Lying just hours off of the coast of the South of France, a superyacht charter in Corsica eliminates the hustle and bustle of St Tropez or Cannes and replaces it with tranquility, dramatic scenery and a slower pace of French life.
Bonifacio: When you go through the rocks there – it’s like The Lord of the Rings
Corsica has been a part of France for the past 200 years yet it is has managed to retain its own charming identity. The island is over one half covered in vegetation that creates a fragrant aroma which drifts out to sea securing Corsica the nickname of the ‘scented isle’. This, mixed with a rugged coastline, turquoise seas and white sand beaches means there are few other places left in the region to truly escape it all.
This season, new charter boat, the 36.90m 2013-Benetti built DYNA® will be cruising its waters and we caught up with her knowledgable captain Nikolas James to get some insider information on a motor yacht charter in Corsica.
What destination would you recommend and why?
For me it’s got to be Corsica. Everyone seems to go to Sardinia – which is lovely – but much more controlled and over-subscribed. Whereas, in Corsica, which is just hours away from the South of France, – you’re back in the Seventies. You can find your own beach, you can anchor in your own bay and usually be the only boat – maybe not in August, but in June and July you can still be in turquoise water all alone. There’s a very laid back atmosphere there – you can do what you like. You can take guests to an anchorage and set up a dinner onshore and it’s wonderful. Corsica is literally one of the best destinations on the planet and yet it’s just a few hours away from the chaos that is the hub of world yachting.
What are the best spots to visit?
There’s a bay called Roccapina and the beach there has got to be one of the nicest in the whole world… And of course there’s Bonifacio – when you take people ashore there they just can’t believe it. When you go through the rocks there – it’s like The Lord of the Rings! And then you park the boat – and it’s really difficult to park – and everyone’s really excited – all they can say is ‘Wow!’
Any words of advice for first time charterers?
Don’t do too many miles! Don’t try and do too much in seven days – it’s not a cruise ship! Instead, relax, come and do it next year… One of my returning clients is letting me write the itinerary – he’s going to have the best charter! Let the captain dictate what you can do in a week. But equally on a much faster boat, some people really want to do the tour and I completely understand that – but as long as they understand the sea time that entails then fine. But if you want a yachting holiday – enjoy the boat.
Also, everyone does it – but try to resist the temptation to get on board and try to do everything ‘NOW!’ However, by day three, most guests are beginning to genuinely relax. And that’s what we’re trying to achieve. If you try to do too any miles then the crew is manic too, it’s harder to help the guests to relax and then we haven’t achieved what we want to, and that is to get our guests to completely switch off.
Just try yachting – don’t just use us like a boutique hotel in the best ports, stay at anchor – experience it. Let the people who are driving the boat – because we all have a passion for yachting – let us show you what having a yacht’s all about. You might get sold on a crazy itinerary, but just slow down – stay at anchor…
What should guests bring with them on charter?
Tell me about your crew and the atmosphere on board Dyna ®
We are used to doing white glove service; we have a respectful, formal relationship with the owner. But we have a young team including watersports instructors – we’re a jet ski school. It’s important to be able to strike the right balance – we can do deference but we’re approachable. The crew understand this and we work hard – we run a 36.90m boat like a 50m boat. We don’t act too ‘laid back’ or casual, we wear smart uniform every day. We understand that the guest’s time is precious – this might be the only 7 or 10 days they have off in a year; they don’t need to hear about our problems. We do our best never to say ‘no, we can’t do that,’ we’ll always try to say, ‘here’s what we can do.’ We create a very relaxing atmosphere but at the end of the day, we are the staff. We’ll do whatever the guests want; if they want an informal, first-name basis approach then of course we can do that too.