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GUADELOUPE / Boat Rentals & Yacht Charters

There are many delightful options for those who wish to enjoy the beautiful waters offshore Guadeloupe or visit the fascinating islands nearby. Sailboat and yacht rentals, crewed or bareboat, are plentiful and easily arranged. Full-day picnic sails are available through local tour operators, as are trips on glass-bottom boats and party boats offering day and moonlight trips.

Yachting has long been a favorite sport in Guadeloupe and every season it becomes increasingly popular. Largest of the island's three boating basins is at Bas-du-Fort with 1000 berths, about 100 of which are available for visiting boats. Boating Magazine has called it "one of the finest in the Western Hemisphere." Located 10 minutes from the airport, 5 minutes from Pointe-à-Pitre or from Gosier's hotels, it takes all types of boats up to 130 ft. in length. Among its amenities: VHF (most channels), weather service, sanitary facilities, fuel, water, electricity and ice, travel lift, slipway, ship chandlers, maintenance area, supermarkets, bars and restaurants.

Near the southeastern tip of Grande-Terre, is the Marina de la Grande Saline, a major attraction of the St. François resort area. It offers 250 berths, plus water, electricity, fuel, ice and slipway. There's a sailing school located at the marina that offers initiation trips as well as longer excursions.

At Gourbeyre, five minutes from the capital of Basse-Terre, is the Marina de Rivière-Sens. It is well-equipped, well-protected and provides 300 berths.

The winds and currents of Guadeloupe tend to be strong and it's a true sailor who worships these waters. The offshore isles, Marie-Galante and Les Saintes, offer safe anchorages and make for pleasure trips. The proximity of Antigua and Dominica is another plus. Hotels post the latest data on boat excursions, rentals, etc.

The season for barracuda and kingfish is January to May; for tuna, dolphin and bonito, it is December to March. Full and half-day excursions are available at Marina Bas du Fort. Fishing excursions are also offered in the Bouillante/Malendure area on the far west coast of Guadeloupe.

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