Rent a boat in Greece with captain - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

sailin-in-greece-fun-on-water

Life on board

Please scroll down in order to find answers to more frequently asked questions

1. Where do we start our sailing holidays to the Greek islands? Which marina / port?

We start our trips usually from the center of the Cyclades.  This is either from Paros or from Mykonos.

 

The access to both of the islands (Mykonos and Paros) is very easy and convenient. You can easy just fly out of Athens or you can take one of the many daily ferries. Athens, Santorini and also most of the other islands in the Cyclades archipelago are connected by ferries.

 

The Cyclades archipelago has so much to offer! In our consideration, sailing from the heart of the archipelago will provide de best possible experience. Because of their location, starting our sailing trips from either Paros or Mykonos means that we can easily reach the neighboring islands in just one tack. This means that we will rarely zigzag against the wind, trying to reach our destination.

 

Everybody knows about some islands like Mykonos and Santorini. But the Cyclades archipelago offer an amazing mix of wilderness and cosmopolitan places. The incredible architecture found in Santorini and Syros is mixed with the long sandy beaches of Paros, Mykonos and Naxos, with the wild swimming spots of Milos and Polyegos and the beautiful tiny of-the-beaten-path islands like Schinoussa and Kimolos.

The archipelago offers and ideal sailing distance in between the islands. Meaning that is long enough to enjoy your sailing legs, but in the same time short enough to limit the crossing in between the islands to 2-4 hours.

We sometimes alternate our regular departure and end islands (Paros and Mykonos) with departure and arrival from Athens.

2. What is the embarkation time? Why the one week charter is 7 days and 6 nights?

Our weekly trips start usually on  Monday morning at 10.00 am and end on Sunday afternoon at 16.30 pm. We plan for a Monday start in order to avoid the crowds in the harbors and in the bays, as most charter companies start on a Saturday. Whenever possible other start dates can be arranged.

Our 7 days trips are 7 days / 6 nights. This is done so that the night in between the charters is kept for the cleaning and the preparation of the boat for the new trip starting in the morning. Cleaning the boat inside / outside and possible maintenance and other preparations (like fueling up, taking sheets /towel to cleaning etc, filling up the tank with water for shower) in between 2 consecutive charters is a process taking about 8-10 hours.

 

This means that every time a charter finishes, at least an 8 hours working gap is needed for the boat to be prepared and ready to welcome most guests on board. We are doing this starting at 4:30 pm when guests disembark till about midnight and then continue early in the morning so by embarkation time 10:00 all is ready and a new trip can start.

 

Surfing the web, you have probably noticed  on the companies that work on a Saturday – Saturday schedule, that a gap of many hours is needed in between charters for preparations. What they are doing in their case, is that the boat has to return to the base on Friday by 05:00 pm, and then spend the night on board at the base and disembark on Saturday morning by 09:00 am the latest. This is when the charter companies takes over, and the cleaning and the preparations for the new charter are done in between 09:00 am to 04:00 pm. The boat will be ready to embark new people on Saturday by 4:00 pm the earliest.  Making the check in, paperwork, stock up will usually end up at around 06:00-07:00 pm when it’s actually  too late to reach a destination during daylight. So the actual departure will often be postponed to Sunday morning when they will leave the marina for their first destination in the islands. The return is set for next Friday afternoon. So, for 99% of the big charter companies you will notices that the program described above, that the time on Saturday from 09:00 am to 04:00 pm is kept for preparation/cleaning of the boat. With other words, the last night and most of the time the first night is spent at the base, so a 7 day/7 night charter gives you the usually only the remaining 5 nights at other islands.

 

In our opinion, this 1-2 nights spent at the base a time consuming.  Our guests have a limited time on board,  they are here to visit the islands and not loiter at the marina of embarkation.  This is why our trips can start in the morning and not late afternoon. This way, our guests have time for swims and enjoy a new island from the very first day on board. So are basically  sacrificing the last night  to save the first day .

 

Contact us to inform us of your favorite departure date.

3. What are the meal arrangements? What about food and drink?

Food and drink are not included in a skippered charter. That will give you the opportunity each day to enjoy fantastic food and wine at friendly water-side taverns at each island.

You can go on shore and enjoy the local cuisine or you can cook on the boat. The sailboat is equipped with a fridge, gas cooker and a fully equipped galley.

Breakfast: it’s just a small decision of how you would feel that morning. You can either go on-shore and have breakfast and coffee. There are many restaurants which in all of the Greek islands are right behind the boat. Or if you prefer, you can make your breakfast on board.

Lunch: the best and most relaxing thing to do is to plan for a light snack on board. Most probably you will be spending the day sailing, enjoying a beautiful crystal clear water bay, swimming and sunbathing. In conclusion, there is no point to interrupt these wonderful activities in order to find a restaurant.

