Five Charter Getaways in the Bahamas and South Florida

Bucket-list charters are found in the Bahamas and South Florida.

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Party Girl
This 146-foot Christensen is with Fraser Yachts Worldwide at a Bahamas base rate of $169,000. Party Girl was built to live up to her name, with a sky-lounge and sun-deck setup that maximizes indoor-outdoor traffic flow. Invite some friends for dinner and a few more for the after-party. There's space to spare.
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Island Heiress
New to the Churchill Yacht Partners fleet, this 145-foot Cheoy Lee has a base rate of $115,000. Island Heiress recently welcomed aboard Capt. Herb Magney, a longtime favorite of charter clients in the Bahamas region. She has a water slide and four ­WaveRunners to make the most of sunny anchorages and warm water.
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Plan A
Part of the B&B fleet, the 130-foot Westport Plan A has a weekly base rate of $95,000. Plan A charters with a 35-foot Scout center-console tender that makes gunkholing easy throughout the Bahamas. She recently added a water slide to her arsenal of toys, which includes kayaks, PWCs, deep-sea fishing gear and more.
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New for charter with Select Yachts, this 108-foot Tarrab has a weekly base rate of $34,000. Brownie's in south Florida is synonymous with scuba diving, and the owner of Platypus has a relationship with the company that brings all kinds of great gear aboard for specialty dive charter itineraries.
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First Home
For charter with Ocean Independence, this 92-foot Cheoy Lee has a weekly base rate of $31,000. First Home is a Tom Fexas design built in 1988, but she's had a ton of renovations and upgrades, and she sports a contemporary interior decor. Her layout makes her great for couples or for families.
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We’d all jump at a chance to escape for one month on a charter yacht with a captain, crew, chef and open-ended itinerary. Two weeks? That would work too. Heck, we’d settle for 10 days. For some of us, a “short-week” charter out of Fort ­Lauderdale is a more realistic option — and a bucket-lister all the same.

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"I once did back-to-back charter stories in Fiji and the Exumas [part of the Bahamas]. It was a rare chance to see both destinations in the same month. I learned that if you want great beaches and pretty water, you don't have to fly halfway around the world to fine them." - Yachting Charter Editor Kim KavinPublicity photo

If You Have: 3  Days - Northern Florida Keys

Day One: Fort Lauderdale to Elliott Key
Elliott Key is part of Biscayne National Park and is often called the northernmost of the Florida Keys. Apart from a campground it's uninhabited, and it's accessible only by boat.

Day Two: Elliott Key to Key Largo
With a decent-speed charter yacht, you can make it to Key Largo for lunch. Snorkel or dive at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and then enjoy a lobster dinner under the stars.

Day Three: Meander back to the Mainland
Cruise at a leisurely pace back to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Pumpkin Key and Angelfish Creek for quick cool-off swims and a relaxing lunch as you make your way home.

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One of the world’s largest coral reefs is a short run from the Florida peninsula. Colorful marine creatures, like surgeonfish, swim on coral heads and at drop-offs where yacht tenders tie off to mooring buoys.Publicity photo

If You Have: 4  Days - Middle Florida Keys

Day One: Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo
Some charter yachts can be in Key Largo by lunchtime if you leave Fort Lauderdale early. Then you have the afternoon to play before indulging in what is likely to be your first of several key lime pie slices during the trip.

Day Two: Key Largo to Islamorada
Want to live out a fish story? Islamorada is the place to make it happen. Sailfish are caught here year-round, as are snapper, tarpon, tuna, wahoo and yellowtail. You can guess what the shoreside restaurants specialize in.

Day Three: Islamorada to Long Key
For families on charter, it's hard to beat Long Key State Park. The place is made for a charter yacht's kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The hiking is good too.

Day Four: Long Key to Fort Lauderdale
Depending on the speed of your charter yacht, it might take you the better part of the day to return to Fort Lauderdale, but there should be time for lunch and a quick snorkel at Key Largo. It's hard to believe you were able to pack in so much in just four days.

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It’s said that Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar on Green Turtle Cay off Great Abaco is the original home of the Goombay Smash, a rum drink that is the national elixir of the Bahamas.Publicity photo

If You Have : 5  Days - The Bahamas

Day One: Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama
West End on Grand Bahama is 55 miles away, an easy morning cruise for a charter yacht that does 15 to 30 knots in good conditions.

Day Two: West End to High Rock
West End is where rumrunners used to stage their U.S. entry during Prohibition, and the fun-loving vibe is still here. Also head to the Bahamian Brewery in High Rock.

Day Three: High Rock to Elbow Cay
Cruise to Elbow Cay on Great Abaco — you'll see the iconic red-and-white lighthouse at Hope Town. Ride a bike to the impressive beach houses at the end of the island.

Day Four: Elbow Cay to Freeport
After stopping at Green Turtle Cay for a couple of locally-renown drinks at Miss Emily's, your charter yacht can reposition to Freeport.

Day Five: Freeport to Fort Lauderdale
Stop at West End on Grand Bahama for a swim before the big run to Florida. You'll be on the mainland before dinner — if you want to be.