Charter brokerage Ocean Independence offers up inspiration for family-friendly yachting breaks.


Croatia’s long and varied coastline is dotted with thousands of islands, many of them perfectly suited to family travellers. Lopud, in the south, is a case in point. This is a pocket-sized isle with no cars, so children can wander alongside parents, danger-free. Walk from the harbour to Sunj, a gorgeous, pine-strewn cove with a wide horseshoe-shaped beach, ideal for building epic sandcastles. Rab is another beachy, family-friendly island with an enchanting old quarter to explore, complete with ancient streets and pretty bell towers. Elsewhere, at Bisevo, five kilometres south of Vis, young adventurers will be entranced by the island’s famed Blue Caves, where between 11am and midday the water is illuminated with vivid, electric blue.

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For young explorers and adventure-seeking parents, Norway ticks many of the boxes. Over the summer, the endless daylight means there is plenty of time to cram in activities and make the most of the jaw-dropping scenery. Days are spent on the look out for whales or Arctic foxes, taking hikes through Norway’s famous fjords or getting involved in adrenalin-fuelled fun, like the zip line at Pulpit Rock, one of the longest in the country. Stop for photos at Langfoss Waterfall, jump in a helicopter and fly over the Folgefonna Glacier or try white water rafting in Voss.

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Skip the party and visit Formentera, the Balearic Islands’ quieter little sibling. The calm water here is crystal clear and the beaches deserted, thanks to a blanket ban on beachfront developments. Snorkelling with kids is relaxing and hassle-free and there are numerous coves and caves to dip in and out of by kayak. On land, Sant Francesc, the island’s ‘capital’ makes for a charming daytrip, with a daily market and bustling main square. For added novelty factor, the Club Hipic Can Savines allows guests to explore the village on horseback. The lighthouse at La Mola, perched up high on a cliff at 120m, is another popular draw.

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Montenegro, with its unspoilt coastline, secret coves and clean, clear waters is enjoying a long and well-deserved period in the spotlight for yacht charters. The UNESCO-protected Bay of Kotor, with its tranquil waters protected by vertiginous mountains, is ideal for watersports and Porto Montenegro is a great asset, with restaurants, shops and a lively sports centre for active families. The country’s location on the Adriatic makes detours to Corfu, Italy and beyond a breeze, whilst beyond the coastline, a mountainous interior awaits, with river canyons for white-water rafting, glacial lakes and wildlife reserves.

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Dominique Afacan
Dominique Afacan
Dominique writes about all things luxury for, South China Morning Post, Billionaire, Boat International and many more. After a five-year stint living over in Hong Kong, she decided to swap junks in the South China Sea for river boats in Putney. Three years into her London adventure, she's already found time to slot in trips to race at the St Barths Bucket, sink tequila shots at the Monaco Yacht Show and kiss the America’s Cup in Bermuda. Earlier this year she took a polar plunge in Antarctica, a chilly but invigorating career highlight.