A top spot for picnics, sunbathing and snorkelling, lovely Langford Island is located near Hayman in the northern Whitsundays.
For nautical lovers like us, bareboating (skipper yourself) is the ultimate ocean adventure.
Freedom to follow your wanderlust at leisure, swept up in the romance of the sea. A new picture-perfect destination each day. Sailing into the sunset with your sweetheart and being lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the waves. It’s a special kind of boating bliss.
And gliding around the 74 idyllic islands of the Whitsundays is just the way to do it. Protected as part of the Great Barrier Reef, this Queensland coast paradise of clear blue waters and captivating marine life is heaven for sailing.
Worried you don’t know your bow from your bridge? Even complete novices can take the wheel with Cumberland Charter Yachts, with no boat licence or qualifications required.
Your boat will be kitted out with all the necessities for a self-guided sailing holiday, and you’ll be just a radio call away from base for any questions.
Located in Airlie Beach, these professional mariners offer a fleet of easy-to-handle yachts and catamarans to suit every kind of sailor. Their passion is sailing around the Whitsundays, and helping others enjoy the same.
Imagine being captain of your own destiny — dropping anchor to swim, snorkel or sunbathe on powder-perfect Whitehaven Beach, or perhaps heading ashore for cocktails by the pool on Hamilton Island. That’s the life for us!
Really, no licence needed?
Absolutely. And don’t worry, the experienced team at Cumberland Charter Yachts will help you choose the perfect vessel and walk you through a detailed briefing — whether you’re embarking on a romantic short break or an extended sojourn at sea.
Their fleet of 28 vessels, including sporty sailing yachts and super-stable power catamarans, ranges between 32 and 47 feet, sleeping up to 10 guests.
We have eyes on the sleek Aquila 36 Sorceress which features a topside summer kitchen and BBQ grill, sun-soaked forward lounge and shaded hardtop area as well as two private cabins with ensuites and windows. Or luxe catamaran Seawind 1260 Pirate Pete which was just named ‘Best Yacht under 50ft in the World’ in the International Cruising World Magazine 2019 awards.
Get ready to set sail
Your first port of call is beautiful Airlie Beach — the gateway to the Whitsundays. Drive direct (or fly into Proserpine and then Airlie is about a 20-minute drive) and head to Coral Sea Marina, home to Cumberland Charter Yachts. This is the point for meeting, greeting, and a comprehensive briefing.
Gourmet indulgence is all part of the journey. Stock up on supplies before you go by self-catering at local supermarkets or choose a local provisioning company to deliver your produce to the boat.
Then you can really get into the swing of life at sea. Dine on deck with a glass of wine, discover a deserted island with a Champagne picnic, or head to a luxe island resort for their ultra-swish brand of beach dining. Selected Whitsunday resorts even offer marina mooring (for a small cost) or you can drop anchor just offshore.
Wander the Whitsundays
Your bareboating adventure can be as luxe or as laidback as you’d like. Explore secluded bays in complete privacy and spot dolphins from your day bed. Marvel at underwater artwork, submerged for the Great Barrier Reef’s new snorkel trail. Fish right off the boat. Sleep under a million stars and drop anchor at some of the world’s dreamiest islands.
Avid boaties, beach babes and die-hard romantics jet in from around the world to experience the beauty of the Whitsundays. We’re lucky enough to have the opportunity in our own backyard!
Permission to step aboard
Jump online for detailed info about the fleet as well as been-there-done-that (and can’t wait to do it again) testimonials from other couples. But be warned, Whitsundays bareboating is addictive!
Pricing starts at A$365 per vessel/per night, comparable to staying in a hotel but so much more in terms of the experience. And the longer you charter, the better the price — what a perfect excuse to extend your Whitsundays escape.
Now excuse us while we google “buy captain’s hat”.
Photos courtesy of Cumberland Charter Yachts