by Richelle Oerlemans

    The Top 10 Yachting Destinations Around the Globe

    With the help of a knowledgeable and experienced Calgary-based sailor, The OGM presents our Top 10 Yachting Destinations around the globe. Whether traveling alone or as a group, these destinations offer a glimpse into the exciting hobby of sailing. When traveling as a group (try to incorporate the interests of everyone (passengers and crew), advises Brian, a Calgary professional and avid sailor. Shopping, dining, sightseeing, snorkeling, and relaxing are key ingredients to making the most of the one week timeframe usually spent on each yachting venture. “[A] meal usually costs less than a restaurant meal in Canada,” notes Brian. “Everyone can order separate dishes and taste a little bit of each local specialty. Even within one country, the flavors vary depending on the region. Enjoying gourmet meals and dining at exquisite restaurants every night while you are halfway around the world [is part of the adventure]—why would you want to have a meal that you could have prepared at home?” When asked why he chooses to sail over the traditional resort vacations, Brian explains that “sailing allows the visitor to take in the scenery and enjoy the sights at a walking pace.”

    1. Whitsunday Islands, Australia:

    This destination tops our list as it is the most desired sailing destination by Brian and other travelers. Scattered across the Great Barrier Reef are 74 tropical islands, providing visitors with an excellent opportunity to snorkel and discover the natural wonders.

    2. British Virgin Islands, Caribbean:

    Flying to Beef Island, then traveling to Road Town to rent a sailboat, travelers can spend each day in a different harbor and enjoy one of the many British pubs when hunger strikes. The capital island of Tortola offers visitors a chance to explore ancient ruins or relax at one of the active yacht clubs. A resort called “Foxies” on Jost Van Dyke Island encourages patrons to tack dollar bills on their walls to show the diversity of the travelers’ home countries.

    3. Society Islands, French Polynesia:

    Stretching across more than two million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean are 118 islands. While visiting the island of Tahaa, famous for its aromatic vanilla beans, visitors can enjoy an authentic Polynesian dinner, a remnant of the cuisine offered during the early 20th century.

    4. Cyclades Islands, Southeastern Greece:

    The islands of Mykonos and Delos are an exciting location for anyone interested in archeology and ancient mythology. Cars are not permitted in the town of Mykonos; however, buses and taxis provide transport around the island. For those wishing to visit Greek ruins, Delos showcases 2,000-year-old mosaic floors and rich cultural beliefs. To honor the goddess Artemis, mortals are not permitted to be born nor die on the island. Women on the brink of childbirth or those close to death are relocated to the neighboring Rineia Island.

    5. French Riviera, Mediterranean:

    The Côte d’Azur encompasses the French Riviera and Monaco, rich with tourist attractions, ranging from gambling casinos to luxurious boutiques. Sailing past rustic castles lining the coast, travelers can drop anchor to indulge in an exquisite dinner of fresh mussels and other delicacies.

    6. Bay Of Islands, New Zealand:

    One of the more exotic options on our list, the Bay of Islands offers a variety of colors of sand creating unique beaches on each island. Swim with dolphins, fish for marlin, or relax and enjoy the wildlife including penguins and whales.

    7. Saint Martin, Anguilla, Caribbean:

    Located a short 20 minutes away from Saint Martin, Anguilla’s Sandy Ground is a quiet village by day yet a bustling beach party by night. Looking to relax? Shoal Bay provides crisp, white beaches, and glass-bottom boat tours.

    8. Antigua To St. Martin, Caribbean:

    Sailing from Antigua to St. Martin, you can stop at Nevis, one of the many islands in-between for some exploring. A hike in the rainforest and listening to the monkeys or scuba diving around shipwrecks and reefs are only a few suggestions on how to make the most of what Nevis has to offer.

    9. Ionian Islands, Western Greece:

    With prevalent air currents, many of the islands have developed windsurfing centers. Twelve islands ranging from small to large in size total 2,200 square kilometers of beaches, resorts, and museums waiting to be explored.

    10. San Juan Islands, Usa And Canada:

    With sunshine nearly 250 days each year and low rainfall, the San Juan Islands provide fantastic weather for sailing and exploring. Watch the majestic orcas swim alongside your yacht as you take in the breathtaking scenery.

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