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  Sailing Greek islands - Greece charter sailing holidays - FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Pour les locations d'une semaine NE VOUS CHARGEZ PAS TROP! 


C'est l'erreur la plus courante que font les gens lors de leurs premières vacances à la voile. Vous serez la plupart du temps tout le temps en maillot de bain et 5-6 tenues sont plus que suffisantes pour une semaine.


Il est hautement recommandé d'apporter ses affaires dans un sac en toile afin de pouvoir le ranger plus facilement sur le yach.


1. BEFORE BOOKING


1.1 How much time should I spend on board in order to fully experience the Greek islands?

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This all depends on your interests but especially on how much time you have available - the more days you have on board the more islands you will be able to explore.
As a general idea during a 7 day trip you would have the chance to visit up to 6 islands whereas during a 2 week trip we usually visit up to 13 islands and during a 3 week trip you can explore up to 20 of the amazing Greek islands.
However one week on board is a great idea for people with a short holiday and in Greece for only 7-10 days .


Most of our guests choose a 2 week trip because of the advantages it has comparing to a shorter one:

  • The itinerary is more flexible and there is a great variety of islands you can opt for according to you interest. During a one week trip you can only sail as far as Milos or Paros/Mykonos. During a 2 week trip you can add to the itinerary further away islands like : Santorini, Amorgos, Small Cyclades, Folegandros, Ios so you can experience different parts of Greece from small islands with only a few hundreds of inhabitants ( like Koufonissia) to larger ones, from world-known islands ( like Mykonos, Santorini) to remote/out-of-the way islands that are still pure and unspoiled where you can enjoy an authentic island. During a 3 week trip you can extend the trip and pay a visit to the Dodecanesse islands ( Kos Rhodes, ...).
  • Time in not pressing you thus if you particularly like a specific island you can decide to spend another day there, maybe even hire a car for one day and make a full tour of the island, visit its archaeological sites or explore its inland villages, walks its ancient paths, etc-in a few words truly discover the island. On the other hand, for one week trips the program is more tight- departure around 09.00a.m, sail for 4-6 hours, swim for a couple of hours and then get to the harbor for dinner and so that you still have the chance to explore a bit the lovely harbor-town. But unfortunately there is not enough time to actually experience all the beauties in the bigger islands like Naxos, Paros,etc since we arrive there in day 3 or 4 and we have to start making our way back to Athens.
  • During a 2 week cruise the average sailing time is shorter thus more time for swimming, exploring of just relaxing in a bay.
  • If your idea of sailing is calm seas and perfect clear skies, then a 2-3 week trip will give you more flexibility if weather doesn't help any of the days. Thus if the wind picks up too much any of the days, then together we can decide what works better for you: sail to the next destination or maybe just stay at the harbor so you can have a fun day exploring the inland by quad, car, moped etc .thus avoiding choppy seas.

But no worries - no matter if you decide for a 1, 2 or 3 week trip you will still have an amazing time exploring the Greek islands on board your floating hotel with the best sea-view balcony.


1.2 When should I make the booking?

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Always try to book your charter as far in advance as possible, particularly if your dates are not flexible. May to September is our busiest time of year, and these months generally book up well in advance.


1.3 Why the one week charter is 7 days and 6 nights?

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Because we try to offer our guests as much time as possible in the islands and avoid any loitering at the base in Athens! This way you will spend each of the 6 nights in the islands (as comparing to most of the regular 7 days/7 night charters which typically have the first and last night in Athens and only the remaining 5 nights at the islands).

We are ready to welcome you on board in the morning (12.00) and return the last day in the evening (with disembarkation at 19.00) so you have seven full days on board.
The embarkation is in the morning of the sail date and we set sail immediately (instead of embarking in the afternoon and setting sails the next morning). This way you have the chance to visit one extra island as all the 6 nights will be spend in the islands.

