When its cold outside, it’s time to book your yacht charter and escape to the sun-drenched Caribbean, especially for Christmas or New Year. The Windward Islands, and Barbados to the east, offer a fabulous choice of sensational cruising in turquoise waters with pristine white sandy beaches and they have a lot more to offer besides.
A Princess Yacht Charter can take in some of the following paradise islands;
St Lucia is renowned for its majestic Pitons, 2 dramatic mountains that hug the white powder of Sugar Beach. The coast offers a range of volcanic beaches, popular reefs for diving and snorkelling, luxurious hotel resorts and quaint fishing villages. Walking further inland in the interior rainforest guides you to breathtaking waterfalls such as Toraille at an impressive 15m high. Rodney Bay in the north is a mixture of complete relaxation and modern commodity whilst Soufriére is an area that will shock and awe those looking to capture nature at its rarest and most unspoilt. Then there is Gros Islet where, the rum drinkers will be welcomed with open arms, here, the Caribbean life completely takes over in this tiny fishing enclave – you couldn’t be more relaxed if you tried.
Cruising further south takes you to Grenada, known as the Spice Island, famed for its plantations of nutmeg. The capital of St George’s is home to 18th century architecture of the Georgia period. The main holiday resorts, restaurants and bars can be found in the south of the island in Grand Anse Beach. From rum to spice, beaches to coves, this really is an island that could meet the moniker of many different descriptions, luckily, when you get there, you get to create your own. That’s what Grenada does, it leaves it open for you to soak in the culture and the location to something that keeps with you for the rest of your life.
Barbados is the most easterly of the Windward Islands and boasts over 70 miles of beautiful white and pink sand beaches formed of ground coral, while the rugged terrain inland is fantastic for exploring waterfalls and caves. There’s a real party atmosphere around Christmas, New Year and throughout the winter you could rub shoulders with the likes of Rhianna, Sir Cliff Richard, Jodie Kidd, Claudia Schiffer and Simon Cowell. Whether you’re a watersports enthusiast or a foodie, there’s a plethora of exceptional experiences to indulge in.
Barbadians take great pride in their local cuisine fused with influences from around the world. From the infamous Sandy Lane patronised by the jet-set to authentic street food at Oistins Friday night fish fry, there is something to tantalise all taste buds. Even if you’re not residing at the Sandy Lane you can opt for the buffet lunch and enjoy its fabulous pristine west-coast beach setting at the most famous address on the island. While locals, holiday-makers and the elite mix at Oistins on the south coast to savour the local catch whilst swaying to reggae.
The Tides in Holetown is a seafood restaurant set right on the edge of the coast path and rated one of the best places to eat in Barbados thanks to Chef Guy Beasley. Further up the coast you can tender from your charter yacht to the beach near the Fairmont Royal Pavilion in the prestigious parish of St James and walk up to the fabulous Lone Star restaurant. With a relaxed white-washed clapboard beachy vibe framing turquoise views, this fine-dining restaurant offers a fusion of Italian fare, fresh seafood and classic dishes.
Still on the platinum coast, just down from Holders Hill is The Cliff, a luxurious fine dining restaurant perched up high on the water’s edge. And on the south coast you’ll find Champers, just along from Rockley Beach, offering a chic yet laid-back Caribbean atmosphere.
Into the blue
The island’s waters are diverse due to the wind, from the east coast’s dramatic Atlantic waters of Bathsheba famed for its surf championships to the calm pristine platinum coast perfect for swimming and paddle boarding. Needless to say, the coral reefs provide spectacular waters for snorkelling and diving and you can even just swim with the turtles. Barbados Yacht Club is just south of the capital of Bridgetown and there are numerous regattas and sailing events.
The historic Garrison area, one of the most significant in the British Colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries as a military base, is an area of outstanding natural beauty overlooking the Savannah. Adjacent is home to the Barbados Turf Club where you can watch the horse racing and in particular the Gold Cup held the first Saturday in March. If you’re an early riser you can see the trainers taking the horses to swim and cool off in the sea at Pebbles Beach. The Polo also makes for a great day out at Holders Hill in St James or Apes Hill with plenty of action, refreshments, and some top names in the sport. The Barbados Polo Club 2023 International Polo Season will see a return of three international teams to the island with fixtures throughout February and March.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, visit the plantation houses such as the 17th century Sunbury Plantation House that is open for tours of the stunning house and fabulous hibiscus gardens, rum tastings and afternoon teas. The islands very own rum factory, home to Mount Gay Rum, is situated in the north of the island for tours and rum tastings of the authentic local tipple.
Take a look at some local artisan craft and gifts with a wonder through the maze of brightly coloured chattels in Holetown. Or take inspiration for your next interior design scheme with boutiques and studios such as Jenny Blanc, and if luxury designer shopping is your thing, then visit the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre with stores such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Michael Kors, Breitling and Heidi Klein.
*Please note that Barbados would be an additional detour from the itinerary
Whether its remote relaxation you’re looking for or the jet-set luxury lifestyle, the Caribbean has something for everyone on board your yacht charter this winter.