Unforgettable boat rentals
Make a splash this year by swapping out classic vacation homes for boat rentals. Whether it's a whizzing 50-foot yacht in the glistening Aegean Sea or a bobbing houseboat on canyon-shrouded Lake Powell, there's something truly special about taking a break on the water. They add freedom and a sense of adventure to the mix, giving you a way to explore a destination to the full. What's more, there are boat rentals all over the globe, enticing you to the tropical cays of the Caribbean, the soft sands of Thailand, the hoodoo-topped lakes of the Wild West – the list goes on.
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If you can't decide between a classic one-keel boat rental or a double-hulled vessel, it might be worth delving into the world of the catamaran charter before booking. There are plenty of reasons why these wide ship types have risen to become one of the most common picks for vacationers. For starters, they typically come with extra space, which can mean more bedrooms, bunks, and kitchen room if you're traveling with the family. They also offer a faster, smoother ride in general. The downside? Catamarans can have a heftier price tag.
So, you're settled on a boat rental? Good choice. These water-based vacation rentals are unique in the extreme. But what type of charter boat will you opt for? There are oodles on the menu. Long yachts with Single-hulled keels are the classic option. Then there are double-hulled catamarans with extra space and stability on the waves. And you'll need to pick between paying extra for a vessel with its own captain and crew or going it alone with your own seafaring know-how and expertise.
Ah, the Caribbean – now this is a region tailor-made for sailing. Just take the Bahamas. Spread out over countless cays and coral banks between Miami and Cuba, they beckon sea dogs with the promise of pink-tinted beaches and stingray-filled reefs. It's hardly a wonder that Blackbeard himself once called the capital, Nassau, home. And it doesn't end there. The BVI and the USVI are iconic meccas for yachters, with international regattas in spring and stunning isles like Virgin Gorda up their sleeve. Then comes St Lucia, a volcano-topped mass of craggy rocks and coves – perfect for a boat rental for loved-up duos on their honeymoon.
Imagine a tropical paradise that's clad in primeval rainforests, speckled with waxy orchids, and dotted with well-heeled towns of chic cafes and bistros. In fact, you're not even close to the British Virgin Islands, because these also pack in glinting coastal lagoons, pristine coral reefs, and boulder-spotted beaches that are said to be among the most jaw-dropping in the world. For sailors, BVI charters are a top way to explore the picture-perfect rock pools of Virgin Gorda and beyond, especially as boats get a free pass to hop over to the USVI across the straits, too.
Imagine it – skimming over the open ocean, bouncing over the white-capping waves, pulling into whichever pebble cove on whichever Greek Island or Croatian rock captures the imagination. There's real freedom in choosing sailboat rentals for that next getaway. There are just some things to get straight before you book, however. Bareboat rentals are the basic package, giving you only the boat and nothing more. Or, you can engage the services of a skippered boat rental, which leaves you more time to concentrate on the sunbathing, the book reading, the evening cocktails, and the like.
A sailboat charter is a ticket to the sloshing Aegean Sea, the bath-warm Caribbean, the whitewashed sierra towns of the Costa del Sol, the glitzy harbors of Miami Beach – there's loads. But before dreams of swimming with rainbow fish and devouring sizzling mahi mahi on open BBQ coals take over, you're going to need to choose precisely what type of vessel you're after. Will it be big enough to host the whole crew? Will you even have a private crew? Is a trusted helmsman required? These are all questions to answer before searching for your mast-topped water escape.
Raising sail and heading out to sea doesn't have to mean leaving behind the creature comforts of dry land. In fact, it can sometimes mean the exact opposite. Cue luxury boats – the crème-de-la-crème of boat rentals. Clocking up massive sizes – think 50-footers and over – and deluxe features, they are the ones that can really crank up the R&R. Of course, most are skippered and have their own crew. It's also common to enjoy extras like on-board hot tubs, grand kitchens with champagne bars, and plush al fresco spaces where you can put the feet up and watch the ocean roll by.
Kentucky's southern hills are split asunder by Lake Cumberland. It's one of the largest bodies of water in the country outside of the Great Lakes, touting rocky beaches, wooded nature trails, and even long-distance hiking routes that weave through the forests towards Appalachia in the east. The whole place has elevated itself to become a houseboat mecca, too . These days, you can get Lake Cumberland boat rentals of all kinds, from big family cottages moored in vibrant marina resorts to moveable vessels that'll let you hop between the creeks, coves, and state parks.
One of the largest reservoirs in the country, Lake Powell is a doozy for boat lovers. There's almost 2,000 miles of shoreline to explore, most of which is dominated by ocher-tinted bluffs and megalithic hoodoos, culminating with the deep Glen Canyon on one side and the mighty Grand Canyon on the other. It's possible to get all kinds of Lake Powell boat rentals, along with classic vacation homes in buzzy marina towns on the Arizona side of the state border.
A houseboat rental does exactly as its name implies – It's a house, only on a boat. Sounds fun? They can be your escape to sloshing alpine lakes in the Californian sierras or the sprawling reservoir canyons of Utah and Arizona. And they offer plenty of creature comforts, coming with kitchenettes, large living rooms, and multiple bedrooms that can fit the whole family. And that's not even mentioning al fresco space – think a deck on the roof for sunset beers as the sun glows red and pink over the wooded Ozarks on the horizon.