We are providing regular updates on this page for those of you concerned about the Coronavirus situation and the possible impact on your holiday.
In line with UK Government advice as well as that of the authorities in our host countries, we have suspended all overseas holidays and charters as well as RYA training courses up to 14th June. From the 15th June, Greece is partially opening its borders and tourist establishments, with the process being completed in early July with regional island airports receiving direct flights. Croatia has also announced that it is now open to visitors whilst Spain and Italy are planning to be fully open in July. On this basis, we are re-starting skippered and bareboat charters in these four countries as well as tuition and cabin charter and some flotillas for those able to travel. For guests originating in the UK, the indefinite advice against non-essential travel is increasingly likely to be extended to all of June and possibly beyond We are continuing to contact all those guests affected individually to discuss the various alternatives on offer. In most cases, we are encouraging our guests to re-book at a later date either this year or if required, also in 2021, all with no cancellation penalties or change fees.
At present, whilst restrictions for UK guests are very likely to be extended, most holidays operating from June 15th onwards are scheduled to go ahead as normal, exceptions are Nikiana Beach Club and our flotillas in Croatia and Turkey which are cancelled for all of June. For those affected in some way, or who are unable or unwilling to travel regardless of your 2020 departure date, we are allowing changes to travel dates at no cancellation penalty (subject to the airline policy where applicable) and this can include dates in 2021.
If you wish to discuss your arrangements, please contact us, and we will happy to advise on the current situation and what we can do to help.
The Seafarer office is open as usual, though with some of our staff working from home and still able to answer calls thanks to our IT and telephone system set up.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
In the meantime, we wish all of you the best and look forward to better times soon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Holidays booked in Summer 2020
Whilst holidays are already operating in Croatia with Greece following shortly, UK travel restrictions currently remain indefinitely so our holidays have been suspended up to June 14th, though some flights have already been cancelled by some airlines for all of June. We are monitoring the situation closely through all available channels and will continue to inform our guests as soon as possible if there are any changes in our host countries or to UK FCO advice. If there is a major change we will inform those guests who were scheduled to travel earlier first and we are allowing maximum flexibility on booking changes according to your requirements and circumstances.
What if my holiday is affected?
Our commitment to a personal service doesn’t end with your booking – we will do our best to offer you the maximum flexibility possible – this will vary from booking to booking, and our team will work to offer you the best option for your holiday and circumstances.
Deferring booked holidays
We work with many suppliers, hotels, airlines and agencies – talk to us about your booking and we will give you the latest information on what deferment is possible in your case. Generally there is maximum flexibility although some late-season dates are already showing limited availability.
If your flight is booked through us and is cancelled or changed, we will contact you. If you have booked your own flight and this is cancelled or changed please get in touch and we will do our utmost to work out alternative arrangements.
You are ill or self isolating and can’t travel
If you can’t travel due to illness or restrictions please get in touch and we’ll look at possible amendments to your holiday. If the holiday is still scheduled to go ahead, you should be able to claim on your travel insurance if this is the case.
What is the situation with refunds
Given the very large number of holidays that have already been curtailed with many more to follow in this unprecedented crisis, we are encouraging guests to re-book for a later date or if this cannot be decided yet, to accept a credit note which can be applied to a later booking. The credit note will still benefit from financial protection under the ATOL and ABTA schemes and does not disqualify you from receiving a refund later if you change your mind. This is in line with ABTA guidelines recognising that payment of large numbers of refunds now would be unsustainable for any company.
How we are keeping your money safe
We would like to remind you our flight inclusive package holidays are ATOL protected . More information can be found on that ATOL website: https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/About-ATOL/
We are also proud to be members of ABTA which provides financial protection for holidays and charters without flights. We have been following ABTA guidelines in this uncertain time and you can see additional information and advice for travellers from ABTA on this link: https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
How is Seafarer coping in these circumstances
This is our 25th year and whilst it will certainly be a year to remember, it is indicative of our long experience and our strength and resilience, given the many international crises we have had to deal with over the years.
We have a very experienced and dedicated team who have been working hard to keep our guests up to date and change holiday arrangements where required, liaising with airlines and our various overseas suppliers and partners. This can be very difficult with long waits on the telephone often being required when calling suppliers as well as fast-changing official restrictions and advice. We have been coping with all of this well and our guests generally find it easy to contact us either by telephone or email.
