With Christmas on the doorstep, now’s the time of year when we’re all thrown into the depths of winter – a period when the summer sun, sea and sand all become a distant memory. Add to that the biting wind and relentless rain that characterises the early months of the new year, and, all of a sudden, the rush to find even the tiniest trace of sun becomes very real indeed. For a fortunate few, however, the winter months are an opportunity to set sail and explore the positively tropical far-flung corners of the world. We are, of course, talking about The Deck Set.
Although the Mediterranean Sea soaks up the majority of marine traffic during the summer months, we’ve teamed up with holidaywear label Orlebar Brown to both uncover some alternative spots and put together an edit of what to wear while riding out the long winter months at sea…
Even though it’s an obvious choice, the tropical climes of The Caribbean remain a firm favourite due to their accessibility from both Europe and the US. The bustling hub of St Barths is best for a New Year’s Eve celebration, but head for the beautiful bays and topography of the British Virgin Islands if you’re after a quieter time onboard.
For beaches, there are far too many to choose from in Antigua – 365, to be precise – as well as a host of great restaurants, should you wish to venture on land. One important note before you go: be sure to pack your best Thunderball or Dr. No outfit, seeing as both Bond blockbusters were set there in the 1960s. Luckily, our good friends at OB can lend a hand in that department.
Thailand – or the Land of Smiles, as it’s more affectionately known – is a stunning place for any seabound adventure. Superlative geography meets unrivalled hospitality and rich local culture, making the country hard to overlook when searching for winter sun. For the aquatically minded, it’s home to some of the world’s greatest scuba diving spots, and yachts making their way through the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand will be treated to the towering limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay.
As for those passing by the pristine beaches and bays of the Thai island of Koh Samui – or, alternatively, Ko Phi Phi Lee – be sure to don your finest swimwear and bleach-blonde locks in order to pay homage to Leonardo di Caprio’s look in The Beach. With most flying into Phuket, the city remains the country’s superyacht hub as most charters are based there, and a concerted effort is being made to provide more high-end facilities and services throughout the country to attract more superyacht visitors.
For travellers looking to uncover some culture while on board this winter, head to Indonesia. Building in popularity as a destination for superyachts, there’s plenty of history to explore, as well as a hefty dose of natural beauty – from world-famous scuba diving sites to Sumatran tigers and orangutans that roam freely on the island. The Raja Ampat archipelago is the hot-spot for superyachts, largely due to its beaches and luscious-green landscapes. Across the Banda Sea is the mythical island of Komodo.
With so much of the country spread out across the water, a superyacht is the best – and finest – way to take in all of what Indonesia has to offer.
Howell Towelling Shirt
Terry Towelling Polo
Bulldog Cotton Twill Shorts
Another classic tropical paradise, Seychelles is made up of 115 islands that are surrounded by the sapphire-blue hues of the Indian Ocean, and are known for their natural, unspoilt beauty; remote beaches; and rich, tropical vegetation.
Like so many island nations, Seychelles showcases some of the best scuba diving locations in the world, with a particular focus on its coral reefs that carpet the seabed, and its gentle – albeit giant – resident whale sharks. For the twitchers, the jungles are home to more than 200 species of bird, as well as flying foxes and giant tortoises, so be sure to channel your inner Attenborough if stepping off the safety of your superyacht.
Although a little more remote, the 121 scattered islands that make up French Polynesia are some of the finest in the vast South Pacific Ocean. Tahiti is the best-known, biggest and easiest to access of all the islands. Exploring the archipelagos will reveal deep jungles; powder-white, pink and black beaches, lapped by crystal-clear water; and shallow reefs that give way to turquoise lagoons.
Further inland, rivers snake through the dense vegetation, fed by thundering waterfalls. Again, another prime destination for those keen on snorkelling or scuba diving, with shoals of kaleidoscopic sealife and even reef sharks lying in the shallows.
Want more travel content? Here’s our guide on how to holiday better…
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