Tag Archives: yacht charter

Fun Onboard Your Southern Caribbean Yacht Charter!

November 30, 2013

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A yacht charter vacation in the Southern Caribbean offers a range of activities to appeal to the whole family,  from relaxing and visiting on-deck to various water sports and a wide range of land-based adventures as you enjoy travelling through the different islands!

For guests keen to top up their tans, our beautiful yachts offer space to lounge, where sun worshippers can soak up the rays whilst engrossed in a good book or taking a leisurely dip in the cool sea.

Snorkelling  is a hugely popular part of most charter holidays – bring your own or rent a few sets before you depart to allow you to discover the incredible underwater vistas and stunning sea life below the surface! Explore delicate coral reefs or swim with the sea turtles, we will share our top snorkel sites with you. One of our absolute favourites is the Tobago Cays Marine Park, a protected group of small islands that is one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places in the world – and you can only get there by boat!  Snorkel with sea turtles

If you love the idea of a luxury yacht charter holiday but you don’t know how to sail you can take advantage of adding a professional skipper to your charter – this allows you to learn as much or as little as you like about the aspects of sailing, and your skipper will take responsibility for managing all of the aspects of cruising under sail or by motor, anchoring, mooring, etc.

You can also plan 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…

Explore this stunning part of the world 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!

Diving often plays a large part in a charter holiday. Grenada is a world-famous dive destination, boasting a wide range of dive sites including the first Underwater Sculpture Park as well as the largest wreck in the Caribbean – the cruise liner “Bianca C” which sank off St George’s in 1961. There is exceptional diving throughout the Grenadines, much of it drift diving and for more experienced divers so we highly recommend the use of one of the local dive shops for “rendezvous” diving. Rental dive equipment can be arranged for your charter.

A kayak is a great way to explore anchorages and beaches – and also perfect for nature lovers in locations such as the mangroves in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou or exploring the Tobago Cays. Singles rent for only US$125 per week, doubles US$140 per week.

stand up paddleboard at sunset

 

You can also rent one of our stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) for only US$175 per week. Ideal for exploring quiet beaches and coves, not only is it a great workout for the core muscles but it is also very therapeutic & relaxing!  Ask us about availability to add one to your charter booking.

 

Fishing can be a fun and important part of both the entertainment and the culinary aspect of your charter. There is nothing quite like reeling in a fish then later that day smelling it searing on the grill! Have fun introducing local fruit and vegetables found in small market stalls to your meal. The chance of catching a yellow fin tuna or Wahoo is excellent as the clean Southern Caribbean waters are known for superb fishing opportunities… or enjoy trawling for dinner as you sail!  Fishing rods can be rented at the Horizon Yacht Charters Grenada base for US$25 per week.

All of our yachts are equipped with tenders that can whisk you to an island beach for a private picnic, or into shore for shopping  & dining in one of the charming, friendly coastal towns. Custom itineraries can be arranged to include the ports of call and land activities that guests most desire. Depending on guest preferences and destination, land options may include rain forest hikes, swimming in waterfalls, bird watching, eco-tours, garden tours, historic sites and so much more.

Imagine your dream holiday – a day of splashing and exploring, followed by laughing together and lounging in the warm evening breezes whilst dining alfresco.  And don’t forget some romantic star gazing in the crystal clear skies – away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, there is very little light pollution so the skies are awash with constellations!

Stargazing... photo thanks to Günther Kranich

Let us help plan your Southern Caribbean vacation to remember! Email us on info@horizongrenada.com

 

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Soundtrack of the Caribbean!

April 30, 2013

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String Band in Nevis

String Band in Nevis

When planning your dream yacht charter holiday, you might want to consider the entertainment available on different islands.  Music in the Southern Caribbean is so much more than just Carnival celebrations, with the small islands all sharing their traditions and celebrating more popular music at various festivals throughout the year. Don’t forget to explore local music, friendly bars and music venues, and ask about what special events will be on in the area during your yacht charter – or plan your itinerary around one or two spectacular musical treats!

Bequia & Mustique – the Mount Gay Music Fest & Mustique Blues Festival in Bequia in late January has become an absolute must for everyone visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines in late January and early February. Most of the performances are held at Basil’s Bar in Mustique, but Bequia hosts one Friday night performance – and a real party atmosphere pervades the venue when it’s Bequia’s turn to put on the show!  Click here to watch a video of the 2012 festival!

The line-up varies from year to year, with host Dana Gillespie bringing together a selection of talented musicians on guitar, piano, sax, drums and harmonica. Missed this year’s Festival? Don’t worry – recordings are made of each year’s performances and you can purchase CDs of the performances – and all proceeds benefit the Basil Charles Foundation, which sponsors many Vincentian children through their secondary education.

