Top 4 Bucket List Yacht Charters for 2021

Destinations

If there’s one thing everyone needs after this year, it’s a holiday. We think 2021 will be the time to break from the usual haunts and set sail for pastures new.

Yacht charters offer escapism in a way that no other holiday can - you wake up every day with complete freedom, excited to see where your boat will take you next.

We’ve put together a list of the best places to charter a yacht in 2021, so you can plan your next yacht charter in one of the most sought after locations on the planet.

Build your ideal 2021 getaway here

Where to go next year

1.

British Virgin Islands

Reopening to charter guests in December 2020, the glorious BVIs are home to some of the Caribbean’s most sensational cruising grounds, and some of its most infamous beach bars.

Comprising of around 60 Caribbean islands with only a few of them inhabited, the BVIs offer ultimate peace and tranquillity- with sailing conditions to match.

With consistent, warm trade winds and line-of-site navigation between sheltered anchorages, it’s no surprise that the BVI’s turquoise waters invite more yachts than anywhere else in the world. These calm and clear conditions are ideal for a smooth ride.

Begin your BVI sailing adventure in Tortola, where you can charter a yacht from Sopers Hole, Nanny Cay or Road Town, each a gateway to the glorious island group. There’s plenty to see along the way, including Virgin Gorda, home to the Baths Marine Park. You’ll see impressive granite boulders and sail through mystical pools and caves.

Sail to Jost van Dyke, drop anchor in tranquil White Bay and swim ashore for a superb Painkiller cocktail, paid for with wet bills at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Be sure to stop off at Anegada, where you can catch a glimpse of the island’s resident pink flamingoes as they cool off in salt ponds.

Feeling adventurous? You’ll have to go for a snorkel over the RMS Rhone at Cooper Island. The wreck is a steamer ship which sunk in 1867 and remains impressively intact, offering a window into the history of the Caribbean. Home to some impressive aquatic species, the wreck is an absolute must-see.

Best time to go: January to March

2.

Phuket, Thailand

When you charter a yacht in Thailand, you’ll be warmly welcomed by friendly locals, taste vibrant food and gaze over spectacular scenery..

Most yachts set sail from Phuket - otherwise known as the Pearl of Andaman - where you can see everything from rainforests and mountains to white sand beaches and rock formations protruding from the ocean.

Due east of Phuket lies Krabi, the main town of a larger province of the same name. It remains fairly under the radar in comparison to the more popular Phi Phi islands. The coastline off Krabi looks similar to Halong Bay in Vietnam, with craggy limestone outcrops and still turquoise waters.

Ko Phi Phi is well worth a visit, just a short sail away if you’re after a Mai Thai at a beach club.

If you want to experience island life and escape the mainland, Ko Lanta is the perfect diving spot where you’ll see manta rays, turtles and even whale sharks. It’s also a foodie’s heaven, with authentic restaurants serving up aromatic southeast Asian delicacies.

For ultimate peace and tranquillity, untamed Ko Muk is one of southern Thailand’s hidden secrets. As it’s further from base and more difficult to get to, it’s mainly a stop for passing sailors, so you’ll be part of an exclusive club. A great place to hop into a kayak and explore the magical caves and sandy inlets.

Best time to go: April, May, October

3.

Antigua

Chartering in Antigua has to be on everyone’s bucket list. With laid-back locals, fresh fruit and the whitest beaches, it’s paradise on earth. Best of all, the climate and consistent wind pattern make Antigua a superb year-round option.

Antigua offers two very different sailing experiences. To the east you’re more exposed to the open Atlantic and will need to weave through narrow gaps in the reefs, but will be rewarded with amazing anchorages. In the west, you can effortlessly cruise through the flatter waters of the Caribbean Sea. In fact, the western side of Antigua includes some of the steadiest of all Caribbean anchorages.

When you explore Antigua by yacht, life’s a beach. The island has 365 of them, actually.

You can also sail over to Barbuda, Antigua’s chilled out neighbour and a much smaller island where tropical birds outnumber people. Be sure to anchor in Deep Bay - you can snorkel off your yacht and feast your eyes on The Andes, an impressive shipwreck from the 19th century.

Go in late April to enjoy the many delights of Antigua Sailing Week. This historical event is an annual Caribbean sailing regatta which hosts plenty of fun-filled shoreside events along with epic sailing races like the Round Antigua Race.

Best time to go: February to August

4.

Sicily

Closer to home, Italy’s coastlines offer plenty of popular sailing spots, with many sailors chartering yachts to glide down the Amalfi Coast or cruise along the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.

However, for a healthy dose of Italian food, culture and scenery without the crowds, you should charter a yacht in sumptuous Sicily

Sicilian cuisine is famed the world over- with Italian flavours peppered with Spanish, Greek and Arab influences. The island’s history is similarly multicultural, and Sicily is the perfect place to learn more about Italy’s fascinating past.

The crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea which surround Sicily is home to the extraordinary Aeolian islands. This volcanic archipelago demands to be seen, with imposing peaks, black sand, and seas as clear as the Bahamas.

Stromboli and Vulcano are must-sees. From Stromboli, you get an impressive view of a monumental volcano which, although considered safe, still smoulders over the cobalt ocean. To get up close to the action, sail over to Vulcano, where you can hike to a volcano’s edge and cool off in the famous mud baths. We’d recommend stopping off for just a day here though- the sulphurous stench can get a little overwhelming!

Best time to go: May, June, July, September

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Ready to go?

If you’re itching to pack your bags and start your 2021 island hopping adventure, Helm offers bareboat, skippered and crewed yachting holidays, setting sail these and more stunning destinations.

Our yachting locations include our 2021 picks, as well as plenty of other beautiful areas including Croatia, the Balearic Islands, Greece and Turkey.

Enquire now to start planning the sailing holiday of a lifetime

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