Top 10

The Best Destinations for Summer Yacht Charters

Whether cruising the turquoise waters of the Caribbean or hopping between secluded beaches along the Mediterranean coast, a private yacht charter provides an intimate getaway that is easily tailored to each traveler’s needs and offers a perfect way to reach undiscovered, off-the-beaten-path gems. Here, Indagare rounds up our favorite destinations for summer yacht charters that will delight travelers of all ages.

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a private yacht charter trip this year and beyond. Our team can match you with the right vessel, from small sailboats or catamarans to luxurious, fully staffed yachts, provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning.

1. Croatian Islands

Easily accessible from the Dalmatian Coast—and best explored via private yacht or sailboat—the Croatian Islands comprise charming, quiet towns that provide respite from the bustling cities of Dubrovnik and Split. Two of the must-visit destinations are Hvar and Korcula, with waterfront restaurants, medieval architecture and Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals. Another popular stop is Brac, home to a handful of hermitage monasteries. Rovinj features a hilltop cathedral and narrow streets filled with art galleries, wine bars and chic boutiques, and visitors to the Brijuni Islands can tour the private safari park of former Yugoslav statesman Josip Broz Tito. Chartered boats also allow travelers to access uninhabited islets and secluded beaches free of tourists. Indagare Tip: Start or end your charter in Kotur, Montenegro.

Related: The World’s Best Beach Clubs

2. Greek Isles

A private cruise around the Greek islands and coastline allows visitors to explore unspoiled landscapes, gorgeous architecture and important archaeological sites. Some highlights include stops at Paros, a stunning island famous for its marble and a host of cultural events that attract a global audience, and the less-touristed Antiparos, with lovely green and blue waters, pristine beaches and stunning stalagmite caves. See the Temple of Poseidon overlooking the Aegean Sea on Sounio, the impressive clock tower and beautiful old mansions on Hydra and the ancient theater on Epidauros. Follow one of Indagare’s preferred routes or create your own journey.

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: What Are the Best Greek Islands for Different Kinds of Travelers?

3. St.-Tropez and the French Riviera

A boat-based trip in the South of France is great way to avoid the region’s infamous summer crowds. Some highlights include the Esterel Mountain coast, a scenic stretch of red rock cliffs that drop into perfectly blue seas, and the Lérins Islands off the coast of Cannes with their dusty eucalyptus-shaded trails, jade- and amethyst-colored creeks and myriad opportunities for dining on the beach. In addition to cruising to outlying islands and buzzing beach clubs, there is also excellent whale- and dolphin-watching in these waters. Indagare works with a variety of boats in the Riviera, ranging from Fun Yaks (small boats that don’t require a permit) to skippered Riva Operas, majestic sailing vessels and luxury yachts available for day use as well as longer charters.

Related: The Private Yacht Charter: 5 Yacht Booking Tips You Need to Know

4. Caribbean

The turquoise waters of the Caribbean offer an abundance of options for those traveling by yacht. The British Virgin Islands, comprised of four large islands and 50-something smaller cays, feature romantic green peaks, unspoiled beaches and some of the region’s best snorkeling and dive sites. With a private boat, travelers can also island-hop across clusters of neighboring islands—start in St. Lucia and head down to the Grenadines, which include Mustique and Canouan—to experience the Caribbean to its fullest.

Related: The Best Yachting Destinations in the Caribbean

5. Galápagos

The best way to view the Galápagos archipelago is by boat, giving travelers the greatest flexibility and most personalized experience. The Galápagos is composed of 13 major islands, six smaller islands and more than 40 uninhabited islets. Island highlights include Fernandina for sea lion and iguana sightings, Floreana for snorkeling and the remote Wolf and Darwin Islands for observing the ocean life that the Galápagos is known for, including schools of hammerheads, whale sharks and pods of killer whales. Keep in mind that there are many boating regulations in place to protect the islands, and the government dictates the routes (visitors cannot customize their itinerary, and there is a strict limit on boats licensed to visit the area).

