Thursday, 5 May 2011 12:00 AM
Adventurous holidaymakers who may feel a little bored with the standard getaways on offer through travel agents may find an incredible yacht charter an experience of a lifetime.
There is nothing like the freedom of being able to sail your own boat, sticking to no particular schedule and going where the wind takes you around some of the world's most beautiful destinations - and one of the most popular parts of the globe for yacht hirers to explore is certainly the stunning Caribbean.
Those taking yacht charter Caribbean trips will be spellbound by the chance to sail to real-life desert islands, where they can relax and unwind on their own private beach away from the tourist crowds and other holidaymakers.
Some of the most popular yacht charter locations in this beautiful part of the world include Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Martin, Antigua and Abacos in the Bahamas.
Those looking at BVI yacht charter journeys will be blown away by the truly stunning scenery offered on Tortola, which is the largest isle in the set.
Sailors landing here can relax under palm trees on white sandy beaches, only getting up every now and then to take a dip in the unbelievably clear blue waters of the ocean.
Heading to Tortola by yacht charter is a great way to see the island and also extremely fitting, as the isle is believed to have been discovered by legendary explorer Christopher Columbus and his crew.
Tortola is easily tackled by all kinds of yacht charter holidaymakers, from those with years of experience behind the wheel of a ship to those taking their first yacht charter break.
Holidaymakers going on bareboat charter Caribbean breaks to the island should not miss a visit to the gorgeous Garden Bay, a true heaven on earth that boasts everything you would associate with a picture postcard of a desert island.
The bay is a popular calling point for boats and its harbour is always bustling with activity. Take a refreshing dip in the water or enjoy more thrilling sports with a try at windsurfing.
Active sailors can also take the time to go on a horse ride or a brisk walk around the bay, which is surrounded by two reefs ideal for diving.
Garden Bay is the place to be for a great Caribbean party and is noted as being the best spot on the island for a night on the town. Choose from pumping clubs and bars boasting traditional Caribbean performers, as well as beachfront venues offering amazing vistas over the ocean.
While here, Caribbean yacht charter holidaymakers should head to the rum distillery and sample a few drops of the region's most famous drink. The Callwood Distillery is one of only two distilleries in the BVI and is hundreds of years old.
The rum here is made from sugar cane and is a true taste of the Caribbean. Drink it neat on the rocks or buy a bottle to take back to your yacht and make your own Caribbean cocktail with pineapple juice and, of course, an umbrella.
Other great stops on a yacht charter break exploring the British Virgin Islands include Bight at Norman Island, which is thought to be the real-life inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's famous Treasure Island novel.
The island is part of a set called the Little Sisters, which also includes Salt Island and Dead Chest Island.
It is well known for its caves, which boast stunning purple and orange walls and is a popular spot for snorkelers and divers. Under the water, people can get up close to some of the Caribbean's most beautiful fish and can dive right to the bottom of the cliffs of the caves.
The Bight at Norman Island really comes to life when the sun goes down and is another well-known party spot. Yachters should make sure they head to the William Thornton restaurant, a floating eatery in a topsail schooner boat, which has a reputation for throwing the best parties on the island.
Those on a BVI yachter charter break with their families will find the island of Marina Cay perfect for a more chilled out and child-friendly holiday. The island is surrounded by a lagoon of shallower water, making it ideal for young swimmers, and is also home to modern amenities including shops and fuel stores, as well as a fun open-air market ideal for picking up traditional Caribbean gifts and souvenirs for friends and family at home.
Marina Cay is also the place to stop and stock up on boat provisions for a yacht charter break and has a number of well-appointed food stores. Those keen to check in with home will also love the island's Wi-Fi connection.