The Leeward Islands serve up a little something for everyone – from fine dining to designer shopping, secluded beaches, casinos, golf, funky beach bars, trendy nightclubs, and a relaxed international vibe. Sail on a St Maarten yacht charter and you’ll discover a delightful Dutch-infused culture, as well as plenty of British flair on Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and French influence on the other side of St Martin.
If you’re after the stunning natural beauty of a Caribbean destination and a local West Indies culture infused with a taste of European elegance, then a St Maarten yacht charter was designed with you in mind.
Here are just some of the spectacular island treasures you can discover on your St Maarten yacht charter voyage.
© Lourent Benoit
St. Maarten and St. Martin Yacht Charter Highlights
The island shared by two countries and various cultures and is a unique place to visit with the southern half claimed by the Dutch, and the northern half – called St Martin - by the French. At heart, however, this island with two names is a true Caribbean gem and the multicultural blend has simply added to its alluring spice. The northern French side is a little more intimate, not as fiercely developed and not nearly as visited by cruise ship passengers. Here you’ll find exclusive hotels and restaurants and in Marigot, the capital, an array of elegant designer boutiques and charming souvenir stores. So don't get confused - whether we say St Maarten yacht charter or St. Martin yacht charter - its the same island.
The open air market at the harbor bustles with the selling of fresh foods, delicious BBQ seafood and meats, and lots of local crafts. On your St Martin charter trip, meander the streets of nearby Grand Anse and you’ll stumble upon excellent waterfront restaurants and artist studios, and pop into the glorious Butterfly Farm near the Orleans Quarter, where you’ll feast your eyes on countless colorful butterflies.
On the Dutch side, the town of Phillipsburg offers plenty of excitement with trendy nightclubs, duty-free shopping offering jewelry, perfume, handicrafts, souvenirs, linens, and crystal, as well as striking colonial architecture. Need to get away from the crowds? On a St Maarten yacht charter this is insanely easy, with plenty of secluded anchorages to find.
© Lourent Benoit
Highlights of St. Barts Yacht Charters (or St. Barth's Yacht Charters)
Captivating, chic and oh-so-tropical, St Barthelemy, fondly known as St. Barts or St. Barth’s is the island everyone wants to visit and, once they do, dream of returning time and again. A charming slice of France in the midst of the Caribbean Sea, St Barts has been the playground of the rich and famous for decades. Boasting some of the most spectacular beaches in the whole region, as well as outstanding diving, snorkeling and water sports galore, this isle bathes in the scent of freshly baked croissants, the fragrance of frangipani, the banter of the French Creole accents and the smiling faces of friendly locals. On your St Bart's yacht charter, Gustavia is the fashionable main port town which rises up into the hills from the water's edge. Feast on local seafood delights at one of the many world-class restaurants and shop for sugar, spice and all things delightfully nice in one of the many boutiques. While away entire afternoons on the pristine shores of Colombier (an amazing overnight anchorage spot), St Jean or Shell Beach. Once you discover the hidden coves and charming craft shops, and savor the local culinary delights, you’ll certainly understand why a St Bart’s yacht charter is so revered by our yacht charter guests.
© Lourent Benoit
Anguilla is a must stop on your St. Martin yacht charter. It is a low-lying island framed by pristine beaches, azure waters, and coral reefs. As one of the least developed on the Leeward archipelago, it is a blissful place in which to relax, refresh, and unwind yet with enough luxuries to make it equally delicious. You may not find developed cities here, but an emphasis that’s still very much set on luxury tourism.
With a smattering of high-end resorts home to exclusive beauty spas and designer dining, like the Malliouhana whose exceptional restaurant was rated as ‘pure perfection’ by Conde Nast (and who are we to argue?), Anguilla offers the ultimate nature lover’s playground, with plenty of enticing toys to make you stay a while. Tee off at the Greg Norman designed CuisinArt Golf Course or spend entire days horseback riding, hiking, snorkeling and relaxing on one of the 33 outstanding beaches.
As you may well surmise…your biggest problem on Anguilla will be finding a reason to leave.
Highlights of Antigua Yacht Charters
Renowned for boasting 365 beaches (a year's worth of sunbathing spots!) and enough tropical flair to rival St Barth’s and Barbados, Antigua offers an intoxicating mix of crystal clear waters, abundant reefs, duty-free shopping, eco zip lines, historical harbors, stunning architecture and that unmistakable welcoming Caribbean culture to its Antigua yacht charter guests.
Dive into its sparkling waters, take a picnic lunch on magnificent Green Island and join a culinary tour of the isle’s most delectable eateries during your Antigua yacht charter trip. Head to Shirley Heights on a Sunday night to enjoy a breathtaking sunset and join locals on what is often described as the ‘best party night on the Leewards’. On your way out, drop by English Harbor, a beautifully preserved treasure dating back from the days of the British Navy and Horatio Nelson - this is the world’s only remaining Georgian dockyard.
Barbuda.. Another Stop on Your St. Maarten Yacht Charter
Antigua’s ‘little sister’ is an off the beaten tourist track destination, with endless stretches of pink and white sand beaches, a frigate bird sanctuary, and an abundance of shipwrecks, rugged coastlines and reefs to discover on your St Maarten yacht charter. Lazy sun-bleached goats roam the plains and in Codrington, the only town on the whole island. Few people visit Barbuda, but those who do return home with cherished memories of a place seemingly left untouched by modern times and mass tourism. This is, without a doubt, Barbuda’s most alluring magnetism. A modest collection of cool cafés and lodges cater for the needs of the few visitors who head here to swap fancy-people-watching for goat watching. In one of the most popular private yacht charter destinations in the world, you’ll be surprised at how heavenly this can be.
Saba... a Bit Off the Beaten Track
Saba has a flavor all of its own and is the most unique of all the isles on the Leewards. A 5-square mile volcanic island that juts 2900 feet into the sky, Saba offers extraordinary scuba diving in its marine park to St Maarten yacht charter guests. Devoid of sandy beaches, Saba is characterized by dramatic cliffs and rocky coves, which hide a splendid world of marine wildlife where pinnacle and wall diving are immensely rewarding. The capital city, aptly named The Bottom, offers a great chance for an invigorating hike to the top of a nearby volcano. Head up to Mount Scenery for all-encompassing island view and check out charming little Windwardside with its collection of gorgeous shops and eateries. Of all the isles you could explore on a St Martin or St. Maarten yacht charter, Saba arguably offers the very best diving.