Related: How Quasar Expeditions Is Building a Future for Galápagos Locals

6. Indonesia

The Indonesian archipelago comprises more than 17,000 islands, including Bali, Java and Sumba Island (home to Nihi Sumba) and has some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes—both above the water and under the sea. Yacht charters here, including luxurious Aman boat offerings, allow visitors to seek out the most secluded retreats and exciting dive spots. The infrequently visited northern Bali, for example, features an expansive national park and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving, while Sumba is revered for its phenomenal surfing.

Related: Indonesia Yacht Charters: What You Need To Know

7. Italian Coast

Moored off the shores of Italy’s spectacular islands, travelers on yachts can take advantage of the shopping, dining and nightlife on land and then escape to the water when the crowds become too intense. Sail to such memorable destinations as Portofino, Forte dei Marmi, Capri, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, and gain access to secluded coves and top beach clubs (like Capri’s La Fontelina) that are only reachable by boat. These trips are ideal for groups of friends or families with older children who want to snorkel, swim, jet ski and explore undiscovered beaches while savoring delicious seafood and fun shopping.

Related: Indagare Matchmaker: Italian Beach Destinations

8. Sardinia and Corsica

Sardinia and Corsica make a perfect pairing for a Mediterranean cruise. Sardinia’s glamorous Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) is on par with St.-Tropez in terms of glamour, and private yacht charter guests can explore the nearby coves and bays or visit the surrounding islands, where there are many hidden spots to swim. Stop at Cala Luna, a half crescent of white sand with dazzlingly clear waters, and Tavolara Island, a massive limestone island with 1,500-foot cliffs across the strait from Costa Smeralda. In Corsica, many of the best crystalline coves are only accessible by boat, and travelers should be sure to sail to the Lavezzi Islands and Scandola Nature Reserve.

Related: Corsica: Where to Stay, Eat, Shop and More

9. Spain’s Balearic Islands

The four Spanish Balearics offer something for everyone. Mallorca, the largest island, leads the pack in luxury travel. Visit Palma's Old Town, with its magical labyrinth of cobbled streets and stone palaces, as well as the island’s wild interior home to excellent hiking trails and tiny, charming villages. The vibrant Ibiza has long attracted an eclectic mix of visitors, with different corners of the island drawing celebrities, partygoers, families and artists. Don’t miss beach-hopping to Ibiza’s far reaches by boat, along with a day trip to the neighboring islands of Formentera and Tagomago. End at the tiny isle of Menorca for a relaxing, off-the-grid retreat in this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve boasting large swaths of untouched, natural scenery.

Related: Mallorca: Another Side of Paradise

10. Scandinavia

Begin your yacht journey in Oslo, where the city’s maze of more than 40 islands—some of which are uninhabited, while others house charming fishing villages or elaborate summer homes—can be explored on a private charter or a communal boat (complete with a prawn buffet and cocktails). Travelers craving dramatic vistas should venture north to the Norwegian fjords: a region defined by awe-inspiring inlets of sea nestled between imposing mountains. The rugged coastline here is dotted with tiny fishing villages, dramatic waterfalls and excellent hiking. The charming port city of Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an excellent base from which to explore the mystical peaks and valleys of the region. Continuing through the fjords of Western Norway, don’t miss fellow World Heritage sites, including the Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord. From here, head north to Greenland, the Faroe Islands or Iceland for unforgettable wildlife experiences—or venture east to Sweden and Finland for a taste of culture.

Related: Just Back from Oslo and Svalbard: The Final Frontier

(Plus...Don't forget the East Coast of the U.S.)

Fresh lobster rolls, colonial cottages, sea breezes at sunset: there is a certain magic about summer on the East Coast. For families, friends and couples alike, an escape up the Atlantic is a convenient way to experience the luxury of the private yacht charter without journeying too far. Sag Harbor, Montauk, Block Island, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Newport are just a few of our favorite places to start. Plan stops ashore to access quiet beaches or hiking trails in nature preserves, historic towns, stylish hotels, charming restaurants, buzzy outdoor watering holes and curated boutiques and art scenes for a true taste of summer (did someone say ice cream?).

Related: East Coast Vacations: Easy Summer Escapes from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a private yacht charter trip this year and beyond. Our team can match you with the right vessel, from small sailboats or catamarans to luxurious, fully staffed yachts, provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning.

Published onFebruary 13, 2020

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