Come on Down to the Southern Caribbean

How this destination is different from the northern isles.

southern caribbean
St. Vincent and the Grenadines are top-notch charter destinations.istockphoto.com/evenfh

One of the few silver linings that came with the devastating hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria last year was the way that charter yachts rediscovered St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the southern Caribbean. Traditionally, the hub of crewed charter activity has been up north, but as marinas there worked to rebuild, captains and charter brokers looked for alternatives. Quite a few yachts pointed their bows south, with some heading back this season as well.

Many people who’ve chartered in the Grenadines call the region “the Caribbean as it used to be.” That’s because the islands to the south are generally less developed than the northern areas, with fewer yachts around overall and even fewer of the largest superyachts dominating the harbors. It’s still possible in the southern Caribbean for a charter yacht to have a sandbar all to itself for an afternoon of sunning and swimming. Stepping ashore is occasionally done at a simple dock where local children are playing, as opposed to at a waterfront hub lined with Fifth Avenue-style storefronts and tony restaurants.

The way the Grenadines are geographically situated makes for easy charter itineraries too. Starting at St. Vincent, which has an international airport, the Grenadines arc to the southwest like a flung-out string of pearls, all in a row. If an itinerary ends just below the southern tip of the Grenadines, at Grenada, there’s an international airport as well as enough to do and see for anyone who wants to spend several days ashore. (The chocolate factory is particularly fun.)

Many brokers recommend 10- to 14-day itineraries for the Grenadines, to set a leisurely pace when cruising the archipelago. Take their advice. This is not the well-known Caribbean — which is exactly what makes a charter here worth considering.

The Yachts

Milestone
MilestoneYachtZoo

This 146-foot Christensen is expected to charter in the ­Grena­dines in early 2019, through YachtZoo. Her lowest weekly base rate is $149,000, taking 12 guests.

avalon
AvalonThierry Dehove

Ocean Independence markets this 150-foot Delta at a lowest weekly base rate of $155,000 for 12 guests. She’s going to be in the Grenadines this winter with her waterslide.

i love this boat
I Love This BoatNorthrop & Johnson

Best boat name ever, right? She’s a 145-foot Christensen in the Northrop & Johnson fleet, taking 10 guests at a lowest weekly base rate of $150,000 this winter.

Top Islands to Visit

  The Tobago Cays are an archipelago of five uninhabited islands that have some great reefs for snorkeling and swimming with green turtles.

Bequia is the second-largest island in the Grenadines (after St. Vincent). Its Mount Gay Music Fest is planned for January 31 through February 3.

Mustique has long been known for its luxury villas. ­Creating a land-sea vacation with a charter yacht works well here.

Carriacou is known for its rum shops and wreck diving.