Yacht Destinations: Captains Reveal Their Best Kept Secrets

Article taken from YPI 360° Magazine


What ultimately makes time on board unforgettable are those secret locations Captains and crew share with guests. Captain and purser couple Michael and Frances Howorth convinced five YPI Captains to each reveal one of their most treasured discoveries

Yacht Charter in Little Ship Channel Cay, Bahamas

Captain: Simon James Smith
Yacht: EMMALINE  - a 32-metre classic styled sailing yacht for six guests
Charter rate: from EUR 32,000 p/w

About: An island to the north of the Exumas
Latitude and Longitude: 24° 48.1′N, 76° 49.9′W
Best time to visit: March or April
Top attribute: Guests love feeding the sharks and rays we find there


Why it is so special

Arrive just south of the aircraft wreck and anchor in around 5.5m depth, call Little Ship Cay on VHF CH82a, and let them guide you through the largely unmarked shallows. Then while the BBQ is firing into life on the pristine, white sand beach, our guests get the chance to feed the sharks and rays that absolutely thrive here. Cocktails and drinks ashore in the wooden hut are incredible and then when the sun is setting, we light a bonfire and entertain the guests as they gather round to watch the turquoise drain from the sea into the sunset.

To charter EMMALINE contact YPI Charter


Yacht Charter in Kornati, Croatia

Captain: Nicolas Bull
Yacht: GATSBY – 30 metres of award-winning superyacht for 12 guests
Charter rate: from EUR 80,000 p/w

About: A restaurant on the island of Kornati.
Latitude and longitude: 43° 44.4′, 15° 27.0′E
Best time to visit: Early or late on in the Mediterranean Season
Top attribute: Its isolated, stunning location


Why it is so special
I first discovered this restaurant in 2011, purely by accident! We happened to be sailing past and I noticed the small bay of Opat on the South of the island of Kornati, Croatia, where yachts were docked stern to a small wooden dock below a bar and restaurant. So on our next visit I made a reservation and now I include it on most itineraries in Croatia. It is rustic Croatia in its purest form. Run by a family who live there most of the year, the atmosphere is friendly and the food is excellent. Despite being far from the Croatia mainland and on an island with no electricity, the food is always fresh and there is a large variety of quality wines and champagnes.
The small dock is suitable for yachts up to 40 metres and the bay of Opat offers good protection in most conditions. A walk to the top of the hill behind the restaurant offers a fantastic panoramic view as the sun sets, after which the guests can enjoy a glass of something chilled at the bar before dinner. It’s peaceful, off-the-beaten-track and offers something a little different from the usual yachting scene.

To charter GATSBY contact YPI Charter


Yacht Charter in Kotor, Montenegro

Captain: Mark Giblin
Yacht: AXIOMA – a 72-metre modern motor yacht for 12 guests
Charter rate: from EUR 490,000 p/w

About: A stunning, mountainous UNESCO world heritage city
Latitude and longitude: 42° 25.2′, 18° 45.6′W
Best time to visit: July or August
Top attribute: Unspoilt medieval buildings


Why it is so special
The Mediterranean-Adriatic is itself magical, but never more so than when your yacht enters the stretch of water known as Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor). As you steam past submarine pens dating back to World War II, the scenery changes from pure Mediterranean into a Norwegian-like fjord. It becomes even more impressive passing the Risan Islands, one of which has a spectacular shrine to the souls of sailors lost at sea. Approaching Kotor, the yacht will slow under the majesty of the mountains and moor stern to in the shadow of a full-size Venetian Castle complete with battlements and turrets. It is like a scene from the TV series Game of Thrones and looks particularly impressive when it is lit up at night. Kotor is renowned for its local delicacies, such as Wild Boar Sausage or River Trout, normally found only in the Alps. Then after dinner, relax with a glass of the local pear liquor at one of the trendy and bohemian bars.

