Tag Archives: sailing holiday

Far from the crowds; cruising Barbuda in the Caribbean

November 10, 2013

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Far from the crowds in Barbuda; enjoy some well deserved R&R...

There’s nothing better than feeling the soft, cool sand between your toes and hearing the lap of the Caribbean Sea when you need some well deserved R&R.  That’s why Barbuda is such a perfect cruising destination.  On the west coast, you have Low Bay which is literally 11 miles of unbroken white/pink sand.  From time to time the beach looks an amazing pink; this is because it is made up from the tiniest of pink shells.

The pink sand at Low Bay, Barbuda.

So how do you reach this sailor’s paradise?  From the island of Antigua, Barbuda is around a four and a half hour sail – perfect for those charterers who do not want a full day of sailing but enjoy island-hopping.  Most of our guests will sail from Jolly Harbour up to either Deep Bay (where you can jump in and explore the wreck of the Andes) or even the more lively Dickenson Bay where you have such great restaurants as Coconut Grove and Pepperz n Lime.  From these two overnight anchorages, you then lift your anchor early the next morning and sail up to Barbuda.

Deep Bay and the wreck of the Andes for snorkelling

Once in Barbuda, you can visit the Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Lagoon – a guided boat tour showing you these amazing birds with their bright red colouring on display…

Frigate birds feeding in Barbuda

Majestic frigate birds in Barbuda

Or enjoy some local lobster at Uncle Roddy’s Lobster Shack (another overnight anchorage so do allow two nights in Barbuda to fully appreciate all it has to offer)…

Uncle Roddy's Lobster Shack in Barbuda

Whichever way you decide to explore Barbuda; we know that you won’t be disappointed.  Paradise is waiting for you.


Horizon Yacht Charters Antigua


Skype:  jackieashford1

Toll free:  +1 866 439 1089

Tel:  +1 268 562 4725


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New Luxury Crewed Yacht Available to Charter in the BVI

November 6, 2012

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Embark on a vacation that is completely stress-free and experience a sailing vacation that will have you stepping into a world of luxury.  Enjoy having your very own professional Captain to cater to your every need so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

Whether you want to take the helm occasionally, or not at all, or your goal for the week is to learn as much as possible, the choice is yours. Perfect for those who enjoy sailing around the beautiful British Virgin Islands or for those purely looking to spend their vacation relaxing with a good book or cocktail while underway. For the ultimate in luxury, ask us about having a Chef as well.

‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once) is a new (2012 model) bright and spacious Lagoon 450 catamaran that sleeps six passengers in comfort and style. Two cabins have the luxury of a large en-suite with shower and electric head each, whilst the outsized “owner’s quarters” runs from stern to bow in the other hull. The modern galley and saloon, is tastefully designed and equipped with state-of-the art electronics, as well as additional luxuries such as a water-maker, ice-maker, microwave, washing machine/dryer and flat-screen televisions. YOLO has wrap around saloon windows, giving you uninterrupted views and the saloon opens onto the cockpit to give a very open plan living space. YOLO has a plethora of opening hatches for cooling au naturel, but when needed, she also benefits from Air Conditioning powered by a well soundproofed generator, centrally located – making for a peaceful nights sleep.

On deck, the yacht boasts extensive seating both forward and aft, as well as a large swimming platform, ideal to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. The raised fly bridge gives a panoramic birdseye view at anchor, or under sail. With a beam of nearly 26 feet, she is very stable, never heeling more than 5 degrees, with wide decks and recessed hatches, to make moving around the yacht a breeze and with enough space for everyone aboard to find their own favourite place to read, sunbathe or simply watch the ever changing seascapes go by. The huge cockpit comfortably sits 8 guests around an ample table to make dining al fresco a pleasure. There is a ventilation hatch on the bridge deck, that funnels a cooling breeze into the cockpit area. For such a spacious yacht, she is surprisingly nimble, and the gullwing shaped bridge deck makes her very comfortable underway – no slapping or slamming aboard this beauty, and you can hop between islands in under an hour, or choose to spend longer under sail – the choice is entirely yours.

This Lagoon 450 also comes equipped with an array of different water toys for you and the family to enjoy; whether you prefer water skiing or wake boarding, or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, all the equipment, as well as snorkel gear, will be waiting for you on your arrival. The dinghy is an AB 12’ with steering consol and bench seat. Powered by 30 hp, it is good for watersports and for getting you ashore in the evening.

