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It’s no surprise that a large percentage of travelers are drawn to the sea, our human brains hardwired to react positively to water.

Any body of water seems to have the ability to offer us a sense of calm and clarity, but our world’s seas especially seem to have a special ability to relieve stress and provide a number of health benefits for both the body and mind.

While seaside getaways are great, there’s nothing quite like getting out on the actual sea. Thanks to private catamaran charters, you can ditch the often crowded and noisy sea cruise tours and enjoy pure seclusion and bliss.

Many catamaran charter companies don’t require you to have any previous sailing or captaining experience. They’ll often offer a brief training session and you’ll be set free to craft your own personal holiday.

The following are some of the top places around the world where catamaran experiences reign supreme. You’ll be able to snorkel and swim on a whim, suntan on the deck, moor in the bay by day, and still come ashore whenever you wish.

Top Sea Vacation Destinations to Charter a Private Catamaran

Isla Mujeres Off Cancun

Catamaran boat water sail RF

Millions of travelers head to the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula to visit Cancún, making this region one of the most sought after destinations in Mexico. Cancún offers year-round warmth and sunshine, plenty of beaches, and is close to ancient wonders like Chichén Itzá.

The one downfall of Cancún is that it is so widely popular, but you can escape this by chartering Moana’s Private Catamaran which will take you offshore and away from the all the busy chaos.

Just 8 miles offshore is Isla Mujeres or “Island of Women”. This is where not only the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean, but also where relaxation meets adventure.

Private catamaran charters like those offered by Moana will take you to the island’s exclusive locations via a half day, full day, or overnight experience. Whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, bachelorette party, or special birthday, a private catamaran charter will spoil you with exceptional service alongside gourmet food and fine wines.

Isla Mujeres offers the chance to dive coral reefs where you can explore the famous Underwater Museum with its gallery of submerged sculptures and swim with dolphins and sea turtles. Between roughly June and September, these waters are home to giant Whale sharks as well.

There are also beautiful beaches including Playa Norte to lounge on as well as plenty of incredible saltwater fish to catch such as giant sailfish.

Australia’s Whitsundays

Whitsundays Australia water beach sail RF

Regarded by many as the Southern Hemisphere’s most popular sailing destination, the Whitsundays off Australia’s central coast of Queensland is stunningly beautiful.

Without the need of a license or sailing qualifications, you can charter and captain your own private catamaran around the Whitsundays’ 74 islands which includes the much loved Hamilton Island.

Situated on the outer fringes of the Great Barrier Reef, it’s no surprise that scuba diving and snorkeling are the top activities here.

Fish of every size and color mingle with sea turtles, dolphins, and rays, while humpback whales join the party from June to September every year.

Many catamaran charters come with snorkel equipment and wetsuits, SUPs, and maybe even clear bottom kayaks. Getting to choose your own itinerary via a private catamaran allows you to explore the many secluded beaches and hidden bays.

There’s also the famous Heart Reef, world-renowned Whitehaven Beach with its pure white silica sand, and a number of great dive sites in the calm waters off Hook Island.


Tahiti sailboat RF

It doesn’t get more tropical or exotic than the South Pacific’s French Polynesia. Divided up into various groups of islands such as the Marquesas and Society Islands, the French overseas collectivity is home to 118 islands that includes Bora Bora, Rangiroa, and of course Tahiti.

Tahiti can be a bit more challenging to captain your own private catamaran, but you can do it if you have a few years of skipper experience under your belt.

You’ll most likely want to study local itinerary maps and navigation notes before you set sail. More commonly, people choose to charter a catamaran with a skipper which is actually mandatory if you wish to visit certain islands near Tahiti.

You can also opt to have a hostess/cook onboard to cook all your meals and tidy up each day so you can focus on relaxation and adventure for which there is plenty of. Discover black sand beaches and plenty of great dive sites where you may even have the opportunity to hand-feed rays.

Come ashore to experience adventurous hikes, stand beneath waterfalls such as Les Trois Cascades, explore archaeological sites, and shop for Tahitian black pearls. You may even want to spend a night or two in one of Tahiti’s famous overwater bungalows.


Dubrovnik Croatia RF

Boasting over 1,000 miles of Adriatic coastline thanks to many coves and bays, Croatia offers one of the best places in the Mediterranean to charter a catamaran.

Thanks to over a thousand islands to explore, Croatia’s coast has become a very popular sailing destination that is reminiscent of the French Riviera’s earlier years.

You can choose to charter a boat with or without a skipper and have the option of getting a powered or sail catamaran. Sailing is often the ideal choice as attractions and popular anchorage points aren’t far apart.

Pro tip: Because catamarans are so popular here, it’s recommended to book at least six months in advance.

The catamaran sailing season runs from May through October, with a number of cities making great embarkation points including Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, and Sibenik.

You’ll enjoy snorkeling, cliff jumping, and swimming along the coast, while exploring ancient Roman structures along with the famous old city walls, forts, and gates that were used as filming locations for Game of Thrones.

There are also plenty of delicious Mediterranean flavors to dine on and don’t miss some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches such as Dubovica, Lovrecina, and the famous Zlatni Rat or “Golden Horn”.

Saint Lucia

St Lucia Piton Sail Boat RF

Known as the “The Jewel of the Windwards”, Saint Lucia sits in the eastern Caribbean and offers one of the region’s best places to charter a catamaran.

You can focus your attention simply in and around Saint Lucia or explore nearby Martinique, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines.

Offering numerous ports from which you can charter a catamaran including Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, and Soufriere, you won’t need a license if you choose a skippered charter. A bareboat catamaran charter will require a license such as an International Certificate of Competence or RYA Qualifications.

Discover crescent-shaped beaches, small fishing villages like Soufrière, coconut plantations, and geothermal sites where you can enjoy a mud bath.

Hike through Pigeon Island National Park or Edmund Rain Forest Reserve, take in the volcanic Pitons, snorkel or dive in Anse Chastanet Marine National Park, and do a bit of horseback riding.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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