Charter a yacht in the Caribbean and sail the seas on your own time. No packed planes or big cruise lines with shared buffets—just you, your crew, and all the island vibes. So forget hopping on a plane or a cruise ship, but instead level up your travel experience with a private yacht charter.
Here, we tell you about the best destinations, the advantages of private yacht charters, costs and more.
Where is the Best Place to Charter a Private Yacht in the Caribbean?
Thinking of exploring the Caribbean on a private yacht? Fort Lauderdale is the perfect launching point for an island-hopping adventure. From here you have easy access to a multitude of islands including the Florida Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and more. Plus, there are some pretty amazing companies like Moretti Yachts International that offer yacht charters out of Fort Lauderdale and can customize dream travel itineraries.
Charter a Yacht to These Destinations in the Caribbean
Located just south of Fort Lauderdale, Miami is the obvious choice if you’re looking for an easy sailing trip. It also makes for a great first stop on a longer journey out to sea. There’s so much to see and do in this dynamic Florida city, from shopping on Lincoln Avenue to checking out the street art in Wynwood, and partying at the clubs in South Beach. With a yacht charter, you can dock in one of Miami’s many marinas and immerse yourself in the buzz of the city before returning to the tranquility of the sea.
The Florida Keys
Heading further down the Atlantic Coast, the Florida Keys are a string of gorgeous islands, each offering its own vibe. Start with a snorkeling session at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, then head over to Key West to visit Ernest Hemingway’s old home. Watch the sunset at Mallory Square before heading to a waterfront restaurant for fresh seafood caught that day. Want to escape the crowds? Sail over to Dry Tortuga National Park for unspoiled beaches and clear waters.
The Bahamas are just a few hours by private yacht from Fort Lauderdale, making them the perfect choice if you’re looking to explore a new country without having to go too far. Picture cruising over aquamarine waters, stopping in at peaceful coves, and bouncing between the islands at your own pace. Along the way you can snorkel off Eleuthera, enjoy conch salad at a local beach shack, or just relax on deck with a cocktail in hand and the ocean breeze gently rippling through your hair.
If you’re feeling adventurous, a private yacht charter can take you to Cuba. Experience the beauty of old Havana, savor authentic Cuban cigars and rum, and explore the rich history of this intriguing country. Contrary to popular belief, Americans can travel to Cuba provided you have the proper license. The most common one that people look into is the ‘Support for Cuban People’ license. Many private yacht charters can walk you through the details of obtaining the license and any other permissions or permits you may need.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an archipelago of tropical islands that are perfect for exploring by boat. Think clear blue waters, compelling coastlines, and coral reefs teeming with marine life. Navigate the famous Baths of Virgin Gorda, soak up the laid-back vibes of Jost Van Dyke, or explore the underwater worlds around Anegada. With reliable trade winds and short hops between islands, BVI is an easy destination to reach from Fort Lauderdale and other points in the Caribbean.
If it’s beautiful beaches and clear turquoise waters you’re after, Turks and Caicos should be on your radar. The archipelago is made up of over 40 islands, with Providenciales being the most popular. Here you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Turks and Caicos, as well as plenty of activities to take part in, including kiteboarding, golfing and hiking. It’s a long boat ride from Fort Lauderdale to Turks and Caicos, so most people fly to the islands and charter a yacht from there.
Scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming with stingrays are just a few of the things you can do on a private yacht charter in the Cayman Islands. There are three different islands to explore: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. On each you’ll find breathtaking beaches surrounded by crystal-clear waters. The trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Cayman Islands takes a few days by boat, but it’s worth it for the spectacular scenery you’ll see on the way and when you arrive.
The Eastern Caribbean
Ready to stretch your horizons to the east? Trust us, the Eastern Caribbean has a ton of island gems just waiting to be discovered. On your list? Definitely pencil in the Virgin Islands—both British and U.S.—along with St. Maarten, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Barbados, and Grenada. Sure, it’s a bit of a jaunt, but the variety of landscapes, cultures, and bespoke experiences are worth the time and effort.
The Western Caribbean
Set sail south of Florida and you have a wide array of islands and coastlines to visit in the Western Caribbean. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula includes Cozumel and Cancún, which are renowned for their white sand beaches and plethora of beach resorts. Belize and Honduras have gorgeous cayes, jungles, and ancient Mayan ruins. The Cayman Islands are also considered part of the Western Caribbean.
The Advantages of Private Yacht Charters
While hopping on a plane or cruise ship is the norm for travel to the Caribbean, there’s a touch of luxury and freedom in taking the helm of your own private yacht. First off, you’ll have the whole vessel to yourself, which is perfect for romantic getaways or family vacays where you can really spend some quality time together.
Another huge advantage is that you’ll have the flexibility to travel wherever you want, whenever you want. You can plan a trip based on your personal interests and preferences. Want to party in Miami clubs or hit up secluded Bahamian cays? It’s totally up to you.
The personalized service is also a major selling point. Most yacht charters come with a crew of people who are there to cater to all your needs. Think chefs whipping up dishes that’d make your foodie friends jealous and captains who know the seas like the back of their hand. It’s not just service; it’s an experience tailored just for you, minus the typical touristy fluff. Get ready for some next-level pampering.
Then there’s the opportunity to explore remote destinations. Private yachts can go where huge cruise ships can’t and places that the big tour companies don’t put on their itineraries. Forget crowded beaches. Drop anchor at secluded bays and make the sea your private swimming pool.
How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Yacht in the Caribbean?
Private might sound pricey, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With a group and some savvy planning, chartering a yacht can be comparable to a stay at a chic Caribbean resort. That being said, there are a number of factors that can affect the price of your yacht charter.
The main things to consider when trying to work out how much a private yacht charter will cost are the type of yacht you want to travel on, the duration of your trip, the season, and the extras you want onboard. For example, chartering a superyacht for a month in the peak season with a full crew onboard is not going to be cheap. However, a short trip on a no-frills sailboat might not break the bank.
Are Yacht Charters All-inclusive?
Good question! When you hear “all-inclusive”, you might be picturing endless cocktails and buffet lines. But with yacht charters, it’s a different ball game. Most yacht charters come with the basics: the yacht itself, the crew (if you opt for one), and standard equipment. But beyond that, there’s a menu of options.
Want a chef to dish out culinary magic? That’s extra. Dreaming of water toys like jet skis or paddleboards? Add them to the bill. Fuel, dockage fees, and sometimes even food and beverages usually come as additional costs. However, some luxury charters do offer packages that are truly all-inclusive, covering everything from your meals to marina fees.
The key takeaway? Always read the fine print and ask questions. Know what’s included and factor that into your budget.
With so many amazing places to explore in the Caribbean that are easily reachable by boat, it’s pretty clear why private Caribbean yacht charters are so popular. On your own boat you’ll have the freedom to tailor your journey to your specific tastes and timeline. Plus, you won’t have to share deck room with anyone but your posse and the crew. So what are you waiting for? Pack your flip-flops and charter a yacht in the Caribbean!