Tips For Renting a Yacht to Cruise the Caribbean
Photo courtesy of Virgin Island Sailing
So you have decided you would like to cruise the Caribbean, but you aren’t crazy about sailing with 3,500 strangers and prefer a more intimate trip. Or maybe you would like to have more control over arrival and departure times. Well, a private charter cruise is the way to go. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping around:
Picking a Boat
The biggest decision is choosing between a bareboat and a crewed yacht. The crewed yacht comes with a captain and a chef, and the bareboat is just that — a bare boat. With this option you are going to have to cook your own meals, plan your own stops and of course, pilot your own vessel. Going the bare route means providing a resume of boating experience along with a boat orientation and chart briefing class. Insurance is also paid on a per diem basis unless booking the crewed boat.
Choosing a Destination
Destinations are quite flexible but most people aim for one of three places. “The British Virgin Islands is the most popular destination in the Caribbean because the distances are close, waters protected, lots of snorkeling, great beaches and (great) restaurants (and) beach bars,” said Melody Delgado, Bareboat and Crewed Yacht Manager/Broker for Virgin Island Sailing. “More advanced sailors or those interested in longer sails may consider the Leeward Islands (they include St. Martin, St. Barts, and Antigua) or the Grenadines.”
Obviously, the best part is being able to visit them at your own pace. If you are having a great time at one place and you want to spend an extra night, you can change your itinerary on the fly.
What to Bring
You really want to pack light for a trip like this. Hard suitcases don’t work well in a boat environment — think soft sided duffels. You really only need bathing suits, shorts, and t-shirts for the most part, however, dinner reservations might require something a little more formal, so plan accordingly. Other vital items to toss in the luggage are sunscreen, things to keep you busy in downtime like books or games, and to keep phones, cameras, and other electronics up and running, extra batteries, memory cards, and associated components.
Don’t worry about bringing snorkeling gear as most boats provide it, but your own snorkel might be a little less skeevy.
Why Book a Charter Cruise?
Bareboating to the Caribbean is definitely the charter for an adventurous yachtsperson, but when choosing a crewed vessel, it's essentially a cruise ship in miniature, with all services and amenities just for you.
“The lure of the Caribbean is obvious, but a (crewed) private yacht charter is truly a hidden gem that magnifies your vacation experience,” said Delgado. “Clients relax at their own pace, enjoying total itinerary flexibility, continuous access to water activities, gourmet personalized meals and an experienced and fun crew. Always with safety as a priority, the captain and chef teams are nothing less than incredible at ensuring expectations are always exceeded and at an affordable price.”
Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
For more information on booking a bareboat or crewed yacht contact Melody Delgado and her team at visailng.com.
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