When is hurricane season you ask?
The defined season in the Caribbean is June 1 – November 30 however, the peak months are considered August, September, and into mid-October.
What islands define the Caribbean?
With 25 independent countries and other territories occupying over 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays, the list is long. The most popular yacht charter destinations in the Caribbean are Antigua, Bahamas (arguably in the Caribbean), British Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, US Virgin Islands.
So, why is chartering a yacht in the Caribbean during hurricane season such a great idea?
First and foremost, discounts! Here at Canvas Yacht Charters, we love helping our clients get the best deals in the market. The yachts who remain in operation during this defined season often reduce their rates to help fill their calendars. Additionally, many airlines and hotels do the same so your overall expenses can be reduced significantly.
Better sea conditions. Winter can be a bit windy throughout the Caribbean, with breezes in excess of 20 knots some days. By comparison, winds in the summer are typically 10-15 knots, and that means smaller seas as well. When chartering with kids or those prone to seasickness, this will be welcomed. Also, winter storms set up a ground swell that sometimes makes anchorages open to the north untenable, which in turn can eliminate some very scenic overnight spots. These calmer conditions also make some of the longer sails easier, which expands the available cruising grounds.
Weather. Seriously? Yep! Average temperatures in the British Virgin Islands for example are 72° to 83° F in the winter and 77°to 88° F in the summer. To that small difference, add a nearly constant breeze and refreshing water, and the islands may be more comfortable than a scorching muggy July in the Midwest or along the Eastern Seaboard.
Last but certainly not least, serenity. The difference in chartering during hurricane season, especially in the popular US and British Virgin Islands, is night and day. Open anchorages, available moorings and bars with free tables will be your reward in the summer. In fact, you may only encounter 20 percent of the usual traffic. Getting away from it all takes on a whole new meaning when the best snorkel spots are nearly private and the only footprints on a sandy beach are your own. Besides other charter boats, you’ll also avoid most of the long-term cruisers, who ship out due to insurance policy rules.
Ok, now that you are excited about the possibility, what should you take into consideration?
Flexibility is important. Be flexible with your travel plans and timing as you may have to make changes to your dates. The journey is worth it!
Safety is a priority. Given the weather reporting technology available, it is very easy to track storms and be well prepared prior to their arrival. Your captain and crew are professionals and have been trained to monitor and assess the weather patterns and to initiate a plan of action to ensure the safety of everyone on board.
Charter in the Windward Islands. The southern Caribbean or Windward islands of Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are less susceptible to being in the path of hurricanes and the yacht inventory will be larger during these months. You can even explore the areas where the movie series Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.
Travel Insurance. We highly recommend travel insurance be purchased to insure your expenses associated. There are several great companies that we can refer you to who will provide protection for the specific areas you wish to cover. Additionally, many of the yachts themselves will require guests have a travel insurance policy during the months of August, September and October in order to secure the booking.
If you are ready to plan your summer vacation or simply want to learn more, let’s chat.
At Canvas Yacht Charter we are real people who do not hide behind a computer. So much can be discussed in a fraction of the time over the phone. We are advisors who believe in educating our clients and being a part of your journey.