Few things are more synonymous with the good life than long, lazy sun-filled days of boating, enduring the refreshing sprays of cool salt water as you glide through the azure depths.  All that relaxing (and maybe a little swimming and snorkeling) is enough to make any family hungry, and what better way to end your strenuous day than with a gourmet dinner.

The good news is, you don’t need your own super yacht to live the dream, only a few hours to a week, and one of our favorite luxury nautical and mostly-private dining experiences for families:


Biscayne Lady's 59 Ferretti

Charter a sleek motor yacht from Biscayne Lady Yacht Charters, and get in touch with Delishe, a catering company owned by David Whyko, former personal chef to rocker Lenny Kravitz. Delishe will deliver a nautical picnic to your yacht. Menu options include grilled Maine lobster tail or lump crab cake and sliced tenderloin with horseradish cream sauce, smoked salmon canapés, salads and cheese or dessert starting at $45 per person.


Image: Orient-Express Hotels

Cruise from St Léger to Dijon and see hidden France, on the family-friendly Amaryllis Luxury Barge, owned by the Orient-Express Group. This dream trip through the Burgundy countryside is a perfect mix of culinary and sightseeing adventures for parents and fun activities like waterparks and horse riding for children. Meals are included with authentic, locally sourced French fine dining.


Charter your own luxury motor yacht and crew for the day, with Magic Moments in the British Virgin Islands. Begin the day with a continental breakfast, refuel after some world-class snorkeling or sunbathing with some fresh tropical fruit, and dock at a private island beach for a lazy lunch including dishes like Lobster Etouffée. Sip on fine wines and champagnes along the way too!

Onboard HighPockets, USVI

If the exhilaration and adventure of real sailing is more your thing, step aboard charter yacht High Pockets for a day of lounging, snorkeling and sailing instruction, including delicious picnics with a children’s menu available. Kids will love the hands on experience of sailing a boat, chatting with the owner/operators, and taking the dinghy to shore at private beaches.


Image: BlueWater Yacht Charter

Stock up on gourmet picnic provisions and more, and choose from an impressive wine list at Vins Sans Frontieres, who offer free delivery to ports within the Côte d’Azur.

Rent a speed boat from Dark Pelican or a luxury yacht from Bluewater in Antibes, and head out into the sparkling azure water for the picnic of your life as you glide by Nice, Cannes, Monaco and Italy’s Ligurian Coast.

Need more nautical? Check out some of our picks for Nautical Dinner experiences and Luxe Nautical Style inspiration!


Not quite tropical, but an amazing boating destination due to the many beautiful lakes and waterways with stunning mountain and city views. Take the Claudio Corrallo Chocolate Tasting Tour on a Classic Yacht. Corrallo chocolate was described as “…some of the best and most complex chocolate in the world” by Saveur magazine.

Not much time? Rent an electric Duffy Boat by the hour, and explore Seattle’s Lake Union, watch the float planes take off and land, and pull up for a drink at the restaurants on the lake (like Chandler’s Crabhouse, Daniel’s Broiler and BluWater). If you have a little more time, pick up a gourmet feast from Picnic food and wine boutique. Children will love looking the Richard Scarry-like setting on Lake Union, with boats, planes and mountains to gaze at.

We’d love to hear about your gourmet sailing and boating experiences! Do you have a favorite boating destination with your family or any tips for taking your kids out on the water?

–Fiona Van Alstyne is a Hip Travel Mama contributor and Luxe Food & Wine editor.

Need more nautical? Check out our Hip Tips for the Nautical Novice and Luxe Nautical Style inspiration!

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