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As Featured in Islands Magazine

ISLAND HOPPING

More Authentic Ports Await Small Ship Cruisers

The privelage of sailing the world on your own private megayacht with a full-service crew may be something reserved for the world's rich and famous, but today's small ship cruise lines are making similar experiences accessible to us "real folks".  The choices vary greatly but each consistently provides the feeling of indulgence - and for us island lovers, the chance to see coastal destinations that are simply inaccessible via the larger-ship curise lines.

Yacht charter company The Moorings, was able to make my dream of being a yacht owner a reality - well, at least for a week.  There were eight of us, four couples, onboard the Moorings 6200 crewed catamaran as we explored the British Virgin Islands, celebrating nothing special except our friendship and that we were away from work and responsibility.  The Big Dog, our 62 foot private, live-aboard yacht, was custom built exclusively for The Moorings and had four double staterooms with ensuite bathrooms.  Our journey started and ended in Tortola, with a course that took us through sheltered waters and protected bays. 

Along with five-star service, the yacht came with kayaks, snorkeling gear, and fishing gear that we used daily to explore the magnificent waters that surround the more than 50 islands in the region.  Our captain created a customized itinerary for us, which included full days enjoying those waters, sometimes anchoring near a lively beach bar and other times secluded bays to feel as if we alone existed.  Our onboard personal chef filled us with delicious meals, hors d'oeuvres and snacks.  And did I mention that the all-inclusive flat rate included the premium bar - which led to many a sunset toast?

When we decided to leave our floating haven for land, our captain found the ideal spots for our interests.  Cane Garden Bay on the North side of Tortola offered us the most perfect of Caribbean beaches, with white sand, palm trees, and calm waters to swim or kayak.  After dinner onboard, our group headed to Quito's Gazebo, where we sipped on Bushwackers, a drink made of four different kinds of rum, and listened to the tunes of owner Quito Rymer and his band The Edge.  Anchoring at The Bight on Norman Island, we snorkeled at Treasure Point with its four flooded caves.  The water is shallow, with depths of only four feet.  We continued North to Pelican Island and The Indians, four rock pinnacles extending 50 feet above and below the water's surface, for more snorkeling...

 

Reprinted with permission from Island's Magazine, October 2012 Special Advertising Section

 

 



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