Caribbean vs Mediterranean Charters: The Tropical Advantage
Choosing between the Caribbean vs Mediterranean for your next yachting holiday? Discover what unique experiences the Caribbean can offer that the Med can’t.
There are so many spectacular destinations to choose between when planning a yacht charter, but the Mediterranean is undoubtedly one of the most popular yachtie cruising grounds. That’s why many, when faced with the choice of Caribbean vs Mediterranean, find it hard to drag themselves away from the Med’s medieval cities, pine-edged coves, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Mediterranean is undeniably a fantastic place to explore on a superyacht, abounding in history, stunning architecture, and traditional and gastronomic cuisines. Yet sometimes, you feel the tropics calling. This list explains where the Caribbean excels over (or just provides something really different to) the Mediterranean.
Diving and Snorkelling
The Caribbean wins hands-down over the Mediterranean in its underwater scenery. Coral reefs teem with life, from whirling schools of brightly coloured fish to sea turtles swimming through the blue. Hammerhead sharks, whales and manatees are a few of the large pelagics you might see, while dolphins are plentiful and a very common sight while cruising in the Caribbean. There’s also some spectacular underwater topography, from canyons and blue holes to huge caves and champagne pools, where volcanic vents on the seabed release warm bubbles into the sea.
Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez may offer glamour and soft white sand, but the prevalence of pebbled beaches elsewhere in the Med means that in the battle of Caribbean vs Mediterranean, often the latter’s bays don’t hold a candle to their sandy Caribbean counterparts. It’s hard to pick a perfect beach in the Caribbean, as there are so very many at every turn: just drop anchor, swim ashore, and live the Caribbean dream.
The Caribbean has some truly amazing wildlife, and you don’t even have to leave the water to get close and personal with a lot of it on your yacht charter: Bahamas sealife will come to you. Boating here offers an array of amazing animal experiences, from feeding nurse sharks at the wharf pilings to swimming with friendly rays. Back on land, you’ll find inquisitive monkeys in St Kitts and Nevis, iguanas begging grapes off you in the Bahamas, and further south in Costa Rica, jaguars and sloths hiding in the jungle. Not to mention the opportunity to meet, play with and feed the famous swimming pigs of Pig Beach, Bahamas, a small colony of wild pigs and piglets inhabiting this paradisiacal part of The Exumas.
Flavours of the Caribbean
There’s no two ways about it: when it comes to Caribbean vs Mediterranean, both offer sensational cuisines. But the Caribbean offers a new set of flavours to what most of us are used to – whether that’s a conch or lobster salad made only minutes after being picked off the reef, the smell of jerk chicken frying at a ‘jump-up’ street party, or the delicious zing of a sunset cocktail made with Caribbean spiced rum and fresh juice. There’s also a growing number of elite restaurants creating unique fusions and modern versions of traditional Caribbean flavours, as well as some supremely delicious rustic restaurants that offer up amazing food cooked up by a local island-dweller.
Much of the Caribbean is seriously lush, with those perfect beaches backed by coconut palms and verdant rainforest. Head into the jungle to discover hidden waterfalls, zipline across the canopy, or hike to the peaks of volcanoes.
The fishing is superb in the Caribbean, whether you want to bonefish in the shallows of the Bahamas, reef fish or go big game fishing in the Virgin Islands or St Lucia. In fact, on a BVI yacht charter you can pick up tuna, mahi mahi and wahoo just by trawling a line behind your yacht as you travel in deep water between the islands. And when you’ve got a private chef on board to turn your catch into a gourmet meal within minutes, you know you’re living the dream!
Speaking of rum cocktails, there’s no better place to enjoy one than at one of the rustic and funky beach bars of the Caribbean. While the Mediterranean does swanky beach clubs better than anyone, and you’ll find rustic tavernas on pebble beaches by the dozen in Greece, the Caribbean beach bar has a style all of its very own. Here, enjoy a relaxed vibe in a stunning tropical setting framed by coconut palms. The epicentre of Caribbean beach bar scene is the British Virgin Islands, where Foxy’s and the Soggy Dollar Bar practically created the genre of famous Caribbean beach bars, but today’s Bahamas beach bar shacks could give them a run for their money.
At the end of the day, it’s not really a case of ‘Caribbean vs Mediterranean’. Both are astonishing charter destinations, offering their own unique blend of natural beauty and local attractions. But perhaps, if you’ve been cruising the Med for years on end, it’s time you gave the tropical landscapes, vibrant coral reefs, dreamy beaches, and laid-back island life of the Caribbean a go.
Author: Jo Morgan