How soon are holidays expected to return to normal
The situation is constantly changing so it is almost impossible to predict when our full range of holiday departures will recommence. Several airlines have announced that flights are suspended up to the end of June, indicating that they are gearing up to a re-start in July. It should be noted though that the decision to re-start our beach clubs and all of our flotillas will depend not only on UK Government advice and the lifting of restrictions but also on those applicable in the destination countries.
On the positive side, our preparations for the season are now almost complete and yachts are already on the water and ready to go. Beach club facilities are ready to re-start at relatively short notice with our flotilla and beach club staff on stand-by.
What Additional Precautions are in place for holidays that do go ahead
Once we restart operations, whilst the virus is still active, guests and crew will need to complete a health questionnaire prior to travel. Additionally, we have implemented an enhanced cleaning and sanitisation regime on all vessels. This had already commenced prior to the lockdown on our training vessels. The safety of guests and crew is a top priority for us and any holidays or courses that do operate will be in line with the advice of the WHO, FCO and the health and maritime authorities in our host countries.
Looking on the bright side
In the meantime, we will try to do out bit to help keep you occupied and entertained. So from our legendary April fool prank, to our Youtube channel with ‘how to’ and holiday videos, to various happenings on Facebook, Zoom and Youtube, do stay in touch, whilst you stay home and stay safe.
Start Training as a Skipper during lockdown
Have you ever wanted to train to skipper your own yacht but have never had a chance? Well now could be the time. With the current situation, some people have found themselves with less on their hands than normal and Seafarer has put together some amazing theory now, train later packages where you can start with an online theory course right away.
What the packages include
For those who are new to sailing or haven’t got much experience on a yacht, this package is perfect. You can start the Theory part immediately and work it at your own pace and then do the Competent course at your convenience when this is allowed again. When you’ve completed the Competent Crew and the Day Skipper Theory you’re ready to take the Day Skipper Practical and then the ocean is your oyster. This Seafarer package includes the following;
New to Sailing Package - £1245
RYA Competent Crew Practical
RYA Day Skipper Theory (Online Course)
RYA Day Skipper Practical
For those who already have RYA Competent Crew or previous sailing experience, they might be able to go straight for the Become a Skipper Package. This includes the following;
Become a Skipper Package - £795
RYA Day Skipper Theory (Online Course)
RYA Day Skipper Practical
How the Theory Course works
The Day Skipper Theory course, run by our partners Navathome, allows you to learn at your own pace, and is ideal for those without any navigational experience. The course takes approximately 40 hours to complete, with a two part assessment at the end of the course. Course material will be delivered to your door before you start, including the RYA Day Skipper theory pack and the Day Skipper course notes.
How the Practical Courses work
The RYA Competent Crew and RYA Day Skipper Courses are both run over 5 days at Seafarer’s Solent Sailing School and can either be run over a week or a number of weekends. Each training boat will have an Instructor and up to 5 students. You will stay on the boat for the duration of the course and visit different harbours in the Solent Area. For more information on Seafarer Solent School click below.
Is this course suitable for me
The sport of sailing is accessible to everyone and Seafarer tailor their courses for anyone who wants to feel the wind in their face and go and find an adventure around the next headland. If your worried theres a reason you can’t get on the water give Seafarer a call and they’ll try to find a way.
How to book
To book one of these packages give Seafarer a call on 0208 324 3118. For more information about the RYA Training Scheme click below.
Seafarer's favourite sailing films
While were all stuck indoors self isolating one way to lift the spirits for upcoming sailing adventures is watch some films about adventures on the ocean sea. The situation we find ourselves in has endeavored us to write a list of some of our favourite sailing films whether its crossing oceans under sail, hunting down a French Privateer or winning the Americas Cup. This list is not exclusive and we would love to hear from you with any other ideas.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
“She’s twice our numbers and twice our guns, but surprise is on our side”.
