Into the Wild
The reasons for choosing a luxury yacht charter are woven together in ways that elevate things you desire to provide unforgettable experiences – time, privacy, luxury, seclusion. And luckily, some of the top wildlife spotting destinations on the planet provide many elements to make your yacht charter the ultimate vacation.
Yacht charter destinations for nature lovers provide the feeling of liberation from busy resorts, exclusive first-class service onboard luxury vessels and adventures to far flung locations with a new view each day.
From the Mediterranean to North America and Southeast Asia, while others are dreaming of the world, Bespoke Yacht Charter can help you explore some of the world’s most captivating destinations, each with something unique to offer.
Here is a glimpse into some yacht charter destinations that are worth visiting for nature or wildlife lovers:
France’s south-eastern coastline is a familiar addition to Mediterranean yacht charter itineraries, but the allure of the Côte d’Azur reaches far beyond the eponymous Saint Tropez beach clubs and world-class events such as Monaco F1 Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival.
The Côte d’Azur landscape rises and falls from the sea to the sky where scattered amidst hilltop villages, vineyards and mountain canyons, nature lovers can enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, canyoning and rock climbing.
At sea, the possibilities for enjoying the crystalline water and making the most of the warm days include diving, paddle boarding, jet skis, snorkelling or wakeboarding.
Domaine du Rayol, halfway between St Tropez and Cap Bénat, is a pleasant garden to roam with summertime concerts and a huge collection of plant species from the Mediterranean, Asia, Americas and Australasia. They also run snorkelling tours to discover the marine life in the Baie du Figuier.
Within an hour from Port Hercules in Monaco, the Mercantour National Park is a must-visit with its combination of Mediterranean and alpine microclimates delivering a stunning backdrop for glacial lakes, alpine meadows with wildflowers and peaks up to 3000 metres. Here, ibexes, marmots and chamois roam an important geographic region that is home to over 2000 plant species and examples of prehistory such as the open-air Bronze Age rock carvings in the Vallée des Merveilles.
Corsica is a great yacht charter destination for people keen on the outdoors. Autumn is lovely as the sea stays warm and there are less crowds so you can escape to a variety of beautiful natural areas for canyoning, horse riding or swimming in river pools. The UNESCO-listed Gulf of Porto is a magical spot to enjoy at dusk with its sculpted red rock and inaccessible grottoes host to sea eagles and marine life of the Scandola Nature Reserve.
Montenegro & Croatia
An Adriatic yacht charter offers a wide range of activities for everyone’s taste – from thrilling fun on jet skis and kayaking in beautiful waters, to coastal walks, forest hiking and wildlife spotting.
Extra summer flights to Tivat gives owners and charter guests easier accessibility to Porto Montenegro, so the highlights away from the coast and Bay of Kotor mean it’s worth adding a few days to your charter itinerary.
The UNESCO-listed Durmitor National Park in Montenegro operates as a ski resort between December and March; in summer yacht charter guests can break from the coast for white water rafting, hiking, kayaking and fishing. The park has a large number of bird species as well as small wild animals such as foxes and squirrels that scurry amongst the kaleidoscope of bellflowers, violets and yellow saxifrage.
The Skadar Lake National Park is a wildlife lovers haven with a broad biodiversity of wetland birds, fish, amphibians, water lilies and wild orchids; afterwards stop for some locally produced treats including organic honey and pršut (smoked ham).
The Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia entered the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1979. The 16 picturesque turquoise lakes are linked by a series of cascades, and simply beautiful. Don’t miss taking a photo from the lookout spot at Veliki Slap!
Other activities that may interest outdoor enthusiasts include cycling in Croatia’s version of Tuscany – the Istrian Peninsula, hiking to Vidova Gora (the highest mountain on the Adriatic), or swimming at Stiniva Cove at Vis Island.
Fragile wilderness, endemic animal encounters, strikingly different islands – a yacht charter in the Galapagos Islands is a one-of-a-kind experience and a nature lover’s paradise.
Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos in the 19th century influenced his formation of his theory of natural selection, and his scientific work into his famous book published in 1859, ‘On The Origin of Species’. The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) continues to work in partnership with the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) to ensure conservation of the biodiversity and limit the impact of man.
Anchorages and shore landing sites are strictly monitored; however, yacht charter guests will thrill at the opportunity to swim with marine iguanas, cavort in the water as sea lions zip around you, photograph red-footed boobies or view the famous Galapagos tortoises on Santa Cruz or San Cristóbal Islands.
Canada & Alaska
Canada and Alaska are vast countries with amazing coastlines and natural scenery encompassing glaciers, waterfalls, forests and fjords with protected anchorages. You can expect unparalleled wildlife viewing of whales, bears, eagles, wolves, salmon and sea lions.
Nature lovers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts will be drawn to the flora and fauna of the beautifully scenic straits and islands of the Inside Passage including Grenville Channel, Great Bear Rainforest and Desolation Sound in British Columbia.
Great Bear Rainforest has deserted beaches, unspoiled temperate rainforest and remote cruising grounds home to nesting seabirds, humpback whales, orcas and the genetically unique Kermode Bear (Spirit Bear)—a subspecies of the black bear where cubs can rarely display a white coat.
