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COVID-19 : Summer 2021 yacht charter destinations close to the USA

By Katia Damborsky   Last Updated: 5 January 2021

For charterers based in America looking to book a private yacht vacation closer to home this summer, there’s a superb variety of on-the-doorstep destinations and a stand-out selection of yachts available to charter in each one. Here’s the YachtCharterFleet shortlist.

In an effort to prevent a second wave of Coronavirus, many European countries are enforcing travel restrictions. If you had your heart set on a Mediterranean yacht charter this summer, you may be calling your plans into question. 

However, this could something of a blessing in disguise.

In the past few months, we’ve seen an increasing number of yachts offering unique luxury travel experiences in brand new destinations; places you might not have thought about chartering in before.

And while the Mediterranean has its own distinct charm, North America and its immediate neighbors have a diversity, culture and incredible beauty like no other place on earth. 

So; with crewed yacht charter hailed as one of the safest, risk-free ways to enjoy a socially-distanced vacation, there’s no reason why you can’t start planning the experience of a lifetime in one of these enchanting destinations below.

This piece was originally published in July 2020 and was last updated in January 2021.

North America: East Coast

The beauty of North America’s East Coast is that many of these destinations can be accessed by car if you don’t want to fly commercially. You can also opt to fly privately of course; and chartered flights don’t have to cost the earth.

Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Code

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The charms of New England are not a world away from the sparkle of the Cote d'Azur. Like the French Riviera, the shores of New England are home to chic towns and world-class dining venues, with the added bonus of sandy beaches and wildlife watching; Whale-watching season in New England runs between May and October, and a vacation on board a superyacht is the best way to experience these majestic creatures up close. 

Cruising the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and the bay of Cape Cod, you’ll have the chance to explore pristine beaches, sapphire seas and postcard-perfect towns set within lush emerald fields. Visit Oak Bluffs to see the brightly colored mansions, enjoy a bonfire on the beach as the sun sets, and don’t leave Cape Cod without trying a fresh lobster roll- the best ones can be found in one of the seafood shacks close to the harbour. 

For more information, check out our guide to yacht charter in New England.

A selection of charter yachts available to book in Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod this summer 2021 include:

For the full list, check out all charter yachts in New England

Chesapeake Bay

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Nestled in between Maryland and Virginia, Chesapeake Bay has been an up-and-coming yacht charter destination in recent months. This wide network of rivers and estuaries is rich in culture and history, with plenty of monuments, bridges, little islands and a number of delightful towns lined up along the water. It’s also a paradise for fishermen, bird-watchers and anyone with an interest in nature. 

Chesapeake Bay is the place to go if you want to escape the stress of modern life and experience the true meaning of island living and close-knit communities. Some islands in this bay are so remote, they have no permanent population- perfect for taking the water toys out for a spin or finding a secluded slice of beach all to yourself.

A selection of charter yachts available to book in Chesapeake Bay this summer 2021 include:

Florida mainland

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The cosmopolitan glamour of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach are unmatched by any other American yacht charter destination in the world. While the highlights of the Floridian coast are located within close proximity to one another, there are plenty of hidden gems to be found in between, including rivers, beaches and upscale marinas where you can dock and explore the surroundings.

Aboard a superyacht, you’ll experience a totally new perspective of Florida. No more crowded beaches and busy seafront restaurants; you’ll be able to swim and play with water toys out at sea, and enjoy an incomparable dining experience prepared by the private chef on board your yacht. Evenings are enjoyed on deck with a cool glass of your favorite drink, and your mornings are spent kicking back on one of the alfresco lounging areas watching the scenery float past as you set course for the day’s destination. 

For more information, check out our guide to yacht charter in Miami

A selection of charter yachts available to book in Florida this summer 2021 include:

For more, you can take a look at the complete selection of Miami luxury charter yachts.

The Florida Keys

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Easily accessible by car from the mainland, the Florida Keys are a tropical oasis on your doorstep. There are so many keys to choose from, so there’s plenty to explore and keep you occupied every day of your vacation. 

Renowned as the sportfishing capital of the world, the Keys are a great destination for keen anglers looking to hook some big gamefish- if you’re interested in fishing, be sure to look out for a superyacht with on-board equipment and an experienced crew who’ll know the best spots to take you. The Keys also play host to plenty of pristine beaches and flourishing coral reefs where you can polish up your diving skills or enjoy some leisurely snorkelling. 

A selection of charter yachts available to book in the Florida Keys this summer 2021 include:

North America: West Coast

North America’s West Coast is home to several yachting gems where you can experience something a bit different from your next vacation. 


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For anyone interested in nature and wildlife, a yacht charter in Alaska is the ultimate escape on the seas. Particularly in summertime, when you’ll be able to see bears, whales and other animals including goats, eagles, sea lions and orcas in their natural habitat. 

The pine-coated landscapes and glacial blue fjords and lakes are a world away from the buzz of other destinations. Alaska’s untouched wilderness will invite you to press pause on life and reconnect with your loved ones in the midst of beautiful surroundings. 

For more information, check out our guide to yacht charter in Alaska, and you can also view our 7-day Alaska social distancing yacht charter itinerary.

Charter yachts available to book in Alaska this summer 2021 include:

You can take a look at the complete fleet of luxury charter yachts in Alaska.  

California and the Sea of Cortez

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If you’re based in California and you’re looking for a summer vacation on board a superyacht, the cruising grounds on your doorstep are truly spectacular. The Channel Islands of California are particularly alluring, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, discovering peaceful beaches and snorkelling and kayaking around the rocky outcrops and cave networks. Making for a particularly unique diving experience, the islands are home to famous kelp forests. 

