Whenever I visit a coastal destination the first thing I look for is a boat trip. Whether it’s a short sightseeing trip, full day fishing excursion or a luxury catamaran sunset cruise I am just happy to be aboard. It comes as no surprise then that when I visited the Island of Lanzarote I knew I had to explore the volcanic coastline by boat. I was invited aboard the Margarita II by Chill Out Cruises to enjoy an afternoon of sun, sea and sailing.
Booking our cruise could not have been easier, with everything done online, even in the peak Summer Holidays we were able to find a time that suited my sister and I. The exclusive charter has a maximum of 12 passengers on each trip, so is a much more attractive option than the overcrowded, noisy boats you see on other parts of the island.
The boat leaves from the Harbour of Playa Blanca which we found thanks to the informative confirmation email from Captain Hugo before our departure. As we awaited the boat’s arrival with the few fellow passengers we learnt a couple of families love the trip so much that they come on this same cruise every year when they come to Lanzarote. How very British! They assured us we’d love it just as much as they do so the excitement started to build as we spotted the Margarita II approaching in the distance.
The turnaround of passengers is swift and efficient with the crew making sure all areas are ready for a new set of guests to enjoy. We are welcomed aboard by Captain Hugo who gave us a safety briefing and the general rules of the day, all of which are pretty much common sense but nevertheless we felt completely at ease and safe in the crew’s hands. There is space for wheelchair users, life jackets are available if you want one and there are plenty of handrails and ropes around to hold on to, simply put the boat is safe and accessible for all.
This being Lanzarote, it is very windy at times but once we were on the open sea it wasn’t really as noticeable and the hot sun felt wonderful as we were able to admire the coast of Playa Blanca. The boat has a lovely cushioned area at the front where you can lay down in the sun, or seating at the back and inside away from the heat. Once we were slathered in sunscreen and had taken all the necessary photos for my Instagram feed (essential!) Hugo appeared with a glass of ice cold Sangria and we sat back and relaxed, drink in our hands and sun on our skin.
It is possible to spot dolphins and whales during the cruise as well as sea birds and an array of fish but most of what you see are crystal clear waters and stunning coastline. We dropped anchor at the picturesque beach of Papagayo, a quiet cove of white sand, turquoise blue water and rocks and caves. We then were then free to spend a couple of hours however we pleased. Activities available include snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, swimming or simply relaxing on board. There is even an area at the top of the boat where guests can jump from a height into the water, a couple of us were brave enough and it’s great fun for children. The water is about 4-6 metres deep where we were anchored but the water being so clear means you can see right to the bottom and all the schools of fish swimming around your feet.
It was lovely to see the kids on board excited when catching a fish and families coming together encouraging each other to swim and jump in. I pretty much spent the whole time in the water as I love the sea but it would be just as lovely to spend the time on the boat just bobbing up and down in the warm sun. Time well spent!
Once we’d all dried off Hugo got the BBQ going whilst we enjoyed a mojito. There are of course plenty of other drinks to choose from; the onboard bar is well suited to prepare cocktails and long drinks, as well as beer, a few wines, and Spanish cava and you are also welcome to bring your own food and drink. But honestly I wouldn’t bother because let me tell you, the drinks and BBQ are absolutely sensational.
On the BBQ there was Spanish chorizo, pork ribs, steak and fresh prawns along with a selection of salad, Canarian potatoes, breads and sauces. The food was just delicious, so simple yet incredibly tasty and cooked perfectly. I don’t know if it was the few too many sangrias, the hours of tiring swimming and the heat, but you’d think I hadn’t eaten in a week as I couldn’t get enough of the food. I didn’t even get a photo because I was so ravenous so you’ll just have to trust me that it looked good and tasted even better!
After our food has settled and we’ve shuffled back to our seats it’s time to cruise on back to the harbour. Even when the sun goes behind the clouds on the way back, it doesn’t dampen the mood and of course it’s still lovely and warm. Taking a boat trip like this is so much more of an experience than simply laying on a sunlounger on a beach or by the pool, and with family friendly rates and the opportunity to hire the boat as a private charter, there are so many options to tailor your trip exactly how you like.
If you’re visiting Lanzarote, get on board with Captain Hugo and book this luxurious cruise with Chill Out Cruise in the gorgeous Lanzarote sun.