Inaccessible by road, Desolation Sound is the ideal destination to visit by private yacht charter where you can cruise past tranquil islands with the backdrop of the magnificent Coast Mountains.
Canada’s eastern coast also attracts wildlife fans – in 2018, the Festival of Whales will take place in the Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where the world’s biggest tides create a phenomenon that attracts rich cetacean life including the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Alaska is a great escape whether you are a novice birdwatcher or avid wildlife enthusiast – cruise the passages of Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area and Admiralty Island to view bald eagles and brown bears, or Frederick Sound and Sitka Sound which are nutrient-rich marine playgrounds for humpback whales and their calves.
Canada and Alaska are excellent places to visit for expedition yacht charters who are seeking a marine or wildlife adventure in remote destinations, with plenty of activities from kayaking and hiking to visiting hot springs, stopping by the Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory or learning about the pioneering history at frontier towns.
A land of fire and ice, Iceland is a yacht charter destination of stark, raw beauty where nature has taken its course and blown far from the polished yacht charter itineraries of the Western Mediterranean or Caribbean.
It’s a place where you’ll take blustery walks across windswept lava fields, see bubbling geothermal pools and wander wild plains fringed by volcanoes and ice caps. This geological contrast helps highlight the unspoiled beauty of the island and makes Iceland an adventurous place to explore.
If you’re looking for a yacht charter destination to create lasting memories, Iceland could be it! Marvel at Goðafoss Waterfall known as the Waterfall of the Gods, soak in the powder blue water at the Blue Lagoon, walk amidst the steaming fissures at Krafla Lava Fields or go whale watching in Skjálfandi Bay.
We particularly love the special beauty of Iceland in winter when the full dark skies illuminate with the dancing light show of the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights.
Located in Central America and bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica is in actuality quite accessible for those seeking a yacht charter that reaches tropical coastlines where the dense rainforest meets secluded beaches.
Activities for yacht charter guests include rainforest walks, surfing, volcano hikes, yoga retreats or ecotourism tours. You’ll find a wonderful array of wildlife spotting at a number of protected national parks where as well as natural beauty, they are important refuges for native flora and fauna.
You’ll hear the bellowing call of howler monkeys in Corcovado National Park, try to spot two and three-toed sloths and squirrel monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park or be lucky to watch sea turtles, dolphins, rays and hammerhead sharks at Cocos Island, situated 550 kilometres from the Costa Rican mainland. Don’t miss time ashore at the biologically diverse Osa Peninsula where you can chance a sighting of scarlet macaws, tapirs, toucans, monkeys and wild cats.
A private yacht charter in Costa Rica will be sure to delight and give you a taste of Pura Vida!
For nature lovers, Indonesia is a must-see on your yacht charter itinerary with adventure above and below water. Indonesia is rising as a yacht charter destination with the Indonesian government simplifying the procedure last year for visiting yachts and emerging infrastructure growing.
On your private yacht charter in Indonesia, cruise to limestone outcrops and drop anchor at pristine beaches with deep azure lagoons. Bali and Lombok have ample nightlife if you fancy a cocktail ashore as well as sandy beaches and pretty scenery including temples and paddy fields.
For world-class dive sites, add the Lembeh Strait, Halmahera and Raja Ampat to your Indonesian yacht charter holiday. Here, the Indonesian Throughflow currents stir up active marine environments rich with sea life and a big variety of reef fish, coral, manta rays and sharks.
Komodo Island in the Lesser Sunda chain is a UNESCO-listed island with amazing wildlife, including the Komodo Dragon and dugongs as well as brilliant snorkelling at Pantai Merah (Pink Beach).
For undisturbed cruising ideal for a romantic honeymoon yacht charter, head to Flores Island where you can head ashore to see the lakes of Mt Kelimutu or refreshing waterfalls.
Everywhere ashore, Indonesia’s ecosystem is home to many species that are not found elsewhere in the world; Anoa buffalos, pig-tailed langur monkeys, elegant sunbirds, Komodo Dragons and Sunda porcupines.
Even better, as well as being a yacht charter destination of scenic beauty Indonesia is a cultural adventure with a range of dialects and languages spoken and local cuisine enhanced with chili, exotic spices and seafood.
It is possible to spend a two-week yacht charter in the Maldives without getting bored! Located in the Indian Ocean, this small necklace of atolls is a brilliant yacht charter destination for water sports with the majority of wildlife living below the water.
The diversity of sea life in the Maldives is exceptional with over 2000 species of fish alongside giant clams, anemones and octopus. Don a wetsuit and go snorkelling amidst coral fans or scuba diving at Boli South Corner. Hanifaru Bay at the Baa Atoll is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and worth visiting for the congregation of whale sharks and manta rays.
Alternatively, wander on land where you’ll likely see grey herons stepping over fragrant star jasmine, or chameleons peeking out from palms. If you’re not partial to being in the water, take a helicopter tour over the coral reefs or simply lounge on board your charter yacht enjoying the view as you snack on warm roshi flatbread and mas huni salad, which is made up of tuna and freshly grated coconuts.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter.
Bespoke Yacht Charter has over 15 years’ experience arranging luxury yacht charters throughout the Mediterranean and rest of the world, contact us to book your next yacht charter: