As countries around the world emerge from lockdowns, flights are resuming and museums, restaurants, and attractions are reopening – just in time for a last-minute getaway.
In some waterfront destinations, ferry systems are up and running, with health protocols in place, and private charters are returning to action – a tempting option for travelers avoiding crowds.
Whether you choose to join the queue or set sail in a boat of your own, here are six picturesque places to take to the seas this summer.
For the time being, countries in the European Union are open to EU citizens and residents from over a dozen other approved countries.
Still, the Greek islands are welcoming visitors, and the ferry system is running on all cylinders, with temperature checks and health questionnaires required before boarding.
On the other hand, a charter lets you set your own schedule, and Valef Yachts – a long-time favorite of celebs – is a luxe-level choice. (But there are plenty of down-to-earth operators as well.)
Croatia’s borders are also opened EU nationals and residents of approved countries, and most self-isolation and quarantine restrictions have been lifted.
Private yachts, boats, and nautical vessels are operating from the mainland and between islands, and Virtuoso’s private, eight-day Essence of the Dalmatian Coast tour is the ultimate extravagance.
For something more low-key, Croatia’s easy-to-navigate network of buses and ferries makes it a breeze to create your own itinerary and island-hop around the Kvarner Gulf or the Istrian Peninsula.
For centuries, Italy’s Amalfi Coast has drawn crowds for its natural beauty and cultural cachet, especially during the peak summer months.
This year, of course, things are slightly different, and a country that was once swarming with tourists is now desperate to see them return.
See Amalfi's coastal towns and idyllic islands via its extensive ferry system, or charter a reasonably priced rental via Banana Sport, located at Marina Grande.
Viator (a Lonely Planet partner) also runs private excursions to Capri, Ischia, and Procida, explorations of the sea grottoes on the coast, and customizable day trips from Salerno, Positano, and more.
The Caribbean is beginning to reopen, and suffice it to say those white-sand beaches and clear-blue waters will make a welcome change of scenery for anyone who’s spent the past few months indoors.
While there’s a network of ferries connecting some countries, it’s by no means comprehensive, so take the logistics into account when planning your route.
If you’re going with a yacht – either crewed or bareboat – the region’s charter companies are eager to get things up and running again.
Some, like Horizon Yacht Charters, offering flexible bookings, low-season rates, and even free sailing days for trips scheduled through October.