The first yachts were Dutch navy vessels used to chase down sea criminals. After King Charles II chose a yacht to transport him from the Netherlands to England in 1660, yachts became associated with the most affluent and important members of society.
The difference between a boat and a yacht can be significant. Generally, any vessel that is longer than 40 feet qualifies as a yacht. Super-yachts are vessels more than 80 feet in length, while mega-yachts are more than 200 feet in length. These vessels tend to be luxurious and equipped for extensive excursions on the water. In fact, many people who own yachts opt to travel in them to explore the world by sea. Sailing into international ports on a yacht can be the epitome of luxurious adventure for many tourists.
With yacht travel, tourists can set their own course, spending as much time as they wish in different countries. Beautiful ports of call abound for tourists aboard their own yachts. From the Caribbean to Europe and beyond, the options for travel are varied and extensive.
The Greek Islands
The Greek islands include about 6,000 different islands, each distinctly unique. Exploring the Greek Islands by yacht promises to be an adventure, with plentiful ports to visit. One of the many benefits of island-hopping on your own vessel is the ability to set your own course and schedule, staying as long as you wish on each island. The Cyclades Islands are the best-known islands of the Greek islands. Santorini offers impressive beaches, awesome scenery, and plentiful options for clubbing. Mykonos features a winning combination of nightlife and natural vistas with ancient ruins to explore.
The French Riviera
Romance calls yachters to the French Riviera, with its glorious Mediterranean beaches and breathtaking islands. There’s something for everyone in the French Riviera, from showy resorts to peaceful retreats. Vineyards are plentiful, as are hiking paths that wind throughout the islands. Pristine beaches are another highlight of the French Riviera. Paloma Beach on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has both private and public areas to accommodate visitors. The beach in the center of Cannes is wildly popular but tends to get crowded.
With the Adriatic Sea lapping at its beaches, Croatia is a hot spot for yachters. More than 1,100 miles of pristine shoreline and 1,185 islands provide ample spots for island-hopping. Quaint sea towns offer tourists lovely areas to explore. The city of Hvar features palaces and winding marbled streets, with everything surrounded by walls. Distinctive hotels and notable restaurants pull in upper-class visitors, but less expensive lodging and meal options are also available for those who like to explore.
The Grenadines in the West Indies include 32 Caribbean islands, which often appeal to yachters. Sailing conditions are ideal in the Grenadines, and visitor numbers are lower than in other destinations. Bequia is the second-largest island, and its name means “island of the clouds.” The topography of the island often keeps the rain at bay, making weather conditions ideal for tourists. With an abundance of natural areas, visitors can explore the islands. Hiking the Vermont Nature Trail could provide glimpses of hundreds of native parrots.
British Virgin Islands
Situated ideally in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands beckon yachters with white sandy beaches and plenty of spots for anchoring amid the 40-plus islands. The British Virgin Islands remain comfortable year-round, with average temperatures of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Tortola is the main island of the British Virgin Islands chain, and visitors will stay busy exploring Smuggler’s Cove, Rhone National Marine Park, and Soper’s Hole with its bustling harbor.
- The Greek Islands
- Which Greek Island Should You Visit?
- Greek Islands: Cyclades
- Your Travel Guide to the French Riviera (PDF)
- Tourist Information and Map of Croatia (PDF)
- Parks of Croatia (PDF)
- History of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (PDF)
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Cultural Dress and Costume History of the Caribbean (PDF)
- Paradise Found (PDF)
- What to Do in the British Virgin Islands
- Best Caribbean Islands for Sailing
Written by Katja Kukovic