Floating hotels of the Whitsundays
LIKE millions of stars dotting the night sky, every night hundreds of floating hotels dot the horizon of the Whitsundays.
With the largest fleet of chartered and skipper yourself yachts in the southern hemisphere, the Whitsundays offers a wide range of overnight sailing holidays for all budgets.
Ex-maxi racing yachts of the calibre of Condor (Sydney to Hobart and Bermuda Cup winner), Hammer (five consecutive placings in the Sydney to Hobart) and Broomstick (Sydney to Hobart and Capetown to Rio winner) dominate the Whitsunday horizon with their impressive tall masts, high speed sails and sleek racing lines. T
hey are joined by some of the world's oldest and most beautiful tallships such as Solway Lass (built in Holland in 1902), and Alexander Stewart (styled after the famous ship in which Joshua Slocum achieved the first solo circumnavigation of the globe in 1898).
And there's everything in between - sailing and power catamarans, small sailing yachts and deluxe power cruisers - that visitors can either skipper themselves or have a professional crew do it for them.
The professionally crewed vessels head out to explore the Whitsundays for one, two, three or even six nights, exploring the islands, snorkelling, diving, swimming and beachcombing.
Swapping winch grinding and sail hoisting for food preparation is a standard skill of the crews who supply all meals for guests throughout the trips.
By day, guests meet new friends or have quiet moments in a private part of the deck and by night they sleep in anything from shared bunk cabins to private cabins with ensuites. Or adventure seekers could choose to skipper themselves, taking a sailing or power boat out around the islands for as long as they like after a half day briefing.
It's a unique holiday experience that the Whitsundays specialises in - and a must do for anyone who has ever wanted to try their hand at sailing.