The disembarkation is done the last day in the evening. In the meantime, we have the rest of the evening (and even a night) to sort out maintenance and carry out eventual repairs in order to warrant our guests a hassle free vacation.


1.4 Is sailing for everyone?

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Sailing is definitely the best way to enjoy the Greek islands (discover small secluded coves and out-of-the-way islands) and it's fun for everybody from young groups looking for bustling nightlife to families with children or couples wanting to experience real Greece and have a great time on the water as well as on shore.

The simple and casual nature of a sailboat is appropriate for anybody looking for a unique and flexible way of exploring the Greek islands, enjoying the sea and nature and letting the wind take you to great destinations. If you love nature, quietness, sea, sun, going on shore to explore pretty little villages, swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear coves and isolated bays, a nice breeze in your sails then spending 1-2 weeks on a sailboat is going to be the best vacation of your life.

However if you or any member of your party is more interested in luxury or prefer a bunch of people in the crew wearing white shirts and beige pants waiting to serve you a drink and pamper to all your needs than a luxury motor yacht will be a better option for your holidays instead.
A sailboat is all about having fun, explore, relax and being free and to some extent can be compared to "a big campervan on the water" thus you should not expect the services provided by the permanent crew found on fully crewed luxury motor yachts.


1.5 Is there any charge for the skipper?

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NO EXTRA CHARGE FOR THE SKIPPER. Unlike most companies (where to the charter rate you will have to add the costs of hiring a skipper -around 140 euro/day thus 980euro/week+ meals), we are looking forward to sail you around the Greek islands for FREE. Thus you get a skippered cruise at the price of a bareboat charter and save over 900 euro/week.
"How come?" -you might be wondering? Because we are a very small owner - operated company and we simply love spending time in the Greek islands (swimming, exploring and walking incredibly pretty villages), we are happy to volunteer and sail you from one islands to the next without having to pay the additional fees that usually comes when hiring a skipper.

The priority is always the customer and we are ready to sail whenever and wherever you want (within reason) so that you can visit your favorite islands. But when we are not busy sailing the boat, we enjoy the islands (hiking, exploring or just spending a fun night out) and the coves as well (swimming and snorkeling). This is actually the main reason why we are able to give you recommendation on best things to do on the islands, best spots for swimming, etc based on our experiences (field research is always better than a guide book). Along the years we have tried pretty much all that can be done at each place and are now able to give better tips on the best thing to do on each island according to the time you have available.


2. AFTER BOOKING


2.1 What should I bring with me?

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  • passports.
  • beach towel - we provide bath towels, but you will need a beach towel as well to wipe out the salt after swimming.
  • shoes with soft sole (snickers, sandals) for use on-board exclusively ( though for summer months most of the people prefer to be barefoot while on board) . No black or hard soles while on board please.
  • sunscreen - cream recommended ( as spray is impossible to apply even with a mild breeze).
  • shoes with soft sole (snickers, sandals) for on board use. No black soles while on board please.
  • USB cables and 12V adapter for charging your electronic device (like the ones in the picture). usb adaptor. The Albatros has two 12V socket-plugs. How do I know if it will work on the boat? If it works in your car, it will work on the boat as well. Note: invertors are not allowed as they dry out the batteries.
  • windproof / waterproof jacket - recommended for all seasons.
  • driving license ( in case you decide to hire a car/moped in any of the islands so you can explore the pretty inland as well).
  • appetite for fun.

2.2 How do we provision? Is there enough storage space on the boat? What should we get?

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For the initial provisions there is a Carrefour supermarket 5-10 minutes walk from our berth at the marina (right next to Poseidon hotel) where you can stock up with food/drinks you will need for the first days. Also at the islands you will find minimarkets 100-200 meters away from the boat where you can get whatever else you might need the next days. Please remember to bring bottled water as well!

