Charter calendar: 12 things to see and do in 2022

From watching the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte-Carlo to heading to St Barths for the Bucket regatta, take a look at the best events to visit by boat each month with our ultimate charter calendar for 2022.

New Year in Antarctica

January: King George Island, Antarctica
Credit: Richard McManus Via Getty Images

If you’re looking to shun the New Year’s crowds in the Caribbean and celebrate 2022 with a truly unforgettable experience, charter an expedition yacht like Legend or Hanse Explorer and head south on an Antarctic adventure.

The austral summer season lasts from October to March but January is arguably the best month to visit. Temperatures are at their highest, hovering comfortably above freezing point, and 20+ hours of daylight leaves plenty of time for outdoor activities from wildlife watching to heli-skiing. As winter ice melts, access to places like the Polar Circle and the historic huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott reopen too, plus the coasts will be swarming with fluffy penguin chicks and young seal pups now old enough to start discovering the world around them. Professional polar explorer Douglas Stoup, an expedition adviser to adventure charter company EYOS, describes visions of “millions of penguins, thousands of seals and hundreds of whales” awaiting visitors to Antarctica in January.

Read More/All things white and beautiful cruising along the coastlines of Antarctica

Carribean whale watching

February: Samaná Penninsula, Dominican Republic
Credit: Unsplash

Every year, from January to March, more than 2,500 humpback whales gather in Samaná Bay to breed, so charterers can observe what Worth Avenue Yachts broker Graham Sullivan calls “the most magnificent thing Mother Nature can offer you.” With its secluded anchorages in front of white-sand beaches flanked by lush mountains, Samaná Peninsula is the perfect base for exploration. While there, take the tender to visit the karst formations of Los Haitises National Park.

Read More/Close encounters: Whale watching on board sailing yacht Tiara

Sail in the St Barths Bucket

March 17-20: Gustavia, St. Barths
Credit: Carlo Borlenghi / Giuliano Sargentini

If superyacht racing is on your agenda, there is nowhere better to be in early spring than St Barths for the Bucket, as the biggest and most beautiful sailing superyachts fight it out from March 17 to 20, 2022. Either charter a sailing yacht to compete, or opt for a motor yacht and enjoy spectating from the sundeck. Some of the biggest superyachts already set to take part in the 2022 regatta include 67 metre Hetairos, 60 metre Perseus^3 (pictured) and 56 metre Rosehearty.

After a hard day’s racing, make sure you sample the food at Bonito in Gustavia. “They have the most amazing Chilean sea bass with a vanilla rum beurre blanc sauce,” says Bluewater USA founder Ami Ira. “And don’t miss going to Colombier Beach to snorkel with the turtles.”

Chase cherry blossoms

April: Tokyo, Japan
Credit: Kelly Cheng Travel Photography via Getty Images

 “Off the beaten track and rich in history going back 2,500 years, Japan offers excellent year-round cruising,” says Carol Harris of Super Yacht Logistics Japan, an agency that assisted 37 metre Dr No on travels around the country. With that said, one of the most enchanting times to visit the island nation is in April. That's because Sakura season is at its peak and blossom branches are laden with rosy blooms which then coat the ground with a snow-like dusting of petals. With much of the nation participating in the ritual of flower viewing, known as "Hanami," visitors will find plenty of outdoors activities and street celebrations to take part in, and delicious seasonal specialities to taste too. The country’s coastal capital – backdropped by ancient temples and cloud-piercing skyscrapers – offers numerous idyllic spots for sightseeing and is easily accessible by yacht.

Japanese borders are primed to open in 2022, but if they aren’t, an alternative option for chasing cherry blossoms is available in Washington DC, which is home to 3,000 cherry blossom trees gifted in 1912 by the mayor of Tokyo. The National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 20 to April 17, 2022, with ceremonies, events and exhibitions across the US capital.

Read More/Exploring the Olympic destination of Japan by superyacht

Take in the Monaco Grand Prix

May 26-29: Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Credit: Unsplash

This historic highlight of the Formula 1 season packs wheel-to-wheel racing, high-octane speed and celebrity-filled parties into one epic weekend. As the circuit runs right along the quayside in Monaco, there is no more glamorous a spot from which to take in all the action than a yacht moored in Port Hercules. “Book a boat that is berthed on Quai Kennedy,” advises Pierre Hurel, senior charter broker at Camper & Nicholsons. “Other berths in the port do not allow a decent view of the race. For this event, it is more important to get a berth with a view than a yacht with the precise characteristics you desire.” Berths and yachts get booked up far in advance, so put your foot on the gas to make it there this May.

