Color and Contrast: the Complete Sailboat Vacation
Simply the perfect place to take a bareboat or skippered sailing holiday. Such a diverse collection of islands dotting the clear blue sea, each with its own unique appeal. Local cultures that fascinate and entertain, offering a welcome that keeps charterers returning to these waters year after year. With its 7,000 Islands and 28 Island nations, reliable trade winds and long sailing season, the Caribbean is a region that offers an endless amount of holiday enjoyment.
At Sail Connections, we work with all the best charter operators in the Caribbean, sorting through all the available boats and presenting all the best options to suit your vacation plans. Some of our operators offer extra services that are unique to their destinations. We personalize your proposal and give you the benefit of our knowledge and local contacts, to deliver a fabulous sailing holiday wherever there's a boat to charter in the Caribbean.
Charter Sailing in the Caribbean
The Caribbean's numerous islands give you so many fabulous places to explore, so many diverse cultures to experience, that the permutations for planning a sailing charter are simply too numerous to list. The sailing distances between territories can be very short, and there are countless yacht charter bases scattered across the region. That opens the door to all manner of opportunities – from a seven-day sail around one distinct island nation to a multi-week one-way charter that takes in a wide variety of cultures and geographical features.
The Caribbean yacht charter season is busy from November through July. The peak season is mid-December to March, when winter escapees from North America and Europe arrive in their greatest numbers.
The hurricane season arrives late July and can last until early October, although storms here are rare and tend to deflect northwards towards the USA rather than hit the Caribbean. These months have their advantages in that they are the least costly for chartering, particularly in the British Virgin Islands. At that time of year it is in fact more likely to encounter light winds than it is storms.
As with many yacht charter locations, the shoulder season can be the best time to charter a yacht. In the Carribean that's from April to July. There are less shore-based visitors then, yet you can expect settled and sunny weather with warm, steady breezes prevailing.
We have access to over 30 charter bases in the region, from where you can take a sailboat vacation like no other. We select from the best boats available and guide you into the ideal sailing adventure that matches your interests and level of experience. The sailing options here are just about endless. Hopefully these pages will help you on your way to your much-anticipated Caribbean sailing holiday.
Regional Map of the Main Charter Sailing Areas
A One-way Cruise: Martinique to Grenada
There are quite simply countless itinerary options for sailing the Caribbean. For many charterers a downwind cruise offers the crew conditions for maximum enjoyment. So here's a sample north to south course plan that gives you the prevailing breeze abaft.
Waterfront at Fort de France, Martinique's largest town
Sailing from Martinique to Grenanda you can expect winds primarily from the northeast, especially around peak season either side of Christmas. Sailing this course involves short stretches of open water, with a stiff and steady breeze on your aft quarter. That makes for quick passages with most enjoyable sailing to a choice of Islands, whether it be for a lunch stop and a snorkel, or an overnight stay.
The eastern Caribbean islands that form a distinctive arc on the map are collectively the Lesser Antilles, a mixture of soverign states and territories governed by various powers. A trip along some of this chain exposes the voyager to a wide variety of cultures and customs in places that all sit in the idyllic picture-postcard surroundings of the movies and travel brochures.
Starting in Martinique and sailing south, you are exploring the Windward Island group of the Antilles.
Wildlife viewing at its finest in the Tobago Cays
Like most of this group, Martinique was orginally colonised by France, and French flair is still in evidence there today. Martinique offers excellent on-shore facilities for the visitor, and is a popular base for boat charters. The island is mountainous, but with plenty of white sandy beaches to enjoy, especially in the south.
The next island is St Lucia. It's some 30 nautical miles to Rodney Bay on St Lucia's northwest, so to get there requires an early start. There are several top spots to visit down the island's sheltered western coast. Take time out to investigate Les Deux Pitons.
Another long but relaxing sail to St Vincent and the Grenadines, so-named because of their joint French and British colonial history. St Vincent has its Blue Lagoon that you'll probably overnight in, while the Grenadines island group, some of which confusingly belong to Grenada, provide numerous anchoring options.
Happy charterers enjoying their time ashore in the Grenadines
The Grenadines stretch all the way to Grenada, your final port of call, making this part of the voyage very convenient for a leisurely sail. Call in at one of the uninhabited Tobago cays for a real taste of desert island living, if only for a few hours.
Once offshore Carriacou you are in Grenadan territory. Grenada, like St Lucia & St Vincent and the Grenadines, is now an independent member of the British Commonwealth, but with historical French influence. This is the 'Island of Spice' where nutmeg and mace production are important to the economy. As is tourism, and there is plenty to entertain you before concluding your vacation and departing these fabulous sailing waters.
Once you have experienced all the pleasures of sailing the Caribbean, chances are you'll be back one day for more.