Based upon the novels of Patrick O’Brian Master & Commander follows the British Frigate HMS Surprise as it chases the French Privateer Acheron from the coast of Brazil to the Galapogos islands. Despite being outclassed by the French ship Captain Aubrey feels duty bound to continue the chase round Cape Horn with some dramatic sailing scenes on a Napoleonic man-o-war. “Lucky Jack” is joined by his friend and ships surgeon Stephen Maturin who makes use of their time on the islands to make important natural discoveries. The film is a sweeping epic of a time where sailing ships crossed the worlds oceans and these small worlds were held together by the personalities skils & bravery of those who sailed them.
Having lost the Americas Cup to for the first time in its history, Will Parker sets out to to work with his former girlfriend on an experimental new boat to win back the biggest prize in our sport. The film starts with some amazing onboard International 14 racing before moving into the desert for the design of the boat and ending with the cup itself in legendary 12metre yachts. The film is part adventure film and part romance set against a backdrop of breaking the rules of the sailing establishment. Look out for “The Whopper”.
Captain Ron (1992)
For a more lighthearted sea romp, Captain Ron is the perfect distraction. When a middle-class Chicago family inherit an old wooden sailing yacht from an uncle they head to the Caribean to pick it up. They’re joined by the characterful Captain Ron who gives them more of an adventure than they planned for but ultimately teaches them to love the ocean. The film is a well loved family comedy with some beautiful Caribean scenes.
Swallows & Amazons
Both the 1974 & 2016 versions of this timeless classic make for compelling watching and chart the adventures of a small band of children during a holiday in the lake district. Upon arriving at a holiday house they find a single sailed dinghy called the Swallow and set out to sail her through many scapes including coming up against the similar Amazon. The films are full of water based exploits including navigating into a rocky harbour with the use of lights as transits but its the sense of adventure that really stands out.
In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl set out to prove that the Polynesian Islands had been settled up people from South America and set out in a traditionally made raft to prove it could be done. This epic journey of 4300 miles was recorded at the time in the 1950 documentary film of the same name and the 2012 Norwegian Language historical drama.
Post-Apocolyptic Bonus - Waterworld
Our current situation certainly feels a little bit like the end of the world and what better way than on a homebuilt trimaran. In a future world of endless sea our hero played by Kevin Kostner battles jet skis to find the mythical land and has many adventures on the way. Although not a success at the time the film has something of a cult following and you can’t beat that Triamaran in full sail.
Hope you enjoy the list, theres more to come. Do leave a comment of any great sailing films you would like to share with us.
We are celebrating our 25th birthday this year
And to mark this momentous occasion we wanted to share with you 25 valid reasons for you to book your next summer holiday afloat with Seafarer. Of course, many of you already know us well enough to not need reminding and have either already booked or will soon be doing so, but have a read anyway, you may discover something you didn’t already know about us. last but not least as our birthday present to you, there are some great offers around the ’25’ theme so read on !
We are sorry if we come across as somewhat obsessed with the number 25 at the moment (though it took less than 25 people less than 25 days to compile this list) but it is our 25th Birthday after all. If it’s your 25th birthday as well, we will sing you ‘Happy Birthday’ buy you a bottle of wine and a birthday cake whilst you are on holiday with us!
Watch this space for a number of events both in the UK and abroad to mark Seafarer’s 25th Birthday.
Watersports for all at our Greek Island Beach Club
2019 was a great year at Nikiana Beach Club with loads of people getting on the water and many smiles all round. A few times I remember looking around and seeing empty sunbeds and a bustling sailing area which is always nice. Here is an overview of what’s new and what’s going on at Nikiana Beach Club this season.
Hobie 15 & Laser Replacements
As part of the ongoing upgrades to our cat fleet, we are looking to get a Hobie 15. The 15 is a great beginner catamaran being both easy to sail and exciting at the same time. It will be an excellent addition to our Dart 16s and Hobie Pacific. Our Lasers are another boat that gets a huge amount of use so we’ve decided to replace half the fleet this season. All boats will have full XD controls and choice of 3 rigs.
New Buoyancy Aids & Windsurf Trainer Rigs
This year we’ve teamed up with Rooster to replace our buoyancy aids with the Diamond Overhead model. This gives unrestricted movement and a great fit for all body shapes. There’s also a large front pocket for any bits you want to take on the water. For those learning to windsurf, we’ve teamed up Tiki sails to replace all our trainer windsurf sails giving a larger choice and more sizes.
