St. Maarten is undoubtedly the world's most popular winter cruising destination, and for good reason. Split equally between the culturally rich nations of France and the Netherlands, St. Maarten's character is unlike any other in the Caribbean.
On the French side, enjoy decadent dining, boutique shopping or nude sunbathing on beautiful Orient Beach. On Wednesdays, Air France operates a jumbo jet that lands at Princess Juliana Airport, bringing with it France's tastiest treats— including fresh mussels and a variety of yummy cheeses. Make sure to secure a spot at the Sunset Beach Bar before it lands, and watch in amazement as the giant plane lands precariously close to the ocean.
On the Dutch side, you'll find discotheques filled with revelers dressed in high fashion, casinos for gambling and duty-free shopping. It's also home to Simpson Bay Lagoon, the winter home of choice for yachts of all shapes and sizes. With access through "the bridge" spanning only 55 feet in width, during bridge openings the entertainment is marveling as captains expertly squeeze their multi-million dollar vessels through without garnering a scratch.
From St. Maarten, cruise south to what is hands-down the most luxurious Caribbean island, St. Barths. Many of the world's wealthiest and most famous socialites frequent beautiful Saline Beach, as well as wine and dine at the ever-popular Nikki Beach Club. With high society glam sprinkled amongst the warm sunshine and gentle ocean breezes, it's no wonder this island is the darling of the yachting community.
In Saba, a short cruise northwest from St Barths, enjoy a hike up Mount Scenery or scuba dive above a coral reef teeming with sea life. At dusk, marvel as your captain expertly anchors alongside Saba's rugged cliffs for another beautiful evening on the sea.
And finally, another popular cruising destination is Anguilla, a flat, low-lying island of coral and limestone situated just a few miles north of St. Martin. Anguilla boasts several five-star resorts, including the Cuisinart, Maliouhana and Cap Jaluca all offering exceptional resort and fine-dining experiences. Go for an afternoon cruise around the island, taking in breathtaking views of white sandy beaches and soaring palm trees, or curl up on the aft deck with your personal copy of A Trip To The Beach, the charming true story behind one of the island's most well known-restaurants, Blanchard's. If you have time, tender ashore and stop in for a lobster dinner and their famous Cracked Coconut dessert. It's a scrumptious treat of semi-sweet chocolate, homemade coconut ice cream and Kahlua custard sauce. Are you hungry yet? Anguilla offers something for everyone and should not be missed during your Caribbean charter vacation!