Best sailing destinations in the North Seas with IntersailClub? The French Riviera has no shortage of trendy outposts, but St Tropez earns extra points for its recent revamp along Pampelonne Beach. YachtCharterFleet had the pleasure of heading down to St Tropez last year to check it out; and came back with some first-hand insight into the new (eco-friendly) beach club scene. After a morning exploring the pink streets of St Tropez, cruise over to Pampelonne in time for lunch. Be sure to book ahead for Club 55, the most iconic venue in the Cote d’Azur, and try and reserve a coveted table in the later lunchtime slot if you’re looking to rub shoulders with Hollywood heavyweights and the A-list elite. For some post-lunch entertainment, head to Verde Beach. Expect blast-from-the-past beats and dancing on the tables, as the St Tropez in-crowd transform Verde Beach into the most happening party in Pampelonne. Head back to the main port for dinner- L’Opera has got the ‘the dinner and a show’ concept down to an art. Discover additional info on Intersail Club.
Italy has an extensive Mediterranean coastline, speckled with unbelievable islands, beaches, and beautiful towns. Sailing around southern Italy is always a popular choice for European cruise holidays. What makes this area even better is its close proximity to Greece – allowing you to include both countries easily into your sailing itinerary. As Italy has a rather lengthy coastline, the different destinations each offer something completely unique. Some of the best places to visit in Italy for a sailing holiday include Sardinia, Amalfi, the Aeolian Islands, the Sorrentine Peninsula, and Sicily. The Cinque Terre is another great coastal destination for those interested in sailing further north. Although the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic is still palpable, you can book your Mediterranean yacht cruise in 2021 with confidence. This year, most of us feel that we need time to relax from day-to-day stress and recharge our batteries more than ever.
As a year-round sailing destination, the Bahamas, or the Out Islands as they are frequently known, are renowned for great cruising grounds together with outstanding scenery. Benefitting from reliable trade winds between 5-20 knots, the climate is consistently warm, varying from 22 to 29 degrees Celsius. One of the most diverse geographic formations in the Caribbean, this coral-based archipelago consists of hundreds of unspoiled islands catering for yachting connoisseurs with world-class diving, pristine beaches, full-service marinas and fantastic fishing. The tidal range is up to 3.5 feet and, due to the shallow nature of the waters, a sailing yacht will provide best access to many locations. Miami is one of the most popular spots to make way to the Bahamas, and the southern winds when crossing the Gulfstream provide great sailing conditions. There is no bad time to visit the Bahamas, but peak season runs from mid-December to mid-April when island-hopping becomes popular.
Low season typically refers to any time outside of the high season periods. Groups of families and friends looking for a relaxing luxury vacation are advised to avoid high season weeks and opt for weeks outside of this time. The busiest periods are of course reflected in the charter costs and can be up to 15 to 30 percent more expensive than typical low season periods. Chartering a few weeks either side of these busy periods can be almost exactly the same, with the weather almost unchanged in some places, with far less crowds. The key is to choose your times carefully. A difference of one week (from high season into low season) can make a vast difference in cost, while still providing the same weather as the more expensive period. The yacht itself is a major factor in determining the charter cost, but it’s not just about size. A recently launched charter yacht from a famed builder with an experienced and popular charter crew is going to command top prices for its size range. Yachts with a legendary name, such as a history of celebrity ownership, can also ask higher rates just for the “fame” value. And yachts with special features, such as alfresco movie theaters or exceptional water toys (a submarine, for example) are also pricier.
Sailing tip of the day: One of the ancient arts of the sailor is setting up a “stopper” to relieve a loaded rope without letting anything go. The classic use for a stopper is to take the weight off the genoa sheet when Cousin Doofus has carelessly locked up the whole shooting match with an override. My crew recently used the stopper shown below. It took the load at the turning block while we sorted out the mess. Then we wound the sheet in a few inches to relieve the force on the stopper, removed it and sailed on. To create a stopper that works, clap on a half-hitch before the rolling hitch as shown. You can see it doing the work, and it guarantees success. If you can’t tie a rolling hitch, go on the internet and learn how. You may need it sooner than you think!
The brackish inland sea is bound by the Scandinavian Peninsula, Europe mainland and the Danish islands. Although most of us would not think of going island-hopping in Germany, it offers some really unique locations. Start at Stralsund and include the wild sweeping landscapes of the car-free Hiddensee island and the deserted white sand beaches of Rugen island. If you can, extend your trip to include the beautiful Stockholm archipelago and the Danish Islands which includes Isle of Langeland where wild horses roam.
On an island where most of the beaches are fairly small, Comte stands out for its size as well as for the beauty of its setting. Overlooking a smattering of little islands (and the not-so-little Illa des Bosc) that rise out of its perfectly clear waters, the beach is 800m (2,624ft) long and is divided up into three sections, two of which are sandy and one of which is slightly rockier and just for nudists. It is lined by some slightly weird looking bars which offer incomparable views of the much-vaunted Ibiza sunset as well as decently priced food and drinks. Whether you have been to heavenly destinations such as Greek Islands, the French Riviera, and Amalfi Coast before or not, these beautiful sailing spots in the Mediterranean will call you to come back over and over again. So, why not indulge in the opportunity to discover hidden natural gems, new local dishes, traditions, and people each time you visit the Mediterranean? Here are a few useful sailing yacht cruise tips to help you plan your unforgettable summer holiday in Europe’s fanciest location.
When the day is over, a broad offer of hotels and accommodations will be waiting for you, from internationally prestigious establishments to good boutique hotels, from beach resorts offering all-inclusive services to cosy rural villas for those looking for a relaxing stay away from tourist spots.