Of all the postcard-perfect spots that charter brokers and captains have visited, these are the ones they remember best.
By Kim Kavin - October 2003
Most people who charter boats ask a lot of questions about, well, boats. How many staterooms? Whats the LOA? Is there a hot tub on the top deck?
Charter brokers and captains are well-versed in all the answers, of course, but what they really love to discuss are the places those boats go. Or, more to the point, the places they remember best from their dozens upon dozens of scouting trips to destinations luxurious and legendary.
That is to say, the places we all should put on our must-visit lists. Here is a selection, with the reasons why theyre so spectacular in the exact words of some captains and brokers.
Capt. Lon Munsey of the 108-foot Sermons Askari, part of the Fraser Yachts Worldwide fleet: “Vanuatu, it used to be called New Hebrides. The culture is the best thing. The people live in quiet, tidy, little villages and are so friendly and outgoing. Its like going back a couple of hundred years in time. Theres lots of nice diving as well. And speaking of diving, Cocos Island [off Costa Rica] is just spectacular. The fish, the pelagics, hammerhead sharks, every species of shark goes through there, just swarms and clouds of fish. There was so much to see on each dive, it was just fascinating.”
Capt. Curtis Cook of the 108-foot Westship Lady Evangeline, part of The Sacks Group fleet: “The Rio Dulce River in Guatemala is pretty fantastic. Its very remote. Its a narrow river with quite deep water, and there are very steep, tall cliffs as you go up that are covered in lush jungle. Theres a lot of animal life, howler monkeys, lots of birds. Its an easy cruise, its very quiet, and theres a lot to see.”
Capt. Rafe Palladino of the 122-foot Flagship Bon Bon, part of the International Yacht Collection fleet: “I like the Exumas. Staniel Cay is awesome, with Thunderball Cave and all the fish you can feed. The fishing is fantastic, too. Theres neat things to see, a beautiful beach, and its close to Nassau. I could spend a lifetime over there.”
Capt. Martyn Walker of the 152-foot Feadship Montigne, part of the Camper & Nicholsons International fleet: “Weve spent quite a lot of time in Thailand and went to Burma, or Myanmar, as its called now. Not too many yachts like ours have been up there. We started in Rangoon and went into the mountains where there are all these temples, then cruised through the Burmese islands without another yacht in sight. Just white, desert-island beaches. Phuket, also, is fantastic. In the wintertime, youve got no swells, no wind. The weathers perfect. We did a 15-day charter over Christmas to both, starting in Phuket and cruising up to Burma, with guests who just wanted to be out of the way with good snorkeling and diving. They loved it. Southeast Asia is the best—by far better than the Caribbean.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.