Every charter destination has a “yacht charter season,” which refers to the months when cruising conditions are ideal and charters are most popular. For example, some destinations have a summer season like the Mediterranean, while others are winter charter season destinations (like the Caribbean).
But you might be wondering: How long is a yacht charter season?
Both summer and winter chart seasons last roughly six months. Yet, within each season there are also “high,” “low” and “shoulder” seasons. In both summer and winter, “high” or peak charter season – the time when chartering is most popular – lasts just 2-3 months.
Wondering when you might plan your next charter? We’re taking a closer look at yacht charter seasons to show you how long they are, how seasons differ by region, and when peak charter season is.
Summer Yacht Charter Season
The Mediterranean is the world’s most popular summer yacht charter destination. The region’s beautiful temperate climate offers ideal conditions during the summer months, and hotspots like Cannes and the French Riviera, Italy, and Croatia beckon charter guests from around the world.
How long is the summer charter season?
Summer charter season in the Mediterranean begins in late-April and runs through mid-September. Summer in the Mediterranean not only brings warm, sunny weather; it’s also known for its many cultural affairs, like the Cannes Film Festival, the club season in Ibiza, and food and art festivals along the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Throughout the Mediterranean, peak charter season is just two months: July and August. Many yachts are fully booked during the peak season, and rates climb by about 10%.
Alternatively, New England in the U.S. is another popular summer destination, yet the season is a bit shorter: from mid-June through August, with the high season running from mid-July to mid-August.
Popular summer charter destinations:
If you’re looking for a summer charter destination, spots throughout the Mediterranean offer respite from the heat and humidity. Top destination for summer yacht charters include:
Known for its cosmopolitan beach clubs and rustic charms, the French Riviera – including Cannes, Monaco and Corsica – offer ideal summer cruising conditions. The French charter season mirrors most of the Mediterranean, but generally starts a bit later, in mid-May and runs through September. The summer season coincides with many events popular with charter guests, including the Monaco Grand Prix, the Cannes Film Festival, and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
With numerous charter regions, including Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Riviera, Italy might be the world’s most popular destination for summer charters. Italy offers a bit of everything: Excellent cuisine and wine, historic sites to explore, and plenty of culture and nightlife. Italy’s charter season runs May through October.
Croatia – and its numerous islands – make an ideal summer destination, thanks to cool breezes off the Adriatic and its warm sapphire waters. Throughout the season, Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar all beckon charter guests, who escape to Croatia’s sparkling beaches, and upscale, historic ports of call. Dubrovnik, the historic walled city, is a popular charter destination in the summer, and it hosts numerous festivals throughout the charter season.
Sun-soaked Greece is home to nearly 10,000 miles of coastline, along with beautiful islands like Santorini. In the summer months, Greece offers plenty for charter guests to experience, including beautiful beaches, UNESCO sites, and excellent cuisine like moussaka and Restina wine. Greece’s charter season is a bit longer: from April through October.
Spain’s Balearic Islands are a legendary summer season destination, thanks to the all-night clubs of Ibiza and the islands’ sun-soaked beaches. Spend a night clubbing in Ibiza, or explore neighboring Formentera, known for its natural landscapes and hiking trails. Majorca is another must-see island, known for its historic churches, swank beach clubs, and world-class dining.
From the coast of Maine, to Newport, R.I. and Martha’s Vineyard, the tranquil ports along the East Coast in the U.S. are perfect for summer charters. The destination offers it all: Cosmopolitan villages, classic lighthouses, excellent golf, windswept beaches, and National Parks to explore. Looking for another summer destination in the U.S.? Consider Alaska, which is known for its glaciers and natural beauty.
Winter Charter Season
The Caribbean is a winter charter season mecca, as many escape the cold weather to the soak up the sun in the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, and the Grenadines. The Caribbean offers ideal cruising conditions throughout the winter months, including steady breezes (a must if you fancy a sailing charter), warm weather in the 70s and 80s, and hundreds of hidden beaches to explore.
How long is the summer charter season?
Winter charter season is about six months long, and typically beings in late October, around the unofficial season kickoff, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and runs through March. Thailand, Tahiti and the Seychelles, and the South Pacific are also popular destinations for winter charters (and have a similar season to the Caribbean).
In the Caribbean, peak charter season is in late December, during the holidays, through March. The shoulder season in November and mid-December are popular as well and offer fewer crowds and reduced prices.
Popular winter charter destinations:
Winter charter destinations offer warm weather, beautiful beaches, and plenty to do and explore. If you’re considering a winter yacht charter, you might choose to travel to:
The Virgin Islands
Both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands are some of the most visited islands during the winter season. Known for their laid-back island vibes, incredible sailing, snorkeling and diving, the Virgin Islands are perfect for an adventurous, island-hopping winter yacht charter.
Tahiti has fast become one of the most popular charter destinations in the South Pacific, and it offers the ultimate in privacy and natural beauty. With islands like Bora Bora and Moorea, as well as black sand beaches, French Polynesia is the perfect destination for escaping the cold to snorkel, dive, hike and enjoy the beach.
Thailand’s beautiful islands and tropical coast offer the best in winter chartering. Thailand is perfect for snorkeling and island hopping, Full Moon parties and lazy beach days. The destination’s tropical climate, making for perfect winter charter conditions.
Turks & Caicos
Upscale, yet unpretentious, Turks & Caicos – which is comprised of seven main islands, and more than 40 uninhabited cays and islets – is an ideal destination or winter snorkeling. The island’s beautiful coral reefs teem with colorful fish, rays, turtles, and sharks throughout the winter months.
Year-round Charter Destinations
Some destinations offer chartering year-round. For example, Florida is one of the most popular destinations, no matter the time of year.
With hundreds of islands to explore, there’s a new adventure around every corner in the Bahamas. Two of the region’s most popular charter destinations, Nassau (with its excellent golf courses, numerous beaches, and family-friendly atmosphere) and the Exumas (a stretch of beautiful islands), offer chances for R&R and adventures like swimming with pigs and sharks, cliff-diving, and snorkeling.
Miami & The Florida Keys
Miami and the Florida Keys offer excellent cruising conditions throughout the year. The peak season in Florida is generally mid-December through March, yet a variety of luxury crewed charters in any month.
Want to learn more about the best charter seasons around the globe? Contact your charter broker with Worldwide Boat to learn more.