Bahamas and Lesser Antilles - Pearls of the Caribbean
When the yachting season in the Mediterranean draws to an end, luxury yachts and catamarans on the other side of the globe get ready for the tropical summer. From November till July, the Caribbean offers excellent conditions for an amazing yacht charter vacation.
The Bahamas are regarded as one of the 10 best sailing regions in the world. They consist of over 700 islands, but only 30 of these are inhabited. Together with the more than 2,500 coral reefs – known as cays – which surround them, the islands are spread over a distance of almost 600 nautical miles.
Large sandbanks, low-lying islands, a beautiful underwater world, splendid bays to anchor in and crystal-clear water – fishing and diving, solitude and a lively nightlife, excellent food and stylish ports – on the Bahamas, you can enjoy yourself doing nothing or make the most of the sparkling, exotic lifestyle.
The Lesser Antilles are a tropical paradise with coconut palms and endless white sandy beaches, steep volcanic cones, lush colours, cristal clear waters, coral reefs, excellent conditions for snorkeling and diving, abundance of species and warm-hearted people.
A great starting point for a yacht charter is Antigua. From there it is only a short distance to the butterfly-shaped Guadeloupe, the “Caribbean butterfly”. Dominica, only few miles further South is reknowned for its fascinating natural beauty and richness of plants and species while Martinique with lively town Fort de France offers shops, restaurants, entertainment and Caribbean joy of life “par excellence”. Again further South, you can indulge in the luxury of the exclusive island Mustique and the scents and colours of Grenada, also known as the “Island of Spice”.
Located between Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean at 21 degrees, 30 minutes, north latitude and 80 degrees, 00 minutes, west longitude, Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean.
The western most island of the Greater Antilles, Cuba is located just 90 miles from Key West, Florida.
When Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1492, he said: “This is the most beautiful land one has ever seen.” Cuba’s location and beauty led to several centuries of development as a Spanish Colony, which lasted until the Spanish-American War of 1898.
The archipelago is composed of a principal island, and multiple “Cayos” and rocky islets. Cuba’s stunning variety of landscapes, mixing mountains, agricultural valleys and endless sandy beaches, make it a fascinating destination for sailors and other visitors.
Cuban cities such as Trinidad, and particularly its capital, Havana, are renowned for their colonial architectural richness. UNESCO declared them both a “Patrimony of the Humanity” in 1982, to preserve their architecture and historical inheritance. With its favourably warm climate year round, steady winds, unique natural beauty and open-minded, friendly people, Cuba goes beyond any sailor’s dreams.
The island also has a reliable nautical infrastructure, which is receiving well-aimed support from the government. About 20 marinas and nautical centers all around Cuba gladly welcome yachts under all flags and offer all conceivable services. To the sailor, the whole coast and off-lying islands are fully accessible with one exception. That area is Playa Giron, or Bay of Pigs, scene of the ill-fated 1961 invasion to overthrow Fidel Castro.
Cienfuegos is one of Cuba’s largest and most prosperous cities, filled with entertainment venues and eateries, the city is a hub of activity for shopping and soaking up Cuban culture. From Cienfuegos, there are two main island groups to explore along the southern shore of Cuba.