Your professional Captain will not only ensure a stress-free vacation as he navigates you through the islands and runs all the considerable technical systems aboard, but also offers the added benefit of being a personal guide who knows all the best snorkel spots, beaches, anchorages, bars and restaurants across the BVI.

If you wish to have gourmet meals aboard, YOLO is also available with a personal chef who will prepare all your meals based on your preferences, allowing you the complete rest and luxury you deserve. The Captain and chef (if required) are accommodated in two single berths forward of the main living areas, accessed separately from the main yacht. YOLO is truly a spectacular yacht offering five star accommodation and service, where the idyllic scenery, changes with every blink of the eye, as you sail through “nature’s little secret” – the beautiful island chain of the British Virgin Islands.

What are you waiting for, you only live once!  Click here to view prices and to book

For information about crewed charters in Antigua & Barbuda, click here

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The Vision of the Future

October 1, 2012

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The highly anticipated Vision Series from Bavaria has finally hit the US shores and will proudly be on display at this year’s Annapolis Sail Boat Show, taking place later this week (October 4-8).

The latest from Farr for Bavaria is the new design for the Vision Series. The Vision 46, is an owners layout with 2 double cabins and 2 heads and showers. Other layouts are available. An asymmetric cockpit layout allows the port side to be a generous sun lounger at anchor, and in keeping with what you would expect from Farr, and what we have witnessed already in the Cruiser range, the new Vision 46 promises to be a capable shorthanded passage maker with a good turn of speed and close winded.  For the full spec, please click here.

Recently nominated by SAIL magazine in their prestigious annual ‘Best Boat’s competition, The Vision 46 is a worthy contender and a hot favourite to take home the coveted prize.

Already available to charter for day sails, weekends or week long charters on the Chesapeake, we are also taking bookings for the Vision 46 from our BVI base.  Available from November 1, 2012, early charter bookings are looking strong and we anticipate a busy season ahead.  Check out our rates here for further information and to book!

And if you are attending the Annapolis Boat Show and would like to book an appointment to meet with our Sales Team, to discuss purchasing a yacht for either private use or to put into our charter fleet,  please email info@horizonyachtcharters.com and we will ensure to schedule in some time for you.

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Packing Pointers for your Yacht Charter Holiday

April 9, 2012

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A few tips for packing for your Caribbean Yacht Charter Holiday with Horizon Yacht Charters.

The first thing to remember is that space is limited – you definitely need to bring less than you think you do!

Suitcases in particular do not fit on Sailboats or Catamarans – pack a soft-sided sports or duffle bag so that you can fold it or roll it up to store once on board.

Things to pack:

  • Passports  – and a good idea is to keep a photocopy in a separate location in case you lose it.
  • Credit Cards & /or travellers cheques in US dollars.  You should certainly call your bank or credit card company and let them know roughly what your itinerary is so that they don’t put a block on your cards for fraud prevention!
  • Travel insurance documents.


  • Several  t-shirts & tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Swimsuits (at least 2 or 3!)
  • Appropriate clothing for visiting towns and restaurants.  It is important to remember that  when in any town, offices, shops or other public places away from the beach, it is frowned upon to wear swimsuits, bikini tops or no tops at all – so please have appropriate clothes for these times.  At most places, eveningwear is casual and comfortable – slacks and casual shirts for the men and casual attire for ladies in a few restaurants, but shorts and T-shirts are fine in most places.
  • Long sleeve cotton shirt or similar for cool evenings or to protect from the sun for the first few days
  • Sunglasses, preferable with a sports strap (maybe two pairs would be wise!).  Polarized sun glasses are really helpful to help you see the reefs underwater.
  • Hat with a wide brim and a chin strap – baseball caps are not appropriate.
  • Flip flops are fine for the beach, but you might find you also need tennis shoes or walking sandals if you are going to get the most out of town days and hikes.
  • Non-marking shoes to wear onboard, preferably boat shoes that are comfortable to wear without socks
  • A light sweater or windbreaker/pac-a-mac
  • Tote bag or small backpack for trips to shore and hikes, to carry money, sunblock, water bottles, etc.
  • The traveller’s secret weapon – a Sarong – available in plain shades or prints for both men and women, sarongs are  indispensable for travel,  useful every day as a beach towel, pillow(on its own or wrapped around other clothes), privacy screen when changing on the beach, turning your beachwear into a respectable town dress  or long skirt when visiting religious attractions, blanket for the plane or when napping, easy cover up when you’ve had too much sun, or when the evenings turn cool.