RYA Advanced Courses
With our large and varied fleet of dinghies and a great area to sail in, we’ve been running RYA Seamanship Skills and Sailing with Spinnakers for a number of years with great results. Two years ago we started running the RYA Performance Sailing course which good sailors the knowledge and confidence to take out some of our faster performance boats and sail them with trapeze and spinnaker. This season we will be starting the RYA Day Sailing course which gives you the skills and experience to do small boat cruising while in our own island paradise.
Level Up Weeks
Following the success of previous Level Up Weeks in 2018 & 19 were back for 2020. The week gives you the opportunity to Level Up your sailing or windsurfing skills with 18 hours of free RYA Tuition in the following areas
- Beginner Sailing
- Intermediate Sailing
- Advanced Sailing
- Beginner Windsurfing
- Beginner Yachting
Package from £499 including flights from London Gatwick, transfers and B&B Accommodation. This year they will run on the 3rd May, 21st June & 27th September.
Solo Traveller Weeks
Nikiana Beach Club has always been a super sociable place to be and is perfect for those travelling solo. This year we have Solo Traveller weeks on the 7th June & 6th September with no single room supplement and some special socials throughout the week. The week is a perfect time to meet other watersports enthusiasts and lovers of the greek way of life and we’ll help team sailors up for some of the larger boats.
During Half Term (24th – 31st May) & Summer Holidays (28th June – 30th August) we run our relaxed and fun Kids Club at Nikiana. Anyone between 7 & 17 can join and depending on age and sailing ability we will split into up to 4 different groups. Each group will have a 3-hour session each day with around 2 hours Sailing, Windsurfing or Suping along with plenty of games and on the water fun. We also run a kayak trip later in the week taking the group out of the sailing area to a distant shore to get ice creme. Although sailing and windsurfing sessions will include tuition those looking to learn more might want to look at our RYA Courses (Stages for those 6 – 13, Levels 14 up).
All in all its looking to be another cracking season at Nikiana with loads going on and lots of jollity on and off the water. Give us a call on 0208 3243118 and we can answer any questions you may have.
The first week of our new flotilla, sailing from Phuket
It is 0430 UK time on a cold January Sunday in England, and I am wide awake, having travelled back less than 24 hours ago. My mind is full of the images, tastes and sounds of my trip to Thailand to join our new flotilla for the first week. My eagerness to write some of my thoughts down hopefully gives you an idea of the impression I have been left with after my first visit to this amazing country.
Day 1 - Phuket Yacht Haven
I arrived in Phuket airport after 2 six hour flights, via Doha in the middle east. I flew with Qatar airways, and the interconnection was hassle free, a welcome chance to stretch ones legs. Arriving in Phuket, the 35 degree heat envelopes you immediately, and reminds you of how far you have come. It’s not oppressive, just warming.
Jumping in a cab I headed for our base, Phuket Yacht Haven Marina, only 20 minutes away. Turning into the marina entrance, you pass palm and rubber tree plantations before emerging at the water’s edge, 2 minutes from the pontoons. The Deck (the marina bar and restaurant) is a typically swish marina spot overlooking the yachts, happily missing the one marina aspect we can live without, the prices – a Pad Thai and a cold beer will cost you around 250 bhat (around £6.50) – and that’s expensive for Thai standards. Once you settle in, walk 5 minutes to the north to the Living Room or Papa Mama (both rustic spots on the shore) and the prices tumble.
Day 2 - Phuket Yacht Haven to Koh Hong
After a beautiful sunrise, we strolled to the Living room restaurant for a main briefing and breakfast before setting off for the day. We are in tidal (and often shallow) waters here, so more focus on sailing and navigating than the mooring techniques. Getting out into the open water and the 10 knots of breeze means sails up and trimmed (yes, even on the lead yacht!) and away we went – down the river, leaving most of civilisation behind us. Hong is Thai for “room” and Koh Hong gives our first taste of what this means in these islands – the iconic columns of granite, with often a hollow centre. We anchor in 5 metres close to Koh Hong and its time for a punch party – with a difference. We dinghy into a cave (no engines, so as not to startle the bats) and emerge into an inland lagoon. No going ashore, so a raft with all the tenders is our venue, utterly stunning and completely to our selves now the day trip boats have gone. Its breathtaking and blows everyone away. Best punch party venue ever. Fact.