On board you will find a fridge (box-shaped). The fridge's dimensions are 35cm (wide) X 63 cm (length) X 48cm (deep). So you can get the food/drinks/bottled water that you need the first 1- 2-3 days. It is recommended that you always have with you provisions for an unplanned on board dinner (like spaghetti, sausages etc) just in case the circumstances (weather or the harbor being to crowded so there in no available berth) will force us to do a night at a bay instead of being moored at the dock.

The galleys are fully equipped with dishes, flatware, pots and pans, French press for coffee and kitchen utensils. However you will need to supply all your consumables, including paper towels, coffee, trash bags and condiments. Please remember if you use galley equipment, it must be washed and put away. Stove and barbecue must be wiped clean.


3. ON BOARD


3.1 What island should we visit? What is the best Greek island?

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Our base is located in Athens, with fast access to Cyclades islands and / or Saronic islands as well as to the pitoresque Peloponnese coast.


We recommend you don't go to the hassle of trying to decide on a specific itinerary or set your mind on a specific island- many time on board people discover new attractions of the islands they never expected and realize that other places than their initial plan are much closer to their dream holiday… so keeping flexible it your guarantee that you will have the best holidays of your life.


Also sailing conditions vary greatly from area to area making some itineraries appropriate for all people while others are just fort the very adventurous; some itineraries are great for people wanting more time on shore or at the bays swimming and swimming while others just for people willing to spend a long time at sea sailing and enjoying the breeze… keep flexible and let the islands surprise you!!!


Many times we are asked which is the BEST Greek island. The answer is "all of them are simply amazing- it just depends on your interests – and even so there are dozens of islands that fall in your criterias". Some places are great for swimming, others for nightlife, other for architecture and other for hiking. But actually most of them usually offer a perfect combination of all the above. No matter which itinerary you’ll follow, we can guarantee you’ll fall in love with Greece and while on board you will already start to plan your next sailing vacation so you explore more places.


Just let us know your interests and at embarkation we'll advice you on the perfect route and the best islands. We consider that this is YOUR sailing trip and we will make sure you will get the best of it.


This is why before setting the sails we discuss your individual requirements and ideas so we take a route as close as possible to your dream (weather permitting and within reality of a sailboat for the number of days you have on board).


3.2 How does a typical day on board looks like?

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Breakfast (on board or on shore - according to your preferences and the prediscussed departure hour). After that we set sail for our next island.

The sailing time depends on the chosen itinerary and is usually from 3 to 6 hours. On our way make a stop at a nice bay for swimming, snorkeling, swimming to the beach and probably also have a light meal. Continue the journey to our destination - the lovely harbor town for overnight. We usually arrive at theharbor around 3-4 (but this can vary from island to island) so you have time to explore the islands and enjoy its beauties.

We can help you with ideas on how to plan your time on shore and suggest you the main attractions and things not to be missed in each island.

Dinner is usually taken on shore as sampling local cuisine at a water front restaurant is part of experiencing the Greek islands. For those who would like to continue with a fun night out we have good news: at each island you can find bars and clubs open till late at night or even early in the morning.


As a general idea, each day on board can be a combination of several of the below:

  • set sails to a new destination and stop in different coves in order to relax, spend a few hours sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling the clear blue waters and sail the Cyclades or the Saronic islands.
  • after docking at the harbor, explore the picturesque villages in the islands, get lost in a maze of narrow cobbled paths, enjoy the unique scenery and scenic landscape. Admire the traditional architecture with whitewashed houses, colorful windows and flat roof in the Cyclades or let yourself amazed by the Neoclassical and Venetian elegance in the Saronic islands and Peloponesse coast with buildings covered in bougainvillea, lively coffee shops and traditions restaurant, old churches, small shops and so on.
  • nightlife: enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere and the vivid nightlife, have late dinners at traditional family owned restaurants by the seaside with the best possible view, sip a delicious cocktail at on the dozens of bars in the harbor and why not?...party till dawn at one of the clubs in the islands.
  • discover the Greek history and archaeology by visiting the hundreds of ancient sites that Greece has to offer: Sounio, ancient theatre of Epidaurus, Nafplio castle, the rock of Monemvasia, the archeological island of Delos, the ruins of Mycenae etc. More details at sightseeing and archaeology page.
  • sail & hike - walk and explore the old mule tracks, admire Byzantine churches ancient settlements, discover the unique fauna <and flora (the Cyclades islands have 1400 species from which 83 are endemic) and fauna, the breathtaking landscapes, hike and conquer the peaks of the mountains for an unforgettable view of the Aegean Sea. On board you will find hiking maps .