Medications and toiletries

  • Any prescription medication you require, shampoo, toothpaste and bring double the amount of  (spf 25 or higher) sunblock that you think you will need!  PLEASE  do not bring sun oil as it stains linens, boat cushions and decks
  • Antihistimine/cold medicine, aspirin/paracetemol/ibuprofen, antibiotic cream, sun burn lotion, insect repellent with Deet (Off is great, don’t bother with family friendly or natural solutions) & afterbite cream, large band aids, tweezers, nail clippers, and a needle for slivers.
  • For ladies, you won’t really need any makeup, most of it will run in the tropics, suggest only coloured eyeliner and tinted lip protector/gloss (with spf).

You might wish to also pack the following:

  • Small flashlights, as well as pocket-size multi-tools or Swiss army knife
  • Binoculars
  • guide books
  • Family 2-way radios to communicate with your crew when exploring on-shore as well
  • A small AC/DC inverter to charge mobile phones, radios, etc
  • Waterproof case for kindle, ipod, etc
  • Waterproof digital camera with extra memory cards and batteries
  • Mask and snorkel – we recommend that you bring them to ensure a comfortable fit and for hygiene reasons

What not to bring:

Experienced travellers will always put prescription medicines and a change of clothes (plus swimsuit) in their carryon bag in case your baggage is misplaced by the airline. Don’t bring valuables, or expensive jewellery on your holiday… leave work behind and just relax and enjoy!

For more information on preparing for your trip, visit our FAQ page here:  http://www.horizonyachtcharters.com/grenada/grenada_faqs.php

And don’t forget our special Wedding and Honeymoon Packages, do contact us for the documents required to bring with you to make sure your wedding in Grenada goes smoothly!

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Lobster with a view, in Antigua

February 1, 2012

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So many of our charter guests who sail with us here in Antigua ask me where to get lobster so I thought I’d write a quick blog about Hamilton’s Wine Bar and Bistro in the heart of Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour. Call ahead and speak to Kate (co-owner) and she will tell you if she has fresh lobster on that day for lunch and/or dinner. We were there last night and had a wonderful evening.

The location is superb. All of the tables are outside on a first floor balcony. This means stunning views of yachts in the moorings and on the dock, and probably your boat at anchor.

We were met by Devon the Bartender. We know Devon from other bars (and other times) and he’s excellent. He convinced us to try his homemade ginger beer (in a cocktail of course) so we tried a thimble of his ginger beer and were hooked. One Dark and Stormy later…. (hic) we moved on. Not being a fan of Sex and the City, I was not aware that the girls’ cocktail of choice is a “Flirtini” but Kate reassures me this is the case. I was suitably impressed with the mix of champagne (real) and pineapple juice. There are other signature cocktails to try but we had to be semi-sensible and there was, after all, a large selection of wine to try a bit later.

The ambience is great; the building is the old Officer’s Quarters from Nelson’s Day, and after a day of sailing and coming ashore, it has a chill-out lounge not to be missed. The old shutters were half closed against the breeze and that combined with relaxing music, great lighting and the Dark and Stormy’s and we were in lounge heaven. That’s what your sailing holiday is all about.

For dinner, we had the hummus with flatbread and spicy olives and the pate of the day which was mackerel. Both very tasty and very nicely presented. This was followed by lobster and home made, hand cut fries – they didn’t even mind bringing tomato ketchup to the table for the fries. We also had the fish pie which I can thoroughly recommend; fluffy potato topped with cheese and just the right amount of fish and seafood.

When next you follow in Nelson’s footsteps and sail into English Harbour, Antigua on your next charter with Horizon… check out Hamiltons for lobster and those Dark and Stormy’s.

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Sailing Lessons in the Sunny Caribbean!

February 1, 2012

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Sailing with Horizon and Nautilus School

Learn to Sail in the Caribbean Sun!

Did you know you could learn to sail while enjoying a holiday in the sun? Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada are proud partners of the Nautilis Sailing School.  The American Sailing Association recently announced their 2011 Outstanding Sailing Schools, and  Nautilus Sailing school was one of 20 ASA schools to be granted this award.  Nautilus Sailing School conduct weeklong  liveaboard sailing courses on Horizon’s Bavaria sailboats. Passionate about sailing, they have enjoyed sailing in some of the most spectacular cruising grounds around the world. ” The Grenadines are truly the ideal sailing classroom” says Lead Instructor Tim Geisler.


