Listed are the twenty most beautiful places to sail in 2018. Included are hot weather cruising destinations as well as cold sailing destinations. The world has some magnificent areas waiting for us to discover and fall in love with. Choose a location on this list, and voyage there this winter. But before, choose your preferred one and vote in our survey at bottom page!
1. British Virgin Islands
The most popular Caribbean sailing destination, the BVI’s provide a year-round warmth. With plenty of islands to explore and perfect winds, sailors can find immediate paradise. Whether you want to find secluded beaches and coves, or desire to explore the busier towns, the British Virgin Islands are the place to cruise.
In a city full of colorful and beautiful architecture, Cuba is an amazing sailing destination. As a city stuck in the 1950’s, Havana is full of bustling city life. Traveling around Cuba, the crystal clear waters will do nothing but amaze each visitor. With the opportunity to snorkel and kayak, this spot is a magical getaway in the wintertime.
3. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
With over 70 islands to explore, the Whitsundays provide a warm, tranquil sailing experience. With the Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep, the landscape is far from boring. The endless views of small islands and protected waters, gives you a glimpse of the perfect sailing area.
Throughout the winter, Croatia stays warm and sunny, with the most incredible inviting blue water. Exploring the deserted islands and coves to viewing the cities from the water, this destination is one to never forget. The Renaissance look and dramatic 16th century walls of Dubrovnik, the city is seen from the water and beautiful throughout the year.
5. French Polynesia
This is an area full of romantic beauty, full of the remnants of volcanic activity these calm waters are great for sailing. During the winter, the beauty still stands with the outlining coral reefs and lagoons, perfect for snorkeling and swimming on your break from cruising.
6. New Zealand Bay of Islands
North of Auckland, the Bay of Islands is made up of 144 islands to discover. Sailing around the islands to explore the empty, peaceful islands, you may come across wildlife such as penguins, dolphins, and whales. Perfection at any time during the year, this is a place of exploration and admiration.
Although hundreds visit the Bermuda area for sailing and yachting races throughout the year, it is a fabulous place to explore in the winter. From shipwrecks, marine life, and enclaves, Bermuda is the perfect getaway in the wintertime, especially if you are fascinated by historic sights and beauties.
8. French Riviera
Enjoy the coastal views of the Southern France from the Mediterranean Sea. View the incredible architecture as well as the extraordinary countryside beauty. While sailing south, take pleasure in the views of Massif de l’Estérel, a natural red rock formation. Do not forget to admire the crystal clear water, and enjoy the coastal restaurants serving French style seafood.
Sailing in some of the clearest emerald colored waters, Thailand provides a balance between city nightlife and uninhabited islands. The surrounding islands are internationally known as some of the best protected scuba diving areas. Run away to explore and unparalleled universe of tropical beauty during the wintertime.
Amongst the colorful islands, is a new world engulfed with a French ambience. From marine parks to coral reefs and incredible rock formations, Seychelles is a great place to adventure. Most of the country is protected and calm, therefore naturally stunning. Sail among giant tortoises and seabirds into a realm of beauty.
Many choose to cruise the islands of Fiji and Vanuatu, with some even braving the winds to sail from one to the other. Vanuatu is a developing country where poverty may be seen, but culture is very valued. Some say the county has not changed, with wood and log built structures and dirt roads, however the beauty still stands. From sunset cruising to daytime fishing, Vanuatu is an incredible escape. Fiji, similarly, is full of culture and traditions. Sailing from island to island, vibrant colors, volcanic peaks, waterfalls and rainforests are there to be discovered.
In a country known for its romance and charm, comes a lovely place to sail in the winter. The picturesque waters allow for the scenery on land to become amazing. From the diversity the culture holds, sailing provides the opportunity to view castles and forts from the ocean. An incredible city throughout the year, still shows its charm and traditions during the colder months.
During the winter cold months, the Grenadine Islands stay ideal sailing temperature. Located in the Caribbean, there are 32 islands to explore still having some uninhabited. Glory can be found by claiming your own island for the day, or continually cruising through the sea. This relaxed and calm environment offers snorkeling and scuba diving with turtles and colorful coral, while also having restaurants and hotels available at your pleasure.
The Bahamas are known for the crystal clear water and white sand beaches, which perfectly combine with sailing to provide the ideal cruising location. Resorts and hotels cover the Bahamas with nightlife and events, if that is for your liking. On the other hand, snorkeling through the coral gardens with marine life may just be your cup of tea during the winter.
Many go to Costa Rica in South America to sail, however not many are aware of the beauty Nicaragua holds. In a low-tourism, relaxed, and authentic country, the culture is a virtue. The luxury landscape and feeling of seclusion shows that this location is perfect for those who want a break from bustling city life.
16. San Francisco, USA
City-side sailing is paradise for some and ideal in the wintertime. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in the calm waters of the sunrise, you may end up seeing birds, sea lions, and dolphins. This city’s charm is truly brought to the water while sailing beside the coast and well into the Pacific Ocean.
Some may not believe that Scotland is a great place to sail in the winter, however amongst the luck and charm the country brings, the coastal winds are perfect for sailing. Cruising along, you will find remote beach areas, mountain peaks in the distance, beautiful green farmland, and amazingly perfected rugged coastlines. The surroundings of Scotland will truly take your breath away all the way from the water.
Greenland is a country that people know a little less about, but it truly holds beauty within. A beautifully isolated and remote country, has amazing fjords waiting to be discovered. With plenty of unfound areas, Greenland is a true wilderness explorer’s paradise. If you are in need of a break from sailing, there is great kayaking and hiking areas also. In deep winter the snow will come, however it provides a new kind of bliss and beauty to the wilderness in wintertime.
Sailing in Antarctica is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Suggested to complete the sailing experience in a program, Antarctica provides a great sense of immersion into the wilderness if you are up for it. Some very passionate serious outdoor adventurers crave these kinds of experiences as they are unlike anything else. Deep within the freezing land, you will see seals, whales, penguins, and LOTS of icebergs. Antarctica is so different to anywhere else on the planet, thus being an extremely rare and valuable trip.
Throughout Alaska there are many different National Parks that are seen from the coastal lines. The scenery and wildlife viewed from cruising the deserted bays are incredible. There is very little development, therefore lots of time to focus upon the amazing bays and mountains. There are opportunities to discover areas on your own, but watch out for whales, icebergs, fish, and bears (you will not want to miss them!).