Day 3 - Koh Hong to Chong Koh Yao
After a morning swim (as you do), we head out – all together, as the channels north get shallower. First stop is Koh Phing Kan, better known as James Bond Island, the setting for “The Man with the Golden Gun” – its full of tourist boats during the day, but we get as close as we can – one to tick off the bucket list. Navigating east across the shallows, we all go our separate ways, some heading off for a sail, some to explore the smaller islands and hongs along the way. We head to another Hong – Koh Roi and venture into this one on foot, across pure white sands. Inside is a sensory overload – the sounds of the birds only drowned out by the resting chirps of the thousands of fruit bats roosting in the mangroves….its paradise. After an hour taking it all in we weigh anchor and head down to our overnight stop on the south of Koh Yao Noi. A floating village of fishermen watch as we tender ashore and, after politely declining the offer of a taxi, we stroll the 2km to the aptly named Good View restaurant. This isn’t a touristic island, and the stroll passes the locals going about their day – mending boats, doing their washing, skipping home from school, all with mangoes, bananas, limes and pineapples growing by the side of the road. As a foodie, this really starts my journey, with a chilli soft shelled crab and pineapple rice ending off a perfect day.
Day 4 - Koh Yao Noi to Rai Lei Beach
Another day, another Hong….this one is also Koh Hong, but this is the Krabi one (the larger town on the mainland to the east). This one is navigable at high(ish) tide, and once inside, this is a huge lagoon, around knee depth, bordered with mangroves and white sandy beaches. We have a cracking 20 knots of breeze for a sail, but you wouldn’t know, being completely surrounded by the sheer granite cliffs. Out we go, and off we sail, getting a healthy 8.2 knots from our trusty Bavaria 36, on a close reach down to Rai Lei, and civilisation, backpacker style. Rai Lei is busy, the longtail boats buzzing past, carrying those less fortunate than us yachties.
Ashore is lively, will loads of bars and restaurants to cater for the largely bohemian crowd. Grab an ice cold beer, relax and maybe get a bamboo tattoo whilst you chill…hey, when in Rome….
Day 5 - Rai Lei Beach to....somewhere on Koh Pu
We were recommended by our incredibly knowledgeable colleague in base to get to Koh Pu – its how Phi Phi Don was 20 years ago, she said……she was right. This is off-grid, relaxed beach life at its best. You’re not getting the co-ordinates from me…..we will tell you when you get there! (anyone remember “The Beach”?) This is a place to die for. My heart rate went down 50% when I stepped ashore. A couple of little restaurants, an amazing waiter who (with almost no convincing) had me order the freshly caught Barracuda with red curry sauce – I would happily see out my days on that dish alone. There are beach bungalows available for rent…..definitely the next holiday for my family is sorted – the image of my boys playing on the unspoilt white sand has to become reality.
Day 6 - Koh Pu to Koh Phi Phi Don
Today is the day. We all (very reluctantly) leave Koh Pu and head west, to probably the most famous islands in Thailand, Koh Phi Phi Lei, and Koh Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Lei has been made world famous as the location for the film “The Beach” – its a shame old Leo wasn’t a yachtie, because the week has already given us more serene breathtaking places. Thankfully for the island, Maya beach is now off limits to tourists – but you can get close enough for a decent photo. It is beautiful, and the steps taken by the locals to stop the hordes has paid off – the coral reef is recovering, the sea life is back.
After some photos, and to imagine what it would be like without the longtails, day tripper boats and the speed boats, its time to head north, and into the vortex. Koh Phi Phi Don is insane…..but insane enough to make it still a worthwhile place to stop. Parties on the beach, fireworks, fire jugglers, madness everywhere…..go exploring the back streets and see just how far the rabbit hole goes…..
Day 7 - Koh Phi Phi Don to Phuket Yacht Haven
Our final day. The wind gods see fit to provide 20 knots from the east, and the 30 plus miles back to base gurgle past under sail alone, a glorious beam reach to take us back and remind us that this can’t be the last time to sail here.
We refuel back at base, a relaxed and simple affair, as everything has been. Back on the quay its time for a posh shower, to sit down, order a cold one and process the sights and sounds of this enchanting place.