Dinner: the best decision would be on shore. You will have many options of traditional Greek taverns to choose from. At every place of harbor you will be spending the night you will find taverns serving delicious food. Given these points, the Greek cuisine is something that you should not miss. Every island has its own specialty, and yes, you have to taste them all!

4. Can I customize the itinerary ?

Definitely. As you will see, the beauty of a sailing cruise is to experience a dream voyage tailored to your wishes. However bear in mind that sailing is about taking the wind and weather conditions into account. Your captain will advice you on the best sailing route.

 

Also sailing conditions vary greatly across different sailing grounds. There are areas with easy to moderate sailing condition year round. But also there are areas that can sometimes can get very windy/choppy. Please feel free to ask us more details before booking your sailing holidays in Greece if you would like to get to a specific island.

 

Some of the itineraries are possible even when the winds are strong. But, we do not recommended some of them when when winds are strong due to high sea and less sheltered places from the winds.

 

This is why, the key to a perfect sailing holiday is keeping flexible.

5. Who are private charter for?

Rent a boat in Greece and your holidays will become fantastic! Sailing vacations are perfect for couples looking for a romantic week away. Also, it’s ideal for families or groups of friends wanting to do something completely independent. All in all, explore Greece and the Greek islands in a different way.

You don’t need sailin experience in order to participate our sailing trips! .

6. Who will be our skipper?

Andreea C.

Andreea is currently 31 years old and felt in love with sailing when she was 23. Since then she has sailed as captain more than the nautical miles it takes you to go around the earth (21,600nm).

 

She sailed up and down the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, as well as sailed down famous Oregon Coast. She sailed in a lot of European countries: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, but prefers Greece for the summer!

 

 

skipper-in-greece

A few words from Andreea:

 

“The day I was introduced to sailing changed my life and one year later I already started sailing as a day charter skipper.

 

Now I teach 101 sailing classes, deliver sail/motorboats or do weekly charters. Out of all the countries I visited, there is none like Greece.

 

I think that for a sailing vacation you cannot go anywhere higher than Greece. Here you find kind people, delicious and fresh food, magnificent history and amazing places that make you forget about time and enjoy life at its best. I can’t wait to share all this with you! “

  • skipper in greecesailing with skipper

7. What does the skipper do?

A skipper will handle the boat for you. Also, he will ensure your safety, recommend routes, places to visit and introduce you to the many islands and their secrets . You can benefit from the skippers’ knowledge. Not only is he very well acquainted with sailing conditions in the area but also he will also suggest the most interesting places for swimming and exploring as well as best restaurants.

In addition to actually navigating the yacht, your skipper will handle all related duties including charting your course, monitoring weather conditions and ensuring the safety of all guests and the boat.

8. How do we help the skipper?

No previous sailing experience is needed for participating in a skippered charter.

 

However the guests (or one of the guests) will have the chance to be an active part in the sailing/docking. Because at times a sailboat needs more than one person in order to execute a maneuver, one of the charterers should be willing to help at each anchoring maneuver. He will work the windlass (laying/pulling up the chain) while the skipper is maneuvering the boat. Backing up in a crowded harbor especially if any cross-wind is a very difficult job (boats have no brakes- and are easily taken by the wind).

 

The skipper is  maneuvering the boat but somebody else needs to be in the bow at the windlass to lay the chain (or pull it up at departure) and ideally another person in the stern (back of the boat) to throw the lines to the people on the dock. The skipper will appreciate any extra persons willing to stay on the side and push /help with a tight anchorage. Also the captain will inform you each time when/if he needs help and brief you on the action you have to take.

 

At times, help with hoisting/trimming the sails might be needed and always highly  appreciated.

 

It’s actually pretty exciting to be active and most people feel very rewarded after doing their part.

9. What should I pack?

  • passports for all passengers
  • shoes with soft/non-marking sole for on-board use exclusively. We recommend to bring an extra pair of shoes that you use on board only.  This means different than the ones you use on shore. If you wear the same shoes on board and on shore you will bring lots of dirt,  sand and pebbles on board and later in the day when you’ll want to be barefoot the feeling on your feet will not be very pleasant.
  • beach towel ( on board you will find bath towels, but you will probably need a beach towel as well to wipe off the salt after swimming
  • windproof jackets – if any windy day during your trip you will appreciate the extra comfort a windproof jacket offers\

USB pluglaptop charger 12v

  • –  12 volt car chargers  four you electronic device :  USB cables and 12 Volt car chargers for charging your electronic device (like the ones in the picture- exactly what you would use in your car to charge your phone ,tablet, etc).

