Winter cruising destinations

Get inspired to find your sunny escape with some top destinations for winter sailing holidays

Wide shot of boat sailing in idyllic sunny surroundings

With the shorter and colder days upon us, many of us dream of escaping the UK in search of some blissful sunshine and sailing.

Here are some destinations to inspire your winter holiday on the water…


With the dry season from December to February, Thailand is an excellent cruising choice in the winter. 

As well as the rich culture you can explore secluded bays, enjoy world-class diving, sample the famous street food and hike through tropical rainforests.

Winter offers hot sunny weather (around 30c) and north easterlies that generally produce 5-16 knots. Phuket has the lion’s share of Thailand’s marinas, but there’s plenty of options for mooring and beautiful anchoring spots.

Catamaran in Andaman sea at Phuket, Thailand


With more than 115 islands, the Seychelles offer sailing in paradise. Snorkel with turtles, spot giant creatures and dive into turquoise waters from the back of your boat.

Most of the sailing is centred around the main island of Mahé, where most charter companies are located. Breathtaking anchorages are just a short distance away from each other so it’s easy to avoid longer crossings.

From December to March, you’ll experience a light steady north-westerly monsoon of 5-15 knots bringing a few short rain showers, but the sun quickly returns. The average temperature during winter is still warm (around 29c).

Bow of ship at sea with turquoise water between tropical islands on sunny day. Praslin Island, Seychelles.


Like many islands in the Caribbean, Antigua enjoys safe anchorages, warm clear waters and a packed regatta schedule, making it a firm favourite for sailors.

The winter season (December, January and February) is the best time to visit Antigua when the temperature is slightly cooler (22-28 c). World famous trade winds provide glorious sailing for experienced and novice sailors alike.

Explore one of the Island’s 365 beaches offering powdery white sand, secluded bays, and exotic marine life. On land visit ancient forts and monuments to discover the Island’s history.

Antigua Yacht Club from Above

The Canaries

The beautiful towns, volcanic views, and plenty of beaches, make the Canary Islands an excellent choice for winter with temperatures around 22c. Most of the year, trade winds prevail bringing a Force 3-4 from the NE and December is the calmest month. 

The seven main islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro – are within a day’s sail of each other. Visit in February and there’s also the option to party the night away at the Santa Cruz de Tenerife world famous carnival.

Boat of the Spanish coast of Tenerife

RYA members save

If you’re inspired to take a sailing break this winter, RYA members can enjoy exclusive savings, such as bookings with Sunsail, Neilson and a range of holiday providers.