Exploring the world by yacht is becoming more accessible than ever before. Discover how with The Moorings yacht ownership programme…
There’s something alluring about exploring the world by yacht – hopping from island to island, sun on your face, the water sparkling like a thousand turquoise jewels. You experience a sense of true freedom, as you choose where to sail and when, docking in little-visited coves, sailing past palm-pricked islands and falling asleep on board to the rhythm of the waves.
For a long time though, owning a yacht was regarded as the preserve of the very wealthy, zapping time, energy and, above all, money. But that no longer has to be the case. With The Moorings yacht ownership programmes, you get all the benefits of owning a yacht without any of the hassle – and for a fraction of the cost. And better yet, it opens up a whole world of travel opportunities.
Read on to find out how - and discover three amazing yachting destinations...
The Andaman Sea is the kind of turquoise that doesn’t look real in pictures – a swirl of blue and green, dotted with limestone karsts and tiny jungle-covered islands. In this body of water lie the Phi Phi islands – a small archipelago between Phuket and the mainland. Start by sailing from Phuket toKoh Phi Phi Leh – a mostly-uninhabited island, with water as clear as gin. Here you can snorkel with everything from harmless black tip reef sharks to clownfish. At night, the plankton glows a brilliant luminescent silver in the dark.
Sail on to Bamboo Island for more snorkelling – the coral reef of Hin Klang is like swimming in an aquarium. Then head to Koh Phi Phi Don, an island shaped like an ‘H’: the main village sits along a 100m ‘horizonal’ strip of sand connecting the two junglecovered ‘vertical’ strips. Climb 40 minutes up to the Phi Phi View Point, where you can take in the jungle palms, white sand and seemingly fluorescent waters.
With 1,244 islands in Croatia’s Dalmatian archipelago, exploring by yacht is the best way to discover this rambling spread of the Mediterranean. Start by sailing out to the tiny island of Vis, a couple of hours from the main port of Split. Trek up 587m Mt Hum for views of the island, take in the vineyards and wineries (try the brandy), or book a trip into the ‘Blue Cave’; the water is lit in a luminescent silver-blue light from sunlight reflecting through cracks in the rock.
After a few days investigating, sail to Mljet – cloaked in dense Mediterranean forest. Stop for some red wine and goat cheese at one of the ocean-facing restaurants, many with free buoys out front so you can moor up and dinghy over: hilltop Stermasi is a good choice to enjoy an octopus salad. Finally, head north towards the Kornati archipelago, where you can spend days walking your pick of the 140 uninhabited islands, before returning each night to curl up on your yacht.
The year-round warm weather and cobalt Caribbean waters make the British Virgin Islands one of the best sailing destinations in the world. Its central island of Tortola is its yachting capital, beckoning you to shore with its powder-white sand and wall of dancing palm trees. You could easily spend a week circling the island by yacht, dipping into the sheltered harbours and bays – Cane Garden Bay is the chilled Caribbean in a snapshot – and snorkelling off the side of your boat to perhaps come face to beak with the turtles that gave the island its name.
The BVI’s privateering past is writ-large in the names of the bays, coves and harbours that invite you in as well as in the shipwrecks that dot the coast. Tortola’s colonial history can be investigated further - or at least tasted – with a quick trip to the 19th-century Callwood Rum Distillery. However, one of the best places to sip rum (in its celebrated PainKiller cocktail form) is on Jost Van Dyke island’s Soggy Dollar Bar – so named because you moor in the bay and swim over from your yacht, wallet in pocket.
The Moorings is the world’s premier yacht company, operating since 1969. They run two five-year programmes, making yacht ownership far easier and cheaper than buying a yacht outright. In the first programme, you purchase a yacht up front and then get 8% or 9% of the cost back each year in income, meaning by the end of the programme you’ve recovered roughly 40% of your costs. In the second programme, you purchase a yacht for less than half the price (but recieve no income); then after five years, you can either buy the yacht outright(for 20% of the original yacht cost), orif you choose to opt out,receive 20% of the yacht’s cost back.
As well as making it more affordable, The Moorings look after your yacht throughout the year, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance, management or operating costs, including insurance. Then, after five years, you can walk away or sign up for a brand new yacht. With 12 weeks of access to sister ships around the world each year, it means you can be sailing the Caribbean one week, then island hopping in Thailand the next.
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