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Nita K II


Travel

Seasonal Changes

The predictable rhythm of superyacht charter seasons is off this year.
MARK ELLWOOD
When the best vessels would spend the winter months in the Eastern hemisphere (mostly in the Caribbean) and cross to the Mediterranean for summer, the pandemic caused a disruption. Many owners opted to leave their yachts in their winter berths for the rest of the year, lending a unique opportunity for summer travel: the chance to charter some of the world’s best yachts just a short-haul jump from mainland America.

LEEWARD ISLANDS


SHARLOU


The 140-foot carbon-fiber sloop is a family-friendly gem: Look at the starlit ceiling in the children’s cabin installed using fiber optics or the aft cockpit that easily converts into a paddling pool for younger swimmers. It’s also well stocked with water toys, like Seabobs and sailing dinghies, and features the top-rated Windy SR52 Blackbird chase boat. The food is top-tier too. Expect thrilling journeys, as Sharlou can easily reach 17–20 knots under sail.


Ideal Itinerary: Captains Patrick Sassier and Martial Beguin usually squire guests around the Balearics for summer, but instead will be sailing from her base in Martinique. Try a seven-day trip around the Leeward Islands, including diver-friendly Saba and Nevis, a tiny, artsy enclave that’s the part-time home to painter Brice Marden.


Cost: From $118,000/week


Broker: Camper & Nicholson’s, camperandnicholsons.com

THE EXUMAS


M/Y LAUREL


This superb 240-foot craft is the ultimate oceangoing superyacht, with a full gym and sea-level beach club. Elevator access to all guest decks make it wheelchair-friendly and there’s a crew of 24. There’s even a formal dining space with a starlit ceiling for hosting a celebratory dinner or two.


Ideal Itinerary: Explore the atolls and quiet corners of the Exuma cluster, just south of Nassau in The Bahamas—where there’s supposedly an island for every day of the year. That’s an easy sail, but if you prefer more time on the ocean, head down to the Leeward Islands, including Antigua. Its southern coast, where the marinas are mostly owned by expat Italians, is a slice of Mediterranean dolce vita in the Caribbean.


Cost: From $525,000/week


Broker: IYC, iyc.com

SAN JUAN ISLANDS


KAORI


Call her Grace, as Christian Grey once did—Kaori was the double for the billionaire’s boat in the 50 Shades film franchise. It’s easy to see the lush appeal of this 115-foot, four-stateroom sailing yacht, with her spacious, teak decks and lushly retro styling (heavy on wood paneling and overstuffed armchairs) from designer Jane Plachter.


Ideal Itinerary: Explore the wilds of the Pacific Northwest this summer, with a focus on marine life: harbor seals, sea lions, sea otters, and orcas. Stop at Orcas, the largest of the San Juan Islands, to hike up to the top of Mount Constitution or through Olympic National Park.


One of the only temperate rainforests in the country, its woodlands are wreathed in lichen and fungus.

Cost: From $156,000/week


Broker: Abercrombie & Kent, abercrombiekent.com

BELIZE


NITA K II


The 171-foot, 10–12-guest steel and aluminum motor yacht was built by Amels in Holland as part of its renowned Tigre d’Or series in 2004. This is an open-plan vessel with an emphasis on socializing, with seating nooks and lounging areas arranged around its three outdoor decks. The at-anchor stabilizers are especially important given the atoll-hopping itineraries in Belize, where she’s based for summer.

Ideal Itinerary: Belize is an often-overlooked corner of the Caribbean: an English-speaking, Central American nation with fringing reefs and turquoise waters that more than match up to the Maldives. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Glover’s Reef atoll, swim among coral at Lighthouse Reef, visit Mayan ruins, or hike rainforests.


Cost: From $250,000/week


Broker: Northrop & Johnson, northropandjohnson.com

SPICE ISLANDS


GIGI OF LYMINGTON


The 2-year-old, 65-foot ship has three guest cabins, with space for six guests and two crew. The interior, designed by Jean-Marc Piaton, is minimalist and clean-lined, with an emphasis on natural light and space. Mostly an owner’s yacht, Gigi is chartered out for five weeks each year max. Her chef/steward just won second place in a cooking contest.


Ideal Itinerary: Gigi’s based in Grenada among the Spice Islands, which has one of the prettiest capitals in the Caribbean (St. George’s), as well as one of its best beaches (Grand Anse). Head north to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a quiet bay to explore on the ship’s stand-up paddleboards. Or dock at the newest jet-set berth, the Sandy Lane Marina on Canouan, owned and run by the famed Barbados resort.


Cost: From $24,000/week


Broker: DiYachting, diyachting.co.uk

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