Faraway horizons, dream beaches for stopovers, the pleasures of navigating a sailboat under a brilliant sun: the “chartered” mini-cruise remains the emblem of the Antilles and French Polynesia.
As a family or with a small group of friends, one can savor the pleasures of being a sailor by renting a boat with a crew. People tend to prefer sailboats. The “monocoque” version possesses the charm of tradition, while the “catamaran” style has the advantage of reducing the risk of seasickness (the boat is less “rocked” by the waves).
The crew is made up of a skipper, who is helped by a hostess or other personnel, depending on the size of the boat. Experienced companies possess fleets of sailboats equipped for full comfort that one might even call “luxurious.” You can also find individual boat owners (called "proprietaires" or "circumnavigators"), which are couples or families who fancy themselves “nomads on the sea”, and will welcome you onto their yacht, much like a guest house. They are labeled according to the terms of a sailing charter. It’s up to each member to prove their qualifications as sailing professionals!
Rates for this type of sailing cruise (one or two weeks, usually) start at 120-130€ per person per day. This is based on 4, 6, or 8 people (if you already have a group, you can ask for a “private” boat).
These chartered boats await you, docked at the best marinas in Guadeloupe and Martinique, to share truly different, convivial vacations with you. The advantage of the skipper is in his perfect knowledge of local conditions (the layout of the best moorings, the variations in weather, “secret gardens”…), and you can also participate in maneuvering the boat. If you have a sailor’s spirit and the necessary proof of your competences, you can of course rent a boat without a skipper.
- in Martinique, departing from Marin or Trois Ilets
- in Guadeloupe, departing from Pointe-à-Pitre (Marina de Gosier)
Rentals of “proprietaire” boats of all styles (sloops, schooners, ketches) are available.
They navigate on an Antilles arc, around les Saintes (a must!), and towards the Grenadines to the south.
Rentals of motorboats 9 meters and larger (for groups of 6-12 people) on Grande-Terre (Bas-du-Fort and Saint-Francois), and at Basse-Terre (Deshaies) for an afternoon, a weekend, or the week.
A motorboat license is obligatory for these boats, which are safe for family outings and children.
A stay in Polynesia doesn’t have to be spent only in an over-water bungalow on a single lagoon. A sailing cruise allows you to visit a whole collection of dreamy beaches, from island to island, from Rangiroa to Bora Bora!