3.3 Where are we going to eat?

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On shore: Each harbor has a large number of restaurants, traditional taverns and bars just within a few meters from the boat which are open for dinner and breakfast, all priced very reasonably. Enjoying local cuisine and island's delicacies at a waterfront tavern while admiring an astonishing scenery is something you'll want to experience over and over again.

On board: Albatross sailboat is equipped with a cooker ( with oven and 3 burners), barbeque on gas, fridge and ice box so meals can also be cooked on board if you prefer. Each island has markets within 50 meters where you can stock up the boat with your favorite food/drinks.


3.4 Is fuel included? What are the boat's expenses in a week?

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The fuel is not included (imagine hiring a car: the fuel is paid separately), nor the marina fees (like the car as well, you have to pay for parking).
However, we understand that this is your holiday and the last thing you want is worry about how much the extra expenses of the boat will sum at the end of the trip.
Thus we have set a flat rate of only 45 euro/day/boat (315 euro/week/boat) so our guests have a careless vacation without having to worry about unknown extra expenses. This is paid in cash at embarkation and will cover the expenses for fuel, water for filling up the tanks and marina fees.


3.5 Is there electricity on-board? Can we charge our phones, laptops etc?

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Yes, you will be able to charge your phone while on board. However power on boats is 12 volt DC power- just like your car or campervan. Thus all you need to bring is a car charger (12 volt charger) and your USB cable -please see picture below- for your electronic devices and you will be able to charge them at any time (the same way you would charge them in your car).
usb adaptor
For our guests needing 220Volt AC power (for big consumers like hairdryers, laptops, etc)- we have good news. Most of the islands (not all) offer the possibility to connect the boat to their power supply while we are at the dock (just like a campervan can plug in while in the camping). The harbor master charges a small fee for this service – which is usually in between 3 to 9 euro per night per boat (varying from place to place). This way, you can use the normal 220Volt plug on the boat just like you do at your home-please see picture below.
power plug socket type
We connect shore power if you ask for it IF and WHEN available. VERY IMPORTANT: If you or any members in your party travel with medical devices that have to be plugged in to work ( CPAP machines, etc ), we advice you find a car plug/car adapter before booking as 220 volt electricity will NOT be available some of the nights(usually during a week shore power is available 3-4 times/ week).
Note: invertors are NOT ALOWED on the boat as they dry out the batteries of the boat with the result of not having enough power for shower, toilets, lights, fridge, etc.


3.6 Will we have internet service in the islands?

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Sure! In all the islands, almost each tavern or coffee shop offers free Wifi for their customers so while enjoying your meal or cocktail you can keep in touch with friends and family and share this wonderful moments with them. Some of the islands offer free internet service in the harbors as well.


Also, if while on board at sea you will want to check your emails, etc we will offer you a free internet card for mobile data Maximum usage: 3.5 Gigabytes/week/boat – free - this means 7 hours on YouTube or surfing the web for about 3000 webpages or upload around 3000 photos or 60 hours of streaming music.


Thus, it is recommended to use the internet for browsing the internet, checking mail, chatting and AVOID heavy traffic like downloading, video-chat, online radio or watching movies.


