With many countries imposing travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, if you’re looking to escape COVID, yacht holidays are undoubtedly the safest and most comfortable way to explore the world this year. What are the options if you are travelling from the UK or Europe, and where are the best places to go by yacht?
Explore in luxury: COVID yacht holiday ideas to consider
An EU-wide Digital Green Certificate should be live by mid-June, which covers three different types of COVID-19 certificates: a vaccination certificate, a test certificate, and a certificate of recovery. Currently this certificate only applies to travel between EU member states, but there are plans to open it to non-members, such as the USA and the UK, by the summer.
This means that most Mediterranean destinations will be easily available for private yacht charter holidays, boasting mouth-watering cuisines and a sunny climate. Alternatively, for a yacht charter with a difference consider Iceland, a popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning natural beauty and vibrant capital.
Enjoy some classic Mediterranean yacht destinations
COVID yacht holiday options now include the stunning French Riviera, with its mix of chic towns, fantastic cuisine and a surprisingly unspoilt coastline. This summer, France is hoping to be able to welcome travellers from low-risk destinations who are either vaccinated or can provide a negative COVID PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure.
The Italian coast, studded with picturesque villages, never fails to charm, and the fascinating islands of Sardinia, a long-time yachting paradise, and Sicily, a treasure trove of archaeological remains, are perfect yacht destinations. It is hoped that tourists can begin arriving in Italy from mid-May, and will require a PCR test in advance or proof of vaccination.
Don’t forget Greece, with its rich cultural heritage and varied islands – whether you want peaceful indulgence or a heavy party scene, there’s a Greek island for you. Charter guests are already allowed to enter Greece, providing evidence of a negative result from a PCR test taken up to 72 hour period before arrival, or proof of vaccination. Note that only crewed yachts will be able to enter marinas on the mainland or in Rhodes, Heraklion and Corfu.
Another option is Croatia, one of the hottest new destinations among yacht charters, with its scenic coastline strewn with idyllic bays and well-preserved historical towns, with over a thousand islands to explore. Guests are already welcome here, and must present either a negative PCR test taken up to 48 hours before arrival, proof of vaccination, or a certificate of recovery following a positive test result between 11 and 180 days prior.
COVID yacht holiday-makers can also start exploring Turkey’s stunning coastline and vibrant cities, providing that both guests and crew fill a health declaration and present a PCR test taken less than 72 hours before arrival. At the moment, restaurants, bars and shopping centres are all closing at 7pm, but it is hoped this will change.
Globally recognised for having successfully contained COVID, yacht holiday destination Iceland is one of the most remote, volcanically active and sparsely populated countries on the planet, boasting a diverse topography that includes mountains, lava fields, glaciers, fjords, lakes and rivers.
In its surrounding waters you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins, minke and humpback whales or even the more elusive fin whales. Iceland may be small, but capital Reykjavik is packed with trendy restaurants, cafes, bars and museums. Currently, closing time for these establishments is at 9pm, with a review later in May.
From the beginning of June, visitors from the lowest risk countries won’t have any border restrictions, while those coming from the risk band above will need to present a negative PCR from their place of origin and take one COVID PCR test upon arrival. Visitors from higher risk countries will still need to quarantine before enjoying Iceland’s rugged charm.
All information is correct at the time of writing, but for the latest covid yacht holiday charter advice and information, please contact a professional yacht charter broker