We all crave that feeling of laying eyes on something for the first time. But in this modern world where we can preview every corner of the globe thanks to social media, it can sometimes feel like virgin territory, that fresh experiences are hard to come by. Not so.
This collection of high-end resorts lets you call the shots on the water. By offering private yachts for your use, along with the necessary captain and crew, you need only show up and decide what kind of adventure you suits your mood.
Snorkel the Coral Sea
The Place: Qualia Resort, Australia
Located on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays of Australia, Qualia Resort is worth the trek for its infinity pools overlooking sweeping vistas of the Coral Sea. Even more enticing is that those waters are the playground for guests who charter the resort’s 55-foot private motor yacht, Palm Beach, catering to up to 12 guests.
Choose half- or full-day trips and get away to Whitehaven Beach, Chalkies Beach, or Hill Inlet. Stop and snorkel when you like, whether that’s when you spot a school of humphead wrasse cruising past or, June through September, a possible encounter with a dwarf minke whale.
Cruise in Classic Style
The Place: Villa Flori, Italy
What trip to Italy is complete without a spin in a classic wooden boat? Villa Flori, a 53-room 5-star property in the heart of the city of Como knows that there’s no better way to see the lake than from an antique Riva—a legend on the water. Moreover, the resort tailors every tour, focusing on your choice of nature, culture, architecture or cinematographic highlights, or simply explore the lake while trying to catch a glimpse of George Clooney.
The Place: Sebasco Harbor Resort, Maine
Before you ask, yes, the seals are simply relaxing on the rocks Sebascodegan and Orr’s Island—the cruising grounds of the Sabre47 custom yacht belonging to Sebasco Harbor Resort, an hour’s drive north of Portland, Maine.
“That’s the most common question we get—are the seals injured?” says Captain Phil Luedee, who charts the course for each day trip offered to guests.
The most typical cruise is a 3-hour tour that hugs the shoreline, allowing guests to see local wildlife: eagles, osprey and other birds of prey, as well as the seals and porpoises that elicit so much concern.
Visit the Best for the Best
The Place: Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is hailed as one of the Caribbean’s best destinations for sailing, so it only makes sense to pull anchor for at least a day and explore.
Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort caters to guests wanting to see more of this archipelago of white-sand beaches. Its 49-foot sloop Beauty makes the 25-minute hop to the nearby Tobago Cays, famous for green turtles that you can snorkel alongside. The spot is also rife with yellowtail tuna, great for anglers. If you spy a bit of sand you like, skipper Jeff Stevens can drop you off and pick you up an hour or two later so you can enjoy some alone time.
Note that the resort’s fleet also includes three Tiara yachts, ready to whisk you and yours to Union, Mayreau, Mustique, or Canouan islands.
Island Hopping, Anyone?
The Place: Entre Cielos Wine Hotel and Spa
It has five staterooms and water views in every direction, making the 104-foot S.Y. Entre Cielos a floating boutique hotel, and quite possibly the best way to see the Greek Isles. Itineraries are customizable, letting you choose between the taverns and towns of the Ionian Islands or the windmills, churches and beaches of the Cyclades Islands, which includes Mykonos.
The yacht carries paddleboards and kayaks, and also offers waterskiing and wakeboarding. Plus, the onboard chef prepares all meals to your preferences, so it’s truly a just-for-you trip from the moment you board. Choose from 3- and 7-day sailings.
The Place: Guana Island, British Virgin Islands
Nine months out of the year, an inshore grand slam is achievable at Guana Island, the private resort just north of Tortola in the BVIs. For anglers, this is quite the feat, which Guana puts within reach thanks to its fleet of Boston Whalers, and its 54-foot Sunseeker motor yacht.
Also to its benefit: the island is surrounded by healthy coral reefs, supporting blooming populations of yellowtail snapper, tarpon, permit, and blackfin tunas. Moreover, the clear Caribbean waters off Guana make it easy to see your prey, making for easy catches.
It’s Your Choice
The Place: Nautilus Maldives
The Nautilus Maldives sets you up with suggestions, but the ultimate luxury is how this 54-foot motor yacht plays to your whims as well as your timeline. Guests can choose to have a delicious breakfast on the yacht or escape for a private sandbar picnic.
Nautilus Maldives prides itself on letting you relax and decide where the day takes you. We especially love this phrase: it’s your “private yacht for as long as you decide.” Well then!