots.
If you are wanting an intimate, private, all inclusive , laid back vacation, a crewed charter may be the way to go!
CRUISE ON A MEGA YACHT
Ten or fewer passengers just a little too small or not your style?
Then take a look at the 62-300 passenger yachts by Crystal, Sea Dream and Windstar. Although I haven't been invited yet to spend a week on a friend's private luxury yacht, I know a week on any of these ships would be as good, if not better.
Unique ports of call, docking in charming towns and city centers where big ships can't go, anchoring in hidden coves, fine dining, exclusive shore experiences - all possible on these yachts.
The one description that made the biggest impression on me?
While others are waiting in line to get off the ship or start an excursion, you can already be in town exploring the sites or swimming, kayaking, or paddle boarding off the marina platforms. No lines, no crowds - heaven!
Crystal offers the ultimate luxury experience. The Crystal Esprit is a boutique hotel with butler serviced suites for 62 guests. Casually elegant, Crystal is often described as a six star experience, from service to cuisine.
Larger ships allow Windstar to offer multiple dining venues and lounges. They are known for their world-class culinary excellence and are the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation. Windstar offers multiple wine and culinary focused cruises hosted by James Beard chefs.
Check out these articles:
Small Ship Cruises Perfect For Nature Lovers
Fun In The Sun - 5 Perfect Destinations For Sail Ships
so what are you waiting for?
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