You will set sail from the beautiful, friendly island of Grenada and visit several other islands and special locations in the Grenadines. Explore this stunning location while earning American Sailing Association 101,103 and 104 (Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat) certifications. Over the course of a week you will gain the knowledge, experience and certifications to charter sailboats anywhere in the world, and embark on your own sailing adventure!  The goal is to enjoy a learning vacation. The emphasis is on learning how to sail, through hands-on experience, in a beautiful part of the world. Mornings will be spent learning and practicing new skills. In the afternoons you will set sail with the backdrop of spectacular beaches and islands of the Grenadines, refining these newly learned skills along the way. Once anchored for the afternoon, there will be free time to spend exploring, snorkeling, fishing, and relaxing…


You will be sailing on Horizon Yacht Charters’ Bavaria yachts, which range in size from 39 feet to 42 feet. These are newer, spacious sailboats, with all the amenities one would expect to find on sailboats in charter fleets around the world. Your boat will have 3 cabins, 2 heads /bathrooms, a large kitchen and lounge/dining area, a cockpit with bimini for shade, and a dinghy with outboard motor for exploring. All participants are given a private cabin during their stay on the boat. The spacious owners’ cabin is saved for couples that sign up for the course. Contact Horizon Grenada or Nautilis to book your sailing holiday in the sun!


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Bavaria Wins Best Sailboat Award!

November 22, 2011

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Horizon Yacht Charters are thrilled to find that the Bavaria 45 has been awarded the Best Boats 2012 Winner: The Bavaria Cruiser 45 (Cruising Monohull Under 50ft) by Sail Magazine! Since the recession began in 2008, Bavaria has been reorganized under new ownership, and is once again catching the attention of the U.S. market with their new boats designed by Bruce Farr and BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

The Bavaria 45 has spacious berths, with a great galley and saloon layout and sails like a dream – when we recently invited Charles J Doane from Sail Magazine to join us on our brand new Bavaria 45, he said “We had ideal conditions outside Grenada’s True Blue Bay—a strong 20-knot tradewind and a commensurate lumpy sea. The Cruiser 45, to put it bluntly, sails like a witch and reveled in this environment. Certainly it is one of the better-performing mass-production cruisers I’ve ever been aboard… The boat represents a great value for cruisers looking for both charter-boat comfort and performance-boat speed.” Read the full article from Charles here: Bavaria 45 Review .

Of course you can always come down to Grenada to charter a sailing holiday in the Southern Caribbean on our brand new Bavaria 45 to see for yourself! Click here to see our fleet.

Horizon Yacht Sales are proud to be the Caribbean regional dealer for Bavaria Yachts, and are happy to offer a “Try before you buy” program where you can test-sail a yacht on charter with us in the Caribbean. If you subsequently decide to purchase a similar new yacht within the following three months, our Caribbean yacht sales department will deduct up to a week’s charter fee from the purchase price!

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Release your inner adventurer in Antigua. Sailing at its best.

September 23, 2011

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A typical white sand beach on Antigua

There is a definite move towards sailing new cruising areas this season; and especially those that offer the more adventurous sailor the opportunity to charter and explore more of the islands; we are seeing an increase not just with the crewed charters but also the bareboat charterer, too. It could be something to do with the way of the world right now, but whatever it is, it’s very exciting to be able to share our sailing and cruising area with you.

I wanted to pick out my Top 3 favourite anchorages here on the twin island country of Antigua and Barbuda. Put Antigua on your bucket list; it’s a “must do” for those looking to release their inner adventurer!

Exploring the islands of the North Sound, Antigua

Sailing the North Sound is one of my Top 3 destinations on Antigua.

Chris Doyle describes this in his Guide as “a wild and uninhabited area with delightful anchorages full of seabirds”. Antigua is an island of contrasts and the North Sound provides a very different backdrop to any other place on Antigua. Sailing through the channel with Long Island on your left, you will start to see a myriad of offshore islands just waiting to be explored by dinghy. One of these is called Hell’s Gate and has a hole right the way through it. A good anchorage can be found at Great Bird Island; one of the largest islands. You feel a bit like Tom Hanks in Castaway when you sail here; you are likely to be one of very few yachts (charter yachts or private). Take time to hike up to the top of the island, follow the trail and remember your proper shoes as it is more difficult in flip-flops. Also take water as the temperature does not drop below 26 degrees. You’ll find beautiful breeze at the top.

