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The best yacht charter destinations for animal lovers

Yachting is a way of life, a spectacular way to be one with the sea and blend with nature without forgoing the luxurious comforts of life. While some may love cruising for the endless days in the sun, with crystal clear seas right at your feet, what better way is there for the casual encounters with wild animals onboard your private yacht for charter. Before you experience being greeted by a dolphin in the morning, there is no way to explain the feeling! Why not go a step further and meet seals, manatees, or even penguins? These are the 10 best destinations to meet our wonderful cohabitants on your next exciting yacht charter holiday!

Hawai 

Famous for its stunning nature, Hawaii offers more than endless blue beaches and fine sugar cane sand. The cute animals you’ll stumble across during your cruise will excite any wildlife enthusiast - one of them is the Hawaiian monk seal, the state mammal of Hawaii. 

They were almost extinct in the nineties, but have since repopulated the island and are now one of the two remaining monk seal species in the world. They can weigh up to 600 pounds and measure 8 feet in length, which is slightly less than their Mediterranean cousin. Humpback whales often like to go for a vacation here, and start migrating in December - if you’d like to spot one, your best odds are coming in January. 

Maui is famous for its turtle inhabitants who are referred to as “Honu'' by the locals. The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles can be found near shallow waters and fascinate visitors who anchor their boats near Laniakea Beach just by Turtle Town. They live up to 80 years and although they are known to be quite friendly, petting them is fined 2000 USD - but you can greet them while snorkeling around the area. 

Mexico

If you’re planning on a yachting experience near Baja California Sur, you can expect to run into numerous wildlife species. Just a mile off the sandy shores of this spectacular oasis, blue whales, beluga, sperm, and humpback whales can be seen in winter and spring, between January and April. If you’re set on running into a gray whale in person, visit their breeding ground - San Ignacio Lagoon. The land is just as rich in flora and fauna, so you might spot jackrabbits, mice, squirrels, coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, desert bighorn sheep and varios lizard species. 

Costa Rica

One of the countries that has some of the world's most beautiful natural sights, Costa Rica is not only a gorgeous place to spend time relaxing on a superyacht - it can also make you feel as if you’re making a wildlife documentary of your own. Turtles, manatees, dolphins and frolickin humpback whales are often seen roaming the limpid seas freely, exciting visitors, while the rainforest has rich flora and fauna of its own. If you find yourself in the verdant jungles, you might see a shy jaguar, unlikely to approach you, a monkey, toucan or a sloth. This South American country has the longest whale watching season - make sure to take your camera with you!

Galapagos

A phenomenal location for a wildlife-spotting yacht charter holiday, the islands are among the most pristine spots on Earth and have only been inhabited by people for 150 years. As they’re quite remote, the only way to fully explore the abundant bionetwork is by boat - you will be amazed by different sorts of creatures that you’ll hardly find elsewhere. 

While diving, whales, penguins and seals might keep you company, while on land you could come across species that will remind you of Jurassic Park, such as the Galapagos lizard, giant turtle, or even red and blue footed boobies, big and hilarious birds, with a spiky head, who attract suitors with their odd “shoe” color. 

All that with the added bonus of some of the most stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and soft white sand. 

The Bahamas

Get ready for some fun in the sun and cuteness overload - the swimming pigs in the Bahamas will melt your heart! These friendly beach bums will joyfully approach you in hopes to get a bite and a cuddle, gaining the affection of all visitors, especially kids. While snorkeling or scuba diving, you’ll find abundant aquatic life - Nassau Paradise Island boasts a rich coral reef that attracts dolphins who love swimming near the water’s surface. 

Spiny lobsters, blue tangs, iguanas and sea turtles are also often part of the rich flora and fauna. The bravest charterers will want to dive with the sharks - Tiger sharks, Great Hammerhead, Oceanic White Tip, Bulls sharks, Lemon sharks, Caribbean Reef sharks and Nurse sharks are the varieties that you can arrange a meeting with while donning your diving gear in this heavenly country. 

Thailand

Rich culture, delicious food, welcoming people and endless stretches of white sand are just some of the reason this Asian country is one of the most popular tourist spots. Even so, some parts are pristine and you might find a beach all to yourself. While cruising on board your charter yacht through the sapphire colored sea, you’ll discover one of the richest ecosystems on Earth that includes manta rays, irrawaddy dolphins and the notorious whale shark. On land, elephants, sunbears, macaques, leopards and many more can be seen in this stunning country and fascinating guests. 

Indonesia

Located between the Indian and Pacific oceans, the country that consists of more than seventeen thousand islands has become the latest it location for yachting charters. Popular for its incredible sundrenched beaches and crystal clear waters, Indonesia is a must-see for any wildlife enthusiast and homes Borneo orangutans, tigers, rhinos, macaques, and the peculiar tarsiers, haplorhine lemur like primates that are members of the family Tarsiidae, a lone extant family within the infraorder Tarsiiformes. 

Komodo National Park will enchant you with incredibly beautiful scenery and outworldly creatures. The volcanic islands are the habitat of the 3m-long Komodo dragon, the heaviest lizard on Earth, who’ve called Indonesia home for millions of Earth.

Australia

The continent is a wonderful destination for yachting aficionados and offers everything from vibrant culture, sunny beaches, shopping experiences to the most natural gems on Earth. The Great Barrier reef is the largest living organism on our planet and can even be spotted from space - while cruising, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at its beauty as soon as you pull on your snorkeling or diving gear and jump into the turquoise seas. 

You may also have the opportunity to say cowabunga to the platypus, koalas, kangaroos, numerous reptiles, whales, cassowaries, echidnas and many, many more on your visit to the land down under!

Alaska

Although sunny beaches are probably not your first thought when Alaska is mentioned, this state has approximately 33000 miles of coastline, where you can enjoy the sun, sand and sea without any distractions. Unjustly overlooked as a tourist location, but to great benefit to those who do come, Alaska is the land where you can spot all sorts of wild animals such as the killer whale. Sea lions are friendly inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea west and south down the length of the Inside Passage. Bald Eagles, amphibians, wolves, wolverines and seals also make up for the lush flora and fauna of this stunning and underexplored country. 

New Zealand

If you think you’ve already seen it all, prepare for a yachting escapade in New Zealand. Famous for its picturesque scenery and Maori culture, New Zealand has stellar beaches where you can surf, swim and perhaps see some of the most mysterious creatures that will certainly catch your attention. 

One of Auckland's incredible west coast beaches, Piha will dazzle you with its black sand, big waves and fabulous Lion Rock island. A paradise for surfers, the beach also attracts various birds and endangered species that will certainly catch your attention. From swimming with dolphins and whale watching to encounters with kiwi birds, to walks with yellow-eyed penguins in Dunedin, New Zealand is the perfect destination for all those looking to meet the rarest animals while enjoying a luxurious yachting vacation

Maldives

With glamorous places, endless stretches of soft, sundrenched sand and crystal clear waters, it's no wonder Maldives are one of most glamorous holiday spots that attract elites year after year. Aside from over 2,000 species of fish living in the turquoise seas surrounding the islands,  you can meet manta rays, stingrays and eagle rays as well as various kinds of anemones and jellyfish. Maldives are also the habitat of giant clams, fruit bats, lizards, snakes and numerous birds. The shark population has been steadily decreasing for years now, due to fishing expeditions that have recently been banned by the government - yet this exotic yachting destination is still the only place where you can see these gentle giants all year round. 

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