I haven't been able to place this review in the regular Review Section, but I thought the info may be useful to others so I'm posting it here instead...
Our family of five (kids aged 8, 6 and 4) have just returned from a 7 nights bareboat charter in The Whitsundays with Cumberland Charter Yachts (CCY). What a fantastic holiday and we were so pleased with the service provided by CCY, I cannot speak highly enough of them. From our initial booking right through to the conclusion of our holiday we were kept up to date and communicated with via our own private ‘Charter Centre’ on CCY’s website. Here all information for our upcoming holiday was listed, explained and updated – from a rundown on our budget and outstanding costs, to items for consideration (like provisioning, additional equipment for hire), details of our boat and sailing in The Whitsundays, our itinerary, weather etc. Any additional questions I had were quickly answered via either email or phonecall. Our contact with the CCY staff once at Airlie Beach, and throughout the charter, was equally professional and timely. Our 3-4 hour briefing was patient and thorough (especially with 3 excited kids about), and our communication with the staff when we encountered an issue with our winch and a blocked head was equally professional and prompt. I would highly recommend CCY.
My husband and I have NSW boating licenses and own a 17 foot bowrider, however we have never been on open water before or driven a boat of this size, and have never utilised an anchor winch.
We charted CCY’s ‘Charisma’ 38 foot Powercat, and were offered an additional night at Able Point Marina prior to the charter for a small fee which we accepted. Boarding the catamaran at 3.30pm the day before gave us the chance to familiarise ourselves with the boat, load our luggage, do our shopping at Coles (‘Click and Collect’) and store the food onboard (particularly with the advantage of utilising marina power to get the fridge and freezer extra cold).
The following day, after our briefing, we picked up our stinger suits, snorkel gear, fishing gear, coral viewing boards (didn’t use them), and kayak (invaluable!) and headed out of the marina for a practical anchor practice with CCY. From there we were on our way! Our itinerary was as follows:
Night 1: Nara Inlet (anchor)
It may be a little intimidating using the anchor winch for the first time, but we found Nara Inlet to be a great quiet spot to get our confidence.
Day 2 / Night 2: Langford Island / Stonehaven (mooring)
Great snorkelling. At Stonehaven we encountered bullets of wind which were a novelty!
Day 3 / Night 3: Butterfly Bay (mooring)
Day 4 / Night 4: Manta Ray Bay / Luncheon Bay (mooring)
Great snorkelling and a terrific beach.
Day 5 / Night 5: Cateran Bay / Tongue Bay (anchor)
Great snorkelling and a terrific beach at Cateran. Tongue Bay was beautiful and also offers the Hill Inlet boardwalk overlooking Whitehaven.
Day 6 / Night 6: Whitehaven / Hamilton Island Marina
We had planned to stay in Turtle Bay for this night, however wind conditions were not favourable. Our last minute change to Hamilton Island marina was a surprising success – it was great to spend some time walking around, eating out, utilise the resorts pools, replenish supplies (and have a proper shower!).
Day 7 / Night 7: CID Harbour (anchor)
A nice protected spot for our final night which had increasing winds.
Overall, a fantastic holiday and one I can’t recommend enough. We encountered so much marine life, the weather was hot, the water warm, and The Whitsundays is just an absolutely beautiful area. The kids loved the adventure of it – we had no electronic games for 8 days! – most of their time was spent snorkelling or swimming off the back of the boat, but we also had quiet times of reading, craft, games etc. For my husband and I, it was so incredibly relaxing soaking up the scenery, having afternoon nibblies and drinks, and enjoying bbqs on the back of the boat, when we weren’t snorkelling, swimming or exploring ourselves - a holiday offering real escapism.