Eddie Jordan's ultimate bucket list destinations
Eddie Jordan: The Top Five

There aren’t many places Eddie Jordan hasn’t been – and he’s got some advice: make sure you add these five to your bucket list, especially if you’ve always wanted a tattoo...

I’ve been lucky enough to cruise to some amazing places in my life. The Italian islands of Ponza and Lipari are very special. I love Porquerolles. I’ve got wonderful memories of the Croatian islands. There’s Crete and Antipaxos in Greece and, of course, the Turkish coast, which is just stunning. Further afield, Bali, the Whitsundays in Australia, Bay of Islands in New Zealand, Lombok, the Gili Islands – all incredible. But when I was challenged recently to name the top five – Eddie Jordan’s ultimate bucket list destinations, if you like – I had to give it some serious thought. Here’s what I came up with.

Illustration by David Hopkins

Tobago Cays

The sand here is so amazing and when you’re at anchor local guys called things like Mr Handsome and Mr Wonderful come alongside in their skiffs to sell you the most unbelievable lobsters. They’ll set up a barbeque for you on the beach and arrange some local music. It’s the most awesome experience.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Pawel Kazmierczak

San Blas Islands

Quiet, unique and beautiful is how I’d describe this small island chain, which you get to before transiting the Panama Canal. Your watermaker works non-stop there because what the islanders want more than anything is fresh water, since there’s none on the San Blas Islands. It’s basically a currency and they exchange it for beads, vegetables – even tattoos!

I had two guests on board at this point of my circumnavigation – Robbie Wootton, who used to manage the Irish band Hothouse Flowers, and Liam Cunningham, the actor who’s become super-famous playing Davos in Game of Thrones. We played music every night on deck, had barbeques on the beach, and danced with the locals on the sand. Incredible.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / evenfh

Panama Canal

For me, the Panama Canal is one of the great wonders of the world. To think that the locks are more than 100 years old and imagine how many times a day they open and shut, and see the volume and strength of the water… it’s an awesome engineering achievement.

The place is more startling because you’ll be sailing through some of the thickest jungle you’ve ever seen, and then all of a sudden you start seeing these high-rise buildings and skyscrapers in Panama City and you can’t make sense of it. It reminded me a lot of Hong Kong – things there move at a very quick pace.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / dani3315

The Galápagos Islands

Everyone knows that the Galápagos Islands are a must-do on your bucket list, but I’ve got some advice. First, it’s really smelly. The sea lions lie on the park benches and cause a bit of a stink. Second, see it by boat. And last, the real beauty of the Galápagos is beneath the water, where 95 per cent of the action happens.

I’ve seen enough blue-footed boobies to last me two lifetimes. If going by boat you have to take a guide, but it’s worth it. One thing ours taught me: never swim at morning or night. Sharks have bad eyesight and that’s when they attack because they think you’re a seal.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Jess Kraft


Smack bang in the middle of the Pacific, this is the place to live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies. The most incredible thing, though, is that this atoll in the middle of nowhere – a circular strip of land no more than 40 or 50 metres wide – is home to an inordinate amount of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Just when you think you’re about to slip off the side of the earth after so many days at sea and you’re starting to see things on the horizon, suddenly you come across this place… and its restaurants. It’s almost worth going for the food alone – it’s just staggering.

The fee for Eddie Jordan's monthly column in Boat International is donated to the Blue Marine Foundation

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Yann Hubert