 

  • Vitamin Sea has two 12V socket-plugs and four USB ports. In order to make sure the charger will work for your device, it’s advisable to test it and try charging the devices you are traveling with in your car before leaving home – if it works in your car, it will work on the boat as well.

charging station

  • Note: inverters are NOT ALLOWED 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.
  • 12V charger vs inverterFor more information about charging your electronic devices, please check below point 11. Can I charge my phone while on board?

 

  • – your toiletries (shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, sunscreen, lotion)
  • sunscreen (we recommen cream – spray is impossible to apply even with a gentle breeze) .
  • clothing: –in the summer months, you’ll spend most of your time in shorts, swimsuits, and t-shirts. You might want to add a lightweight jacket in case it’s breezy.     -in spring/autumn the evenings can get coolish. We suggest you bring a couple of long sleeve tops ,  a jacket and a sweater .

– at least two bathing suits
driving license ( and international drivers permit for US , Canada, etc visitors ( as you will definitely want to hire a car/moped in several of the islands so you can explore the pretty inland as well). More details on international driving permits.

We recommend to pack light and bring everything in a soft, fold-able duffel bag that is easier to stow away on a sailboat.

10. Is there music on board Vitamin Sea?

The sailboat is equipped with a HiFi car radio / player. So bring along your favorite CDs , mp3 player so you can run the music through the boat’s sound system. Also most phones and mp3 players can connect to the stero through a 3 mm mini-jack cable ( AUX) . For iPhones you will need to bring along your small adapter.

Just make sure to download your music and store it on your phone/ mp3 player before arriving in Greece . This is because  trying to play from the cloud or Spotify,etc  will not always work.

aux cable

11. Can I charge my phone while on board?

Of course you can.

Sailboats have autonomy with 12 Volt DC power – just like a car or a camper van. This is used to power up the fridge, toilets, water pumps, lights and of course the charging station.  So you will be able to charge your phone/iPad at any time. All you need is a car phone charger and your USB cable to plug them into the 12 Volt plugs or USB ports on board .

USB plug

laptop charger 12v

 

 

Vitamin Sea has two 12 Volt sockets plugs and four USB ports for your devices. Below you can see a picture of how the charging station on Vitamin Sea looks like.

charging stationPlease note that inverters are NOT ALLOWED 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.

12V charger vs inverterIf you are traveling with a camera or a special device for which you cannot find a 12 Volt charger, an easy alternative is to take it with you and charge it at the tavern while you are enjoying your dinner.

VERY IMPORTANT : If any members in your party travel with medical devices that have to be plugged in to work ( CPAP machines, etc ), you should purchase a car plug/car adapter before booking.

Please make sure that if you are traveling with your laptop and you need to work during your holidays, you have the correct 12 Volt charger. There are also universal laptop chargers where you just switch the charging jack.

Here is a link on how a universal laptop charger works.

12. Will I have internet during the trip?

Each afternoon/evening when you go on shore to explore you will find many restaurants, taverns and bars. They all offer Wi /Fi so you can keep up with friends and family, surf the web or simply upload picture while enjoying your meal or drinks.

 

If you want to be able to access the web  while on board as well.  We can provide you with a local SIM card for which you can buy credit from the kiosks at the islands to activate a data package if you want to check emails, etc. Once you have activated the mobile data package, you can make a hotspot from the phone so more devices can  connect simultaneously.

 

Data packages are pretty un-expensive in Greece and you should expect to pay around 5 euro/ 3 Gigabytes. Minimum top-up card costs 10 euro. This is usually a good idea for people that need to work while traveling. But all the others are too busy exploring, swimming an admiring the  scenery in order to care about internet access while at sea.

13. Can we bring suitcases on board?

Spaces on a sailboat are limited and you can not fit 2 persons and a suitcase (nevertheless 2 suitcases ) in a sailboat’s cabin. Thus we recommend you pack light and bring all your belongings in soft- luggage (duffel type bags, backpacks etc). Like this you can place your things in the little drawer/cupboard in your cabin. Then fold up and store the soft luggage away. Whereas a suitcase would still take just as much place even after getting all your stuff out and you will have no place to store it.

     If your group is 2-4 persons you will probably have be a bit of storage space provided you dedicate one the of 4 guests cabins for storing the empty suitcases ( assuming the suitcases are reasonably sized and can fit through a sailboat’s door -40 centimeters-15.7 inch ) . However you will probably prefer to use all the cabins for yourselves instead of sacrificing one for the suitcases. So , in order not to have them in your way, you can simply pack in a duffel bag and before embarkation transfer the things you need in the duffel and store the suitcases at the luggage storage across the ferry dock -it saves a lot of hassle and space. No metal or reinforced plastic suitcases on board, please!
      However if you group if 6-8 persons, all the cabins are occupied with no extra storage . Thus we recommend you leave all suitcases and extra luggage behind and bring along only what you need from the trip in soft luggage.

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