Farewell to the Land of Smiles
There are many things that contribute to a perfect holiday. Thailand is, without a doubt, one of the most enchanting places I have ever visited, and one of the best places I have ever sailed. The scenery is stunning, the food is amazing, the people are the warmest, friendliest hosts and the culture is fascinating.
Thailand has a well deserved reputation as being known as the Land of Smiles. I can see why. Find the time, find the means and come sailing with us in Thailand. If you enjoy it as I did, you won’t be able to stop yourself smiling…..I know I can’t.
For more information or availability, you are welcome to call one of our sales consultants on 0208 324 3118. If you’d like to hear more about the day to day of boat life in Thailand, I am happy to talk. Your only issue will be getting me to stop….JC
Girls Only Courses in Greece and Southampton
New for 2020 we’ve started running girls only training courses at our bases in the UK and Greece. We will be running RYA Competent Crew and RYA Day Skipper along with weekend refresher courses and mile builders. These are taught by our resident female instructors. We believe that sailing should be accessible to all, and we have girls of all ages come to learn with us in a supportive and fun environment.
The wonderful sport of sailing should be open to all and in the past sailing has been seen as a male-heavy sport. We want to change this and believe sailing should be for all no matter their age or gender. In the past, we have found that there is a lot of nervousness among couples on our flotilla surrounding what they would do in an emergency. We believe that specific girls only training is a great way of providing confidence and skills for those of all levels and reverse some of the gender bias yachting has been known for.
Our girls only training courses encourage a calm environment where we operate a yacht as a team. We welcome all questions and maintaining a safe, supportive and fun environment is the main objective. Our previous students have found this can give an excellent confidence boost and see a real development of sailing skills. Many of our students come alone, but we also welcome small groups and don’t forget these courses are open to everyone.
RYA Competent Crew
RYA Competent Crew is an excellent introduction to the best sport in the world and is open to all levels of ability.
RYA Day Skipper
Perfect for those with sailing experience to the competent crew level and an understanding of the theoretical side of the day skipper syllabus. This course takes the final and most important step and upon completion will allow you to be the skipper.
Refresher Training & Milebuilders
Our refresher & mile building courses offer the opportunity to work on any aspect of sailing. This has a loose syllabus that lets you focus on the skills you want to develop.
Seafarer Training Ionian - Lefkas, Greece
Our training yachts in the Ionian operates alongside our flotilla, providing a tremendously social environment. This course can even be completed while sailing alongside your family on one of the other flotilla yachts.
RYA Competant Crew & Day Skipper Courses
- 3rd May
- 26th July
- 4th October
Prices from £649
Seafarer Training Solent - Southampton, UK
We also have several training weeks at our Southampton school a perfect opportunity for a weekend pre-holiday refresher or a full competent crew or day skipper course (Monday to Friday).
RYA Competant Crew & Day Skipper
- 11th May
- 22nd June
Weekend Refresher / Milebuilder Sessions
- 25th April
- 9th May
For more information or availability, please contact one of our consultants on 0208 324 3118.
We’re about to start our 5th year of the Kefalonia Flotilla it is no accident that it keeps popping up on our brochure covers, the last 4 to be precise. Is this a coincidence or is it because this area is so incredibly picturesque with a wonderful variety of places to visit, all in one flotilla?
Many of the highlights of the area are on the island that gives the flotilla its name, Kefalonia (alias Cephalonia). The most famous stop is almost definitely Fiskardo, a beautiful village wrapped around a natural harbour marked by an ancient Venetian lighthouse. The village is noted for its pastel Venetian buildings, winding streets and waterside tavernas and is known as the St Tropez of the Ionian with a star-studded cast. Further round to the west, under the shade of a Venetian castle, lies the small fishing village of Assos. It’s quite hard to describe just how beautiful is the colour combination of the turquoise sea, colourful houses and the dramatic wooded mountain scenery, so you’ll have to check it out yourself. Another must-see on the island is the famous Melissani Cave, with its amazing stalactites and stalagmites which you can visit from our base of Aghia Efymia.
