St. Lucia Yacht Charters
For the adventurous travelers, the ones who find lazing in standard yacht charter destinations or sightseeing in a tourist town too boring to call a vacation, a St. Lucia yacht charter is absolutely perfect. This small gem in the Windward islands rests between Martinique and St. Vincent, on the outer edge of the curve of training islands towards South America. Sitting close to the equator and influenced by the trade winds year round, St. Lucia is a perfect place to go sailing or to charter a motor yacht. 12 Knots offers the highest quality charters with luxury amenities, crew assistance, and other services to ensure your vacation is smooth sailing.
From trekking the wild jungles to tackling waves on the open ocean, St. Lucia brings sailors and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity of a lifetime. With so much to do and see, you’ll probably come back to the island more than once if you get the chance. St. Lucia is a hidden wonder of the Caribbean. Its rich history, ideal climate, exotic landscapes and wildlife offer a treat for anyone who has a love for the island lifestyle. A sailing vacation is just one way to experience the island, but many say that a private yacht charter provides the most freedom and authenticity when visiting the Caribbean for the first, or the hundredth time. You won’t be disappointed choosing St. Lucia for your next sailing vacation.
History of St. Lucia
St. Lucia was first inhabited by the Caribs, an indigenous tribal people who controlled much of the Caribbean islands. However, French and English settlers arrived in the 1660s, and fought over ownership of the land for several decades. France and England fought over most of the Caribbean until the Treaty of Paris. St. Lucia switched rulers over fourteen times before 1814, and is sometimes called the "Helen of the West Indies" after the famous Helen of Troy. While Britain gained final control of St. Lucia, the French were the ones to name it. Saint Lucia was chosen to honor Saint Lucy of Syracuse, and is the only country in the world to be named after a woman.
The island was solely British territory until the late 1950s, when it became a part of the Federation of the West Indies. This Federation allowed European countries to maintain control of their territories, yet gave some freedom over internal affairs to the states. However, St. Lucia fought for sovereignty and in 1979 received it. Saint Lucia is now an independent state, and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Though it gained independence from the European countries, St. Lucia still carries much of the history and culture from its ancestors. From the first Caribs to the settling French and English, St. Lucia is a wonderful blend of European sophistication with the island carefree lifestyle.
Geography and Wildlife
St. Lucia was not always a luscious rainforest island with wildlife and beautiful seascapes. Its origins come from volcanic eruptions and continental shifts to form the craggy peaks and mountains that shape the island’s inland. St. Lucia is significantly more rugged than most of the islands, with its highest peak, Mount Gimie, reaching over 950 metres (3,120 feet) above sea level. This provides a beautiful backdrop for sailors as they cruise along the shoreline looking for adventure.
Two towering mountains, the Pitons, make a statement on the island’s coastline. They sit between Soufrière and Choiseul on the western side, and act as a landmark for sailors to know they’ve arrived at St. Lucia. However, these two peaks are not even the greatest sight in St. Lucia. You’ll have to travel to the Sulphur Springs in Soufrière to see the world’s only drive-in volcano. The Sulphur Springs is one of the only places where you can take a trip into a volcano’s hot springs and see the natural ecosystem up close.
In addition to the beautiful landscapes, you’ll be surrounded by exotic wildlife on your St. Lucia yacht charter. All sorts of tropical animals, from dangerous reptiles including boa constrictors and fer-de-lance snakes, to the more tame ones like the iguana, and the hundreds of tropical birds that decorate the skies, can be found here. St Lucia is home to a very rare species of lizard, the St. Lucia Whiptail. This creature wasn’t discovered until 1958, and it only inhabits the southern portion of the island around Vieux Fort. This lizard is both rare and beautiful, characterized by white spots and a vibrant tail and underbelly. Rodents like manicao and mongoose also graze along the forest floor and are a common sight along the hiking trails on St. Lucia.
Culture and Local Attractions
St. Lucia is a wonderful melting pot of African, East Indian, French, and English culture. Because of its long-lasting British rule, the official language of St. Lucia is English. However, most of the population also speak a Saint Lucian-specific French Creole, known locally as Patois, or"Patwa." Much of the music and literature from St. Lucia natives is written in the Antillean Creole language. You may be able to pick up some of the dialect during your sailing vacation, or appreciate the beauty of the native language in the traditional song and dance of St. Lucia, exhibited in their many festivals and street markets.
