YACHTS The piping-hot spots, from the Whitsundays to the Croatian Coast, for a customised voyage
Cruises have never been more popular. But as holidaymakers crave customisation, they’re turning to superyachts to tailor exclusive voyages at sea. Here, yachting expert Cameron Bray highlights some superyacht hotspots and the best craft for your cruise.
Monte-Carlo, Nice, Cannes and St Tropez are iconic seaside meccas in their own right and, wrapped together, they’re the birthplace of superyachting. The region calls to mind the signature 1960s’ image of Brigitte Bardot nonchalantly draped across a Riva tender off St Tropez beach. A charter cruise of the Côte d’Azur grants access to the boutiques of Monaco, the famed Casino de Monte-Carlo, the fragrant flower markets of Nice, the Promenade de la Croisette of Cannes, St Tropez’s signature beachfront restaurants and bars, and so much more. Celebrity sightings over seafood dinners aren’t unusual; the area is a magnet for Hollywood luminaries, royalty, dot-com billionaires and rock icons. You may, for instance, spot Beyoncé and Jay-Z – frequent superyachters on the Riviera and in the Mediterranean – on the 82-metre Alfa Nero, which costs more than $1 million per week to charter. CHARTER OPTIONS High-end: Alfa Nero Mid-range: Da Vinci Economical: Take 5
Arguably one of the most romantic destinations on the planet, French Polynesia, which encompasses Tahiti, Bora Bora, the Society Islands and the Marquesas Islands, may put you in a clothing-optional cruise mindset. Bora Bora, with its renowned overwater bungalows, French boutiques and relaxed island life, is a must-visit, but be sure to island-hop your way to the surrounding Society Islands and Marquesas for hidden island treasures far from the madding crowd. Anchor in the serene turquoise waters of a South Pacific atoll, and see no other yachts – or civilisation, for that matter – in any direction. It’s just you and your nearest and dearest. Dive with manta rays, swim with reef sharks, hike mountain trails and immerse yourself in this blissful French Polynesian island culture. CHARTER OPTIONS High-end: Party Girl Mid-range: Spirit Economical: Miss Kulani
Greece is a land of passion, romance, beauty, history – and many magnificent islands. With hundreds of them colourfully dotting the waters between the Greece and Turkish coasts, including Mykonos, Ios, Santorini, Paros and Naxos, there’s no better way to see the Grecian gems on offer than on a luxury yacht charter. Channel your inner philosopher and sail into age-old civilisations on a handcrafted gulet, a traditional, Turkish-designed timber yacht featuring modern-day luxuries. With their spaciousness both on below deck, you’ll cruise these azure waters in comfort. While you’re here, savour the Mediterranean diet, visit ancient ruins and settle in for spectacular sunsets. CHARTER OPTIONS High-end: Oceanos Mid-range: Duke Economical: Angelo II
With its rugged cliffs, towns draped in pastels, lemon trees perched on mountainside terraces and architecture dating back centuries, the magic of Italy’s Amalfi Coast is timeless. Go where the mood takes you, and stop off at some of the signature ports that make this slice of Mediterranean coastline a favourite of the jet set. Discover Capri’s famous Blue Grotto sea cave, step back in time on the streets of Amalfi and anchor off Positano to dine in one of the quaint beachfront restaurants that you can access only by water. In Positano, you can even swim ashore and dine in your swimwear; the dress code, like the atmosphere, is relaxed. Ashore, meander the backstreets, sip espresso with the locals and pick up a pair of handmade leather loafers from local artisans. CHARTER OPTIONS High-end: Suerte Mid-range: Vertige Economical: Take 5
When you charter a superyacht in the Whitsundays, your crew can meet and greet you at Hamilton Island airport. A short buggy ride whisks you to the marina to board your floating holiday home, and within minutes, you’re cruising the crystalline waters off the Queensland coast. For an extra shot of romance and drama, opt for a helicopter at Hamilton Island airport and land on Whitehaven Beach, one of the country’s most striking shorelines. With its pure white sand stretching seven kilometres and a stunning fusion of colours where the tide shifts the sand, it’s an idyllic departure point for an indulgent voyage. Your seafaring getaway will take you to decadent day spas and island resorts, private anchorages and incredible dive locations. CHARTER OPTIONS High-end: Sahana Mid-range: Flying Fish Economical: Alani
If you’re truly looking to get away from it all, this Indian Ocean island archipelago, comprising 115 divers’ islands, is the ideal escape for you. This far-flung corner of the world boasts an abundance of untamed natural beauty; with its intense, exotic hues and lush hills rising from aqua seas, it’s paradise defined. You’ll find plenty of things to do both on land (think golfing, trying your luck at the casinos, hiking and sunbathing) and at sea. Your Seychelles superyacht holiday will introduce you to breathtaking rare wonders both on and under the water, from world-class snorkelling and diving experiences on vibrant coral reefs to sparkling lagoons and tiny islands that make you feel like you’re the last people on Earth. CHARTER OPTIONS Options for superyachts vary, depending on which vessels are travelling in the region.
Crusing the Croatian Coast offers charter guests everything from beautiful beaches and luxury shopping excursions to rich history and world-class dining experiences. Plus, there’s the added benefit that this stretch along the Adriatic Sea is much less crowded during the summer months than its popular Mediterranean counterparts. When you’re not sipping champagne aboard your superyacht, walk the narrow streets of antiquity, home to now-fallen empires. Despite Croatia’s tumultuous past, this picturesque area has found its way onto the yachting radar and promises a melting pot of culture and memories to last a lifetime. CHARTER OPTIONS High-end: Victoria Del Mar Mid-range: Revelry Economical: The Malta
Duke is a 31-metre Azimut 103S open, accommating up to 10 in four cabins with a crew of six.
Spirit accommodates 10 guests in five deluxe staterooms and comes complete with stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, scuba and kitesurfing equipment.
The 36-metre Sahana lets you explore the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
Forty-metre Sunseeker Take 5 will take you away from all your worries, with room for 12 guests and a multifunctional beach club.
Cameron Bray is the managing director, Australia, of Northrop & Johnson, which arranges luxury yacht charters across the globe. northropandjohnson.com.au
Victoria Del Mar is 50 metres of minimalist yachting style with a spectacular art collection and outdoor cinema, sleeping 12 in seven staterooms.