Nevis enjoys a strong history of Steel Pan & Calypso Steel (also called Kaiso on the island) originating in Trinidad and Jamaica. However, the island also has several traditional “Big Drum” & “String” bands.  Big Drum bands, with their sound reflecting their strong African traditions, comprise of a base, kettle drums and a fife (resembling a flute).  String Bands – also called “Scratch Bands” playing around the island on a regular basis… these bands can have up to 10 members with guitars, mandolin, baho (a bass pipe made from bamboo), a fife and various percussion instruments.

dinghy concert

Dinghy Concert

Grenada offers a range of traditional and popular music, from the popular occasional Dinghy Concerts at La Phare Bleu which are free and great fun,  and although there are several music venues on the island that have a great atmosphere and are very welcoming, our favourite is the regular Friday nights at Prickly Bay,  the excellent pizza is highly recommended, and “Fridays at Prickly” attracts a regular crowd of yachties, students from St George’s Medical University, as well as a good blend of Locals & Expats and their families… special treats when on the island can include steel pan, gospel, or even our own hidden treasure, Donnell Best playing his violin!  The Camerhorne Festival in St Patricks brings you wonderful folk music in December,  and the Tivoli Drummers are a spectacular treat if you are lucky to be on-island when they are performing.

carriacou maroon string band

Carriacou Maroon String Band

Grenada’s sister island, Carriacou,  is home to the Carriacou Maroon and String Band Music Festival each spring.  They say that for those who have always wanted a pure and culturally untamed experience, then this is definitely the event for you!   Maroon culture is about thanksgiving and prayers to the source of all life, production and prosperity. Its African origins are authentically depicted through the drumming, singing, eating of ‘smoke food’ and other rituals practised in the unique Carriacou way by its people.  Visitors to the island at this time can enjoy traditionally prepared foods, performances from various Caribbean islands & join with families through three venues of drum bands, string bands and dancing…  you can watch some wonderful clips of a recent festival, and don’t miss the fantastic drumming and dancing near the end!

Union Island – Maroon Festival, Mayday (May 1st this year), and Heritage Day – The day-long festival takes place on a full moon in May to mark the start of the planting season. There are several stages to the celebrations starting at dawn and continuing long into the night, including communal cooking, distributing food throughout the community, singing, drumming, dance. The songs, dance moves and drumming rhythms have all been handed from generation to generation and throb down the years with the sounds of Africa.

Right now you can enjoy the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, which runs until the 12th of May!  For over 20 years the newly renamed St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival has been one of the most anticipated events in the Southern Caribbean.  Offering a wide selection of fringe events around the island to showcase local talent and wonderful cultural displays, culminating with the ‘main stage’ events at beautiful Pigeon Island.  There is a very exciting lineup of internationally-renowned performers, including R. Kelly, Akon, and the Jacksons; as well as such talent as Tracy Hamlin (currently #1 single in Europe) and the striking, stunning Fatoumata Diawara…

Just a few examples, but it’s clear that planning to include a memorable musical event in your sailing vacation can be a lot of fun – & if you take a moment to like our facebook page,  that’s where we’ll be sharing the details when we learn of these local events!

 

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Book a front row seat at one of the best shows on earth; welcome to Antigua.

March 2, 2013

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So, you have your Caribbean sailing vacation booked, your crew lined up and already you feel excited about that steady tropical breeze and temperatures that do not drop below 27 degrees, no matter what time of year!  Very different to most people’s normal life that involves the crowded daily commute to the office, the worry of the kids college fees and staying warm during the winter storms.

What do you look forward to most about your sailing vacation?

For many, they say that after the sailing, the greatest pleasure is when you have dropped your anchor and you can simply sit and relax and watch the sunset.  If there’s a refreshing cocktail in your hand and some chips in front of you, then so much the better!  There’s nothing better than good friends, a warm climate and a very special view.

There is something magical about how different each sunset is.  From our base here in Jolly Harbour Marina on the west coast of Antigua, we capture some stunning colours right off the dock.  The feeling of space is liberating; especially after a long flight crammed in with lots of very stressed and overworked people.

Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua... Horizon sunsets

From our closest, white sand beach… which is just a short walk from our base in Antigua, you can enjoy a sun-downer at Castaways Bar but remember to take your camera… here’s a sunset we captured from south beach just below.  You can must make out the tiny island of Redonda in the distance.  The sea on the west coast of Antigua is this calm… why not paddle your feet or take the plunge and enjoy a sunset swim.

 

From our closest beach in Jolly Harbour

 

One of the great things about a sailing vacation, is spending time on and in the water.  After a hot sail, it’s nice to jump right in and cool off.  It’s also very economical with the water in the tanks, too!

