Luxury Yacht Charter Destinations – The Greek Cyclades

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The days are getting lighter and the long Northern winter is almost at an end, which means that it’s definitely time to be booking your summer luxury yacht charters.

There are few places on earth that scream idyllic yachting holiday more than the Greek Islands, with their bewitching blend of ancient civilizations, whitewashed villages and turquoise and sapphire waters.

Each year the superyacht fleet comes visiting the Cyclades islands, and it’s extremely easy to see why. This mesmerizing chain of islands offers a beguiling mix of night-time glamour, ancient culture and astonishing natural beauty.

Dock in famed Mykonos to walk amongst windmills and along long sandy beaches, and dance the night away in one of the sophisticated clubs. Have an elegant beach party at night amongst the lanterns and white cloth tables set up next to the silvery sea. Eat rustic fresh food in a quiet hillside taverna or dine in one of the excellent restaurants along the harbor front, looking out across the lights of the gathered yachts. This island is a mecca for the superyacht set each summer, and it has a buzz of excitement during the summer months that is extremely hard to resist. Part high glamour, part deep relaxation: this is yachting bliss.

Santorini, meanwhile, is simply unmissable. This is the island that launched a million postcards, with its whitewashed village perched on top of towering, vertiginous cliffs that plummet down sheer to the deep sea. An extinct volcano, the beauty of this island beggars belief, with its sandy isolated beaches and quaint villages reached by donkey paths. Anchor off and spend a morning wakeboarding or swimming in the shadow of this ancient fire-mountain. Go ashore for an exquisite lunch, or spend an afternoon being pampered in a spa with a panoramic view off the edge of the cliffs across the sparkling Aegean. Have a cocktail, while watching a limitless pool running off the edge to nowhere, your deckchair waiting in the warm afternoon sunshine, immense cliffs glowing red as the sun drops into the sea.

Where Mykonos offers glamour and Santorini staggering scenery, Delos offers the heart and soul of the Cyclades chain. The birthplace of the immortals Apollo and Artemis, this is sacred ground, on which no-one is allowed to be born, or to die. No-one lives here now, but even in the days when it was the bustling trade heart of the Cyclades, women in labor or those close to death would be ferried off the island to ensure that it remained pure and sacred. Today, it exists as history you can walk amongst; a deserted island full of sculptures and artifacts standing strong against the ravages of time. It is an enchanting, magnificent place, and one where you can feel the echo of the ages.

The delights don’t stop there; set your yacht’s course to meander through the Cyclades island chain, taking in the breathtaking beauty of Naxos, Andros and Amorgos, or visit Homer’s tomb and enjoy the great nightlife of Ios.

This summer, anchor your yacht in a perfect cove and plunge off the swim platform into sapphire waters shot through with shards of light. Walk among lemon groves and sail among the peaks of sunken mountain ranges. Eat and drink and soak up the Mediterranean sunshine. Tomorrow, you can do it all again.

To find out more about booking a luxury yacht charter in the Greek Cyclades, please contact the yacht charter experts at Northrop & Johnson.

What Type of Cruise is Right for You?

Cruises are a popular activity for vacations with people from all walks of life. There’s something about sailing the open seas, and of course getting to stop at lots of exciting places that people love. But not all cruises are made the same. There are several different types of cruise, in different sized ships with a range of activities on offer. Some cruise ships are huge vessels with entire resorts onboard, from restaurants to spas. But some ships are small and intimate, focusing more on the stops along the way than the activities on the boat. If you’re considering a cruise, but you don’t know which one is right for you, have a look at this short guide to the different types of cruises.

All-inclusive Cruises

These types of cruises are popular with a lot of people. They aren’t any more expensive than any other all-inclusive holiday. If you think of those huge cruise ships with the equivalent of a small town on them when you think of cruises, those are the sort of ships used for all-inclusive cruises. You might go to the Caribbean, for example, and spend almost as much time on the ship as on excursions on land. These big cruise ships will have anything from restaurants and swimming pools to garden and mini golf courses. You could have an enjoyable holiday without ever leaving the ship. Accommodation, food and drink and some excursions are usually included.

7109374535_c4ce6045ed_zRoger Wollstadt

Mini-cruises

If you’re unsure if you would like cruising, test the waters with a mini cruise. These cruises can last between two and four days, so you can find out if cruising is for you. They might be on a small or large ship, depending on where you go and which cruise company you choose. Some mini-cruises cruise along rivers, instead of the ocean.

Luxury Cruises

Some people find that cruises on huge ships with masses of people aren’t to their taste. If being able to see a Vegas-style show on your cruise ship isn’t your idea of fun, perhaps a luxury cruise is more your speed. These refined cruises, such as the ones provided by Kimberley Cruises, usually have fewer guests accompanying you on your journey. With an exclusive guest list and a carefully selected range of shore visits and activities, luxury cruises are worth the extra cost.

Adventure Cruises

Some people are after more than just hopping from port to port and relaxing on the ship in between. If you’re a thrill seeker, an adventure cruise will keep you entertained for your whole vacation. You can explore some incredibly diverse landscapes and see some amazing sights on these expeditions. Some popular locations for adventure cruises include Alaska, Antarctica and several places off the coast of Africa. Along the way you could be leaving the boat to go hiking, do some kayaking or staying on the boat for some whale watching.

If you’re still not sure what sort of cruise is for you, try out a mini-cruise to help you find your sea legs.

Why You Need to Paddle Board This Summer!

The surge in popularity of paddle boarding in the UK is no accident. Over the last few years, the surge in people wishing to try their hand at this sport has risen dramatically. With celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston going wild for the sport, as a way to exercise, it is easy to see why people are choosing to take up paddle boarding. While we can’t guarantee a beach bod like Jennifer Aniston’s, we can guarantee you will have the most amount of fun when you go paddle boarding.

 Newquay, naturally, is the main place to go paddle boarding. With locals ditching the traditional surf board and opting for a paddle board instead, it is easy to see why the appeal of the paddle board has gone from strength to strength. Even surfing legends such as Laird Hamilton are heralding the sport as amazing, so if Laird says it is cool, then it is cool.

 Don’t be fooled though, paddle boarding is harder than it looks. Paddle boarding requires maximum effort, so while it looks easier than surfing, it isn’t. However, the work out that you will get from paddle boarding is immense. You will be toned (and hopefully, if the weather stays good for summer, tanned) in no time. A perfect beach body and a lot of fun in the process? You would be crazy not to hop on a stand up paddle board this summer.

 On the subject of using paddle  boarding as a fantastic, and fun, alternative to the gym think about the workout itself. Paddle boards are notoriously heavy, and large, so dragging it down to the beach will be a workout in itself. Once you hit the waves though, the stresses of dragging the board to ocean mouth will be forgotten. Do bear in mind, that if you are beginner to stand up paddle boarding, you are likely to need the biggest size. Of course, safety on the waves is of paramount importance so the bigger the better when it comes to SUP’s and beginners.

Photo Credit: Kyle Pearce

The ocean is the most important thing that you need for a successful day out of paddle boarding. Never mind the size of the waves, all you need for a good day out paddle boarding is the ocean to be safe. Waves are not of importance when paddle boarding, as it can be done in all conditions. So, if you are looking for a great way to relax, then stand up paddle boarding in a low tide is the way forward, explore the ocean and the feel the serenity and peace of being at one with the open seas. If you are more of a thrill seeker, wait until high tide and wait until the waves are crashing on the shore. Aim for the biggest one and get yourself back on the beach in no time.

 Regardless of your level of skill, stand up paddle boarding can be enjoyed by all. If you decide to learn at least one new thing this year, make sure it is paddle boarding.