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Sailing with oldies through the Greek Islands

(16 Posts)
tilbatilba Sun 09-Nov-14 08:36:52

My parents in law are intrepid travellers and have just announced they would love to sail the Greek Islands. We think this time we would have to go with them and probably take our teenage children as we live so far away. Does anyone have recommendations of a yachting firm or similar that caters for multi generational holidays. We don't mind sharing but are thinking a smaller yacht would be better. Thinking of approx 10 days or so of sailing.....
The oldies are 96 and the kids 16. Thank you.

mummymeister Sun 09-Nov-14 08:56:49

there are some companies that take a flotilla - 3 or 4 different boats with one lead boats. friends did it a couple of years ago and have been madly googling but cannot find the link to it. it is out there though and would be by far the best option. don't be cooped up in a small boat for this long. did you say that the oldies are 96!!! insurance is going to be a huge issue if so especially with something like being at sea where captains on smaller vessels usually require over and above the norm. good luck.

Booboostoo Sun 09-Nov-14 09:23:44

This needs a bit of thinking through.

Do you want a sail boat or a motor boat? Do you have experience sailing and a license?

Sail boats are more fun but space is very limited, you have to sail them and generally they have few creature comforts which may make things very difficult for 96 year olds. Sail boats are dependent on the weather so in calm weather you could be stuck, but in good weather you'll be off having fun. At the same time when the boat is sailing it is at a very uncomfortable angle, there is no shade and no air conditioning - would that be OK? Small sailing boats can be rented without a skipper but IMO the sea can be dangerous and should be respected so only go out without a skipper if you really know what you are doing.

Motor boats are a more luxurious option, but you will pay a lot of money for fuel and anything other than small speedboats will legally need a captain (and possibly crew) which will add enormously to the hire price.

General points: parking can be a nightmare, especially in the popular islands near Athens like Ydra; if the weather is perfect you will have a magical night in an isolated cove under the stars, under other conditions you will be stuck next to someone's generators with drunken people walking all over your boat all night long; the Aegean gets strong northerly winds in July and August that can maroon you in a port for days, the Ionian is a better option during those months.

tilbatilba Sun 09-Nov-14 09:25:50

Thank you so much mummym- I will have a look. Insurance is an ongoing problem - we've really given up over the past few years and have decided to use the extortionate savings in non insurance to either pay for hospital care/repatriation or getting us there! They have been to Antartica, through the Australian desert, all over UK and Europe over the last 2 years plus Norway that I think this time we really should go with them. They are quite happy to be thrown overboard at this stage too - very pragmatic.

Trickydecision Sun 09-Nov-14 09:30:00

Have a look at "Sailing Cruises in Comfort" , sorry I can't make the link work but googling will find them.
They are a small Dutch owned company using traditional sailing gulets off the Turkish and Greek coasts. We have had several outstanding holidays with them. Unlike most gulets, whose sails are merely decorative, these sail every day, and you can choose whether to participate in the actual sailing or just relax with an included gin and tonic. I would have thought it would be ideal for your family as they have a range of different sized boats, with windsurfers etc for the kids.

tilbatilba Sun 09-Nov-14 09:30:32

Oh no BooBoo - def need a skipper! Have sailing experience but looking after the oldies and the family will be enough. Want it fully catered for and really don't mind the expense as I think surely it must be their last hurrah - though have thought that for a few years now.
It needs to be comfortable, plenty of shade, good food etc....they are incredibly energetic but I want it as luxurious as possible for them.
Thanks so much for your input - I really appreciate it.

Trickydecision Sun 09-Nov-14 09:33:43
Link found

Booboostoo Sun 09-Nov-14 09:55:29

I'd really go for a motor boat then. It gives you much more flexibility in terms of moving from one place to the next, more space indoors and outdoors, more comfort like a table in the shade, a proper kitchen, air conditioning, etc.

tilbatilba Sun 09-Nov-14 10:11:37

Tricky that looks great - thanks so much for the link. Booboo thanks too for your ideas.....Tricky they seem to have everything we need, perfect, thanks so much.

Booboostoo Sun 09-Nov-14 10:19:46

Check which Greek Islands you want to visit before booking and how long it will take you to get there. The popular (for sailing) Cyclades will be quite far away from the Turkish base of this company.

specialsubject Sun 09-Nov-14 11:18:45

flotilla as standard in the Med isn't what you want, that needs training and skills. Not difficult but not suitable!

BTW I had an overnight in Ydra on a yacht - wonderful spot but no sleep at all, partying next door, boats moving around at dark o-clock, etc.

Booboostoo Sun 09-Nov-14 14:31:18

That is a common experience in the more popular islands. Ydra is very close to Athens and very pretty but with a tiny harbour. Boats Dock seven ina row - getting out in the mornings is a nightmare!

On the other hand less travelled islands like Amorgos may not have spaces suitable for the larger vessels, they are literally tiny fishing village ports.

MissMillament Sun 09-Nov-14 14:37:10

Sailing Holidays will provide a skipper on some of their larger yachts in the Ionian. They have a couple of 50-footers that have four cabins and a separate cabin for the skipper which might be a good compromise.

Trickydecision Sun 09-Nov-14 19:28:58

Pleased you found it useful, Tilbatilda. We enjoyed three two week cruises with SCIC, and loved every minute. Very professional and well organised, excellent food and very generous drinks included. Magical overnight moorings in beautiful isolated coves, beach barbecues etc. We stuck to the Turkish coast itineraries, and unless you are desperate for Greek islands, which they will do anyway, I think you would be happy with their usual routes.

They are very easy to deal with, Loez the owner will talk to you personally and advise accordingly.

I'm getting all edgy now, thinking it is time to forego long haul and return to SCIC.

mummymeister Mon 10-Nov-14 23:34:43

OP whilst I realise that you might be happy to take the older folks without insurance you need to check that the airline that you book with and the boat that you charter is also happy with this. some airlines and some boat charters will insist that you have insurance for everyone - it wont be discretionary - because they are worried about being left with the bill. plus, accidents happen, moreso as you get older like tripping up and they wont want to be held responsible.

Whilst I can understand that you don't mind going without insurance to be honest, I think with a boat charter you wont have any choice.

they might be happy to be thrown overboard but this isn't realistic is it. sorry, don't mean to rain on your plans but if you do try to book flights, skipper, boats etc, please tell them well in advance that the oldies have no insurance.

specialsubject Tue 11-Nov-14 18:21:54

brutally - if you really cannot get insurance then you may face the unattractive choice of selling your house to pay the medevac bill (even from the med) or chucking them overboard.

small risk, enormous consequences.

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