Deciding the top three yacht charter itineraries on the planet is a task fraught with difficulty, for how to decide between the French Riviera and the Amalfi Coast, the Maldives or the Galapagos, and between the many spectacular archipelagos of the Caribbean? All are sensational, and all for different reasons! However, of all of these superb charter destinations, some do stand out for being top-class in key areas that make luxury yachting the very special experience that it is.
For superyacht glamour: the French Riviera
A French Riviera charter itinerary cruises between the many jewels of the Cote d’Azur, as famous for their celebrity sparkle as they are for their stunning Mediterranean beauty.
Indulge in the glittering casinos and restaurants of Monte Carlo, before dropping anchor off the exclusive headland of Cap Ferrat for a day of watersports. Cruise onward to Nice, a bustling city of seaside promenades, art deco hotels and museums, before moving down the coast to the walled medieval city of Antibes, where you can enjoy lunch at the iconic Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. After a short stop in the famous seaside resort of Juan-les-Pins, you’ll move onto glitzy Cannes for some boutique shopping, followed by an unforgettable night in an A-list nightclub or rooftop bar. A trip to the idyllic Cannes Islands is a must before heading westward to Saint Tropez, where glamorous beach clubs and Michelin-starred restaurants await you. Offshore, the magical island of Porquerolle tempts with sugar white beaches and an almost Caribbean vibe.
As one of the most popular yacht charter destinations on the planet, there are an abundance of French Riviera charter yachts to choose from, this Bespoke French Riviera yacht itinerary stood out for us.
For wildlife and adventure: the Galapagos
Float through the Galapagos archipelago on a luxury yacht, enjoying one of the most intense natural experiences on the planet in a volcanic landscape of desolate beauty.
Begin your Galapagos yacht charter in San Cristobel, where giant tortoises lumber across the rocks and frigate birds wheel across the sky. Just offshore, Lobos Island offers a sugar-white beach perfect for sunbathing and snorkelling, while Kicker Rock promises exceptional diving with sharks, eagle spotted rays, and sea turtles. Nearby Witch Hill is one of the most picturesque beaches of the Galapagos, and the island of Española is a naturalist’s paradise, with sea lions, albatrosses, Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, lava lizards and the Galapagos hawk just a few of the animal attractions. Visit the flamingo lagoon of Cormorant Bay, and see the tiny Galapagos penguin on Bartholomew Island. Snorkel in Darwin’s Bay, visit the nesting sites of the blue and red-footed boobies, and walk the stunning cliff path of South Plazas Island among the giant cacti. Finally, head to Santa Cruz, a dormant volcano, and Baltra, where you can hike the two craters.
38m M/Y STELLA MARIS is the only privately-owned charter superyacht based permanently in the Galapagos, and is the ideal choice for a Galapagos yacht charter.
For laid-back tropical indulgence: Leeward Islands, Caribbean
The Leeward Islands in the Caribbean have long been one of the most popular yacht cruising grounds, promising French-Caribbean glamour, historic English harbours, and spectacular tropical beaches.
Begin your charter in Antigua, as famous for its laid-back culture as its perfect, palm-lined beaches, before cruising to the twin islands of Saint Kitts & Nevis, where you can see monkeys in the cloud forest, snorkel on pristine reefs, and visit luxury plantation hotels. Ultra-chic Saint Bart’s promises boutique shopping, French restaurants, and celebrity sightings, while exclusive Anguilla offers desert island bliss on sugar-white beaches. Saint Martin is an island of two halves, with Marigot’s boutiques and beach clubs delivering a quintessentially French-Caribbean experience, while the Dutch side has some wonderful nightlife and shopping on offer to finish up your Leeward Islands yacht charter.
There is a large fleet of Caribbean superyachts for charter each winter, but our favourite over all was this Leeward Islands yachting itinerary.