On a cruiseship, you must follow the crowd. On a catamaran charter, you’re free. You can explore hidden bays and tiny islands. You can snorkel over teeming reefs and visit beaches where few other footprints mark the sand. You can spend the evening in perfect solitude, or go ahead and take dinghy to shore for lunch and drinks with a lively beach bar.
If you’ve ever desired planning your personal catamaran vacation, here’s what you must know.
Why charter a catamaran?
In one word: Comfort. Unlike a conventional sailboat with only 1 hull, a catamaran is balanced on two hulls. That means the craft is a lot more stable and supplies more room for individuals and things. Catamarans can also navigate in shallow water. “When the physical conditions are right, catamarans are sweet sailing, smooth performing, and comfy,” says the American Sailing Association.
Notice, however, that disclaimer: “when conditions are right.” In heavy winds or adverse weather, a catamaran can often be difficult to handle. Even if you’re a seasoned sailor, you shouldn’t grab the helm without training. For an easier (but noisier) voyage, you'll be able to charter a powered catamaran. Sailing catamarans range in proportions. A modest 32- to 36-foot catamaran typically includes two cabins, each which has a double or queen-sized bed with an in-suite head.
A 145-foot luxury catamaran, such as Hemisphere, sleeps approximately 12 guests and 10 crew members (and expenses some $260,000 weekly).
Types of catamaran charters
Crewed catamaran charter: The most luxurious (and expensive) selection for a catamaran cruise is a fully crewed charter. This means you rent your own personal private yacht along using a captain and crew to deal with navigation, cooking, cleaning as well as other shipboard duties. All you need to do is take pleasure in it.
Skippered catamaran charter: If you have some sailing experience but don’t want the responsibility of navigating in unfamiliar waters, you are able to charter a catamaran having a captain only. A licensed skipper will consider the helm, or coach you on how to undertake it. You and your group is going to be responsible for any devices: cooking, cleaning, raising the sails, etc.
Bareboat catamaran charter: A bareboat charter means it’s just yourself on board! You’re to blame for navigation, sailing, provisioning and planning. The advantages of the bareboat charter: Complete freedom and privacy. The disadvantages: Risk and responsibility.
By the cabin catamaran charter: If you don’t know the best way to sail, or if you don’t develop the budget to charter a full yacht, book a cabin using a catamaran cruise.
Share the private-cruise experience using a small group and get all the luxuries of the crewed charter for just a fraction on the cost.
Popular catamaran charter destinations
For U.S. residents, the British Virgin Islands include the number-one destination for catamaran cruising. The weather is lovely, the wind is consistent, and also a good anchorage is usually nearby.
Begin in Tortola, and explore the numerous facets on the British Virgin Islands: the Baths rock formations on Virgin Gorda, the beaches of Peter Island, the drinks on the Soggy Dollar Bar.
ther Caribbean destinations add some Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, Antigua, the French West Indies/Lesser Antilles, St. Vincent along with the Grenadines.
The Mediterranean Sea hosts some stunning destinations for catamaran vacations. Mallorca as well as the other Balearic Islands (Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera) offer wildlife, watersports and throbbing nightlife. Or, visit secluded islands in Greece, Croatia or Sardinia.
In North America, great sailing destinations range from the Chesapeake Bay; the San Juan Islands in Washington State, the Florida Keys; and La Paz, within the Baja California peninsula.
Useful tricks for your catamaran vacation
Pack light. Basic beach, swim and lounge wear should cover you; there’s no requirement to dress formally for lunch! Bad-weather gear and boat shoes are important. A soft-sided bag is a lot easier to stow than the usual hard suitcase.
Put the requirements in your carryon. You don’t desire to dawdle from the harbor while you’re looking forward to the airline to seek out your lost bag. In your carryon, pack the most important things: prescriptions, toiletries, suncreen, your swimsuit and at least one outfit.
Don’t forget sunscreen. The tropical sun will likely be beating down, so pack a hat (that has a clip or cord, so that it won’t blow overboard), sunglasses with straps, sunscreen (ideally ’one thats nontoxic to marine life) and coverups.
Assume everything can get wet. A catamaran isn't place for the one you love Birkin bag. Don’t bring shoes, clothes or another type that would be ruined by saltwater. Essential documents and electronics needs to be placed in waterproof cases or plastic bags.
Purchase travel cover before you go. Catamaran charters are costly. They can demand to remote parts with the world. And even which has a skilled captain, they include some aspects of risk. For these 3 good reasons, you will need to buy travel cover for your sailing vacation. Look for the plan that protects holiday investment with trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits, along with emergency medical and dental and emergency medical transportation benefits.