A new breed of adventure-seeking yacht owners will push future top yacht destinations beyond the old familiar places. Here are a few of the emerging favorites.
The Northwest Passage
Sailing above the Arctic Circle through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on the sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is the ultimate expedition yacht challenge. Departing from Davis Strait into Baffin Bay in July on the east, and reaching the Beaufort Sea on the west by mid-August requires meticulous planning. From there, it is still 3,200 nautical miles around Alaska through the Bering Strait and the North Pacific to Vancouver as the days get shorter.
The payoff is safely completing a route that was first attempted in the late 15th century, and first conquered in 1906.
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
Dubbed “The City at the End of the World”, this southernmost port in Argentina is the jumping off point for cruising the Beagle Channel connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans just north of Cape Horn. The islands of the Beagle Channel are home to seals, orcas and penguins. For expedition yachts and bluewater sailors, Ushuaia is the ideal location to prepare for cruising Antarctic waters or doubling Cape Horn.
Ushuaia and its namesake bay sit at the foot of the Andes mountain range. This stunning panorama hosts two yacht clubs that provide ample dockage for visiting boats.
Because of its location in the southeasterly trade wind belt, this remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean was an important port of call during the heyday of the British East India Company. Their trade ships returning to England from China and India would replenish water and provisions for the final leg of their passage back home.
Located almost 1,100 nautical miles off the African coast, the volcanic tropical island also was chosen by the British government to serve as Napoleon’s home in exile after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The capital, Jamestown, has an anchorage suitable for yachts and a warm welcome is extended to about 600 visiting yachts every year.
Capt. Jeff Werner has been in yachting for more than 20 years on private and charter yachts, both sail and power. He is an instructor for RYA, MCA, USCG and US Sailing courses and owns Diesel Doctor (MyDieselDoctor.com).