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Where to cruise...this winter

29th Oct 2014

In search of warmer climes? Find out just where to head this winter with Camper & Nicholsons' expert destination guide.

The Caribbean long ago established itself as the ideal destination for winter cruising. With its clear waters, mesmerising marine life, hot temperatures and picture-perfect beaches, it is easy to understand how it has come to claim its ‘winter destination’ crown. From the scalloped coastlines and white-sand beaches of the Virgin Islands in the north, to the chic Leeward Islands and the long chain of Grenadine Islands in the Windwards to the south, the Caribbean Sea hosts a fascinating history and welcoming locals.

Further north, the Bahamas lie just off the Florida coast and continue 600 miles across to the Caribbean. With over 700 islands and nearly 2,500 cays, the shallow blue waters are home to a plethora of dive sites and fishing grounds.

For the adventurous, the varied and wonderful coastlines of Australia are a paradise of dense rainforests, sophisticated cities and glorious beaches. The bright lights of the city, desert wildernesses, mountainous landscapes and tropical islands provide a varied and vibrant backdrop for an alternative charter in the southern hemisphere.

Lying far away in the South Pacific, the two islands of New Zealand offer equal appeal. A magical place, the islands have long been a yachtsman’s paradise with some of the world’s finest sailing waters and a superb choice of anchorages.

Cocooned from the rest of the world, the islands of French Polynesia are a paradise of turquoise lagoons, lush scenery and deserted beaches marooned in an idyllic ocean. The archipelago is made up of more than 130 islands scattered over five archipelagos in three main island groups – all of which are ideal for sailing.

The Seychelles are made of 115 coral outcrops lying south of the equator in the Indian Ocean. A veritable Garden of Eden, almost half the land has been designated a national park, nature reserve or protected area. Island hopping onboard a yacht provides the perfect opportunity to experience the subtle changes between pristine landscapes. The slender coral-island chain of the Maldives is strewn across the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean like a string of pearls. Only 200 or so are inhabited, and each gem of an island sits in its own shallow lagoon, encircled by coral reefs keeping the Indian Ocean at bay. A haven for divers and watersports enthusiasts.

The cruising grounds of Southeast Asia are a hauntingly beautiful fusion of sleepy villages, sacred cities, golden pagodas and mist-shrouded jungles. Wonderfully diverse, with fascinating, colourful cultures, customs and fantastic cuisine, the coastlines of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia flourish with ancient traditions and cultures.

by Camper Nicholsons

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The cruising grounds of Southeast Asia are a hauntingly beautiful fusion of sleepy villages, sacred cities, golden pagodas and mist-shrouded jungles.