The romantic European heritage of the Leeward Islands is unmistakable in this colorful blend of French, English, Dutch, and local culture, all set in a land where rich green volcanic peaks tumble down to sparkling waters and brilliant palm-fringed beaches.
The Leeward Islands in the Caribbean are a favorite home base of charter yachts each winter, when guests flock to enjoy the quiet harbors, pretty beaches, and warm sunshine. Many islands remain minimally developed, while others offer world-class dining and shopping.
St. Martin is the perfect place to begin your Caribbean adventure, with its ideal proximity to neighbouring islands, you are able to circumnavigate the neighbouring islands of Saint Barthelemy (St. Bart’s), Anguilla, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Dutch Sint Maarten
- 0 nautical miles
- Arrive via the international airport and meet your yacht at Simpson Bay, where several megayacht marinas offer a glimpse at some of the world’s largest charter yachts. Spend a day at the beach or in the shops ashore.
Or go over to Marigot, capital of the French side, for a little shopping at the Creole market! The waterfront is attractive, the shops and boutiques plentiful, and the selection of restaurants varied and known for quality French cuisine.
Dutch Sint Maarten to Anguilla
- 6 nautical miles
- Less than an hour aboard a yacht that cruises at 10 knots
- About an hour aboard a sailing yacht that cruises at 6 knots
- Lounge and snorkel amid Anguilla’s sandy beaches and coral reefs. Travel by tender to smaller nearby islands such as the Prickly Pear Cays, which are filled with birds, flora, and fauna.
Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean sea. It is a low lying island, of coral and limestone. The Capital, Road Bay is a charming village set on a lovely beach. A few friendly local bars line the beach and welcome visitors.
Take an Island tour to one of the pristine beaches, visit one of the high end resorts, or take a late afternoon sail to Crocus Bay.
Anguilla to French St. Martin
- 12 nautical miles
- A little more than an hour aboard a yacht that cruises at 10 knots
- About two hours aboard a sailing yacht that cruises at 6 knots
- Cruise into Grand Case on the island’s French side. Grand Case, a long sweeping beach-fronted bay with the town built along the beach. Grand Case is well known as being the gastronomic centre of St Martin.
Shop in the charming boutiques and enjoy a beachside drink there, or in nearby Marigot, before returning to your yacht via tender for a private dinner at anchor.
French St. Martin to Ile Fourchue
• 10 nautical miles
• About an hour aboard a yacht that cruises at 10 knots
• Just shy of two hours aboard a sailing yacht that cruises at 6 knots.
During your trip you will pass Tintamarre.Tintamarre has a superb beach along its western shore, with paths that lead over to another beach which lies protected behind a barrier reef. Enjoy lunch followed by an afternoon sail direction to the Riviera of the Caribbean, St Barths. Stay over night in Ile Fourchue.
Ile Fourchue is a privately owned uninhabited Island which offers excellent snorkelling and diving – an intricate reef hosts not only reef fish but sting rays and turtles also
• Enjoy the seclusion of a large, protected bay with minimal development onshore.
Ile Fourchue to St. Barth’s
- 4 nautical miles
- Less than a half-hour aboard a yacht that cruises at 10 knots
- Less than an hour aboard a sailing yacht that cruises at 6 knots
- Anchor in the bay at Gustavia Harbour and go ashore by tender to one of the Caribbean’s most chic island towns. Shop in the French boutiques and jewelry stores, enjoy a glass of fine wine, and mingle with yachties from around the world.
It is no wonder that the powdery white beaches of St Barthelemy (often spelled St Barth’s, St Barts or St Barth) continue to attract the rich and famous yearly as they congregate for their Winter Caribbean holidays.
This small, free-spirited island is more rugged and less lush than some of the other Caribbean islands, but it has culture, shopping, and all the amenities that cater to the jet set. Expect to find secluded beaches, fine restaurants and fashionable shopping hotspots on this mountainous island. St Barth’s – officially the Collectivity of Saint Barthélemy – is an overseas territory of France.
St. Barth’s to Nevis or St. Kitts
• 44 nautical miles
• About four and a half hours aboard a yacht that cruises at 10 knots
• A little more than 7 hours aboard a sailing yacht that cruises at 6 knots
• Enjoy a morning of cruising across the Caribbean Sea, with views of the clear-blue water in every direction.
At Nevis, golfers can enjoy a round or two at the par-71, 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones II for the Four Seasons
Nevis or St. Kitts to Sint Maarten
- 44 nautical miles
- About four and a half hours aboard a yacht that cruises at 10 knots
- A little more than 7 hours aboard a sailing yacht that cruises at 6 knots
- Return to Sint Maarten after a day of sailing and enjoying the warm breezes. Enjoy an early-evening swim before dinner at anchor for your last night at sea.
- 0 nautical miles
- Take an early-morning walk on the beach or enjoy water sports on your charter yacht before your afternoon flight home.
There’s no need to rush, since the international airport is just 15 minutes from the yacht anchorage.