Whether it’s face-timing your best friend on her birthday whilst cotton bud detailing behind a toilet, fitting in your daily yoga stretches whilst waiting for the guests cupcakes to bake or catching up on the last episode of Love Island whilst your deck is getting its hose down from mother nature, for yacht crew making the most of any spare time is a refined art.
When you’re on charter your life seems to hit pause, the hectic schedule gets knocked up a notch or two, days go by numbers instead of words and finding time to yourself seems a ridiculous notion but whether it be 5 minutes, half an hour, a night off or you’ve hit the charter jackpot and managed to bag half a day then make the most of it.
Luckily for crew, ports are generally located in the most central area of a destination, placing you right where you need to be for a quick wander around. So yes, you may have bags under your eyes and aren’t sure if clothes other than uniform exist but when there is a new destination calling your name and the guests are in mid mammoth napping session, off on a day trip or simply delayed then go grab those precious moments and explore.
As the smaller, calmer and underrated neighbour of the yachtie hub of Mallorca, Menorca is great for a quick explore. Jump off the boat and head down to Place d’Espanya where you will find the Mahon fish market, whether or not you are the chef this can also be a provisioning cover-up mission. This vibrant market is the perfect place to relax, do a bit of people watching, drink in the limited freedom (or Estrella) eat some tapas and head back to the boat refreshed. If its more of a stretch of the legs you need then simply wander around the cobbled old town streets and perhaps end up at Xoriguer, the island’s gin distillery. If you have longer to spare in Mahon then book a dive with Merak diving and head down to the underwater caves for some zen time.
If you find yourself tied up at Porto Montenegro with an hour off, grab your trainers and head straight to the castle of San Giovanni, for the 1350 step climb to the top to be treated with stunning views across the bay and over the old town. A perfect way to get in touch with terra firma again, get a workout and an epic view. If you don’t have an hour then explore the winding old town streets or go for a quick dip in the yacht clubs infinity pool.
A lot of people will say the magic of Venice lies in the art of wandering and getting lost, but as yacht crew taking your time to find the hidden gems is a luxury you don’t have mid charter. For a quick look around and to take in some Venetian (somewhat touristy but all the same magical) vibes get straight into the hustle and bustle of St Mark’s Square taking in the sights. Then head up the canals to the Rialto bridge, grab a gelato and make your way back to work content that you have at least experienced some of the magic. If you have more time, take a gondola ride through the canals, or head up to the top of the Hilton at sunset for some pretty special sundowners.
Being on charter is when cabin fever can really hit, so if you have even just a short time off what better way to spend it than getting off the boat and heading for the nearest hill to stretch those overworked legs. Stroll down the Promenade des Anglais and head to Castle Hill (La Colline de Chateau), if you don’t have quite enough time to climb the stairs then there is always the elevator. However, if you have more time, take on the whole 7km promenade with rollerblades or a bike. If you have time off and a sugar low, head into Vieille Ville, the old town, to try out some of the best creperies, specifically creperie Le Trimaran.
With so much to see and do in Barcelona, it’s hard to know where to go and what to do in such a short space of time. If you’re at Port Vell and have less than an hour to spare, take the short walk down to the city beach, La Barceloneta, and soak up some relaxation and perhaps a cocktail. Even if you aren’t the church-going type, if you have an hour or so and only do one thing in Barcelona, go and see the Sagrada Familia, one of the most spectacular buildings in the world. If you have even more time, head slightly north of central Barcelona to Park Guell showcasing Gaudi’s talents.