Rambling around ancient ruins, sipping coffee in the hazy Italian sunlight, and dipping crusty pockets of bread into gooey French camembert, these are all the pleasures and more of a luxury yacht charter to the shores of Europe. My Starfire spends many a summer sailing the Aegean Sea, gliding through the sparkling Mediterranean, and even winding through the blue ribbon like fjords of Norway. Water toys, tenders, a private chef, onboard cinema and spa, and a well-stocked bar – all these things leave you wanting for nothing. Yet for those guests who dream of exploring the sights and taking sweet mementos home then there are lashings of lovely luxurious shopping experiences to be had at your chosen ports of call. From the softest lavender soaps in Provence to masterpieces from Miro, check out these exquisite shopping stops you can have on your luxury yacht charter.
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The heady spiced capital of Turkey boasts that unrivalled blend of culture and class for those luxury yacht charter guests seeking more than sand and sea. The haunting call to prayer, the aroma of mint tea and dense dark coffee, the mounds of bright paprika and saffron, and the medieval markets crammed with every delight you could ever imagine. The Grand Bazaar takes persistence, willpower, and nerves of steel, but a beautiful massage, and brunch aboard MY Starfire should get you unwound and ready to haggle in style. An endless maze of five thousand shops, a covered ceiling, evocative textiles, soft leather goods, handmade pottery, gleaming jewels, lanterns and so much more welcome you into this peddle pushing world. Lose yourself, find soft as silk handwoven rugs, and find yourself at the other side, a little lighter in the pockets and laden down with goods.
Morning Market, Aix en Provence
You cannot make it to Aix en Provence without tripping over a market, this open-air pantry is the perfect spot for foodies to fall head over heels with the charm of France once more. Sure the glittering Riviera boasts the millionaire boats, the strips of sugary sand, the celebrities ,and the champagne cocktails. But when you tire of the glitz and the parties there is nothing better than leaving your luxury yacht charter bobbing in the blue and dashing into the countryside. You will almost want to weep for joy when you breathe in the scent of crusty baguettes and flaky pastries, when you see the pink glazed charcuterie, the soft and creamy wheels of goat’s cheese, the wads of dried herbs wrapped in string, the dozen red roses, the sugared cookies, the pickles, the preserves, and the slabs of cake. Pick up a beautiful wicker basket and fill it to the brim.
Chiarastella Cattana, Venice
Venice, with her gorgeous gondolas, her masked balls, her beautiful basilicas, and her lovely lace and magical Murano glass. This is the place to spend MY Starfire days sipping prosecco on deck, nibbling anti- pasti, and blasting out Vivaldi as you laze lavishly in the bubbling Jacuzzi onboard. When in Italy you simply don’t want to leave without taking a collection of glorious linens and artisanal goods home. Chiarastella Cattana is a mistress of beautiful things and her linens are enough to bring out your truly romantic side. Custom made table cloths of the richest cotton, elegant blankets spun from the finest wool, and cushions crafted by handmade looms. This is a place that seems to blend the traditional and the contemporary with ease, all creations come from artisans working just outside of the city, all authentic and all made with love and grace.
Bærums Verk, Norway
Sailing through the slip of mighty mountains in the depths of Norway is like a fairytale for many luxury yacht charters. This is the land of forests as dark as night, of peaks that graze the heavens, of waterfalls that tumble, and of landscapes so glorious it’s as though they were carved from the hands of Thor. This is the place where slipping into the sauna of MY Starfire is the perfect way to start the day, where kayaking beneath the silver veil of waterfalls makes you feel truly alive, and where dining on fresh salmon for supper is the softest end to a beautiful day. For those who want to shop then you can find Bærums Verk just an hour outside of Oslo. The old ironworks dates back to the 17th century, only now you will find a plethora of artisanal shops and pretty boutiques set amidst the quaintest scene of green. With the river rolling through you can drift away in rustic heaven, buying up hand knitted delights, fragrant cinnamon buns, local art, and beautiful books.