Luxury Yacht Charters in DominicaOfficially known as the Commonwealth of Dominica, (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic), the island is located in the Central region of the Eastern Caribbean, with Martinique a short hop to the South and Guadeloupe to the North. Dominica is a special jewel as it has been spared mass tourism, in large part because there are very few sandy beaches, no flashy resorts and no direct international flights, in fact one of the best ways to visit is by yacht. The volcanic geology gives the island rippling mountain ranges, deep fertile valleys dense with a dazzling greenness, and water galore – rivers that plunge down waterfalls or streams that meander contentedly to the sea. A treasure trove of Mother Nature’s wonders, about two thirds of its territory is covered by dense forest which is teeming with over 1,500 plant and animal species, some of which are thought to be extinct on surrounding Islands.
“There is only one way to understand Dominica. You have to walk across it and along it.”Alec Waugh, ''Typical Dominica'' 1948
Cruising in Dominica
Dominica is the prime choice when it comes to ecotourism. From whale watching to water-falls and swimming pools – yacht charterers are treated to a wide range of natural wonders both on sea and land. There are no marinas in Dominica but in order to protect the delicate coral reefs secure yacht moorings are dotted along the coastline.
Although it is not the most convenient starting and finishing location for your Charter, Dominica certainly is an exciting and interesting port of call within your itinerary if heading south from St Kitts, Guadeloupe or Antigua, or North from Martinique.
What you need to know
If you are planning on visiting the stunning Emerald Pool & waterfall, try to avoid a cruise ship day, when one packed mini-van after another pulls up to the site.
Keep an eye out for Spotted and Spinner Dolphins, which are frequently seen off the coast of Dominica in large, mixed pods sometimes numbering well over five hundred. Their thrilling acrobatic performances and willingness to bow ride and surf the waves of boats make a spectacular sight.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park, is the first and the only natural park in the Eastern Caribbean declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is one of the remaining two islands in the region that is populated by Carib Indians.
Hampstead Beach is one of the beaches where Pirates of the Caribbean II & III were filmed which is an attraction for many while cruising Dominica, another stunning beach worthy of a visit is the hard to find Batibou Bay – white sands fringed by palm trees and as one of the broadest and widest it rivals that of any other top beach in the Caribbean.
Dominica provides wonderful scuba diving due to its steep drop-offs, healthy marine environment, and plentiful coral reefs. There are over 30 sites off the coast that are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Divers can discover and enjoy the rich marine life or sample the undersea volcanic vents.
Just as Dominica is famous for its outstanding diving, it’s also known for the pristine tropical rainforests. Studded with majestic waterfalls, streams, lakes and rivers, rumored to be 365 in total, there’s wonderful hiking, swimming and photo opportunities. Though mountainous, much of the rainforest is easily accessible by way of some exciting tracks and trails.
One such hike is to the world’s second largest boiling lake (New Zealand has the largest), its surface churnings hint at an unstable, shuddering earth below. A swimming hole at the Boiling Lake trailhead gives way to a narrow gorge ending at a torrential waterfall. The eerily quiet, short swim through the crystal-clear water is a spooky experience.
Emerald Pool takes its name from its lush green setting at the base of a 12m (40ft) waterfall. The pool, deep enough for a swim, is reached via a five-minute walk through a rain forest of ferns and tall trees. Trafalgar Falls – these twin falls are a nice easy 20 minute walk to a viewing platform; one can also continue on and climb over rocks to swim in the smaller of the falls.
Across the valley from Trafalgar Falls, and linked to it by a road across the River Blanc, Wotten Waven is famous for its natural hot sulfur springs. There are mellow options for dipping in waters and then there’s Screw’s Sulfur Spa, which reflects the lively persona of its Rasta owner.
The slow and silent boat trip along Indian River, a shady mangrove-lined river, is a memorable experience as you glide past buttressed bwa mang trees whose trunks rise out of the shallows, their roots stretching out laterally along the riverbanks. Enjoy close-up views of egrets, crabs, iguanas, hummingbirds and other creatures.
Experience the exhilaration of kayaking down the light rapids of the Layou River – (Dominica’s longest) to the picturesque fishing village of Layou and the warm, calm water of the Caribbean Sea. You’ll have a chance to cool off on a swim where the river meets the sea.
The beautiful 40-acre botanical gardens teem with mature banyan, century palms and ficus trees along with flowering tropical shrubs. It’s a great place for a wander and a picnic on the expansive lawns. A must-see is the Parrot Conservation and Research Centre, an aviary housing rare Jaco and Sisserou parrots. ‘Jack’s Walk ’, the short but steep and winding half-mile trail to the top of Morne Bruce, starts behind the aviary.
For a once in a life-time experience take a whale watching trip to see the magnificent Sperm whales which favor the completely sheltered, deep water of Dominica’s west coast, this also makes an ideal calving and breeding ground for this planets’ largest toothed animal.
Papillote Wilderness Retreat is Dominica’s original eco inn and it continues to enchant visitors who revel in the luxuriant tropical gardens, steaming away stress in hot mineral pools.
Dominica – Yacht Charter Highlights
Rainforest Hiking to the Boiling Lake
Relax in hot mineral springs and natural water-falls
Spectacular whale watching
Glide along the mystical Indian River
Planning Your Yacht Charter in Dominica
A crewed yacht charter is the ultimate indulgence – for some a once in life-time experience, for others a yearly ritual exploring new locations and exciting destinations only accessible by boat. Along with the captain we’ll assist in planning a comprehensive itinerary prior to your charter based on your interests and requests, as well as pointing out the “must sees” in the area.
You can start your cruise in St Kitts, Guadeloupe or Antigua and cruise South to Dominica or cruise North from Martinique.
Contact our charter specialists and we will guide you through the booking process including assisting with airport transfers and pre charter hotel recommendations.
Choosing A Luxury Yacht & Crew
Once we have discussed your preferences in detail we will present selections of online yacht brochures with photos, menus and crew details and will continue to do so until we find the perfect match for you in terms of size, style & budget.
If you have firm dates in mind we’ll confirm availability with the owner and place a courtesy hold on your dates whilst your charter agreement is prepared and signed. It’s a good idea to have a second choice in mind, especially for busy holiday periods when yachts book up quickly.
We recommend booking your charter at least six months in advance to ensure that we secure your preferred yacht. Some of the most sought after yachts will book one year in advance for certain weeks or events. It is always possible to accommodate last minute bookings however we do recommend booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Twice a year we personally inspect the yachts and spend time with the crew to ensure that we are representing only the very best.
When to go
Dominica is a rainy island, especially June to October, while the hurricane season from June to November should be avoided.
Although Sperm whales are present in the general area all year round, the best chances you have of seeing these mighty creatures is during the winter months from the end of November to March.
Humpback whales pass through the area in January & February and apparently their songs can often be heard from land.
Planning a sailing vacation in the Caribbean ?
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Hint – If you’re finding it hard to decide on a single destination why not enjoy a multi-island cruise ? Get in touch and we’ll help you plan your perfect itinerary…
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This trip out did our greatest expectations! The crew was amazing, tailoring to our every wish. The food was above 5 star and it was incredible to us how this could be accomplished with such a small kitchen. Each day was better than the next and we have never been more relaxed in our lives. If anyone ever needs a reference please do not hesitate to have them call us. I hope one day we can take this trip again.The Haltmans
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