The First Step
Making Caribbean sailing plans requires you to contact a reputable charter yacht broker, first, I encourage you to think a bit about the type of sailing vacation you want and your personal preferences. The more information you can provide a broker, the better probability there is in finding a yacht that meets all your requirements.
Below are a few factors to consider that will help you move smoothly through the planning process.
Have an idea of where you want to cruise
There is a good selection of charter yachts based in cruising grounds with relatively calm seas, interesting destinations, and good air transportation.
For example some of the more popular boarding ports in the Caribbean are the Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada.
I always like to recommend yachts cruising in the Virgin Islands for people booking their first charter. Why?
- The Virgin Islands are easy to reach by air.
- You’ll be sailing in well protected waters with comfortable anchorages and a variety of things to see and do that are no more that an hour away.
- The Virgin Islands cruising grounds extend 45 miles east to west, with some 45 islands in that span offering hundreds of anchorages.
- This area offers the most selection of yachts in the Caribbean.
Know how many people will travel with you
It’s important to know how many people are in your charter party, but more importantly, the number of cabins required is key. If there are children in your charter party you’ll want to provide their ages in order to take advantage of any possible discounts. You’ll also want to mention any possible special consideration required for the seniors in your party.
- Are the charter dates you provide flexible and if so by how much?
- Are there any extremely tall guests in your charter party?
- Is there any special health or dietary conditions to be considered?
- Is there an interest in SCUBA diving and to what degree?
In general you’ll want to describe the purpose of this cruise and what you expect. The more information you can provide your charter broker, the better chance your broker will have in providing you with a list of yachts to perfectly match your preferences.
One Last Point When Making Caribbean Sailing Plans
Charter yacht brokers, have access to all the same yachts all around the world. The yacht’s owners establish and publish their own charter rates. A broker’s commission is paid by the owners, which does not affect the published rates quoted. Therefore, there is no price advantage to be found dealing with more than one broker at a time, it only adds to duplication and confusion. This also holds true for groups having more than one person in their charter party searching for a yacht.
If the charter broker you selected is responding in a prompt courteous manner, providing pertinent and useful information, then stay with him while he works toward assisting you in finding that perfect yacht.