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PIERRE HUREL, CAMPER & NICHOLSONS MONACOMartinique and Saint Lucia, Caribbean"For exclusive fashion, gourmet food and great diving, Martinique has to beone of the Caribbean's finest islands. It is one of the largest in the Windwardschain, which lies on the easternmost boundary of the Caribbean Sea, andbeing an integrated part of France, and therefore relatively subsidized, it hasa large airport, good roads and shops, and supermarkets where you canexpect the same sort of provisioning that you would find on mainland France.These are just some of the reasons why Martinique is so praised by yachtcaptains, chefs and charterers. "Martinique is like two islands in one, with a relatively dry climate and long,sandy beaches in the south and a paradise-like rainforest in the tropical north.The island is renowned for hiking and wreck diving, particularly in the bay ofSaint-Pierre where many ships were sunk by the Montagne Pelée volcano in 1902."Another favourite island of mine is Saint Lucia, which is located half waybetween Martinique and Saint Vincent. A romantic spot with welcoming land-scapes, Saint Lucia's population is equally friendly and her many bays andcoves are enchanting. The island is home to the famous Piton mountains,whichsoar from the sea, and the beautiful Marigot Bay, both on the west coast andreflecting pirate-film settings. Saint Lucia is also a place of many ancientfortresses and is one of the best islands in the Caribbean for hiking and birdwatching. While you're there, be sure to visit Soufriere volcano - the world'sonly drive-in volcanic crater."Wherever in the world you plan totravel, Camper & Nicholsons canprovide expert knowledge on theyachts and cruising destinationsavailable. Here, three members ofthe charter team offer adviceTAKE IT FROM 52Isea&iIWINTER 2012

favouriteplacesBARBARA DAWSON, CAMPER & NICHOLSONSPALM BEACHBahamas, Caribbean"Easily accessible just off the coast of Florida, the Bahamas, for me, is theultimate place to get away from it all with family and friends. You could notask for a better charter destination as this region is made for fishing,snorkelling, water sports, sunbathing, sailing, socialising and relaxing onboard a private superyacht. "Whether you steer a course for the Abacos in the north, the Exumas furthersouth or the Berry Islands between the two, the Bahamas has something foreveryone. On the Abacos you can explore 200-year-old fishing villages andsmall towns, then head out to sea to snorkel, fish and surf. The Exumas willgive you something to write home about with the pink sandy beaches ofHarbor Island and the Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park where you can swimwith dolphins and feed sharks. For something different, head to Big Major Caywhere pigs laze on the beach then follow you into the ocean for a swim- particularly when encouraged with a few edible treats. There arealso several key golf resorts in the Exumas, and for those who likea varied nightlife of dining, dancing, cocktails and casinos, there is no bettervenue than the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. However, my personalfavourites in the Bahamas are the Turks and Caicos - a spectacular, remotecluster of islands way down south of the chain. They are more difficult toaccess but are all the more beautiful and peaceful because of it."TINA MONTZKA, CAMPER & NICHOLSONS ANTIBESThe Maldives "The Indian Ocean's Maldive islands are a glorious concoction of blue lagoons,white beaches and palm trees. Add to this more than 3,000 coral reefs andmonsoon tides and you have one of the world's most impressive coral-reefdiving areas at your disposal, with high visibility year-round, meaning youcan easily see some of the thousand or more species of fish and other under-water creatures - from simple shrimp to wonderful turtles and sharks. "Charters begin on the capital island of Malé, from where you can cruiseto the North Malé Atoll to anchor in a turquoise lagoon at the Coco Palm resorton Bodu Hithi. Here you can wine and dine in style, or simply stretch out onsun beds with a cocktail as you watch a movie on the beach. The One & Only Reethi Rah resort is also a fabulous diversion during acharter, offering impossible-to-resist spa treatments. Then cruise to the BaaAtoll, northwest of the North Malé Atoll to visit Nibiliga where you can witnessa genuine Maldivian way of life complete with a local school, shop andmosque. You can also get to grips with Thun'du kunaa: the traditional craftof mat weaving. And don't miss the opportunity to hire your own private Maldivian islandfor a day. While you're there, indulge in a beach picnic and an afternoonof swimming, sunbathing and beach games, followed by anevening barbecue - all in complete seclusion - before you head backto your yacht." THE EXPERTScruising destinationsWINTER 2012I sea&iI53