To charter AXIOMA contact YPI Charter


Yacht Charter around Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

Captain: Steve Probst
Yacht: NAIA – an impressive 74-metre motor yacht, offering over 880m2 of accommodation for 12 guests
Charter rate: from EUR 525,000 p/w

About: Santa Rosa National Park
Latitude and longitude: 10° 51′6N, 85° 54′6W
Best time to visit: May-October
Top attribute: Scuba diving


Why it is so special
This 91,926-acre national park protects Central America’s largest remaining section of tropical dry forest, as well as several turtle species, including the nesting Olive Ridley. Its relative isolation offers spectacular diving and the chance to sim with bull sharks, large varied schools of colourful fish and manta rays. Ashore, the park’s high scrub grasses and acacia thorn trees resemble the African savannah, but the reserve’s wildlife is purely Costa Rican. More than 250 species of bird, 60 species of bat, 4,000 butterfly and moth species, and 115 different mammals, including peccaries, armadillos, coyotes, monkeys, raccoons and coatimundis, make this a place for those who love nature.
Other activities in the area include world-class surfing, white water river rafting, zip-lining, quad biking, whale watching, horse riding, volcanoes, cave tours, rock climbing and pottery making. Dock at the Marina Papagayo, with its easy access to the Four Seasons resort hotel, although with its Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole golf course.

To charter NAIA contact YPI Charter


Yacht Charter in Gemiler Adasi, South Turkey

Captain: Mike Spiller
Yacht: ESMERELDA – a 62-metre yacht for 12 guests, but with a total of 11 guest cabins, and currently certified to take up to five additional staff
Charter rate: from US$ 230,000 p/w

About: A small Turkish island with a safe and attractive anchorage
Latitude and longitude: 36° 33.2′N, 29° 04.1′E
Best time to visit: Early or late summer until the end of October
Top attribute: Ruins of a Byzantine city


Why it is so special
Although it can be busy with small yachts, larger vessels rarely visit this quaint spot set amidst stunning surroundings. Pine-clad slopes with high mountains in the distance offer a vista to die for. There is a small sandy bay to the western end of the anchorage, complete with a summer tavern that is well worth a visit. The rocky island of Gemiler itself is covered with the ruins of an ancient Byzantine city and was also once the lair of pirates, so it’s a great place to go exploring. The sea is crystal clear and ideal for water sports or just simply swimming around the shoreline, which in many places has ancient ruins below the surface for you to admire.

To charter ESMERELDA contact YPI Charter


Captain Certified – The Best of the Rest

Corsica, French Island
Latitude and Longitude: 41.7°N, 9.2′E
Best time to visit: May-October

Corsica is just a short hop from the vibrant Côte d’Azur, but feels a world away when you are cruising along the stunning rugged coastline with dolphins playing in your wake. Anchor in Girolata to get active with the water sports equipment; take an evening stroll in Roccapina; picnic on Barcaggio beach on the Cap Corse; cruise to Porto for a fantastic catch-of-the-day lunch; and explore the Lavezzi Islands.

Latitude and Longitude: 1.3°N, 103.8°E
Best time to visit: May-October

Leave from the One 15 Marina at Sentosa Island in Singapore and head south to the pristine dive sites of the Indonesian Anambas Islands, surrounded by unspoilt beaches. For a taste of Thailand and Riviera glamour, sail up to Phuket and soak in the sun, sea, and quiet marine paradise of the Butang Islands along the way. Or perhaps spot the magnificent eagles on the Eagle island of Langkawi.

The British Virgin Islands
Latitude and Longitude: 18.4°N, 64.6°W
Best time to visit: October-May

At the beautiful, protected National Park of the British Virgin Islands, get away from it all on a deserted island or visit the many lively bars and restaurants, such as the Soggy Dollar Bar, the Willy-T (a floating bar off Norman Island), the Bitter End Yacht Club or Foxy’s on Jost van Dyke. Anegada is a must – a stunning coral island just 11 miles long by 3 miles wide. It doesn’t get more Robinson Crusoe than Cow Wreck Beach.

French Polynesia
Latitude and Longitude: 17.5°S, 149.5°W
Best time to visit: May-October

One of the highlights of this beautiful group of islands is hand-feeding the large manta rays that surround your superyacht. Watersports abound, from hopping on a wave runner in Bora Bora to diving and snorkelling in Mo’orea to kit boarding anywhere. Be sure to visit Huahine with its bridge over a stream full of eels, some 3-6 foot (1.8m) long, deemed sacred by local people.