3.7 What are the crew's duties?

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The crew (skipper & co-skipper) is responsible for navigating and mooring the boat, ensure the safety of the boat and taking care of all the aspects related to sailing/anchoring.
However the crew is NOT responsible for anything regarding cleaning, dishwashing, serving/cooking meals, shopping, garbage etc
More analytically the crew will be responsible for:

  • Navigating the yacht.
  • Anchoring / mooring.
  • Management of the vessel in all respects.
  • Engine check.
  • Upon your request the crew can make recommendations on routes, interesting places to visit and suggestions.
The crew (skipper and co-skipper) will navigate and sail the sailboat from one island to the next and also ensure the safety of the boat for all the duration of your sailing cruise. They will take care of all aspects related to sailing/anchoring and also take you ashore with the dinghy if the situation requires it ( when there is no berth available at the dock or due to weather condition thus the boat will be at anchor in a bay for overnight). They are also the technicians who will fix the problems that might arise (if possible) and finally your guides for life ashore if you are asking for a recommendation.

The working hours for the crew are maximum nine (08.30a.m-05.30p.m) out at sea, but after that they are in charge of the boat's safety, something that might keep them awake for the whole night, if the circumstances require it.

The priority is always the customer and the crew happy to sail whenever and wherever you want (within reason) so that you can visit your favorite islands. But when they are not busy sailing the boat, they enjoy the islands (hiking, exploring or just spending a fun night out) and the coves as well (swimming and snorkeling). This is actually the main reason why they are able to give you recommendation on best things to do on the islands, best spots for swimming, etc based on experiences (field research is always better than a guide book).

Although life as a crew seems very fun it does however have a lot of responsibilities and can be very demanding in strong winds (both for sailing and keeping the boat safe for overnight). This is just one of the reasons why the skipper has the final say (especially when wind picks up) as a safe harbor for the overnight is mandatory for safety reasons as well as so you can have a fun and relaxing evening, followed by a smooth sleep.
Also, please remember that your crew are working every day of the season (5-8 month a year, without any break), sometimes need to do long days at sea, standing up for as much as 7 hours in a row, so please be respectful with your crew and do not underestimate they efforts to offer you a great holiday.


3.8 Are nights spend at the dock or at a bay?

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Most of the nights will be spend at a dock so you can have the easiest possible access on shore and enjoy a total flexibility – you will have the key of the boat and get in/off the boat whenever you want and as many times as you desire.

However according to the time of the year and the winds speed and direction there are exception when we will have to spend the night at anchor in a bay ( and in most of the cases you can get to shore by dinghy). This usually happens if in high season if we arrive at the harbor after all the berth are taken (with good planning however this situation can be avoided most of the times).

However it can also happens when weather conditions require it (the holding is not good at the pier in strong winds). A very good example is Serifos island where most of the times we are moored in the bay although there is still space at the dock. But no worries - the skipper will get yo to shore by dinghy / tender after a short ride.


3.9 Are suitcase allowed on a boat? Where can we drop the excess luggage?

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It is highly recommended that you bring your belongings in soft-sided luggage (duffel type bags, backpacks etc) so that you can place your things in the little drawer/cupboard in your cabin then fold up and store the soft luggage away. The storage is limited on a sailboat and storage of soft luggage is a lot easier.
If your group is small (2-4 persons ) there will probably be a bit of extra storage space (the unused berths in the cabins) for suitcases - as long as they are reasonably sized and can fit through a sailboat’s door -40 centimeters-15.7 inch. Thus for small groups it is ok to bring along reasonably-sized suitcases provided that you will secure them each time before going out at sea so they won't fall and create any damage.
However if you group if 6-8 persons, all the cabins will be taken with no extra storage - thus is it recommended to leave all suitcases and extra luggage behind and bring along only what you need from the trip in soft luggage.
Most of our guests leave the suitcases with things they don't need for the sailing trip at the hotel they are spending the night before and pick them up upon return. Alternatively in the center of Athens you will find several companies offering lockers for storage - similar to Athens lockers.




Contact us


By email at:

info@sailboatchartergreece.com

or

sailboatchartergreece@gmail.com


By phone at:   0030 6933 218 800.

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