A CHARTER IN THE GRENADINES IS CALLING
One of the few silver linings thatcame with the devastating hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria last year was the way that charter yachts rediscovered St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the southern Caribbean. Traditionally, the hub of crewed charter activity has been up north, but as marinas there worked to rebuild, captains and charter brokers looked for alternatives. Quite a few yachts pointed their bows south, with some heading back this season as well. ¶ Many people who’ve chartered in the Grenadines call the region “the Caribbean as it used to be.” That’s because the islands to the south are generally less developed than the northern areas, with fewer yachts around overall and even fewer of the largest superyachts dominating the harbors. It’s still possible in the southern Caribbean for a charter yacht to have a sandbar all to itself for an afternoon of sunning and swimming. Stepping ashore is occasionally done at a simple dock where local children are playing, as opposed to at a waterfront hub lined with Fifth Avenue-style storefronts and tony restaurants. ¶ The way the Grenadines are geographically situated makes for easy charter itineraries too. Starting at St. Vincent, which has an international airport, the Grenadines arc to the southwest like a flung-out string of pearls, all in a row.
If an itinerary ends just below the southern tip of the Grenadines, at Grenada, there’s an international airport as well as enough to do and see for anyone who wants to spend several days ashore. (The chocolate factory is particularly fun.) ¶ Many brokers recommend 10- to 14-day itineraries for the Grenadines, to set a leisurely pace when cruising the archipelago. Take their advice. This is not the well-known Caribbean — which is exactly what makes a charter here worth considering.