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Caribbean Cruise Discounts!
New Winter Sailing Destinations in the Caribbean
by: Christopher Longmore
Although the sailing season in the South Eastern Mediterranean runs from mid-May
to the end of October, there is still significant demand from European sailors
for charters in waters warm during the long, cold Northern winter.
Traditionally the Caribbean has been the main beneficiary of this. The British
have tended to go to the ex-colonies - the Virgin Islands, Antigua, and Grenada.
This always has two problems. Travel costs are high and/or inflexible, and the
area is equally popular with North Americans to the point that it gets very
crowded. Getting there from the USA is seriously cheap and easy, and there is
little or no time difference.
The charming French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe have long been an
attractive alternative to the traditional winter destinations for frost-bitten
Brits, but one that they seem determined to ignore. A quick connecting hop to
Paris and a direct flight from there to either French island is an altogether
more attractive option; when you get there the Gallic charm (and excellent food)
is much in evidence; and there are plenty of yachts to charter from companies
every bit as well equipped and more flexible than their neighbours in the
English speaking Caribbean! The cruising opportunities are almost the same.
The other interesting alternative is Cuba. The country does not always enjoy the
best of press coverage, and is in many ways a good advertisement for the failure
of socialism. Despite that there is a rapidly emerging yacht charter industry on
the northern coast. Transfer times from Havana airport are a little long at 2
1/2 hours, but you do get to see some of the islands magnificent scenery. The
sailing itself is fabulous. Getting there is also relatively easy via either
Madrid or Barcelona. The latter in particular has plenty of low-cost flights
from all over the UK, so it isvery easy to combine a couple of days there with a
Caribbean holiday sailing in Cuba (see http://www.allafloat.com).
Last but by no means least is Belize. OK OK, so you don't know where it is.
Neither did we until we got interested in the yacht charters (see http://www.global-yacht.com)
business. You may know it as British Honduras though. Anyway it's in the middle
of the Central American mainland. Yes it is very very difficult to reach, and
should only even be on your agenda if you have at least two weeks to spare, with
three an advantage! It's definitely near the top of our personal wish list.
There are three reasons for this. Belize is home to the world's second biggest
coral reef, and you are sailing inside it in a catamaran; on shore there are
some of the world's greatest Mayan monuments, and some amazing luxury boutique
About The Author
Christopher LONGMORE - Owner of Top Notch, a GibSea402 based in Turkey and of
the Global Yacht sailing holiday group (http://www.global-yacht-holidays.com).