Going away on holiday for Christmas isn't for everyone, but it does have some perks.

A Sailing Holiday for Christmas: Perks, Tips & Magic for the kids


Going away on holiday for Christmas isn't for everyone, but it does have some perks.

While going away for a holiday at Christmas may ruffle a few family feathers, it’s something to consider if you’re looking to spoil yourself, try a new experience or to set a slower pace at what is often a hectic time of year.

A fuss-free Christmas on a bareboat is becoming more and more popular with our guests. It’s easy to see why when you think about the perks of going away at Christmas and the things you can do to ensure Christmas day is still festive and fun.

Keep reading to find out why it’s worth going away for Christmas and ways you can bring Christmas magic to your bareboat holiday. We’ve also got some Santa tips and Christmas lunch meal-planning ideas to share.

holiday for Christmas

The perks of going away for Christmas

Going away for Christmas isn’t exactly traditional and can ruffle a few feathers, but here’s why it’s something to consider

  • You can escape the pre-Christmas rush and mayhem.
  • You get to spend Christmas day as a close family unit.
  • You’ll unplug and relax, rejuvenating yourself for the New Year.
  • You get to stay in a tropical climate and spend Christmas day on the beach.
  • A holiday for Christmas will be one to remember.
  • You won’t have to do the Christmas Day runaround & sit in Christmas traffic.
  • There will be a limited number of presents and waste, with the gift of presence & experience taking centre stage.
  • Most people are tied up with family commitments before and on Christmas Day; This means fewer crowds and access to the best beaches without tourists.

How to keep the magic alive while on a  Holiday for Christmas in the Whitsundays

Pack your Christmas playlist!

Get the kids’ eyes rolling by cranking some Michael Bubble and belting out some Elvis while you rock around the palm tree.

Make sure you download your Christmas playlist before your trip, as Wifi is limited out in the islands.

Some of our boats have USB connections to built-in speakers, which can be played inside and outside the boat. Ask about the sound system when making your reservations.

Have a White Christmas on Whitehaven Beach

The famous white sand found on Whitehaven Beach is probably the closest thing you will find to snow on an Australian Christmas.

Tip – If the conditions don’t suit anchoring at Whitehaven, check out Chalkies Beach on Hazlewood, where you will find the same silica white sand.

Keep some family Christmas traditions going

Do you always have a family walk after Christmas or a game of cricket – there is no reason you can’t do these things in the Whitsundays.

Beach cricket on Langford Island or any of the Island beaches will be a hit and probably the best backdrop your Christmas Match has had.

There are many different walking trails and hikes to take around the Islands. Take your pick and walk off some of that Christmas lunch.

Book a berth at Hamilton Island

If a resort-style Christmas is more your style, you can take your bareboat to stay at the Hamilton Island Marina.

When you berth at the Marina, for a fee, you’re given access to the Island Resort facilities, including three swimming pools, Catseye Beach and sunset drinks on One Tree Hill.

Note that you will need to book well ahead, especially if you plan on having Christmas lunch at one of the restaurants on the Island.

Santa can still come while you’re on a Christmas Holiday!

Packing for a sailing holiday needs to be light, so what to do about the kids and Santa?

If your children still believe, you can write letters to Santa explaining that you are going away and won’t be able to carry all of his gifts on the return trip. Ask Santa to leave big presents at home for when you get back.

Take stockings for your children and gift them smaller items and things they can use on the trip, such as an underwater camera, books, colouring, travel games and new swimmers or summer clothes.

holiday for Christmas

Bareboat Christman Lunch Ideas

Christmas Lunch needs to be something special. We’ve got you covered.


Make your own Christmas cocktails, or get some inspiration from our Nautical-themed cocktail ideas.

Pack extra pasta, garlic & lemon to make up a Boxing Day leftover carbonara.


Fridge space is limited. Look at purchasing pickles, sundried tomatoes, preserved fish, olives and crackers for nibbles.

Hard mature cheese and some salami can be stored outside of the fridge for a short time.

Check out this Tapenade recipe for something a little more substantial. https://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/what-to-eat-when-sailing-10-simple-meals-ideas-for-your-sailing-holiday#tapenade


You can arrange delivery of fresh seafood and platters to your boat through local provisions companies. Prawns for the BBQ or fresh shellfish and calamari can all be arranged.


Cold meats will be the way to go for a Christmas holiday lunch.

Order smoked ham or salmon from the local supermarket in Airlie Beach or Cannonvale and collect on your way to Shute.

Salads using mostly preserved ingredients are also a trick to catering on a boat.

  • Carrot salad with anchovies
  • Ceasar salad can be made using ingredients you will also use for breakfast. Just pack a pre-made Ceasar dressing.
  • Canned brown lentil and beetroot salad with rocket & pumpkin seeds. Use Balsamic dressing.


For dessert, pre-make and bring mince tarts or plum pudding.

This no-bake festive fridge cake from Ottolenghi is a Christmas crowd-pleaser.

Or grab some pre-made meringues and simply add Dollop cream with fruit

sailing holiday for Christmas

What is the weather like over Christmas in the Whitsundays?

The Whitsundays is a subtropical climate. This means summer is hot and humid, with showers passing quickly. The waters are mostly calm due to light winds.

Summer is stinger season, so you must wear a protective stinger suit when in the water.

Some of our boats have air conditioners. However, due to battery capacity, there are limits to using them out on the water. When berthed at a marina, it’s possible to have the air-con running.

Learn more about bareboating in summer.

Book your Holiday for Christmas ahead of time

We have noticed that more people book their second, third and sometimes fourth Bareboat Christmas day celebrations year after year. It seems that going away for a tropical Christmas is becoming a family tradition for some.

To avoid disappointment, we suggest booking your Christmas Holiday months ahead of time so that you secure the boat and dates you want. Also, make sure you arrange Hamilton Island early too.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions sales@rentayacht.com.au

Why provision for your Whitsundays holiday

Why provision for your Whitsundays holiday

Several Whitsunday provisioning companies cater for holidays and specialise in bareboat charters. They all offer flexible packages which can be customised to fit the budget-conscious or those who want to indulge. While provision might at first seem like a luxury, it...

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Whitsunday Rent a Yacht acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and in particular the Traditional Owners of the Whitsunday's Region, the Gia, Juru and Ngaro People; We recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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