The region is also rich in wildlife, and you’ll be able to see dolphins and whales in the waters and foxes and bald eagles on shore. The Channel Islands encompass eight islands in total, but if you’re interested in venturing further afield you can cruise over to Baja California, provided that the sea borders between Mexico and the USA are open for travel and leisure. The Sea of Cortez is one of the most phenomenal regions in the world for diving, and both destinations are great for charterers looking for some salty sea air and an escape from the crowds.

Charter yachts available to book in California and Mexico this summer 2021 include:

For the full selection, view all yachts for charter in Mexico

The Caribbean & Bahamas

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The Caribbean is a playground for superyachts, and these dreamy cruising grounds are easy to access from the States, with plenty of commercial and private flights at your disposal.

The Caribbean’s soft sandy beaches, sun-warmed blue sea and laid-back vibes are a world away from the glitz and glamour of the Mediterranean; and after the stressful few months we’ve all had, you might be prioritizing rest and relaxation over buzzy social scenes. Be aware that the Caribbean is typically best to visit from November onwards; although the Bahamas is hot year-round and is not usually affected by the hurricane season. 

Below, we've rounded up a stand-out selection of yachts for each destination. If you'd like to see the fleet in its entirety, you can take a look at ALL luxury Caribbean charter yachts.

The Bahamas

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The Bahamas is just a hop, skip and a jump from the USA, with a flight time of just thirty minutes from Miami. The region’s sky blue seas and miles of sugary soft beaches look as if they’ve been lifted from a travel brochure, and the sheer number of cays and remote islets create incredible itineraries; you can come back time and time again and still find new spots to fall in love.

Our guide to social distancing yacht charters in the Bahamas is packed with key travel advice, iconic points of interest and two Bahamas social distancing yacht charter itineraries. Just before the Coronavirus crisis developed, the YachtCharterFleet team returned from a trip to the Bahamas, where we were able to gather a lot of first-hand information to help know what to expect from a yacht charter vacation in the Bahamas right now.

A selection of charter yachts available to book in the Bahamas this summer 2021 include:

Read more: Bahamas Yacht Charters: The Best Luxury Yachts for Every Budget.

The Virgin Islands

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The US and British Virgin Islands are an Eden on earth. Ringed by shades of turquoise and bordered by bright white sandy beaches, these islands are what barefoot island living is all about. However, there’s no shortage of beach bars and upscale restaurants which you can incorporate into your itinerary as well, and the Jurassic interiors of the islands make for great hiking and cycling trails. 

The USVI’s are a paradise for snorkellers and scuba pros, with colorful coral reefs and a kaleidoscope of marine life below the surface of the sea. The BVI’s share the same metropolis of underwater life, and you can also visit famous sights such as the Baths at Virgin Gorda and Anegada Island, which is surrounded by shallow-crystal clear waters, a complex reef systems and a number of large shipwrecks which are fascinating to explore. 

Read our guide to chartering a yacht in the Virgin Islands now. 

A selection of charter yachts available to book right now in the Virgin Islands include: 

For more options, including crewed catamarans for charter, take a look at all yachts for charter in the Virgin Islands.

The Leeward Islands

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The Leeward Islands are as close to the Mediterranean as you’ll find in the Caribbean. Chic beach clubs give way to luxury hotels with on-shore facilities that charterers can take advantage of, and islands like St Barts are an A-listers playground with plenty of world-class dining venues and fashion emporiums at your disposal. 

However, the Leeward Islands still retain their Caribbean charm and authenticity. In between sipping cocktails alongside celebrities, you’ll find great snorkelling spots, secluded crescents of beach and pastel-colored towns lined up along the waterfront. Head to Antigua to try the island’s famed, fresh red snapper and then spend a day exploring the untouched beauty of St Kitts & Nevis, a pair of islands that are renowned for their incredible diversity of mango cultivation.

Read our guide to chartering a yacht in the Leeward Islands now. 

A selection of charter yachts available to book in Antigua, St Barts and neighboring islands now: 

  •  234'11 / 71.6m motor yacht UTOPIA. Charter price: from $435,000 p/week (+ expenses) 
  • 170'7 /  52m luxury yacht LATITUDE. Charter price: from €210,000 p/week ( + expenses) (Approx $232,000)

The Windward Islands

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For true peace and serenity, the Windward Islands are the place to charter. Largely unspoilt and not as popular among superyachts as their sister archipelagoes, these islands are all about recharging and rejuventing in the midst of tranquility. Best of all, the Windward Islands sit below the hurricane belt, so if you’re looking for an early escape these islands are the best option for you. 

If the promise of secret bays and footprint-free sandy beaches are calling your name, be sure to dedicate a day of your itinerary to St Vincent, where a necklace of islands will leave you with plenty of time for lazy days on deck, playing with water toys or enjoying beach picnics on shore. If you’re in the mood for something more active, St Lucia’s rugged interior is great for hiking and exploring the tropical fruit plantations; finish your hike on the beach looking out over the magnificent, towering pitons.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to chartering a yacht in the Leeward Islands

A selection of charter yachts available to book in St Lucia, the Grenadines and neighboring islands: 

  • 204'5 /  62.30m motor yacht FLAG. Charter price: from $448,000 p/week (+ expenses)
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Please note that some of these prices may be approximate conversions and cruising regions are subject to change. You should consult your local authority's Coronavirus safety guidelines before traveling. 

If you're a first-time charterer or you have questions or concerns, be sure to refer to our COVID-19 Travel and Yacht Charter Advice. It's packed with useful information about specific charter destinations, as well as insight into the future of yacht charter during the Coronavirus

To take the first step towards making a booking, please get in touch with a yacht charter broker

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Yacht Charter Travel Advice
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