Music and dance are an integral part of the St. Lucian culture. The island hosts several different festivals throughout the year to honor the history, culture, and indigenous customs of the people who lived there. The La Rose and La Marguerite celebrate different secret societies and fraternal organizations on the island. St. Lucia also holds an annual carnival to celebrate before Lent, as many other Caribbean islands do. However, the biggest festival on the island is the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. This festival brings musicians from all across the Caribbean. In addition to jazz, St. Lucia is a fertile creative ground for music genres such as Calypso, Soca, Dancehall, Reggae, Zouk, Salsa, and indigenous folk music.
If you’re looking for more outdoor attractions during your yacht charter in St. Lucia, visit Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. These gardens are in bloom year round because of the perfect growing conditions on the island. You can see a variety of tropical flowers, trees, and bushes while visiting. Then if you have time, take a nature hike to the Diamond Waterfall or visit the spa on site for a relaxed afternoon treat.
The other main outdoor attraction you should visit on your St. Lucia sailing vacation is Pigeon Island National Park. This park features walking trails, military ruins dating back to the 1600s, stunning beaches and a local restaurant where you can try the local food and drink. Of course, as a famed sailing destination, St. Lucia has plenty of places where you can reserve boat trips, go ziplining, rent a kayak, or do just about anything else your islander heart desires.
St. Lucia is right in the middle of the Windward Islands. This part of the Caribbean is very close to South America, and rests just above the equator, making a perfect place for sailing all throughout the year. It is warm and winds are strong, and the islands here are close enough to visit each one during your private yacht charter vacation. St. Lucia is surrounded by three other main islands, all within a day or two’s sailing trip from the 12 Knots port at the Rodney Bay Marina.
Sailing south of St. Lucia you will eventually meet Saint Vincent. This island is surrounded by several underwater volcanoes, and the inland is covered in tropical rainforest. The beaches here are unique, because the sand is unlike most other islands in the Caribbean. It is 95% black, because the sand originates from the volcanic rock basalt. St. Vincent is a wonderful place to explore the jungles or take a nap on the hot sand.
To the north is Martinique, an island of heavy French influence. When walking down the streets of Martinique, you’ll likely see the latest fashions from the Paris runways, and smell pastries and fine French cuisine from the local bistros. However, this island hasn’t lost its true flavor, as you can find delicious seafood almost anywhere on the island. Like many of the Caribbean islands, St. Lucia specializes in spiced seafood and unique dishes with parallels to African and Indian cuisine. Many sailors’ favorite part of visiting St. Lucia during a yacht charter is savoring the local food and meeting with the islanders to learn about their unique lifestyle.
If you sail southwest, you will find Barbados. This beautiful island of the Lesser Antilles is home to a variety of foods, flora, and fun activities that your whole crew will enjoy. The island has many different festivals throughout the year, and several outdoor excursions including beach horseback riding, swimming with sea turtles, and explorations through the island’s jungles and beach gardens.
Motor Yacht Charters in St. Lucia
12 Knots Yachting Club offers sailing boats, catamarans, and crewed yachts for those who want to explore and enjoy St. Lucia. Whether you’re looking for a short, hassle-free sailing vacation or are looking for a challenge to test your skill, 12 Knots has a charter perfect for you. 12 Knots offers several different sailing and motor yachts, each with optional amenities including crew assistance and watersport equipment rentals.
St. Lucia is a great place for beginner and advanced sailors alike. The weather is governed by the northeast trade winds. The best time for sailing is in the beginning of the year, from December to May, because the rain showers and thunderstorms are less prevalent. The rainy season lasts typically from June until November. Because of its proximity to the equator, temperatures in St. Lucia hover around 29 °C (84.2 °F) year round. In the wintertime the northeast trade winds travel at a steady 10 knots to a livelier 25 knots in the summer. Wind speed and strength increases as you reach the northern ends of the islands.
We recommend beginners plan their trip during the winter or spring, as summer and fall may be too windy or rainy for a novice to want to venture. However, temperatures are perfect year round and no matter when you choose to visit, St. Lucia will have a unique adventure waiting for you. 12 Knots helps you plan your trip, making it an easy sailing experience filled with luxury and laughter. We offer luxury as well as bareboat yachts, and motorboats and yachts for those less experienced in sailing. However, if learning to sail interests you (especially after taking your first Caribbean sailing vacation), 12 Knots Yachting Club has a sailing school, where you can learn the ropes of exploring the open ocean.
12 Knots invites you to book a yacht charter and explore St. Lucia with us. Our charter fleet of sailing yachts are perfect for families, friends, or solo travelers. We offer affordable weeklong trips, where you can be guided to the best destinations in and around St. Lucia, or venture off on your own into the Caribbean Sea. From small bareboat vessels to grand luxury yachts, 12 Knots has everything you’re looking for. Meet us at the Rodney Bay Marina for the St. Lucia vacation of a lifetime.