Chartering, whether it’s a private jet or yacht, is a vital ingredient for an ideal vacation. It’s also a great way to do something different for the holidays. If you’re bored of champagne and canapé parties and cookie-cutter marquees, mix it up with an incredible holiday experience on a yacht with the people you love spending time with the most. Live life to the fullest. There’s no reason to settle for anything less than extraordinary.
Private Yacht Charter Destinations for the Holidays
Antigua, West Indies
A yachting hub in the Leeward Islands, Antigua is a mecca for sailing yachts and mega-yachts during the winter months. Those in the know moor their watercraft at Nelson’s Dockyard, ritzy English Harbour, or Falmouth Harbour—marinas that are isolated from busy cruise ship terminals.
Nelson’s Dockyard is a destination unto itself with a history that dates back to the 1700s. The dockyard once served as British Navy hero Horatio Nelson’s outpost. As you wander the walkways, you’ll get a taste of what lured sailors to the island centuries ago.
Carlisle Bay is another prime choice for docking. The yacht-friendly luxury resort offers a private white-sand beach, great food, a relaxing spa, and a fabulous boutique. If you wish to snorkel, make your way to Green Island off Antigua’s east coast, which the Mill Reef Club owns. For the best views, head to Shirley Heights, a restored colonial fortification with an outlook. From there, you can see past the harbor to Montserrat and Guadeloupe.
Worth Avenue Yachts can help you with your luxury charter yacht plans.
Komodo Park, Indonesia
January marks the start of Indonesia’s rainy season, making December a prime time for a unique adventure through Komodo National Park, home of the Komodo dragon. The park includes three larger islands—Komodo, Rinca and Pradar—and several smaller islands. One of the best ways to explore the rugged terrain is by a super-yacht available through Boat International. While the giant lizards are the star, they aren’t the only attraction.
A week-long cruise around the park starts out with a dive or snorkel tour at Golden Passage, which is rich in turtles and colorful coral. On the following days, you’ll see traditional phinisi sailing boats at Sumbawa before playing in the warm bubbles produced by the volcanic underwater terrain at Pulau Sangeang. Your tour will also take you to one of the best dive spots in the world, Castle Rock. Be sure to keep a safe distance from the dragons as you stroll on the beach after your dive.
Toward the end of the private cruise, your yacht will take you to Manta Alley, which is known for its busy manta ray activity. On the final day, you’ll anchor off at Rinca, the park’s headquarters, for a guided tour to see Komodo dragons. You’ll then sail to Labuan Bajo, where you’ll be greeted by local artisans selling pearls and wooden carvings. On the day you depart, you may get a bird’s-eye view of Komodo Park or opt to sail to Maumere to visit the Kelimutu volcano’s three different colored lakes. If you choose the latter option, keep your eyes on the water for whales and dolphins.
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
A dynamic archipelago off Ecuador’s coast, the Galápagos Islands is perfect if you love exploring nature above the water, but there’s also a lot to see below. While the destination isn’t necessarily “tropical,” it’s a unique location for the endemic flora and fauna that reside in the authentic paradise. A luxury yacht charter by Quasar Expeditions gives you a chance to go back and time and get a glimpse of how it was when animals ruled the world. The company creates a bespoke expedition based on your interests, such as ornithology, geology, photography, food, and more. You may even request that a special guest, like a world-renown scholar, join you on your trip to make your experience richer.
During your trip, you’ll meet the inhabitants of San Cristobal Island, including sea lions, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and dolphins. Watch different bird species at a lagoon on Lobos Island. Take a diving excursion at Kicker Rock for a chance to see the elusive Galápagos shark, as well as sea turtles and spotted eagle rays. Gaze at the large colony of flamingos on Floreana Island’s Cormorant Point before dropping off a postcard at Post Office Bay.