Sailing to the island of Barbuda from Antigua comes in at Number 2 of my favourite sailing destinations.

Again, Chris Doyle’s Cruising Guide describes this island as “a special jewel, a country where horses, deer and donkeys run free and where the beaches are longer and more beautiful than anywhere else in the Caribbean”. Barbuda is not visible from Antigua; it is only 125 feet or so above sea level. For nature lovers, you have found your paradise. A “must do” is a visit to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. You need to take a guide and George Jeffrey is excellent. When you are here, make sure you visit Two Foot Bay and the caves. The area is called the Highlands which is quite amusing given the height of them! The beaches are stunning and deserted; a perfect combination for a getaway sailing vacation.

Green Island ranks at Number 3 of my favourite sailing destinations on Antigua

Green Island is the furthest eastern point of Antigua; nothing between you and Africa! To sail into Nonsuch Bay, you would first come across uninhabited Green Island. You have a reef between you and the Atlantic affording you protected anchorages. You could spend a good few days here; swimming, snorkelling or perhaps learning to kite surf – go on, release your inner adventurer. In the season, enjoy a fine meal at Harmony Hall; perched on the hill overlooking the bay. They have their own dinghy dock. You just make your way up to hill and remember your camera to snap the view of your charter yacht anchored in the bay when you get there.

Stingray and Antigua sunset

A stingray at sunset

There is a wonderful Guide called Chris Doyle’s Guide to cruising the Leeward Islands’ Chris sails the islands each year in order to update his book (what a job!). If you are in the US or Canada and would like to buy one, just email me and I’ll have it sent from the publishing house. It’s a wonderful, up to date Guide and is great for planning your trip or just dreaming about your next sailing holiday.


Explore more about sailing with Horizon Yacht Charters in Antigua

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Spoil yourself with a crewed yacht vacation from our Antigua base – it sure beats weaving!

September 1, 2011

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Chatting to a friend of mine during Legs, Bums and Tums today I suddenly realised that I am not a camping kind of girl. Strangely, my friend was so excited to have found a family to stay with in some exotic place for US$5 per night and was looking forward to helping the matriarch of the family with her weaving. Admittedly, it is not sleeping under the stars or under canvas, but I bet it’s not going to be far off. All kudos to her! As a famous, sea-faring relative once said “All experiences do not have to be pleasant, just make sure you are having an experience”. Now, I enjoy a bit of weaving with the best of them, but the idea of sitting in a very hot and humid climate, covered in hairy wool, just does not do it for me.

So, my mind turned to our fully crewed yachting vacation that we offer from Antigua. How different is this to your run of the mill weaving holiday. It’s perfect because you get all of the benefits of a sailing vacation without having to know anything at all about sailing; stunning scenery, a different anchorage each night, more beach time than you can handle and you get looked after. I am constantly amazed at the bonding that takes place on board our yachts from when guests first arrive, hot and bothered and still stressed from City life, to the day they return with our crew as their new best friends, exchanging emails and promising to keep in touch.

What a great way to spend a lazy week or 10 days in the tropics? Our Catamarans tend to book quickly for our crewed charters; plenty of space, a stable platform for non-sailors and ideal for serious sunbathers. For example, we have a stunning Orana 44 called “Sara” (affectionately known as George by the dock team). Here she is in all her glory:

The great thing about this yacht is that there are three double cabins and 2 extra cabins for your Captain and Chef. That way, if you want to sing Abba songs until the sun rises, you go ahead, as your crew are tucked away.

Speaking of cabins, here is a flavour of the type of cabin you would retire to at the end of a busy day sunbathing, snorkelling, kayaking….

With one of our Chefs, you just have to sit back and relax whilst they prepare a healthy dinner for you after you’ve enjoyed your sundowners:

Speaking of sundowners, Antigua & Barbuda offers the perfect spot for sunsets… I am never without my camera each evening; ready to snap that most gorgeous sunset from our deck – every night is different and every night is perfect.

Are you ready to experience something new? Email me at info@antiguahorizon.com and let’s put that weaving vacation on the back-burner for another year.

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