Festiva Sailing Vacations | St. Maarten | RTX Traveler Issue 13

Spend seven nights on a luxury Lagoon 440 catamaran exploring St. Maarten, the smallest island shared by two nations. (The Dutch and the French.) Fly into the Dutch side and take a short ride to the marina. You’ll be on your catamaran for dinner and drinks by 5 o’clock, ready to start your sailing adventure around the European capital of the Caribbean.

69062130Day 1:

After a filling breakfast aboard the boat, depart through the Dutch Bridge on your way to Road Bay on the island of Anguilla. Enjoy a swim or a look around with your snorkel during this lazy morning excursion. After lunch, go ashore and mingle with the locals at Johnos’ Bar and socialize to the tune of live jazz music. Be sure and check out the locally made sailboats on the beach.

Day 2:

Wake up and take a refreshing dip in the clear and warm waters of the Caribbean before breakfast, then shove off to Prickly Pear Cays, a remote and uninhabited rocky atoll surrounded by a living coral reef. Feast your eyes on the white powdery beach, the colorful fish, and the abundance of native birds in this designated marine park. After lunch, set sail to Marigot, on the French side of St. Martin.

Day 3:

Venture into the picturesque town of Marigot in the morning, and explore Fort Louis, which was built in 1789 on a hill overlooking the bay. Shop in the street market or hit the beautiful mall for souvenirs. In the afternoon, sail to Roche Creol for snorkeling, then to Grand Case for dinner ashore in the gourmet capital of the Caribbean.

Day 4:

Embark to Pinel Island and enjoy a day of rest as you relax on a beach chair in the sun. This small island is known for its gentle, clear waters, fantastic beaches, and calming mood. Kick back at the beach bar or do some hiking, snorkeling, or kayaking as you venture around the island.

Day 5:

Day five starts with two hours of open ocean sailing to St. Bart’s. There’s a stop on the way to Fork Island, a volcanic outcropping with nothing but lizards and cactus, and a summit with spectacular views, if you want to make the climb. After lunch, travel to Bay of Colombier on St. Bart’s and spend the rest of the day exploring the unspoiled bay in a kayak. The bay is inaccessible by car and is pristine. Go snorkeling, take a walk on the beach, or hike the cliffs for a spectacular ocean view.

Day 6:

A short morning sail will take you to the harbor of Gustavia, the capital of St. Bart’s. Glitzy yachts and celebrity homes dot the harbor. Take an island tour and explore the old Caribbean houses before grabbing a cocktail at Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise café. After lunch it’s time to board the boat back to Simpson Bay, St. Maarten, where you’ll enjoy an exquisite dinner onshore.

Day 7- departure day:

Enjoy a continental breakfast to power you through your travels home. Say goodbye to the captain as you disembark and head back to the airport.

Package Includes

  • 7 nights sailing on a luxury Lagoon 440 catamaran
  • Air-conditioned stateroom with en-suite private bathroom
  • Experienced captain and chef
  • Gourmet meals including appetizers and desserts
  • Standard open bar
  • On board sporting equipment
  • Mooring/docking fees/taxes

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .

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