The Leeward Islands serve up a little something for everyone - gastronomic restaurants, world class shopping, laidback beaches, casinos, golf, funky beach bars, trendy night clubs, and international flair. You've got the British influence on Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda; the Dutch on St. Maarten; the French on St. Martin and St. Barth's.. all melding with the local culture of the West Indies
St. Barth's: Almost everyone who's been to St. Barth's wants to go back again and again. A charming slice of France in the midst of the Caribbean sea. The hint of celebrities, the scent of fresh baked croissants, the fragrance of frangipani, the banter of the French Creole accents, the smiling faces of the people on the streets - captivating! Gustavia is the main port which rises up into the hills from the water's edge. A bevy of boutiques, designer shops, fine restaurants, and an abundance of nightlife. The beaches are pristine. Another favorite port is Baie de Colombier which is great for watersports as well as the nearby island of Ile Fourche, a nature lover's paradise
St. Maarten/ St. Martin: Two separate countries share this island - the Dutch St. Maarten and the French St. Martin. Both sides of this island have it all - shopping, casinos, discos, beaches, and fabulous restaurants. The French side is a little more intimate and not as well traveled by cruise ship passengers. Marigot on the French side has an lots of boutiques with the latest in European and tropical fashions. The open air market at the harbor bustles with the selling of fresh foods and local crafts. The streets of the nearby town of Grand Anse are lined with waterfront restaurants and artists studios. Or you can saunter down a side street for some roast pig or chicken being barbecued in the open air by some locals. Phillipsburg on the Dutch side is the center of duty free shopping with dozens of shops selling jewelry, perfume, island handicrafts, souvenirs, linens, and crystal. Additionally, the island has some lovely quiet anchorages away from the crowds.
Anguilla: Anguilla is low lying island surrounded with pristine beaches, azure waters, and coral reefs. It's a place to relax, refresh, and indulge... perhaps a spa treatment at one of its high end resorts. Or tee off at a Greg Norman golf course. You won't find any cities or major villages or fast food chains here. Instead, there's a sprinkling of cottages and world class resorts scattered about the island with farm animals roaming freely along the mostly dirt roads.
Antigua: 365 beaches... a year's worth of sunbathing, sparkling waters, abundant reefs, duty free shopping, eco zip lines, harbors teeming with history and Caribbean culture, golf, and welcoming people. A must see port is English Harbor which has been well preserved from the days of the British Navy and Horatio Nelson - it is the only remaining Georgian dockyard in the world. A trip to Shirley Heights for Sunday sunset is an island ritual.
Barbuda: Off the beaten tourist track... endless stretches of of pink and white sand beaches, a frigate bird sanctuary, and an abundance of shipwrecks and reefs.
How do you get there?
There are direct flights into St. Maarten and Antigua plus flights into Anguilla that route through Puerto Rico.
What is the best port for boarding the yachts? St. Martin/St. Maarten is the best. It has world class marinas and easy air access from the States and Europe. It is also centrally located in the islands with easy departures to both St. Barth's and Anguilla. Of course, if yo are staying in a resort on one of the islands, we can bring the yacht to you.
What is the sailing like in the Leeward Islands?
The islands are farther apart than in the BVI so sailing distances from port to port can be slightly longer. The seas are not as protected as in the BVI and can be more robust in the winter months. This is not an issue on our larger yachts, but if you are chartering a smaller yacht, Spring, Summer and Fall are ideal times to sail here.