Dropping anchor off an uninhabited or undeveloped isle, such as Salt Island in the British Virgin Islands. No other people are in sight, save for the ones you boated here with. As the sun sets, your group pops in the ocean for a swim. Then you enjoy cocktails as the last light fades, followed by dinner, made by the crew. The only sounds of the evening are laughter and waves lapping against the hull — unless you turn on your own soundtrack for the night. Pure heaven.
There is no rush
Unlike a cruise ship, your yacht will never leave for the next island without you. If you’re loving the snorkelling, or your kid is blissed out on the beach, then sail-away time can be postponed. It’s your boat, your schedule, your vacation.
It is flexible
Some folks may prefer to take advantage of the fact that boat rental and catamarans have small drafts, meaning they can tuck into very shallow, remote, uber private coves and bays. Whereas extroverts may prefer to moor at hotspots such as White Bay in the British Virgin Islands, where the famed Soggy Dollar bar slings Painkiller cocktails and hosts a lively beach barbecue on Sundays. Or, do a bit of both to experience it all.
You can learn to sail
The captain will let you steer, and he or she will answer any questions about tacking, jibing or anything else. No question is off-limits, but keep in mind that the lessons don’t come with certification. Note that if you do prefer sailing lessons to note that in your pre-trip preferences.
You can opt for everything
Some companies, such as The Moorings, recognize that not everyone wants to sail. Their fleet also includes motor yachts that compete with sailing yachts in price. So, whether you simply want to cover more territory in one week, or prefer motoring to sailing, they have you covered.
Companies such as The Moorings, with bigger fleets, have more availability when booking large parties. Typically, three or four cabins are standard, whereas The Moorings offers a six-cabin sailing catamaran.
Not too expensive
Choose to travel in low season, and at a destination that’s more affordable, and you could pay as little as $2,995 per couple, all-inclusive — or $1,497.50 per person — for a week of island-hopping off St. Maarten with Festive Sailing Vacations.