The Leeward Islands make up the central region of the 700 mile long chain of spectacular isles that are scattered across the Caribbean Sea. As a group they start east of Puerto Rico and reach southward to Guadaloupe. They are small mostly volcanic islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean.
They consist of the following countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Martin, the British and United States Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saba and Saint Barts. While they share a considerable amount in terms of a colonial history and economy originally built out of slavery and plantations there are big differences between their modern-day entities.
Their current culture and language reflects a past of struggle and conflict between the controlling colonial powers of the British, Spanish, French and Dutch and some are still territories of European nations. Dutch is spoken in Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius, French is spoken in St Barts and St-Martin and English everywhere.
The climate of the Leeward Islands is drier than the Windward Islands to the south but does vary from island to island and even in different parts of a single island; rainfall increases with elevation and in more southerly latitudes. Trade winds are a refreshingly soothing tonic to the tropical heat.
The colours shine brightly here - crystal clear aquamarine seas, verdant green rainforest and fine white beaches beyond compare. This is an area that presents intrigue, excitement, adventure, volcanoes, waterfalls, a microcosm of unique French, Dutch and British cultural and culinary experiences. There is bold and beautiful scenery, and warm and welcoming people
All this and the added bonus that charter yacht guests will find these islands easy to access by air from both the USA and Europe.
You will find this British Territory to be an intriguingly different destination on your luxury charter yacht cruise in the Caribbean. It is the northernmost of the Leeward Islands and boasts a South Seas island atmosphere of coral cays, soft sandy beaches, turquoise waters and swaying palms.
Shoal Bay East, with its long stretch of sand and a backdrop of beach bars and small resorts, has been voted one of the ten best beaches in the Caribbean. However, if escapism is your calling, then you will probably prefer places like the appropriately named Dream Beach, or Scilly Cay. Scuba divers are in their element in Anguilla as there are seven shipwrecks beckoning to be explored. The island, which has a population of about 13,000, is a well-recognised international tax haven.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua is magical: it's all about maritime history and modern-day adventure. To criss-cross the enticing blue waters that encircle this 100 square-mile island is to sail in the wake of Christopher Columbus and Lord Horatio Nelson. It's where you can step back in time and appreciate the history-laden shores of English and Falmouth Harbours, or step onto glistening white sandy beaches that are 1000 miles from care.
Islanders will tell you there are 365 beaches in Antigua – one for each day of the year! There are also extensive coral reefs that are teeming with sea-life for the fascination of snorkelers and scuba divers. Antigua is the largest English-speaking island in the region – and the sunniest. It is also famous worldwide for its fun sailing events.
The Luxury Charter Yacht Group suggests you consider starting your Caribbean charter here as there are direct flights to the USA and Europe. Once aboard your yacht, and having sampled the local tropical landscape, you have the option to make the passage northwest towards the Virgin Islands, or sail south towards the Windward Islands – and while you do, your every desire will be met by your highly qualified crew.
Breathtaking Barbuda: the island where pristine, coconut palm fringed beaches, some with soft pink hues, stretch uninterrupted for up to 10 miles. Located just 31 nautical miles to the north of Antigua, Barbuda is a perfect island to explore when cruising the Caribbean on a luxury charter yacht, as there is a proliferation of sheltered bays and coves that are lined with beautiful beaches.
Codington Lagoon, which is seven miles long, is another intriguing feature of this 68 square mile coral island. Barbuba is also a destination where snorkelers and scuba divers will be entranced by an underwater world of extensive reefs and abundant sea-life.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are considered by many to be the ultimate charter destination in the Caribbean for both sail and motor yachts, and The Luxury Charter Group can take you there in grand style.
This magnificent archipelago comprises more than 50 islands, islets and cays scattered across a crystal blue sea. Many still retain the captivating natural beauty that so impressed explorer and navigator Christopher Columbus when he first sighted them more than 500 years ago. As a charter destination, this is where you can escape to sheltered bays, swim from alluring golden beaches, or join in the unique fun and local cuisine at the many waterfront restaurants and bars to be enjoyed as you cruise from island to island. The impressive charter yachts we offer in the British Virgin Islands will cater for your every need while you discover this is an unforgettable part of the world.
Your taste-buds will go wild and your desire for the ultimate in pleasure and freedom in paradise will be sated in Guadeloupe. You will be surrounded by a delightful blend of warm azure seas while onshore there is a plentiful choice of beaches awaiting you – some black sand and others white, and all revealing their own form of unique natural beauty.
You will also discover captivating palm-fringed, crystal-clear lagoons where you can drift your day away. It is safe to say you are never very far from a beautiful beach in this part of the Caribbean.
Guadeloupe is where, in 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered the 'piña de Indias' – the pineapple – growing in the Caribbean. Now, modern day explorers aboard luxury charter yachts can go ashore and discover a land of spices, and all the taste sensations that come with the best of mouth-watering creole cooking. Seafood is the island's specialty: grilled lobster, queen conch fricassee, fish bouillon and delicious clam chowder are among the myriad of culinary experiences to be enjoyed.
St Barts (St. Barths/St. Barthelemy)
The presence of a flotilla of superyachts docked stern-to along the charming waterfront of St Bart's tiny capital, Gustavia, and regular sightings of the world's rich and famous ashore and afloat, suggests there is something very special about St Barts – and there is. St Barts is a fascinating meld of Caribbean informality and French flamboyance when it comes to gastronomic delights, bars, boutiques and culture.
It is a fashion lover's paradise and the place of fabulous waterfront hotels and restaurants. St Barts can also impress you with stunning natural beauty: a tiny, low profile island featuring a captivating coastline punctuated at regular intervals by blissful beaches and enchanting scenery. St Barts is where you can soak up the lifestyle you dreamt of when cruising the Caribbean on a luxury charter yacht.
Two worlds come together in St Martin: it's a unique cosmopolitan mix of Caribbean casualness and a fabulously French lifestyle. It is also one half of the world's smallest territory – a 33 square mile island shared by the French and Dutch since 1648, making it the world's smallest landmass under the rule of two sovereign states.
St Martin / St Maarten
The French sector covers about 60 per cent of the island and the Dutch territory, St Maarten, the remainder. St Martin would be high on your Luxury Charter Group arranged itinerary if you are seeking secluded relaxation by day, and long, lazy French-influenced dinners by night. While the capital of St Marteen, Philipsburg, offers the rambunctious lifestyle of casinos and 'fast-ish' living, St Martin's colourful capital, Marigot, presents the alternative: an easy-going and elegant lifestyle with sidewalk cafes, beguiling bars, modish dining and excellent duty-free shopping. Once back at sea, you will discover a bounty of beautiful anchorages, beaches and bays, all demanding your presence. This is certainly a memorable destination on any Caribbean cruise.
US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands dot a turquoise coloured stretch of ocean that is considered to be among the most sheltered waters in the Caribbean Sea. Formally the Dutch West Indies, the islands were sold by Denmark to the United States in 1916 for $US25 million in gold.
There are three main islands – St Thomas, St Croix and St John – and beyond these there are hundreds of tempting small islands and cays, many uninhabited, waiting to be discovered by you and your friends while on your luxury charter yacht adventure in the Caribbean. This is a region that provides the complete spectrum of opportunities – from the vibrant entertainment and nightlife to be found on St Thomas, through to the other extreme of peaceful serenity in a secluded bay amid the unspoiled beauty of St John. It is all there to be enjoyed, and The Luxury Charter Yacht Group's expertise will ensure you indulge in your every desire.