Spending the winter in the sun: The flagship destinations to discover

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In general, when we charter a multihull, it’s to head for the sun. The Mediterranean in summer, the Caribbean, Asia, the Pacific for the rest of the year. How do you choose your destination? You must begin by defining your holiday dates: Christmas, February, Easter? In general, you should avoid the periods of frequent rain. An example – Christmas in the West Indies would be perfect, but it’s best to avoid this same period in Polynesia…

The second essential point consists of evaluating (as honestly as possible) your nautical skills. Because between sailing in the Virgin Islands and leaving from Martinique for the Grenadines, or envisaging real navigation between the atolls of Polynesia, there is a real difference… A few sailing basics and some good nautical common sense will suffice in the Grenadines, the BVIs, the Bahamas or the Seychelles, or again, if you remain inside the Polynesian atolls. On the other hand, you must have good nautical experience (or a skipper) to ‘get off the beaten track’.

Finally, you don’t sail in the same way as a family crew as when you are with a dozen of your pals who love sailing hard. In the first case, you must favor short legs, the possibility of stopping regularly at a beach, and finding areas where the snorkeling is easy and accessible. In the second case, nothing is better than a nice night sail, sporty passages and anchorages where you can party!

The ‘classic’ destinations, or how not to make a mistake

If over the past forty years or so the charter companies have set up in certain corners of the world, for the pleasure of leisure sailors, it’s because the destination is really worth it. The Virgin Islands, Greece, the Grenadines or the Bahamas are for example some of the destinations that all lovers of cruising in the sunshine should have visited at least once in their lifetime. You can’t be disappointed by these ‘classic’ destinations, which offer superb anchorages, sumptuous beaches, waters full of fish and all the conveniences fun-loving cruisers could dream of. Those of you who have experienced the parties on Jost Van Dyke in the BVIs, or enjoyed a barbecued lobster on a beach in the Grenadines will know what I am talking about. The advantage of these so-called ‘classic’ destinations lies in the large number of charter companies on the spot, offering a wide range of services and boats. For example, whether in Le Marin in Martinique or in the BVIs, you will find almost the whole of the world’s catamaran production available for charter. Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Leopard, Nautitech and even Outremer, Gemini or Neel - there really is something for all tastes.

Among these destinations, from which you will never return disappointed, there are:

Greece, the classic of classics, The British Virgin Islands, pleasant and easy to discover, the Grenadines, with their unique colors, or the hundreds of islands of the Bahamas. But you also mustn’t miss Guadeloupe and its dependencies, Corsica, the famous ...

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