Charter yachts are often viewed as adult playgrounds, and that image is supported by brochures showing couples sipping champagne or dressed elegantly for dinner but that is only one side of the charter coin. The flip side is that a yacht charter is a wonderful family vacation, and one that is far more fun than a week at Disney World or a ski trip.
Granted, not every yacht is "child-friendly" but growing numbers have gone to great lengths to develop reputations for being "pro-child" and your charter broker at Luxury Charter Group can advise you on the ones your family will love. Some crews are more family-oriented than others, while some yachts themselves have more amenities from beach clubs to full cinemas onboard to keep your young ones occupied and amused.
Some destinations are also a much better match for a family charter. You want a location that provides the opportunity for exciting excursions ashore as well as fun days playing with water toys so that there is never a dull moment for children of all ages in your party. Here are our top tips of places to visit.
British Virgin Islands
The BVIs is the ultimate charter destination, offering shorter hops between islands than many other Caribbean luxury yacht charter locations. The area is very protected so the water also tends to be calmer. Ashore there is a lot to do ... one favourite shore-based activity is to explore the Sage Mountain National Park which has trails that take you up to the BVI's highest point (1,716 feet).
And if looking for pirate booty would thrill your younger guests then head to Norman Island, reputedly Robert Louis Stevenson's inspiration for Treasure Island. The Bight there is also home to the famous, or infamous, schooner William Thornton, more colloquially known as the Willy T, a pirate ship that caters for all – with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic punches to be had! Further east and on the south end of Virgin Gorda is the famous Baths, where a series of granite boulders create a sheltered rocky playground alongside the beach.
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Croatia is an ideal family sailing destination. Spending time there is like stepping back in time with ancient ruins, palaces and cathedrals, museums and monastries for sightseeing excursions . From the magnificent walled city of Dubrovnik to the stunning Split with the Diocletian's palace history abounds. Croatia provides plenty of places for inquiring younger minds to explore. And you can't help but feel the sense of family along the Riva waterfront boulevard in Split as well-dressed young and old, stroll, interact and play together.
Another highpoint of a Croatian family charter are the festivals that take place in various places up and down the coast all summer long, with music and dancing, food and fun for all. There is also plenty of fun to be had on the water with windsurfing, kayaking, kiteboarding and parasailing all available.
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Their proximity to Florida and its balmy climate makes the Bahamas a year-round magnet for luxury mega yachts. We can help you find the yacht that is perfect for you and yours as well as plan an itinerary with minimal travel time between anchorages and maximum time spent enjoying the attractions and seeing the sites. An ideal place to start is Nassau, home to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Marina with its own 141-acre water park including a marine exhibit, dolphin encounter and rides such as the Leap of Faith waterslide.
The Bahamas are a sprawling expanse of low-lying islands, sandy cays and vibrant coral reefs offering the opportunity to escape into carefree isolation on beautiful beaches, swim in some of the clearest warm waters imaginable, sample the unique local lifestyle in quaint settlements, and fish to your heart's content. One family favourite is to visit the tiny uninhabited island of Big Major Cay in the Exumas where kids of all ages will be captivated by the cute pigs that call this place home and you get to tick off the most unusual experience of swimming with these amazing and adorable animals.
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The largest and best-known Balearic Island, Mallorca (or Majorca) comes as a surprise to many people with a marvellous blend of traditional and contemporary, with something for every inclination and age and the added advantage of the island's easy accessibility. There are numerous flights from all the major European airports. English is widely spoken and there is a relaxed kid-friendly vibe to the place. There are dozens of lovely beaches many of them with shallow calm water perfect for families. The Palma Aquarium is considered one of the best in Europe and will captivate all marine life lovers especially the younger ones.
There are resorts of all shapes and sizes on the coast that welcome outside guests. The 5 Star Hotel Zafiro Palace Alcudia offers a range of pools and restaurants that are family friendly. While the St. Regis Mardavall Resort, just up the road from the prestigious Puerta Portals Marina, has numerous children's facilities as well as a kid's club. There's also a well respected Golf Academy at the Son Muntaner golf course where kids between 7 and 13 can enjoy golf lessons. be assured a luxury yacht charter in Mallorca will provide unforgettable moments for you and your family.
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Tahiti and French Polynesia is more accessible than many people think with daily non-stop flights from Los Angeles and it really does have something special that will please visitors of all ages. With some 118 islands French Polynesia covers more than 2 million square miles of the South Pacific and provides endless options to create a luxury charter itinerary that suits the needs and desires of you and your family.
The area is known for its pristine beaches, soaring waterfalls, some of the best surfing in the world and warm crystal clear waters teeming with underwater life. The diving and snorkelling are fantastic. With dolphins and stingrays, sharks and sea turtles as well as a myriad of colourful coral reef and fish there is a lot to see here. Tahiti is a lush green oasis surrounded by bright turquoise seas, that is rich in culture and landscapes and home to a people whose welcome and friendliness is legendary.
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For details about the luxury yachts available for charter in these areas, and others, that are family-friendly please contact one of the specialist team at the Luxury Charter Group.