If you are cruising the southern Croatian coast then you should really not miss the magnificent walled city that is Dubrovnik. While the prosperity of the city was originally based on maritime trade today's visitors come to play. The medieval fortifications protect a charming pedestrian-only old town with a myriad of twisting marbled lanes, baroque buildings, quirky cafes and top-notch restaurants.
Add to this palaces and cathedrals, monasteries and museums plus the sparkling Adriatic Sea on the doorstep it is easy to understand why Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea.
Athens is the historical capital of Europe if not the world and this is the reason that you ought to visit this city. It is a city that mixes the most iconic of ancient monuments with first class museums. The old city centre is a delightful pedestrian zone that leads to many of the major archaeological sites. And towering above all of this is the majestic Acropolis an ancient citadel that has watched over Athens transformation through the centuries.
But don't think this is all about the old. Modern Athens is also a fun city with bustling cafes, stylish restaurants and lively nightclubs. It is both sophisticated and cosmopolitan with a good measure of grime and grooviness included.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Palma, the capital of the Balearic islands, is situated on the south coast of Mallorca and is dominated by the Gothic Santa Maria cathedral. It is without doubt a delightful city that we do recommend you spend a little time enjoying. Palma de Mallorca comes as a surprise to many people - it is stylish, sophisticated and small, yet bursting with life. The old quarter with its tiny cobbled streets and characterful buildings is so easy to explore being only a little over one square kilometre and packed with a variety of cafes, restaurants and bars ranging from quirky little cellars serving local delicacies through to internationally renowned 5-star restaurants.
There is an excellent night life and yacht clubs, Club de Mar and the Real Club Nautico which hosts various superyacht and sailing regattas all year round. Palma is a marvellous blend of traditional and contemporary, with something for every inclination. You can, for example, visit the authentic local produce market, Olivar where you can mingle with the locals or browse an eclectic range of elegant boutiques and international designer shops.
Capital of the Cote d'Azur in the South of France Nice has been a tourist destination for literally centuries, dating back to both the Greeks and the Romans. And really it is no wonder why. With all-year round sunshine and the turquoise blue Mediterranean that sparkles and shines along the long curving coast of the Bay of Angels this is a city of stars.
It is a place of astonishing beauty with towering mountain peaks and possibly the longest and most elegant of urban seafronts in Europe. There is also a historic old town that houses fabulous markets and glorious buildings. And of course wherever the glitterati gather there are restaurants and bars, cafes and nightclubs to rival the international best.
From the multi-million dollar yachts in the harbor to the luxury hotel towers, glamorous nightclubs and grand casinos Monaco oozes wealth and opulence. Situated between the French and Italian Rivieras this tiny 200 hectare principality packs a lots of punch and privilege. It is a destination unrivalled combining fairy-tale charm with a rich cultural heritage. A tax free haven this is the playground of the rich and famous and celebrity spotting is just part of a normal day here. Away from all the glitz and glamour it is also a naturally beautiful place to visit with a fantastic climate and the sparkling azure of the Mediterranean on the doorstep.
Monaco is a great place to visit either pre, post or during your luxury yacht charter - there are many wonderful places of interest to explore here from the Casino de Monte-Carlo to the Monaco Cathedral or the Jardin Exotique. But as night falls the buzz in Monaco steps up a notch! There is a thriving and impressive bar scene as well as countless prestigious award winning restaurants. One would expect nothing less from a destination as wealthy and trend-setting as this.
An unlikely treasure Naples, Italy's third largest city, has a historical centre that is yet another Unesco World Heritage Site in the middle of a remarkable cruising ground. There are impressive archeological sites and a swag of proud piazzas, palaces and panoramas; although you may at times have to look beyond the grunge and the graffiti, not to mention the concentration of the population and traffic.
Life here takes place at a frenetic rate. Naples is also known famously as the birthplace of the pizza, and like elsewhere in Italy food is an all important part of life with many of the country's most well-known dishes originating from this city. Seafood, of course, from the bountiful ocean on the doorstep features on all menus. Napoletanos also pride themselves on having the best coffee in Italy – quite a claim but one you should certainly judge for yourselves.
Miami, United States of America
A major seaport on Florida's southeastern tip and one of the largest for passenger cruise ships in the world Miami is also one of the world's hippest hot spot. Nicknamed the Magic City it has captivated trend-setting tourists for over a century. It is famous for its beautiful Art Deco architecture, fine white sand beaches, shining turquoise waters, lush tropical vegetation and a skyline that gets lit up by a fiery blood-orange sunset night after night. It's easy to spend a day or two here enjoying the marine life and lifestyle that thrives here in Biscayne Bay.
Explore the underwater world snorkelling or scuba diving, shoot over the water on a flyboard or jet boat, or get a little excerise in a kayak or canoe. Intoxicating for more than just her beauty Miami is a go-getter, non-stop type of city. Its Cuban influences can be seen in the cigar shops and cafes that abound in Little Havana. There is a strong Latin American impact on the cuisine and culture everywhere you look. Night clubs and bars rock with the beat of salsa, rumba, bossa nova, samba and tango. There is also glamour and glitz, globally renowned resorts, restaurants with innovative international chefs and people that love to party.
A favourite city for many this cosmopolitan but casual destination oozes charm. Defined by its expansive harbour with the distinctive Opera House and Harbour Bridge and of course the many and varied beautiful sandy beaches offering everything from calm tranquil bays to curving surf waves. With long hot summers these beaches are a magnet for the beautiful and bronzed.
The shopping in Sydney has it all, from international designs to innovative local labels and bustling markets. Beautiful national parks abound; as do museums and art galleries that showcase modern Australia as well as its indigenous and convict history. After dark Sydney kicks off: award winning restaurants, bustling clubs, opulent cocktail bars and tempting Asian offerings as well as traditional and not-so-traditional pubs. Something for everyone.
Singapore has to be one of Asia's most diverse and dynamic cities constantly re-inventing itself but never losing any of its history and traditions. It is such a mix of cultures with Chinese, Indian, Malay and European influences evident everywhere you look – the cuisine, the architecture, the customs all reflect this patchwork of peoples. The traditional attractions of the elegant Raffles Hotel, the "theme park" of Sentosa Island, the shopping mecca of Orchard Road, and the bustling Chinatown and Little India still play their part in making Singapore an international destination.
Some of the newer developments including the opulent Marina Bay Sands resort housing both the Skypark and the ArtScience Museum, the futuristic Gardens by the Bays and the world's largest observation wheel the Singapore Flyer take this city up to hot-list status. And one cannot really mention Singapore without waxing lyrically about the food. Singaporeans are obsessed with food from cheap street eats to high class restaurants there is an exotic and tempting feast of flavours.
Auckland, New Zealand
The Hauraki Gulf offers the yachtsman more than 1,500 sq. nautical miles of cruising and the opportunity to explore numerous islands with sheltered anchorages and deserted beaches. Auckland is a bustling South Pacific city with a cosmopolitan lifestyle - and right on its doorstep is a fantastic cruising vacation playground, the Hauraki Gulf, with 76 islands, and miles of beautiful coastline to explore.
Within 30 minutes of clearing at Auckland International Airport, you can board your private yacht, and within two hours of the marina the islands of the inner Gulf are within easy reach. With over 200 sheltered anchorages, in the Hauraki Gulf you could choose to visit a different stopover every weekend for a year and not return to the same bay.
For more information about chartering a luxury yacht in any of these, or other, destinations please contact one of our charter professionals.