 

Diving into the warm Caribbean sea at sunset

 

One of my favorite sailing guest shots has to be the image below with the crew on the Catamaran enjoying this amazing sunset.  From memory, this was shot in Barbuda – sister isle to Antigua – and just a 25nm sail to the north of Antigua.

 

Sail to Barbuda and enjoy a spectacular light show.

Let us know when you’re ready to book your front row seat at one of the best shows on earth.  See you sailing Antigua & Barbuda very soon.

 

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Girl power on the Caribbean sea in Antigua; where else?!

November 20, 2012

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We get quite a few requests for female charter skippers here in Antigua.  This falls broadly into two areas of reasoning: some of our female guests who are on a girl’s sailing trip would rather sail with a female Captain and many girls want to be taught by a female Instructor.  We are fortunate here in Antigua that we are able to recommend Heidi to our guests.  Heidi has the ability to put everyone at their ease; no matter male or female and no matter what language you happen to speak.

 

Heidi is a very talented sailor.  Firstly she is a commercially endorsed Ocean Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor.  She is also an ASA (American Sailing Association) Instructor up to ASA 105 level (Heidi can get you to Bareboat certification).  Couple this with Heidi’s transatlantic deliveries and her ability to cook up a coconut battered jumbo shrimp in the galley for ten guests, and you have the perfect sea-going companion.

The evenings will always be entertaining with Captain Heidi; as well as knowing the best spots to enjoy the Antigua experience, she can share with you tales of her adventurous side (as if a transatlantic sailing trip isn’t adventurous enough!) when she hiked up to the base camp of Everest, or spent three weeks on cargo boats on the Amazon river (stowaway?).

Above it all though, Heidi will look after you, your friends (male and female) and your boat.  Are you ready for an Antigua Heidi experience?  Email us info@antiguahorizon.com and we’ll check availability for you.

 

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Enjoy An Extra Day’s Sailing!

November 16, 2012

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Did you know that every time you book a week’s charter with Horizon Yacht Charters, you automatically receive 7 nights and 8 days worth of sailing?  If you compare this to some of the other charter companies, where a weekly rate only gives you 6 nights and 7 days sailing, you’ll realise that just one of the many benefits of chartering with Horizon includes getting a whole extra day out on the water!

Don’t forget that after you have checked in with our friendly front desk, we always aim to board you by midday, ensuring maximum sailing time for you and your friends or family.  And on your return, we don’t expect to disembark your yacht  until midday, allowing plenty of time for a leisurely sail back to base from your last night’s anchorage.

Horizon gives you more – another reason why you’re in the right company!

To book your 7 night/8 day charter with us contact info@horizonyachtcharters.com

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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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The New Bavaria Cruiser 50!

August 17, 2012

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Bavaria CruiserEarlier this year, Horizon Yacht Charters were thrilled to discover that the Bavaria 45 had 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.

Bavaria Yachts USA will be introducing the latest Farr design in the Cruiser family to the U.S. market this fall .  The new Cruiser 50 is the latest Cruiser model to emerge from the Bavaria/ Farr Yacht Design/ BMW Group DesignWorksUSA partnership, and is available through Horizon Yacht Charters as the Caribbean Dealer and USA importer of these award-winning yachts.   The Cruiser 50 displays an exciting combination of both style and strength. With forty Cruiser 50s already sailing the world’s oceans, Bavaria Yachts USA and Horizon Yacht Charters are excited to introduce this model to the US market this Fall.

The innovative features of the Cruiser range are extended beautifully in the Cruiser 50, and with an actual LOA of 51 feet and clever use of deck space, the cockpit has feel typically found on most 55-60 foot boats! When the signature transom-wide swim platform is lowered, this massive outdoor living space and straight-through access to the water and dinghies is something to behold.Bavaria 50 Cruiser

Natural light floods the interior giving a wonderful sense of space and freedom, thanks to the 17 opening hatches and 12 ports. An integrated salon and wrap-around galley have been introduced, and these unique features create an open, yet intimate, space for relaxing or entertaining.

Bavaria Cruiser 50 Saloon and Galley

Bavaria Cruiser 50 Saloon and Galley

With the brilliant Farr Yacht Design, including a twin-rudder system unique to the cruising class, you get striking up-wind and off-wind performance, as well as fingertip control on this impressively big and strong boat.

The Bavaria Cruiser 50 can be configured to three, four or five cabins, with three or four heads and showers to suit you.  With the interiors available in bosse mahogany, oak or teak, and with 11 styles of upholstery to choose from, this spacious and ergonomic yacht can be customized to your individual tastes and requirements.Bavaria Cruiser 50 Forepeak

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 get a taste of the Farr Design for yourself! Click here to see our fleet.

To keep up with all our news and special offers, click here to join our facebook page!

 

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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.

Clothing:

  • 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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