Phenomenal beaches and tropical weather attract holidaymakers year-round to Aruba, and a luxury yacht charter is a great way to explore the coastline.
Free from the restrictions of fixed accommodation and reliance on local transport, you and your group can wake up to the sounds of nature in a remote cove and end your day revelling in the city attractions.
If these benefits alone aren't enough to convince you, read on and discover the five reasons why a yacht charter in Aruba is perfect for your group.
Sunny hot weather to escape the winter cold
When the northern hemisphere has had enough of drab and rainy December days, some look forward to an early spring while others take action and book a flight to a warm tropical paradise; usually the Caribbean or Bahamas.
Aruba is part of the Lesser Antilles and its year-round hot weather hovers around 31°C/87.8°F with sea temperatures a delightfully warm 29°C/84.2°F at the peak of the winter season. These enticing 'bath tub' temperatures bring visitors from the nearby USA and as far afield as Europe and Asia for comfortable snorkelling and Scuba diving down into the cool - but not cold - depths.
After dark the warmth remains in the air as temperatures drop to 25°C/77°F, giving guests an excuse to stay out late and join in the bustling city nightlife or the beach bar parties to be found along the western coast.
These stable conditions also mean that visitors don't need to put much consideration into their packing, leaving more room for more summer clothes or end-of-trip souvenirs.
Aruba's location outside of the hurricane belt gives visitors the confidence to visit during the early summer months as well, and eastern sea winds that never reach more than 20 knots provide the ideal conditions for sailing yachts and wind-based water toys.
A tropical idyll for hosting weddings and celebrating special occasions
The beaches in Aruba are picture perfect; powdery white sand gently descends into transparent turquoise waters and the only interruption to this horizon is the occasional green-leafed tree. It's little wonder why so many couples choose Aruba to say their vows, especially when the dramatic colours at sunrise or sunset make the occasion truly magical.
Secluded Baby Beach, Boca Prins and Mangel Halto have all seen their fair share of wedding ceremonies, and once the festivities are finished the happy couple can cruise off on their honeymoon. Charter yachts typically cater to up to 12 guests though some can accommodate three times that amount, so it's possible to have the whole guest list on board to continue the celebrations and dine on a sumptuous three course meal prepared by your professional on-board chef.
Your own supply of water toys
When you book your luxury yacht, you'll know exactly what toys are available to your group and they'll always be ready for you - no waiting in line.
Princess S72 Water Fun - Image credit to Princess Yachts.jpg
Water sports are big on the island as its crystal clear waters, reef-sheltered coasts and thriving marine flora and fauna provide big rewards for little effort. Kite surfing and wind surfing are popular water sports on the island and with your own transport you will be able to head away from the crowds to find a shoreline all to yourselves.
The water toys on board typically include inflatable and towable toys suitable for younger family members, fishing gear and snorkelling equipment, however Scuba dive equipment and jet skis might also be on board and some vessels are PADI dive centres or Approved RYA Water Sports Centres, allowing you to earn licenses for the respective equipment during your holiday.
Baby Beach is the perfect environment for young children and beginner snorkelers and Scuba divers as it has clear shallow waters home to impressive coral reefs and myriad fish species.
More experienced divers will be in their element exploring the numerous wrecks, including the JANE SEA which was sunk in the 1980s to create an artificial reef off Palm Island Key, or Barcaders Reef to the north west of the island. The SS ANTILLA is considered one of the best dives of the Dutch Caribbean. It’s possible to swim inside but be sure to take your camera to capture curious angelfish, yellowtail snappers and barracuda as they swim by gorgonians, anemones and corals of all shapes and sizes in this thriving underwater wilderness.
Even those new to diving can have a taste of wreck diving by exploring the mid-section of the PEDERNALES oil tanker; it was hit by a torpedo in 1959 and the section is only 10 metres below the surface. The DEBBIE II fuel barge was sunk to be used as an artificial reef and it's another successful dive site that will encourage and reward novice divers for their interest.
The waters around Aruba are bountiful and fishing enthusiasts have plenty of delicious species to catch and cook for an alfresco lunch on your sundeck - White and blue marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo kingfish and black and yellow fin tuna are just some possibilities to be served up by your expert on board chef while you sunbathe or celebrate with a drink from the wet bar.
Luxury goods, local crafts and culture
There's more to Aruba than just its incredible nature and it's easy for a day or two to disappear while in port as you update your wardrobe, indulge in the spas and dance through the night.
Aruba has a packed social calendar and there is something each month of the year to entice visitors back for another perfect holiday on this beautiful Caribbean island. Head to the latest music concerts, see the Bon Bini festival every Tuesday at Fort Zoutman, watch a regatta or wander through the city streets during the art festival to admire the works of local and international names.
Take advantage of the duty free to indulge yourself or buy gifts for loved ones back home, with perfumes, Cuban cigars, Aruban aloe and liquor among the many offerings.
Designer dresses, bespoke jewellery, local crafts and sensational artwork abound in the capital city of Oranjestad, many stores just metres away from the main port. Palm - Eagle Beach has shopping centres filled with international brands and exquisite local designers for jewellery, right next to the beachfront. Cruise south to San Nicolas for handmade works from Aruba's own artisans and take back a memorable and meaningful souvenir of your vacation to cherish forever.
Something for every group and every budget
Luxury catamarans are common among the Caribbean fleet and a desirable option for families of all ages: Not only do they provide excellent stability with two hulls, they have a shallower draft which allows you to get even closer to the incredible lagoons and sandy shores around Aruba. The accommodation tends to be equally sized and filled with plenty of natural light, while the spacious salon has everything to entertain during the evenings or while cruising from one anchorage to the next.
Compared to most sailing yachts, motor yachts have the advantage of a Jacuzzi on the foredeck or sundeck and the addition of a second interior lounge. The larger yachts often come with additional features such as a beach club, spa massage facilities and even a cinema inside or out on deck, making them an excellent option for special occasion charters such as weddings, honeymoons or the ultimate Christmas gift to friends and family. Sports yachts are capable of more than 30 knots for groups who want to spend less time on board and more at the stunning destinations Aruba has to offer.
You can charter a luxury yacht starting from around $15,000 USD per week, plus expenses such as fuel, meals and alcoholic drinks. To help you budget, many vessels have an Advanced Provisioning Allowance and your captain will keep you informed how much you have spent and how much remains during your time on board. Once you factor in the cost of accommodation, meals, transport and the rental of water toys, a land-based holiday amounts to much the same price bracket without the freedom, complete privacy and crew providing just for you.