Read More/10 of the biggest yachts in Monaco for this weekend's Grand Prix

Regatta racing in the Med

June: Mediterranean Sea
Credit: Jesús Renedo

The Mediterranean charter season is in full swing by June, with many charter itineraries bringing guests to explore the stunning, sun-baked islands of Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece and France. If you’re looking for a chance to get involved in some superyacht racing, June is high season for sailing regattas in the Med. On the island of Sardinia, the Loro Piana Regatta will be held off the coast of Porto Cervo from May 31 to June 2, 2022. In 2021, the race was won by 33 metre Missy (pictured) and 35 metre catamaran Highland Fling XVII. Over in Mallorca, The Superyacht Cup Palma, which saw Nilaya and Ravenger take home the winning prizes last year, is scheduled to take place from June 29 to July 2, 2022.

Summer on the East Coast

July: Newport, Rhode Island
Credit: The Vanderbilt Hotel / Auberge Resorts Collection

The sailing capital of the world, the historic town of Newport comes alive in the summer with parties and polo matches. On your visit, don’t miss picturesque Block Island, a short cruise from Newport. Work up an appetite on the Newport Cliff Walk, winding nearly six kilometres along the shoreline and taking in views of the Bellevue mansions. “Have sunset drinks looking over the harbour from the Vanderbilt hotel’s Roof Deck bar,” advises Eva Hiebert of Denison Yachting. “Another great location for sunset drinks and a meal is the Lawn at Castle Hill Inn, where you can watch sailing regattas as well as the signature Newport sunset.” If you’re settling into Rhode Island life, you could even stick around until August for the Newport Jazz Festival from July 29 to 31, 2022.

Read More/New England, Old haunts: exploring the East Coast's historic hotels

Visit the Venice Film Festival

August: Venice, Italy
Credit: Unsplash

The oldest film festival in the world is also the most glamorous. It has all the screenings and celebrity attendees that you would expect from a leading film festival (it’s considered one of the “big three”, along with Cannes and Berlin) but guests arrive on Rivas, and the parties are upgraded to fabulous balls.

Once the festivities have finished there is plenty to hang around for. “Obviously there are the major landmarks like the Basilica and Piazza San Marco, but we always advise clients to explore the little alleys, bridges and quieter areas that make up Venice’s charm,” says Sophie Holmes of Burgess. “In terms of restaurants, we suggest Antico Martini, In Acqua and the Cipriani hotel.” If you are feeling thirsty you can also head to Harry’s Bar for some carpaccio and a Bellini, both of which are said to originate from this Venetian mainstay.

View Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

September 24 - October 1: Saint-Tropez, France
Credit: Unsplash

Just because the Mediterranean charter season draws to a close in Autumn, it doesn’t mean superyachts should rush off. The sun-drenched Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez regatta on the Côte d’Azur is the perfect September stop-off.

Charter a sailing boat and take your place at the starting line or watch the J Class and Maxi fleets race from the deck of your motor yacht. “Most of the competing yachts arrive ahead of time so this is a great opportunity to stroll around and view them docked,” advises Ocean Independence’s Enora Vern. “Your captain will be able to choose a spot on the water to get a good view of the action during racing. It is the perfect way to get close and soak up the atmosphere. You can return to port in the afternoon when happy hour begins.”

Embrace autumn colours

October: Camden, Maine
Credit: Pixabay

Come October, New York City folk flock north-east to see the leaves change in bright explosions of red, yellow and burnt orange. It’s a sight to behold, and goes hand in hand with enjoying the other autumnal delights of warm apple cider, pumpkin-flavoured everything and taking the kids for a jovial ride on a tractor-pulled trailer.

Most people drive to see the leaves changing but a much better way to go is by boat, sailing into Camden Harbour and taking in views of the lighthouse-strewn Maine coast. “Camden is framed against the Camden Hills State Park mountains. With its postcard-perfect harbour, it is one of the state’s most charming locations, and the autumn foliage will be stunning to see from here,” says Burgess’s Holmes. “It is simply a picturesque cruising ground with incredible panoramic vistas from every vantage point.” Holmes recommends getting off the yacht for dinner to dine at Natalie’s, a French restaurant at Relais and Chateaux retreat Camden Harbour Inn, or tendering to Pilgrim’s Inn on Deer Isle.

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