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Six Smooth Catamaran Tours Around the World to Make You Swoon

By March 15, 2024July 2nd, 20244 Comments

There’s something magic about the water that unites destinations under a common beauty. I grew up on the water and no matter where I live, I’m drawn back to the coast. Swimming, boating, sailing, and even fishing is in my bones. I always jump at the opportunity to experience a catamaran tour—or sailing afternoon.

From shimmering lakes to choppy seas, it’s an indescribable feeling to sail through beautiful bodies of water. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some incredible nautical adventures across the world, compiled into my favorite destinations for sails. If you have the chance to book a boat while on your trip, it almost never disappoints.

Sail Sri Lanka

see dolphins on catamaran tours in sri lanka

Enhance your adventures in Sri Lanka with a lively celebration by renting a private catamaran, usually for up to 25 people. There’s options in the north and by the capital of Colombo, but I loved the sail in the beach city of Mirissa. This provides a more enjoyable alternative to large whale watching boats. The private catamaran allows you to whale watch in a pleasant environment while enjoying onboard meals and water sports. While we zipped along the water, we encountered two large pods of dolphins playing in the boat’s wake. We also were lucky to spot pilot whales exhibiting playful behavior, all amidst the crystal-clear waters.

Here’s a great list of Sri Lanka’s best experiences:

Sunset cruises in Key West, Florida

best key west sunset spot by sail boat florida

Our brave travel friends took their 9-month-old on an easy-breezy sunset sail tour: the baby did amazing! We all cheered for the breathtaking view with some bubbles and beer while sticking close to shore and simply being present.

Here’s the BEST Key West sunset spots:

Hearty sails in Camden, Maine

view from schooner suprise camden maine

A slower (and slightly colder) experience, a sail in Maine’s off season is a true New England rite of passage. The Schooner Surprise is a lovely, classic ship that offers day sails, sunset cruises, and even private charters through Penobscot Bay. I really dug the chill vibe though, highlighted by the confident crew who grew up in the area and had some really great stories of lore.

Here’s the full Camden, Maine itinerary:

Menorca, Spain’s sea life

house on water seen my catamaran tours in menorca eileen cotter wright

This was definitely a party-time experience, but it’s good to let your hair down sometimes! There are options out of Mahon that offer special catamaran tours with glass bottoms, so you can peek at the local marine life while you sail. You can choose ships with catered lunches and extra time out on the water for swimming, if you prefer.

Here’s the full Menorca, Spain itinerary:

Party catamaran tours in Aruba

Eileen and mom patti on one of the catamaran tours in aruba

I know how to relax just fine, but sometimes my mom needs a little help. A few years ago, I had the privilege of taking her with me to Aruba on a special trip for journalists, so she could see what I did for a living. By day two, she was going down a mini-water slide on our catamaran tour and winking at the crew to refill her rum punch. Aruba is a really fun place to be out on the ocean before you head back for dinner with your toes in the sand at one of the fantastic beach restaurants.

Here’s more on Aruba!

Intimate sails in Rimini, Italy

sail of the boat in rimini italy

Whether you’re on the Amalfi Coast or Sunning yourself by Lake Cuomo, it’s well worth reserving one of the special catamaran tours you can find all over this picturesque country. On a recent trip to Rimini, Italy, we opted for a smaller, intimate experience on the sea. These sailboats offer half-day tours with just six passengers, so you can enjoy the day with friends and family. Bubbles and swim breaks are provided, of course.

Here’s the full Rimini, Italy guide:

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Instagram @Pure_Wander.

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

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