A first hand experience of a by the cabin yacht charter to the Grenadines
Last summer, my husband and I were lucky enough to win an Alex Thomson Racing’s giveaway on Facebook of a Dream Yacht Charter cabin cruise (that’s right, someone actually wins those things) and decided to travel to the Grenadines.
While it seemed too good to be true, the team got in touch with us and said we could choose any destination and any dates. We knew we wanted to escape winter and so the Caribbean seemed like a great destination for us. We told the team we’d like to go a seven-night Dream Grenadines cruise departing from Martinique in mid-January. They asked us which of the boats we’d like to go on – so we went for the Premium 58-foot Ipanema!
And so, we found ourselves boarding a fantastic-looking catamaran on January 17th and meeting our skipper and cook, Mathieu and Manu, and getting to know our fellow passengers over a traditional glass of local rum. We sail occasionally, but mostly on cramped mono-hulls, so we were really impressed by our spacious cabin with a bed as big as at home and its own heads (toilet) and shower.
As parents of young children, this was our first real holiday just the two of us and our aim was really just to relax, enjoy the wonderful weather, warm water and the luxury of such a great boat without having to think at all about the sailing or any of the cooking. I don’t think we expected to see quite as much as we did and in the end, we did equal amounts of exploring and lazing around (the lazing around was mostly while sailing).
Discovering the islands of the Grenadines
The Grenadines (which belong to the multi-island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines) are quite diverse, from the crystal waters of Bequia and white sand beaches of Mayreau and the Tobago Cays, to the dramatic volcanic scenery of St. Vincent. The itinerary also takes in St. Lucia, which is a separate stamp in your passport.
We ended up with a lovely French-Italian crowd with whom we shared lots of laughs over the copious meals onboard and during trips ashore, communicating with each other in a jumble of English, French, Spanish and Italian. Our skipper was incredibly efficient and advised us so that we would make the most of our time as soon as we landed somewhere. It wasn’t all dashing ashore though; we had time to go snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding, using the equipment on board.
Optional excursions ashore
Everyone went for the optional excursions package which seemed to pack a lot in while being reasonably priced, although there was no obligation to do this. We don’t generally go for organised tours and the like, but the programme on the trip was truly optimised for you to get the most out of your trip and we were only ever really with a small group of people during the excursions. If you tried to explore on your own, you wouldn’t have time to organise such good activities.
For us, the highlights were the delicious lobster dinner on the beach in the Tobago Cays and bathing in waterfalls on the luxuriant island of St. Vincent. While this was high season, we rarely encountered crowds ashore, never came across a cruise ship and, apart from the first night, which is spent at sea, always slept in peaceful and sheltered moorings.
We have come away with fantastic memories. The Caribbean is stunning and the islands that we visited had plenty of authentic character. While you don’t need any sailing experience for this kind of trip, it is still a sailing holiday and it is good if you know how to get along with others to ensure a smooth time. You also need to be able to handle the fact that the captain of the ship will always ultimately be the boss for vital safety reasons. None of that was an issue on our trip though. The experience of arriving at places from the sea, sometimes swimming ashore as we did in Mayreau, and the exclusive feeling of dining under the stars on your ‘own boat’ for a week, are unlike anything you can find on a land-based holiday.
Find out more
As well as the Grenadines, Dream Yacht Charter have bases in +50 destinations around the globe for year round sailing, including the Caribbean islands, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean that offer bareboat, crewed, by the cabin and skippered bareboat options. View our fleet to take a look. To find out more or for a tailored quote, contact our specialist team today on email@example.com or call 02380 455527.