The island of Ithaca (Ithaki) lies off the North East coast of Kefalonia and is fabled to be the home of the legendary Odysseus. In the far north of the island is the village of Frikes and it’s hard to find a sailor in the Ionian who hasn’t had a night to remember in the famous Fiorendino’s. Just round the coast, you approach in the shadow of old windmills into the village of Kioni with its laid back atmosphere and crystal clear waters it always seems to leave its mark on any Seafarer. The capital of the island Vathi, named Big Vathi locally to avoid confusion, surrounds a large natural harbour with Venetian buildings set alongside the tiny winding streets.
Zante or Zakynthos
Zante or Zakynthos is the Southern aim of our route and is famous for good reason. In the North of the island is the harbour of Aghios Nikolaos with its clear water and amazing snorkelling. From here we organise a boat trip to swim in the blue caves and to visit the world-famous ‘Navagio’ beach or shipwreck cove, star of many an advert for Greece. Finally, the capital of Zante (of the same name) is a lively harbour town with a huge variety of restaurants and some excellent shopping. It’s also home to St. Dionysus and you can pay your respects at the historic cathedral dedicated to him.
you will love it too
The entire route is picture-postcard perfect, a truly stunning area to sail your own Greek Odyssey over either one or two weeks with some great sailing and wonderful places to explore. In fact, my wife and I fell in love with it (and each other whilst working as flotilla crew here), so we chose to get married here. For us, it really feels like home and we are sure you will love it too.
John Connolly – Product Manager
Author Chris Lorenzo
We are delighted to announce our new flotilla and charter base in Greece for summer 2020 at Corinth, combining sailing in both the Saronic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth.
Located just one hours drive south of Athens and giving a choice of two wonderful, yet very different sailing areas it is a unique base with a lot to offer. It is also next to the spectacular Corinth Canal.
With the base strategically positioned close to the west entrance of the Canal, Seafarer’s new flotilla ventures in both directions alternating between a week sailing east through the Corinth Canal to the islands of the Saronic Gulf and a week exploring the Gulf of Corinth to the west. A two week holiday combines both. In the Saronic Gulf, islands such as Aegina, Aghistri, Poros and Hydra are all within easy reach as are some great stops on the Peloponnese coast such as Old Epidauros, Vathy and Methana.
In the Gulf of Corinth, it is quieter and the sailing winds more brisk. There are many interesting places to explore such as the little known Alkioni islands, Trizonia island and the historic Seafaring town of Galaxidi.
Another attraction to this area are the famous ancient sites ashore, such as the ancient oracle at Delphi and the famous Lion Gate and ruins of Agamemnon’s palace at Mycenae. The most impressive of these however is arguably the 2500 year old Amphitheatre at Epidauros, still in use today.
The area has something for everyone and is well served by flights from most places into Athens.
Seafarer veterans will remember the Saronic Gulf was where Seafarer lainched it’s very first flotillas many moons ago, and it was a firm favourite for many years, so we are delighted to be back, all be it with the enhancement of a transit of the Corinth Canal and another great sailing area on the other side.
We look forward to welcoming you there soon.
Reading time 4 min 45 sec
Author Lee Savage
Whatever your reasons for getting into sailing, it is not as difficult as you might imagine and there are a lot of different ways to get started. With so many destinations to choose and so many sailing experiences, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.
If exploring fantastic bays, discovering remote islands, swimming and relaxing in the sun with a good book sounds like the kind of yacht cruising you are looking for then Cabin Charter will be the way to go.
If you would like to dip in and see but you are not sure if it’s for you our beach club has a dedicated Yacht where we offer several opportunities including two days Beginner Yachting (16h) while you stay in our Beach Club Hotel.
But you are here to find out how to become a Yacht Skipper, learn a new skill and take the first step towards becoming qualified, opening a whole new world of possibility for holidays and adventure travel. Even if you only ever do one course, you will have experienced the trip of a lifetime.
The RYA is a world-recognised organisation authorised by the UK maritime coastguard agency to issue international certificates of competence. Seafarer instructors are all experienced RYA instructors and can deliver a challenging syllabus to take you from no experience to a qualified licensed skipper through a series of RYA courses outlined below.
Our Training Centers – help you become a skipper
Our sailing schools in the Ionian and Croatia and the UK allow as few as one person to take part in training onboard our RYA equipped yachts. These yachts feature all the safety equipment and training resources needed to complete your chosen courses.
