Leeward Islands – Antigua to St Martin

The Leeward Islands: Antigua to St. Martin (St Maarten)

The Leeward Islands chain from Antigua to St Martin offers an exciting charter territory. With some longer passages between islands in open sea conditions, this is the area for some of the best sailing in the world. This is the ideal territory for the Superyachts and luxury motor yachts and the islands offer an extremely diverse range of island cultures.

Antigua itself is one of the major yachting centers in the Caribbean, it has a rich history and in the 18th century, the famous Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, was the base of the British Fleet in the West Indies. The island has beautiful beaches, deeply indented bays and has perfect sailing conditions year-round. Barbuda the sister island to the north is a low flat island with miles and miles of near-deserted sandy beaches.

Heading west from Antigua is St. Kitts and Nevis, another twin island nation in the Leeward Islands. These outstandingly beautiful islands retain much character of the sugar plantation days although many of the plantation houses have been converted to small luxury hotels. Brimstone Hill on St Kitts has a wonderful old, strategically located fort, a lasting monument to the old enmity between the British and French.

Next in the Leeward Islands chain going north is St Eustatia (Statia), a small island with a big history was once the trade capital of the West Indies. This sleepy island offers peace and tranquility and many pretty walks.

Saba, a mere five square mile rock which reaches a lofty 3,000ft, offers scuba diving rated as some of the best in the Caribbean and an isolated island character that is spotlessly clean, villages of white-washed red roofed cottages and cobblestone streets built by descendents of Dutch, Scottish and British settlers. Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and Statia are all volcanic islands often with cloud-topped peaks and for the most part they are surrounded by deep water.

Next, St Barthelemy or St. Barth’s as it’s often known, once owned by the Swedes and sold to France in 1878 is now a fashionable sailing destination and has become the Riviera of the Caribbean.

Anguilla is a low island surrounded by spectacular pristine white sand beaches and banks of coral.

St Martin/St. Maarten
divided across the middle is part French, part Dutch and one of the best known holiday destinations in the Caribbean, a duty free island, shopping is big business here. St Martin also has excellent international air connections and is a convenient dropping off point for charter guests cruising the Leeward Islands.

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