There is something magical about the moment when daylight ends and evening begins. The light is different. The air is different. People around the world take turns to pause and savor it. From Thailand to Hawaii, Baja Mexico to the Dalmation Coast, a favorite excursion for holidaymakers everywhere is the sunset cruise. Here are some of our top pics for a pre-dinner sailing trip.
Big Island, Hawaii
On Big Island, volcanic mountains rise dramatically from the sea, and every moment provides a new horizon. The volcanic peaks of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai (some of which are still active), and the turquoise blue waters along the Kohala Coast are unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in the world.
A sunset tour on one of Mauna Lani’ Sea Adventures’ sailboats will take in all these views and more. On the way your boat may make friends with migrating whales or pods of dolphins. Tours depart from the Mauna Lani Resort at Maka’iwa Bay, and you’ll enjoy unlimited cocktails from the full open bar and delicious pupus (appetizers) on board.
Then, as the sun sinks toward the horizon, a hush falls and all become silent and alert, everyone hoping to see the “green flash” (when the sun appears to turn green in its descent), which Jules Verne once claimed could grant the viewer the power to “read the very souls” of others. About 1 in 10 guests see it. If you’re lucky, you’ll be one of them.
Where to stay on Big Island
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Set sail for sunset in Cabo, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortés. Sweep around Land’s End and snap a few photos of El Arco, a distinctive rock formation at the extreme tip of the Baja Peninsula. Pass by Lover’s Beach, then Divorce Beach (!) before heading up the western coast toward el Faro Viejo, the lighthouse of the False Cape.
Cabo Adventures know how to spoil their guests, serving fine wines and authentic Mexican delicacies as the anticipated sunset draws near. The whales here often put on spectacular shows while you wait, swimming so close that you can see the barnacles on their backs.
Where to stay in Cabo San Lucas
Floating through the Adriatic Sea is a dreamy experience, and it’s easy to lose track of time. Fortunately, team at Dubrovnik Sailing are well-practiced in keeping track of the details. Setting off for your sunset cruise you’ll depart from Lapad Bay and sail first past Lokrum, Dubrovnik’s guardian island where Austrian archduke Maximilian established a beautiful botanical garden and King Richard the Lionheart rested on his return from Crusades. Next you’ll get a new perspective on the ancient walled city from the other side of the coast, and as the walls turn golden in the sun, you’ll be reaching for your camera to capture the spectacle.
Watch the daylight fade and allow your mind to drift. Stars appear one by one and night draws her purple curtain across the sky. Let the tranquility of the moment just wrap around you as you take in the Old Town at dusk; you’ll never want to wake up.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Koh Samui, Thailand
The picturesque islands of Thailand leave quite an impression on the senses, with endless stretches of beautiful coastline explore and admire. Rather than sharing space with hundreds of other passengers on a tourist boat, take a private tour from Samui Boat Charter, and get a knowledgeable captain who knows where to find peace and privacy.
A day-long excursion give you the chance to make the most of this collection of islands, and will take in sights like the coast of Ang Thong Marine National Park, and an invigorating climb up to the viewing platform at Emerald Lake. You’ll enjoy a traditional Thai lunch and plenty of opportunity to swim and sunbathe along the way.
As you cruise back to your villa, the red-orange sun will set fire to the sky and your imagination. Be sure to pack a camera with your towel and sunscreen, because as soon as the sunset fades, the urge to relive it becomes irresistible.
Where to stay in Koh Samui
Speak to your concierge to arrange a sunset sail on your next trip