What to expect from a sailing holiday
So you have rounded up your group and have your heart set on a week on the water, you’ve even decided on where you want to go, that’s great! We thought we could help with what you might expect to get from most sailing holidays.
Checking-in: Most yacht charters start from quite large marinas which are generally no longer than an hour’s drive from the airport. Your skipper will meet you on your yacht in the marina, if they haven’t already done it before you arrive, they will need to get underway with checking-in. This part is pretty much like renting a car and they will be going through the itinerary which includes all the safety equipment and checking for any dents or scratches.
Stocking up: All the yachts we charter come with a fully equipped kitchen (fridge, oven, cutlery etc…) so you have the option of preparing your own break fasts lunches and dinners. You won’t need to bring any supplies from home, you’re bound to find a super market near your first marina so you can stock up on food and snack. How much you buy really depends on how much time you plan to spend away from civilisation. If you feel like spending every night on a deserted island, its best to plan ahead. On the other hand, if you plan to visit some busy port towns then you can always try out the local restaurants on your way. (stay tuned for our blog entry on how to prepare for a sailing trip )
The first night: Depending on what time you arrive, you may get a bit of sailing done on the same day, but on most trips you will probably spend the first night in the main marina. It’s a great chance to have a walk around the local towns, a lot of Marinas are in some beautiful coastal towns (Split, Zadar, Ajaccio, Athens, Marseille to name a few). We recommend you take it easy, its going to be a busy week ahead!
Setting sail: One thing you can be sure of on a sailing holiday is that there is plenty for you to do on and off the boat! On the yacht, the skipper is there for your safety, being your local guide and doing the tricky parts of sailing. He’s going to need the crew’s help to control the sails, steer the boat and navigate the yacht in and out of narrow channels and marinas. Especially when coming in and out of marinas or sailing close to the wind, the skipper will need 2 or 3 people involved to get the yacht around smoothly…. So there’s still plenty of space for those only interested in topping up their tan on the deck and ensuring that rosé you bought at the last stop gets sampled!
During the day: There are countless things you could be doing day to day on board and it really depends on the location. Obviously sailing is going to be a common theme and in a flotilla you may even find yourself in a race or two between each other! The halliard swing is a favourite (see above), you can get towed along by the yacht too. A few hours of sailing in the morning, followed by a stop off at a deserted island or enclosed bay gives you plenty of time for non-sailing activities. Beach football, snorkelling, hiking and swimming are just a few ideas that spring to mind you could be doing either side of lunch. After lunch you will probably set sail again to find a good place to spend the night…
At night: What happens after the sun goes down really depend on where you are and what you want to do. Once the yacht is tied up, your skipper generally relaxes and switches off from all their worries, and so should you!
If you’re staying in a large marina of a busy port town, then you can be guaranteed a good night out at the local restaurants, bars and clubs… just make sure you remember where the yacht is parked and you don’t stumble on a strangers boat at 2am. If that’s not your thing then a few drinks on the deck always goes down well.
If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous you could anchor up in a bay, or if you’re in a flotilla you can raft up together (see above). This is one of my favourite things to do on a clear and calm night. The stars would be glowing brighter than you would have seen them and you will be at your own exclusive house party where the neighbours can’t bang on the walls and tell you to keep it down! You won’t have access to the mains power for the night so you should be prepared for that, but you will still be able to charge you’re mobile and cook your dinner, so you’re not quite roughing it with bear grills just yet!