To most, sailing across the turquoise waters of an open ocean for days at a time may seem like an elusive dream; one reserved for celebrities like Jay Z and Beyonce, and the one percenters of the world. But an idyllic vacation with postcard-esque views isn’t as far out of reach as one might think — especially with the help of TradeWinds.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of TradeWinds. The company began in the 90s with co-founders Magnus Lewin and Edith Carvalho, a shared passion for adventure and a single Royal Cape catamaran. Today the company is one of the leaders in luxury vacation, with an impressive fleet of yachts with charters that travel to destinations like the British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten, Belize, and French Polynesia, to name a few.
Travellers have the option to choose between private or shared yacht charters, and both offer cabins complete with a comfy bed, storage and en suite bathroom. The main difference is who you vacation with — a private charter allows for rooming with your closest family and friends, and even customization of the areas you explore, while the shared charter partners you with like-minded TradeWinds members; a trip that begins with ten strangers ends with lifelong bonds. All of your meals, snacks and libations are included, and should you choose, you never even have to lift a finger.
But unlike the typical cruise ship scenario, you’re not just another face in the crowd. Each charter, private or shared, comes with an attentive staff of two; a captain and first mate that act as scuba diving instructors, concierges, on-board chefs, and the like.
Life on board a TradeWinds charter also allows for more freedom and flexibility. On your trip, you’ll visit well-trodden spots, hidden swimming coves and all the romantic isles in between — sans swarms of tourists — where you can swim yacht-side, snorkel with magical sea creatures, explore, paddle board, kayak, hike and more, all at your leisure.
And I can personally attest to the magic that is a TradeWinds vacation. I had the pleasure of hopping aboard a charter that sailed around Sint Maarten, Anguilla and Saint Barthélemy. The trip started on the the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, where I met the crew and spent the night before taking off into the beautiful ocean. A group of 10 — a mixture of longtime TradeWinds friends and fresh faces — made way to a number of islands, including Sandy Ground for tropical cocktails at the famous Elvis Beach Bar, Colombier Beach where we hiked alongside red-footed tortoises outside the Rockefeller’s abandoned mansion, Gustavia for world class shopping while on the lookout for celebrities, Grand Case for 4-star dining, and Tintamarre Island for snorkeling with stingrays, turtles and colourful fish.
Each day saw a different adventure fuelled by family-style meals, and ended with a sunset and breathtaking views.
A-list treatment is what the TradeWinds experience is all about, and all you need to do to experience it is become a member. Members are treated just like family, offered choice of charters and first chance at discounted cabins. And instead of cash, members secure their cabins or private charters through point systems, making for smoother transactions and ease.
So what are you waiting for? Round up the gang and book your first yacht vacation. It’s an experience that you’ll never forget — and worth every penny.
Have you ever been on a TradeWinds charter? What was your experience like? Share in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.