St. Lucia is sometimes called the Jewel of the Windwards, and it’s an apt description. Mt. Gimie, its highest peak, soars more than 3,000 feet skyward. The steep slopes are carpeted with lush rain forest that nurtures a flourishing habitat for all manner of flora, including wild orchids and giant ferns. Bird watching and hiking are popular pastimes. Like the rest of the three other largest islands in the Windward chain, stretching from Martinique south to Grenada, St. Lucia is volcanic in origin. The dormant Soufriére volcano is a major tourist attraction and a must-see during any crewed St. Lucia yacht charter. Although St. Lucia has a population of about 160,000, its expansive banana plantations, picturesque hamlets, and beautiful harbors are more reminiscent of the Caribbean when it was less developed.
Crewed St. Lucia yacht charters start with the Jewel of the Windwards, but sailing from this beautiful destination also includes open-water passages southward to the other equally enchanting islands of St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Mayreau, and Tobago Cays, to name just a few. It’s the diversity of the pleasures that make sailing in the Eastern Caribbean so special, a way to explore these island treasures in style.
Due to Hurricane Season, this charter destination is closed during the Summer months from August 1st - Sept 30.
The Windward Islands form the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. The trade winds typically blow from the northeast during the winter months, prime time for a crewed St. Lucia yacht charter, and more southeasterly during the summer. The north-south orientation of the islands means the wind will be on the beam more often than not when sailing south. This is ideal for fast sailing on the longer passages between some of the islands. Heading north, sailing close-hauled or on a close reach is typical. Some sailors opt for a one-way crewed charter, allowing them to cover more ground and avoid sailing to windward.
Wind velocities run the gamut from a gentle 10 knots to a more spirited 25 knots, often strengthening off the northern ends of the islands due to land effect. Temperatures range from 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C) December through May, and from 75°F to 95°F (24°C to 35°C) June through November.
A crewed St. Lucia yacht charter encompasses many experiences. Enjoying the superlative sailing among the islands with a professional captain and an accomplished chef is only one of them. White-sand beaches, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, casual and fine dining, sightseeing, shopping, hiking, and exploring historic sites are all part of chartering a luxury St. Lucia yacht.
Picturesque and almost completely landlocked, Marigot Bay is home to the St. Lucia base of The Moorings. A full-service marina, scenic beaches, and plenty of shops and restaurants make the bay a great place to begin a St. Lucia yacht charter. Rodney Bay, once a major port of the British Navy and now a thriving yachting center, is located at the northern tip of the island. Apart from its resorts, spas, art galleries, boutiques, and numerous restaurants, it has a park with gardens and footpaths posted with plaques about the history of the bay. The Pitons, conical peaks towering more than 2,000 feet from the sea, is a favored first stop during a St. Lucia yacht charter. Explore the quaint town of Soufriére, dine at a beachside restaurant, snorkel the reef, or admire the view from the top of Gros Piton.
Another large island of the Windwards, St. Vincent lies to the south of St. Lucia and offers many of the same pleasures. Blue Lagoon is a particularly beautiful and well-protected little harbor on the southern end of the island. It has two restaurants, and it’s a great place to plan a land-cruise to St. Vincent’s interior by taxi or after arranging a car rental. The spectacular Montreal Gardens at the head of the Mesopotamia Valley is well worth a visit to enjoy walking paths set among fragrant tropical flowers. Other adventures include visits to The Botanical Gardens, the Falls of Baleine, Fort Charlotte, and the 3,000-foot Soufriére volcano (not to be confused with the one on St. Lucia).
Part of the Grenadines, a cluster of islands within the larger Windward chain, Bequia is steeped in seafaring history and today's fishermen, sailors and boatbuilders are quietly proud to share their marine traditions with newcomers to the island. The main settlement is Port Elizabeth at Admiralty Bay, the principle harbor on the island. Large but well-protected, the bay is a perfect place to blend relaxation in the cockpit as the sun sets below the horizon with forays ashore to browse through the little shops and dine at one of the many restaurants. A romantic candle-lit dinner at The Frangipani Hotel is bound to rank prominently among fond memories of a St. Lucia yacht charter.
The waters of the Tobago Cays Marine Park, encompassing Mayreau Island and the small cluster of isles comprising Tobago, are known as one of the premier snorkeling and scuba diving locales in the Grenadines – in all of the Windward Islands as well. Visibility is excellent for viewing the sea life of the extensive reefs in the area. Mayreau’s Salt Whistle Bay is a delightful anchorage, well protected and scenic. Ashore are a small resort and a couple restaurants. The Tobago Cays are completely undeveloped and uninhabited, a preserve that seems to have stopped time in its tracks. Stargazing as the yacht swings with the warm breeze is balm for the soul.
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