RYA Training In The Mediterranean
For our training yachts in Greece and Croatia, you have the opportunity to learn alongside a fantastic holiday experience. Naturally, it is a more intense experience than a Yacht Charter holiday. You will spend most of your days absorbing the syllabus, but there will also be opportunities to swim and explore the beautiful islands.
Learning alongside our flotilla, you will also have the chance to participate in group meals, our punch, and beach parties. Popular with experienced and newly qualified skippers alike or those seeking to improve their abilities with the support of our skilled lead crews. Filled with like-minded sailors, you will meet skippers who have already taken steps into the sailing world and discovered how accessible it is. It’s a tremendously positive and supportive environment to learn alongside.
RYA Training In The UK
Our UK school offers numerous bespoke courses for those wishing to brush up on any particular skills before flying to their next sailing holiday be it boat handling or just refreshers. Of course, we offer all the practical RYA courses including Competent Crew, Day Skipper & Coastal Skipper (for Day Skippers wishing to take there sailing further)
Based in Southampton, it offers fantastic sheltered waters sailing in the lea of the Isle Of Wight. It’s a great location to challenge your tidal knowledge and experience the lively sailing environment made famous for events like the Fastnet Race, the Round the Island Race and Cowes Week.
How to Become A Skipper
The Competent Crew course is perfect for somebody who has never been on a yacht before. It is the broadest course in the RYA syllabus covering virtually everything to do with sailing and living onboard a boat. You will have the opportunity to test your skills and will come away with a great sense of achievement and a good understanding of where to go next!
As an instructor for many years, I have discovered that even more experienced sailors can benefit from this course, there is always another level of detail to learn. If you haven’t sailed for a while or had any formal training, this course will not only be an excellent refresher, but you will be surprised how many new things you can learn. For more experienced sailors, this is a unique opportunity to polish the essential fundamentals of sailing.
Theoretically a skipper
With some sailing experience under your belt, you are ready to study the theory. Reading about navigation, sailing, and charts will seem much less daunting. You are now prepared to take the Day Skipper theory course. The Day Skipper Theory syllabus contains all essential theoretical knowledge required to become a skipper. It can be completed online at your own pace, We offer Navathome with all the needed resources sent to your home, and you can even use your repeat customer discount.
If you don’t feel ready
Not everybody is prepared for the Day Skipper course right away, we all learn at different rates and bridging the gap between the competent crew and Day Skipper courses is best achieved with Bespoke training, this can help you refine those skills that you think you lack. Commonly this is boat handling, we all know there is nothing more exhilarating than bringing a beautiful yacht alongside a concrete harbour wall! We offer bespoke training at all of our bases in Greece, Croatia, and the UK.
The courses in the Mediterranean are all one week. Our UK school offers much more flexibility for weekends or any other length or start days. Talk to one of our consultants to find out more.
General skills training works very well alongside the day skipper course. You will get to see others go through the course while you polish the fundamentals. Having feedback from an instructor while learning alongside the standard RYA courses can give you the confidence to grow without the pressure of a restricted syllabus. Talk to one of our consultants to find out where and how we can help you get to the next level.
The Sailing Licence
With your Day skipper theory ticket in hand and some recent sailing experience, You will be ready for the Day Skipper practical course. Taking everything you have learned in the first two courses, this turns you into a responsible skipper. You will learn to handle the boat, bringing it into port, directing your crew to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable.
Now you are qualified as a skipper
With your internationally recognised license in hand, you now have the opportunity to take your friends and family sailing on Yachts around the world. I am not surprised if this might feel incredibly daunting as this license can be achieved in as little as three weeks.
Flotilla can be a great option to help build your confidence. As well as being fantastically social flotilla offers you the opportunity to grow as a skipper with the security of having our lead crew on standby to assist or advise on any aspect of sailing. You can find more about our flotillas here.
A whole world of sailing
As soon as you feel ready, you will be free to charter yachts worldwide. As an internationally recognised skipper, you can benefit from bareboat prices and the freedom to travel at your own pace. Seafarer has a vast range of worldwide destinations. Click here to find out more.
If you are still not sure
Perhaps you are not sure where you fit into all of this. Why not talk to one of our team? We are a small yet experienced company in the world of sailing, and we would be happy to advise you on how best you can get started.