Florida and Miami luxury yacht charter
The Sunshine State of the US offers a multitude of cruising hotspots, from glitzy Miami to the secluded cays and lagoons en route to the Florida Keys. With 600 miles of beaches, the UNESCO-protected Everglades, pulsating cities, Michelin-star restaurants, thrill-a-minute attractions, crystal waters and colourful dive sites, a stateside luxury yacht charter in Miami and Florida ticks every box.
Florida yacht season and weather
The monicker of the Sunshine State may give it away, but Florida and Miami are blessed with blue skies almost all year round. Summer highs rise above 30°C while during winter months temperatures rarely dip below 20°C in the far south. Hurricane season runs from June to the end of November.
In the south and the Keys, December to March are ideal times to charter. Spring is a great time to explore the West Coast, Gulf Coast and Panhandle further north.
Miami and Florida yacht charter itineraries
Florida offers first class superyacht facilities. From private island marinas to expansive facilities a stone’s throw from iconic South Beach, Miami has a plethora of berthing options. Some of the best marinas in Miami include One Island Park, which accommodates yachts up to 244 metres and Island Garden, which has 50 superyacht berths for vessels up to 167 metres. At Island Garden, the alfresco bar and lounge, The Deck, is one of the top hotspots in town and boasts incredible views of downtown Miami.
The superyacht hub of Fort Lauderdale offers excellent facilities for visiting yachts including the luxurious Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina, which has slips for yachts up to 121 metres. The popular resort of Palm Beach is also easily accessible, with several large marinas.
The bright lights of Miami are a key highlight – it’s a city where guests can enjoy everything from world-class hotel spas to high-end shopping, art galleries, restaurants and pulsating nightlife. Yet while many visitors are initially drawn to the vibrant bars and attractions, Florida is also home to some incredibly picturesque and quiet beaches, golden sand islands and lesser-known coastal towns, which are perfect to explore by luxury charter. Deep sea fishing, abundant wildlife and marine life are also key calling cards for the Sunshine State.
On the west coast, the sheltered waters of the Intracoastal Waterway offer sublime cruising and stops along with Biscayne National Park to the south of Miami. On the Gulf Coast, visitors can explore the iconic Everglades, estimated to be approximately 5,000 years old and home to alligators, manatees, black bears and panthers. Just offshore, the shifting sands of the Ten Thousand Islands are a wild and stunning area perfect for exploration by yacht.
Further north on the Gulf Coast, picturesque beaches abound with the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva and a multitude of nature reserves adding to the allure. The coastal cities of St Petersburg, Tampa and Naples offer excellent dining and shopping.
For sun, sea, sand and spectacular diving, set sail for the gorgeous Florida Keys, which unfurl from the southerly tip of Florida. Around 20 nautical miles south of Miami, Elliott Key is an ideal first snorkel stop, with mesmerising reefs and gin-clear waters. Key Largo lies a leisurely 30 nautical miles further south, and is home to a championship golf course and relaxed dining options. From Largo, it’s a pick-and-mix of electric blue lagoons and sandy cays. Stop at the exclusive resort of Palm Island before hitting buzzing Key West, where you can enjoy some game fishing and see the sights.
Florida by superyacht
Getting to Florida
Florida has several international and regional airports. Some of the larger airports accommodating commercial and private aircraft include Miami International Airport, Tampa International, Palm Beach International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International. Key West International Airport also accommodates private jets.
Florida is an exceptional cruising destination, which can be enjoyed in isolation, or as part of a Bahamas and extended Caribbean yacht charter. Common routes in and out of Floridian waters are often via the Bahamas, which lie around 75 nautical miles east of the Florida coast.
The US Coast Guard has limited the passenger capacity of privately owned charter yachts to a total of 12 passengers (not including crew).
Following a change in US law in August 2018, owners of vessels over 300 GT can now fly an American flag and register their boat in the United States.
Foreign-flagged yachts must make a formal vessel entry with a Customs & Border Protection (CBP) form 1300. It is advisable to contact the officials at your chosen Port of Entry in advance, to check requirements.
All foreign-flagged yachts require a Cruising License, which can be obtained at the time of entry from the CBP port director. A cruising license is valid for up to one year from the date of issue.