Winter Wonders



From the azure waters of the Caribbean to the far-flung islands of French Polynesia and beyond, some of the most exotic cruising grounds in the world play host to the most exclusive superyachts this winter. For those looking to welcome in the new year, where better to spend the first few weeks of 2022 than anchored off St Barth’s in the Caribbean? Or, if it’s a soul-charge you need before the festivities begin, head to the Andaman Sea and discover the tranquil shores of Thailand’s southern coast. It’s never too early to start planning.

Leeward Islands

A playground for superyachts for many years, the Leeward Islands were seemingly made for the waterborne. From the old-world charm of Antigua and the sophisticated French island of St Barths to the lesser-known Nevis and laid-back Anguilla, every island has a character and charm that is unique. Additionally, the archipelago offers dramatic scenery, fantastic beaches (Antigua alone has 365) and myriad coves just waiting to be discovered.

Highly recommended: St Barths

Untypically stylish by Caribbean standards and even more so when enjoyed from the decks of a superyacht, St Barths is the archipelago’s take on the Côte d’Azur. Known for having the best chefs in the region who adapt traditional French cuisine to suit the warmer climate, expect gastronomic delights as you linger over long lunches accompanied by panoramic views over the azure waters that lap the island’s shores. For those looking to ring in the new year in style, St Barths is the place to be and be seen, with boat hopping parties and front row seats of the exploding fireworks displays over Gustavia Harbour.

When to go: December to April are drier, cooler and less humid, with the peak season falling during the festive holiday period.

The Grenadines
Sprinkled in the crystal-clear waters between the volcanic islands of St Vincent and Grenada, the Grenadines island chain are an exotic concoction of palm-studded sandbars, coral reefs and tiny islets. They offer the waterborne a combination of warm, steady trade winds, stunning waters and short cruising distances between. On some of the larger islands, including Bequia and Mustique, you will find quaint hotels, restaurants and bars, while the smaller isles are often deserted, sufficiently inaccessible to stay that way.

Barefoot luxury: Mustique

If it’s pure relaxation and a soul-charge you are after, then the chic retreat island of Mustique might be just the medicine. Picture yourself al fresco dining on the aft deck, and looking out to foothills covered with frangipani and hibiscus while anchored off the island, tendering ashore for a relaxing spa treatment at The Cotton House or sipping delicious lime daiquiris at the infamous Basil’s Bar.

When to go: December to June are the Grenadines’ dry season, however, the islands enjoy a tropical climate year round. The islands’ southerly location means that hurricanes rarely have a major impact.

British Virgin Islands
Forming part of an archipelago with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands comprise around fifty islands and islets nestled close together. Their balmy climate, steady easterly trade winds and an abundance of sheltered anchorages have made them one of the most popular cruising grounds for sailing yacht charters and families with young children. The most popular cruising area is around the Sir Francis Drake channel which runs from St John to the North Sound in Virgin Gorda. Surrounded on either side by mountainous islands, the channel remains much as it was in the days of the legendary sailor who discovered these waters – unspoiled, island idylls.

Yachting favourite: Virgin Gorda

Lying to the east of the BVI chain, Virgin Gorda is among the larger islands of the archipelago. From The Baths on the southwest coast to the natural anchorage at North Sound, the island is a firm favourite with the yachting crowd. Hike the Savannah Bay Trail to catch the sun rise over the stunning Savannah Bay, followed by a refreshing dip in the warm saltwater pools known as The Baths before heading up to neighbouring Anegada for fresh lobster straight off the reef.

When to go: December to March is peak season in the BVI, with temperatures ranging between 23 – 30°C.

Turks and Caicos
Marooned between the Caribbean and the Bahamas, the eight inhabited islands and more than forty cays of Turks and Caicos have been on the radar of divers for years, but with their perfect climate, warm seas, shallow waters and year-round cooling trade winds it was only a matter of time that the islands joined the luxury travel map. They may not be the classic Caribbean cruising ground, but with more and more superyachts coming to experience the underwater world and discreet hideaways ashore, they offer the perfect charter opportunity for those looking to get away from it all.

Underwater world: Providenciales

Providenciales (or Provo as it is better known) may not be the capital of the Turks and Caicos islands, but it is the hub for superyachts visiting the archipelago. Home to the Amanyara Spa and the beach at Grace Bay (proclaimed by many to be the best beach in the whole of the Caribbean), it is also the ideal launchpad to discover the third largest coral reef in the world. Among the top ten dive sites, the waters offer a plethora of opportunities for scuba diving and snorkelling.

When to go: The end of November is the perfect time to escape to the warmer climes of the Turks and Caicos and recharge those batteries ready for the busy holiday season. 

With more than 17,000 islands stretching over 3,000 miles, Indonesia offers the adventurous a chance to embrace their bucket list. From the well-known island of Bali to the spectacular Komodo National Park and the majestic Raja Ampat archipelago, the little-chartered waters abound with enchanting volcanic islands cloaked in rainforest and some of some of the most superb dive sites in the world.

Favourite archipelago: Raja Ampat

Lying off the northwest coast of New Guinea, the Raja Ampat archipelago is home to Indonesia’s largest marine national park. For those who love the underwater world, the plankton rich waters boast the highest recorded marine biodiversity on earth.

When to go: This is a year-round, warm destination. For divers, the best time to visit is between November and March when the waters are calmer, with better visibility.

Lying adrift in the Indian Ocean, when it comes to the picture-perfect desert island idyll, the Maldives are in a league of their own. The string of coral atolls span across over 40,000 square miles with more than 1,000 sandy islands that barely nudge above the surface. From the Lhaviyani Atoll to the Baa Atoll, with many more atolls in between, the ultimate way to discover the region is aboard a superyacht.

Beach bound: Baa Atoll

Famous for its plethora of coral islands and luxury resorts, flit from resort to deserted island as you cruise through the Baa Atoll. Spend days relaxing on the fine white sands or jump in to swim with manta rays and whale sharks swimming among schools of colourful fish.

When to go – The best weather is between November and April, with the high season falling between December and March.

Those looking for the ultimate adventure should turn their attention to the far-flung oceans of Antarctica. From King George Island, the unofficial capital, cruise through a maze of protected channels found along the Antarctic Peninsula. From the Deception Islands through the Bransfield Strait, through the Crooker Passage and Gerlache Strait to the Neumayer Channel, the region offers a wildlife oasis like no other. Follow in Shackleton’s wake and visit Elephant Island with its colonies of Emperor penguins and sparing elephant seals; visit the former British station, known as Base A, at Port Lockroy, and head through the Lemaire Channel, nicknamed “Kodak Gap” for its photogenic sheer walls either side.

When to go: The summer months are from November to March, when you will see Antarctica’s wildlife at its busiest and benefit from up to 24 hours of daylight.


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