There are so many yachts on the market that finding the best luxury craft is not easy – but if you have the budget there are some particular vessels that might pique your interest.
One place to start is last year's Best Luxury Yachts in the European Yacht of the Year competition. We've picked our favourites in the 50-60 foot sweet spot:
The top three yachts under 60 feet
Designed for distance cruising, the Swan offers elegant power that is comfortable and safe. Simplicity and efficiency abound on this craft, and it can even be piloted over long distances by just a couple – so no need for a whole crew. Internally, it is spacious and features a well-appointed galley space for effortless entertaining.
For a little less than €1m, the X.56 is a real sailor’s boat that combines style, luxury, and power with a practical approach that all salty sea dogs will love. The clever autopilot can handle long distances when you are shorthanded, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t relax in total luxury with stunning spaces.
The modern hull shape of the HR50 provides lots of space for comfortable cruising, and thoughtful stowage is provided to make longer distance journeys easy and effortless. The premium quality that imbues the outer design follows through to the inside, creating a space that is both refined and relaxing.
Top five European destinations for sailing
European waters allow access to some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastlines in the world, and with the right yacht the world can be your oyster.
There is something for everyone available just a short cruise from every other destination, and if you are staying for more than one day you will have lots of inspiration of things to do.
If you are planning a cruising tour, here are the top five destinations that you should visit…
The playground of the super-rich and probably an obvious destination on a yacht, whether you are headed to the Monaco Yacht Show or just want to be among the millionaires.
You’ll want to head to the Casino de Monte Carlo, a Beaux Arts beauty that was built in 1893 and can give you the real-world experience of the casino games that you love playing at home at a UK poker site. If you fancy some culture, then the Palais du Prince is a perfect destination, dating from the 13th Century.
The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Dubrovnik, the capital of Croatia, is a bustling combination of old-world architecture and wicked nightlife. Whether you want to visit the King’s Landing locations from Game of Thrones or take in the club scene, Dubrovnik is there.
A little further up the coast is Zadar – the home of spirituality. Visit the sea organ and listen to the sounds of the sea and the wind making their way through the marble steps of the audio installation, or marvel at the Sun Salutation art that features LEDs powered by solar.
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
Picture the Italian coast and you’ll think of the colourful houses dotting the cliffs at Amalfi. But there is more to this coastline than Insta-worthy pictures, with boutique shops and family-owned trattorias bringing the traditions and culture of the area to life.
Take a wine tour or get your hiking shoes on to follow the Path of the Gods or visit the Amalfi Cathedral for some historical beauty. Of course, the sun kissed beaches are a particular favourite, too.
A destination for those who love rugged beauty, the Fjords are about more than just snow and ice. Experienced sailors will be able to get close to the action, taking you to see wildlife that you might never see in their natural habitat anywhere else – and the waterfalls and stunning vistas are worth checking out.
Hiking and fishing are excellent activities through the fjords, and if you are particularly lucky you might even get a chance to glimpse the Northern Lights.
The Azores, Portugal
This volcanic archipelago has been an almost secret destination for those looking for a dramatic mooring. Situated 850 miles off the coast of Portugal, the weather is changeable – you are just as likely to get Atlantic storms as you are sunny days, and there are more cows than people on the nine islands.
Don’t let that throw you off though, as each island has something to offer the tourist – from Sao Miguel and the busy restaurants and nightlife to the other islands with their music festivals and rare, timeless beauty.