After a season of having to seek new sandy shores and blue skies for many yachts, plenty of charters will be looking to return to the pastel painted lands of the Caribbean this winter. That’s right, Monaco and Ibiza have all but shut up shop for the winter season, ready to wave farewell to the yachts who will no doubt be seeking warmer shores. Sailors, swimmers, and lovers of all things raucous and rum adore the Caribbean shores and are sure itching to get back to their favorite islands in the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma. We take a closer look at what to expect from the 2018 Caribbean season…
Back in Business
While hurricane season certainly wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, there are plenty of places that have picked themselves up and are well and truly back on their feet. On the romantic little island of Anguilla life has returned to normal and they are well and truly welcoming visitors back to the favored spots.
Barbuda is also slowly getting back to business with two thirds if islanders having returned home. Some of the coral reefs were destroyed but are beginning to bloom again, and the storm surges have helped to create some well-sanded beaches.
More than 80 bars and almost all the attractions are back open on the BVI and the famed Floating Willy T Bar even has a new location, rum lovers can take the tender over to Great Harbor on Peter Island for those hedonistic concoctions.
Dominica and Puerto Rico are still putting their pieces back together but charter guests will certainly find a warm welcome on these shores. The USVI is also continuing to recover and rebuild although power has returned to the island. Over on St Barts, charter guests need not worry about skipping out on seasonal celebrations as life here is back in the swing of things.
So which swish islands are on our radar for the winter 2018 / 2019 Caribbean season?
With this years charter trends including an increase in the younger market – we bet that those fresh-faced adventurers are going to set sail for the lush mountains of St Lucia. With active challenges like climbing the Pitons, plenty of snorkeling spots, and the convenience of being centrally located in the Leeward Islands, St Lucia is going to be on our menu.
The Turks & Caicos never fails to impress and this year she made the top of the list for being celebrated as the safest island in the whole of the Caribbean. Brimming with honeymoon magic, prestigious resorts, and with over forty islands and cays to explore, T&C is a sublime feast for the senses. We will be trimming the fat and finding out which special slips are worth exploring.
Martinique is another of those magical spots we will be uncovering during the Caribbean season. Home to wonderous wild flowers, French finesse, and scores of shipwrecks under the surface since the eruption of Mt Pele, this is a Caribbean starlet that always leaves us starry eyed.
The Best Events
Heading up the 2018 Caribbean season is the Charter Yacht Show being held on everyone’s favorite BVI spot of Tortola. Expect almost a hundred yacht charters to line the lush marina and the crowds to mingle with champagne in hand at the Nanny Cay Resort. With culinary competitions, the biggest names in the yacht business, and lashings of sun-soaked socializing, it’s the perfect way to kick off the season.
It wouldn’t be the season of cheer without those lavish Christmas and New Year celebrations on everyone’s favorite party island of chic St Barts. Hailed as the St Tropez of the Caribbean, you can expect to mingle with the stars at the islands best restaurants of La Guerite, Black Ginger, and L’Orega. After an evening of wining and dining, be sure to hit up those pink Dom Perignon parties on the shores of St Jean or Gustavia beach or throw everything to the wind and park yourself at Nikki Beach for the countdown to midnight.
Antigua’s major regatta racing event will bring in the spring. From the 27th of April to the 3rd May, you can fall back in love with those colonial harbors, white whispers of sand, and beguiling sunsets. This is one of the most exciting weeks for those who love feeling the thrill of saltwater through their hair and the comradery of competitive sailing.
We are excited to be heading back to the land of shipwrecks, sass, and signature rum. While we know that managing expectations is going to be the murmur on everyone’s lips, we also know that visiting is the best way to shake the season back to life. Each week we will be unraveling our favorite five-star events and destinations to keep you informed throughout the season, so stay with us for all the inside guides on which islands are in demand and hitting all the high notes.