Uncover the top reasons why you must travel the Caribbean by yacht.
There is no shortage of ways to vacation in the Caribbean. Cruise ships, package tours, and resorts abound for people who want an ordinary taste of the islands. However, if you dream of adventures beyond buffets, mega-resorts, and crowded beaches, you must see the Caribbean by boat.
Typically, we think of yacht travel in one of two ways. Either there are long trips around the world that require the enormous amounts of free time and seamanship most of us lack, or there are quick weekend sails along the familiar waterways next to a home port. Now reciprocal charter programs around the world are making yacht ownership work for those who want to see locations around the world, a few weeks at a time. Meanwhile, yacht charters and even cabin charters are making yacht life available for other travelers who want to combine luxury and adventure.
1. There is a lot where to choose from
There are over 7000 islands in the Caribbean. Flying to a single island or even stopping at a few islands on a cruise ship won’t begin to satisfy your thirst for adventure. Many of the islands in the Caribbean are uninhabited and most don’t have airports. Travel by boat is literally the only way to go.
2. The ocean is more than the water surrounding the land. It is a way of life
The water was an essential part of island life long before the arrival of Columbus ad it still is today.
From the travels of the indigenous people, fish, boats, waves, ocean currents, and sea birds are all part of what makes the islands what they are. Touring a town or sitting on a crowded beach won’t give you a complete sense of life in the tropics.
3. Snorkeling, Scuba, and Beaches
Sure, the Caribbean has some of the most beautiful beaches and coral reefs in the world. Most of them, however, aren’t within walking or swimming distance from a parking lot. To see the natural wonders and pristine locations, travel by boat is a necessity.
Excursions from cruise ships and resorts can transport your offshore for a quick tour of a few of these spots. Unfortunately, these types of tours typically only allow a brief visit to enjoy the wonders before loading you back onto the boat for a return trip. Imagine exploring these sites at your leisure when they aren’t packed with tourists and boats. This is a completely different experience than most visitors get to enjoy.
You’re in the islands. Organized group tours, lines to disembark, and fixed schedules are not why people travel to the Caribbean. Having your own boat allows you to travel wherever you want when you want. Stop at a great snorkel spot, follow a dolphin, anchor, and enjoy the sunset, or do nothing at all.
Remember, this is your chance to be on island time. That doesn’t mean doing anything, that simply means doing what you want when you want. Enjoy your dinner and drinks on the deck or take off on a rigorous hike. It’s up to you.
Can you feel the stress of the everyday world beginning to drift away? Companies like Oyster Yachts can make you a boat owner in no time.
Related: 8 Unmissable places to visit in Cuba
5. Boat people
Let’s be honest, there is a different mentality among those who travel by boat in the Caribbean. While there is no lack of diversity – your fellow sailors might be hikers and adventurers or avid shoppers – there is a common feeling of community in the midst of the docks and moorings.
Wave to others while you lounge on your deck or head out to explore – or invite your neighbors aboard for a drink and get to know them. This is a completely different universe than the crowded cruise ships and bustling resorts.
6. Less Fuss, More Fun
We love to travel but most of us do not relish constantly packing and unpacking. While living out of a backpack might have been fine when we were 18, most of us now want the fun of travel in reasonable comfort. With our busy schedules, we are no longer interested in wasting so much time checking in, moving luggage, and finding our room.
On a yacht, simply unpack once and then enjoy the journey. Wake up in a different location each morning if you desire, no packing required.
Your full kitchen aboard makes it easy to whip up a breakfast to eat overlooking the water and beaches. Grab a snack, snorkel alongside your floating home, shower, change, and you’re ready for your next adventure. No time wasted. In the evening, mix a cocktail to sip while you and your guests watch the sunset.
7. Because We’re All Pirates at Heart
Admit it, the thought of sighting land on the horizon, feeling the wind in your hair, and the possibility that you could be the person to set foot on an uninhabited island makes your heart sing. For those of you who enjoy pillaging (otherwise known as shopping) and a pint of grog, boating is perfect for that, too. Explore the shops, restaurants, cities, and villages wherever you go, whenever you feel like it. Dock at a five-star resort for a romantic dinner or try the local specialties at a beach-side shack.
Follow in the footsteps of eco-friendly travelers, writers, artists, and explorers as you absorb the experiences and get to know the local people and fellow travelers. Each island has its own unique personality, people (or no people), culture, natural wonders, and dining delicacies for you to discover.
8. Because You Can
Fortunately, the Caribbean made famous by pirates, explorers, and adventurers can finally be reached by travelers who are willing to boat off the beaten track. If you imagined that boat travel was still limited to those who could afford to sail their way there in their own boat or who found a job as part of the crew, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
Yacht travel is no longer reserved for a few people who have months to travel around the world. As a yacht owner, you can exchange time on your yacht for the use of comparable yachts in exotic locations around the world. This gives you a launching point for adventures almost anywhere. Charter programs also make it easier than ever to own a yacht. If you just want to try out life on the ocean, you can charter a yacht, with or without a crew.
There are also yacht options for solo travelers and couples. By the cabin, charters allow solo travelers and couples to benefit from the same exclusive itineraries and comforts of yacht travel. The cooking, captaining, and crew services are taken care of by experts while you enjoy all the amenities and access provided when traveling by yacht.
While yacht travel is more expensive than a cabin in a typical cruise ship, the experience is well worth it. No more hours spent waiting for the cruise ship to dock and your turn to disembark. No more standing in line at the buffet or paying extra for excursions to see the sights. Cruise directly to tranquil locations and snorkel or fish right off the side of your boat.
Cruise ships and resorts are perfect for travelers who want to avoid experiencing local life. Rather than viewing the sights from a mile offshore, yachts sail directly there. For those of us who live to experience more, yacht travel is the only way to go.