The Windward Islands in the Caribbean offer some of the most beautiful, undisturbed beaches and deserted islands, perfect for exploring on a private luxury yacht charter. The marina at Le Marin is one of the largest in the Caribbean, with 750 berths. Start there, and make your way down to the luxurious island of Mustique, for an absolutely unforgettable week.
Easily extended by heading down to the Tobago Cays, you’ll find this cruising itinerary full of historic culture, luscious native seafood cuisine, and beautiful scenery wherever you go. These are casual islands that don’t expect tuxedos or elegant gowns, but once on board it’s always nice to dress for dinner during the voyage. However, if you’re tired of formal charity balls and obligatory dinners, it’s a personal choice and not a part of this itinerary unless you so desire.
Day 1: Martinique and its expansive marina at Le Marin start things off by getting you settled on board, then taking a little tour of the restored rum estate at Habitation Clement, or dining at one of the great local restaurants, like the popular Zanzibar, or Ti Toques, a bit out of the way but worth the effort. If you’re here in May, the Tchimbe Raid endurance run will be taking place. In June, La Fete de la Musique reggae, calypso, and Zouk musicians put on a rich show. August hosts the lively the Biguine Jazz Festival, drawing impressive names and guests.
Day 2: Cruise down to St. Lucia’s Rodney Bay, where the 2,795 ft. Morne Fortune stands watch over the island, behind the lovely town of Gros Islet. Whitsuntide and African Liberation Day take place here in May, the Fisherman’s Feast in June, the Rose and flower festivals in August, International Creole Day in October, and several religious-themed holidays enjoy both boisterous, and pious, celebrations throughout the year.
Day 3: Leisurely making your way to St. Vincent, you’ll find uncluttered beaches, deserted islands, and a beautiful botanic garden around Kingstown. The tranquility of the beaches make them ideal for an on shore picnic or a private swim and snorkel. Vincy Mas, the island’s answer to Carnival, is held here in June, engaging the entire island in revelry.
Day 4: Mustique is a luxurious paradise, with just a couple of fabulous hotels, and outstanding restaurants, graced with gorgeous beaches and talented chefs. The Firefly, a quaint and comfortable hotel perched on a steep cliff, offers gorgeous views from the dining areas, but is most famous for its 14 different martinis. Drink one of each and you’ll earn a tee-shirt from the Firefly Martini Club. Basil’s Bar is one of the Caribbean’s most famous haunts for celebrities and famous faces, where host Basil Charles greets guests with Caribbean friendship from the moment you meet. The Cotton Club delivers a luxurious resort experience, plantation style. If you’re here early in the year, check the calendar for the Blues Festival at Basil’s.
Day 5: St. Vincent’s quiet beaches and beautiful waters invite a relaxing cruise around the island, with an occasional dive, snorkel, or sail in the beautiful blues of its waters. If you’re in the area over Easter, the Easterval celebrations and the Easter Regatta to Union Island may appeal. If you’re visiting in May, regattas in Canouan and Mayreau are good options, but the most impressive events surround the Nine Mornings Festival preceding Christmas. Competitions, concerts featuring local music of steel pan, and dozens of festive plans fill the calendar.
Day 6: Cruise back up to St. Lucia, this time to the Pitons, near the town of Soufriere. Two majestic volcanic spires rising more than 2,000 feet out of the water make a dramatic landscape, while hot springs, mineral baths, wild orchids, and beautiful beaches dot the shore. WorldArc, a 15 month, 26,000 nautical mile cruise of the southern oceans, begins here in January and ends in the Great Barrier Reef in August for the first half, then departs Darwin and returns to St. Lucia in April. With stops in Panama, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, Mauritius, Cape Town, and Brazil, the rally provides camaraderie and support for those who wish to cruise the globe with a small flotilla of like minds. Even if you’re not participating, the energy and enthusiasm surrounding the rally is worthy of celebration.
Day 7: Head back to Martinique on this last day of your private luxury yacht charter, enjoying time on the yacht and the cruising lifestyle, as you plan for your next experience. For advice about where to go next, and which yacht to select for your personal preferences, contact Steve@TheBestofYachting.com.