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8 Family Friendly Yacht Charter Destinations

Denison Yachting | April 22, 2021

A boating vacation will bring the family closer this spring.

One of the best ways to travel with the family is to charter a luxury yacht. Begin at one of these fun destinations for an unforgettable holiday. You’ll make memories that your children — no matter their age — will remember forever.

1. Dry Tortugas

Seven islands make up the Dry Tortugas, located 70 miles off the Florida Keys. Garden Key holds Fort Jefferson, which takes up 16 acres. The 19th Century fortress, though its construction is unfinished, holds more than 16 million bricks, and is great for exploring and photographing. Underwater, snorkelers will find a variety of undersea life, including amberjacks, grouper, tarpon and stingrays hanging out by the surrounding coral reef. The Loggerhead lighthouse sits on the Tortugas’ largest island, Loggerhead Key. Along Loggerhead Reef, the remains of the 1875 Windjammer ship is a popular dive site. Private charters must be authorized by the National Park Service.

Best aptly named Florida Keys yacht charter: TORTUGA | 82′ Monte Fino 2001/2018

2. Islamorada, Florida Keys

Whether you are fishing, snorkeling or just relaxing, you will feel at peace on the turquoise waters off Islamorada. Take your kids on an unforgettable trip where they can swim with the dolphins or stingrays. Snorkel or kayak in the shallow waters of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It is worth standing on line to get a Key lime pie at the Blonde Giraffe. At the Theater of the Sea marine animal park, which has reopened at Mile Marker 84.5, kids can watch a sea lion paint, meet a sea turtle or take a ride on a bottomless boat.

Best Florida Keys yacht charter: GIOIA | 108′ Custom Line

3. The Exumas

Pig beach in the Exumas
Photo by Howie Sonnenschein

Pig Beach, Exuma, in The Bahamas, is located on an island uninhabited by humans is a beach where pigs swim in the clear turquoise waters. The Exumas — including the largest island, Great Exuma — consist of more than 365 cays and islands. The serene combination of sand, sea and sky is a natural draw, but the colony of feral (but friendly) pigs on Big Major Cay — located 82 miles southeast of Nassau — has become a fascination for tourists. The Exumas are the playground of the rich and famous (including David Copperfield, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Johnny Depp). Pitbull, also a fan of the Exumas, filmed his music video, “Timber,” there. If you want to extend your stay, Denison partner, Tropic Ocean Airways, will deliver supplies, fly-in guests, or assist with crew rotations to and from your vessel, if needed.

Best Bahamas yacht charter: PRIVÉE | 95′ Sunseeker 2018

4. Turks & Caicos

The Turks and Caicos is made up of more than 40 islands, many untouched by humans. A British Overseas Territory, the islands boast pristine beaches, tropical wetlands, crystal-clear waters and pink flamingos. Depending on their age, give your kids a pony or horse ride along Long Bay Beach. The shallow waters off Chalk Sound and Taylor Beach are perfect for watching starfish. The best snorkeling — the marine life is fascinating — is just off Grace Bay Beach, on the island of Providenciales, in Princess Alexandra Marine National Park. 

Best Turks and Caicos yacht charter: BUNDALONG | 80′ Sunreef 2019

5. Woods Hole, MA

On your way to Martha’s Vineyard? Stop at Woods Hole, home of the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. It is a cozy spot in the town of Falmouth, located on the southeast corner of Cape Cod. With its laid-back vibe, Woods Hole boasts the Nobska Point Lighthouse and Stony Beach. Woods Hole Science Aquarium, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), opened to the public in the late 1800s. After being damaged by Hurricane Carol in 1954, the building reopened in 1961.

Best New England yacht charter: SPLASHED OUT | 88′ Sunseeker 2010/2020

6. Catalina Island

Catalina Island, CA offers many family friendly activities including kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkeling. But the most unusual attraction on the island is bison-watching. Take a tour through the grazing grounds of American bison, named the national mammal of the United States in 2016. The island also offers hiking, mini-golf and ziplining. Located 22 miles off Los Angeles, it is a perfect spot for fishing. While cruising off the Southern California coast, you might catch a glimpse of dolphins, sea lions and other aquatic life. To get the best view of the Pacific — next to being underwater yourself — take the kids on a glass-bottom boat ride. 

Best Los Angeles yacht charter: BRANDI WINE | 114′ Hargrave 2009/2019

7. Newport, Rhode Island

Cruise around the Newport, RI coastline lined with lighthouses and harbor mansions. Meander along the oceanside Cliff Walk to learn the history of the New England elite. The Breakers, the opulent home of the Vanderbilt family, reopens on May 3, along with the Green Animals Topiary Garden. Relax on Easton Beach or take a self-guided tour of America’s largest coastal fortress at Fort Adams.

Tired of the crowds on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket? Visit the smaller, quieter Block Island, which sits 27 miles southwest of Newport. The island’s natural beauty includes 17 miles of beaches and two lighthouses. Animal lovers will find many options, including visiting the migratory birds of Block Island National Wildlife Refuge and the exotic animals at the 1661 Inn Farm. Kayak and paddleboard rentals open in May. 

Best Newport, RI yacht charter: ARABELLA | 157′ Palmer Johnson 1983

8. Galveston, TX

Galveston, TX has a fascinating history as a gateway to America. Before Ellis Island opened in 1892, the vast majority of immigrants arrived through the Port of Galveston. The city is on Galveston Island, a sandy barrier island located 50 miles southeast of Houston. Let the kids play in the sand — Galveston has 32 miles of gulf coast beaches — or take them on a historical walking tour. But if you really want to keep the kids happy, head to Schlitterbahn water park, opening on May 15. The amusement park at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is open on the weekends. The nonprofit Moody Gardens has a zoo, aquarium and golf course.

Best yacht charter: IV TRANQUILITY | 94′ Lazzara 2001/2018

Booking a luxury yacht charter is the perfect way to enjoy a spring holiday with your family. Contact a Denison charter manager to book your next getaway.


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