It's not always fun to be away from family and friends during the holidays but there are some ways yacht crews can make their Christmas holidays in the sun more exciting and adventurous whether they are based in the Caribbean or the Med. Find out how.
For many, Christmas is the time of year to take time to relax and connect with family and friends. For most yacht crew, however, Christmas holidays in the sun means long hours on deck and a relentless charter schedule as the winter cruising season is now officially open. If you are some of the lucky few who don't find themselves busy on charter this time of year, coming up with a suitable destination to spend your festive period that is in close proximity to the boat and won't cause you any unexpected headaches can be tricky.
But don't fear. Here we have identified some of the most popular yachting hotspots this time of year and highlighted some of the best activities to keep you entertained in between shifts.
The Best Christmas Holidays in the Sun for 2018
West Palm Beach
Feeling adventurous? An hour's drive inland from West Palm Beach gets you out of the city and into the wilderness at Lake Okeechobee. Fishing, kayaking, walking trails and mountain biking are all fun activities you can look forward to here for a Christmas holiday in the sun. Great as a yacht crew's day off the boat before the rush of the season or for the adventurous few looking to get back in touch with nature.
If you are an experienced skier or snowboarder, or eager to learn the ropes of the slopes, Breckenridge, Colorado is one of the most popular spots in the States this time of year. A direct flight from Fort Lauderdale will get you to Denver International Airport and a short drive with your rented car gets you to the heart of all the action. Great for yacht crew outings or crew with time off this time of year looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle.
Looking for a fun crew afternoon outing? Shooters Waterfront in Fort Lauderdale offers great live music and a fabulous seafood menu this time of year and is the perfect option for a busy crew with limited time off.
Up for a picturesque road trip? Take the panoramic US-1 South all the way down to the historic town of Key West with its famous light displays and boat parades for a fun-filled day out as you step back in time and break away from the daily grind in this paradise town a mere 3.5 hours from Fort Lauderdale.
Cruising in the Caribbean
Although most businesses are closed on 25th December, The Festival Village in Phillipsburg on the island of St Maarten provides daily activities leading up to Christmas Day and reopens on 30th December. Those feeling the festive spirit can attend any one of several Christmas Eve parties around the Simpson Bay area.
Yacht Crews who find themselves on the beautiful island of Antigua can look forward to one of the 'five best Christmas events in the world' - as named by the New York Times - by attending the annual Nelson's Dockyard Champagne Christmas Party which has become one of the island's most famous traditions and makes a perfect Christmas vacation in the sun for crew.
Still stuck in the Mediterranean over the Christmas season? Barcelona is one of the best spots to be in Europe with generally mild temperatures and sunny days, and a host of Christmas markets located in the centre of town near most superyacht marinas and refit centres. Check out the Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Família for all your shopping needs or the Missa del Gall midnight mass on Christmas eve for a more spiritual and authentic Catalan experience.
The island of Mallorca is another popular hotspot in Europe for superyachts that spend the winter months undergoing refit and maintenance periods. Should you find yourself on Mallorca this time of year and looking for a fun Christmas break, most large towns host their own Christmas market with Palma being the most bustling of them all, with daily markets and activities running from 20th December to 6th January 2019.