From the masthead
window seat by the Water
Aluxury charter yacht is a veritable memory-making machine, particularly when it comes to the culinary arts. It’s a moveable feast with a view you can’t beat. I can say without reservation that I’ve enjoyed some of the finest meals of my life on charter yachts, prepared by chefs who rival the best in any land-bound kitchen I’ve ever visited, in an ambience no restaurant on Earth could match.
I’m lucky in life to have ingested more than my fair share of memorable yacht meals, but there have been standouts. Among the more ethereal offerings I’ve experienced were sea scallops with roe attached, awash in savory broth, consumed on a gimballed table in the cockpit of a supersailer heeling in the Trades on a passage from Antigua to St. Barths. Then there was the giant-clam ceviche harvested by a first mate in the shallows off a deserted beach in French Polynesia, prepared to perfection by the talented chef on board. And then there were the salmon steaks done on an outdoor grill aboard a motoryacht in Alaska while cruising past glaciers in a fjord, prepared from the catch taken. That entrée followed mammoth crab leg appetizers harvested from a trap dangled off the transom the night before.
For anyone who values the finer things in life, especially edibles, few experiences can match a crewed yacht charter. If you own a yacht with a professional crew, such pleasures won’t be a mystery. If you don’t, and you’ve never done an all-up charter, I can tell you with certainty, it will absolutely blow your mind.
I’m a lifelong fine-food zealot, but you don’t have to be one to appreciate the cuisine on a charter yacht. The fully customizable vacation that charter yachts offer begins with a preference sheet that includes—most important, in my mind—meals. A first-class yacht chef will accommodate nearly anything you desire, from the exotic to the diet fad of the month. If you crave diner food each night, the chef will be happy to make that happen, although he or she might make you suffer with hand-sculpted French fries, galley-made buns and fresh ground burger. I’ve always found that yacht chefs are at their most creative when you specify that you love local ingredients from wherever you’re cruising. They’ll rise and shine to the occasion. If you awaken at 3 a.m. craving a fresh sardine omelet, chances are the captain will send a deckhand over the side with a net.
Luxury crewed charter is the centerpiece of this issue. We take you to the Balearics, the hottest destination in the Med; the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest; and the sublime Exumas chain in the Bahamas, where Executive Editor Andrew Parkinson is treated to a deluxe, adult version of Outward Bound. And if you miss your favorite toys while you’re on charter, Kim Kavin tells you how you can take them with you. As always, our On Charter department feaures the epicurean-focused Cellar & Galley column, which profiles a first-class yacht chef, her favorite menu and wine pairings from master sommelier Virginia Philip.
All this has made me ravenous, but not for the leftovers in my fridge. I’m thinking about those scallops, and that salmon, and those clams and the extraordinary memories they evoke. That’s what yacht charter is all about.