We are providing regular updates on this page for those of you concerned about the Coronavirus situation and the possible impact on your holiday.
Last Update January 20th, 2021
The Summer 2020 season is now successfully behind us and having operated in all our main destinations from July to November, we are pleased to advise that we completed the summer without a single case of COVID 19 on any of our holidays, including flotillas, beach clubs, cabin charter or sailing schools. The feedback from our guests was that the precautions and distancing measures in place worked very well, without adversely affecting their holiday and the point has been well proven that holidaying afloat on a yacht within one’s family or social bubble, with sensible precautions and protective measures in place is about as safe as it gets.
In line with the latest UK government restrictions we have no departures from the UK operating over the current period and through to the end of March, though our bareboat bases in Greece and Croatia are anticipated to be open from early April whilst our Greek-based Sailing school will also start weekly courses from early April.
We are optimistic that travel restrictions and quarantine requirements will have been lifted in time for the start of the season thanks to good progress being made with inoculation programmes. We acknowledge that there is still some uncertainty on whether restrictions will be lifted in time for our early season start. We continue to monitor the situation closely, liaising regularly with our trade associations and where possible, also the authorities both in the UK and in our main destinations.
Should travel not be possible, we will contact you individually in good time to discuss your options which can include deferring the holiday to a later date, or if travel subsequently proves impossible, then we acknowledge your right to a full refund.
One thing that is likely to remain a requirement for all or at least the first half of the summer is a negative PCR Covide 19 test within 72 hours of travel for all passengers. This will probably be only on the outbound leg, though we still await further advice and confirmation on this. Those that have already had the vaccine will need to obtain a certificate as this is likely to further facilitate travel.
Our first delivery and explorer flotillas operating from 17th April are already sold out. With progress already being made with enhanced testing and other coordinated protective measures planned internationally, we are optimistic that these departures will go ahead. Furthermore, it is anticipated that quarantine or other restrictions will not be required for next summer.
The Seafarer office is open as usual, though with some of our staff working from home we are still able to answer calls and provide our normal service thanks to our IT and telephone system set up.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Holidays Booked For Summer 2021
With our experience of operating successfully in summer 2020 and given the pre-departure testing and other protective measures planned by the airline and travel industry for 2021, the aim is that the 2021 summer season will operate normally. However, in the event that exceptionally some disruption to departures occurs, we have proved from our track record this year, that we have the experience and appropriate policies in place to deal with such situations. Those booking a full package with us including flights will benefit from ATOL cover for the entire package, whilst as a tour operator, we will take full responsibility to provide suitable accommodation and organise appropriate repatriation travel in the event of any disruption.
What If My Holiday Is Disrupted?
Our commitment to a personal service doesn’t end with your booking – in the event of any disruption pre-departure, 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, whether this is travelling as originally planned but changing to a different destination, deferring your holiday to a different date, securing a refund for you where this is available and so on. If disruption occurs after departure, we will provide all necessary assistance and make any necessary changes to travel arrangements.
Deferring Booked Holidays
If your holiday with us had to be cancelled or deferred due to COVID 19 related disruption, we recommend that you choose your new holiday date as soon as possible in order to secure your place and avoid disappointment, since availability for the second half of the summer is already limited. Where your holiday is scheduled to go ahead but you wish to defer, please note that you may incur penalties if there are no official restrictions in place. In the unlikely event that new restrictions are put in place, deferring your holiday will usually be penalty-free. We work with many suppliers, fleet owners, hotels, airlines and agencies – talk to us about your booking and we will give you the latest information on what may be possible in your case.
If your flight is booked through us and is cancelled or changed, we will contact you and do our utmost to secure suitable alternative arrangements. If you have booked your own flight and this is cancelled or changed, please get in touch and we will do our utmost to help.
You Are Ill Or Self Isolating And Can’t Travel
If you cannot travel due to illness, self-isolation or official restrictions, please get in touch and we’ll look at possible amendments to your holiday and will assist you with this in any way we can. If the holiday is still scheduled to go ahead and there are no restrictions in place, you should be able to claim on your travel insurance for any health-related disruption.
What Is The Situation With Refunds
Given the very large number of holidays that were curtailed in 2020 during this unprecedented crisis, we encouraged guests to re-book for a later date if possible, or if this could not yet be decided, to accept a credit note which could be applied to a later booking. The credit note still benefits from financial protection under the ATOL and ABTA schemes and does not disqualify you from claiming a refund later, if you are subsequently unable to travel. This was in line with ABTA guidelines, recognising that payment of large numbers of refunds automatically was not sustainable for the industry. We thank the large number of guests who chose to re-book or defer for their cooperation and for staying with us.
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/
How Is Seafarer Coping In These Circumstances
2020 was 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 well with all of this and our guests have generally found it easy to contact us either by telephone or email to discuss their requirements and the appropriate solution has been found in each case.
How Soon Are Holidays Expected To Return To Normal
We saw the situation return to normal across most of Europe from July 2020, albeit with sensible protective measures in place, with Greece in particular having been almost COVID free up to that point. Most airlines operated their full flight schedules to our main destinations of Greece, Turkey, Italy and also Croatia and full summer 2021flights schedules have been on sale for a while. Plans are well advanced for pre-departure testing in 2021 , whilst enhanced hygiene routines and other protective measures have been well proven in all our destinations during the 2020 season. These measures will be continued for as long as proves necessary, whilst always operating in line with UK and host country advice and guidelines.
What Additional Precautions Are In Place at the Destinations
With holidays operating 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 and in accommodation units. The safety of guests and crew is a top priority for us, so holidays and courses we operate apply protocols that are in line with the advice of the WHO, FCO, and the health and maritime authorities in our host countries. For a summary of these measures click here.
Should We Travel To Specific Destinations Against Foreign Office Advice
The introduction of quarantine requirements on return to the UK from certain countries and destinations was accompanied by a change in foreign office guidance, advising against all but essential travel to those destinations. This was however advice and was not compulsory at that time, leaving it to the individual to decide what was essential travel for them and whether they would travel anyway and quarantine on return. We established at the time that infection rates in our specific cruising areas in Croatia and Greece, remained very low. Furthermore, these same destinations were unrestricted for travellers originating from some other countries, hence our decision to stay open for those who still wished to travel, even in those places where the requirement for quarantine on return was introduced. Currently, further departures from the UK have been suspended up to the end of March in line with current official advice and we will continue to monitor advice in the coming weeks and update this information accordingly. It is anticipated that restrictions will be lifted to our main destinations of Greece and Croatia in time for the start of the season.
What is the situation with Travel Insurance
Where there is negative foreign office advice on travel to certain destinations, most travel insurance policies will not cover you if you travel there. However, we have identified policies that will cover you to travel and also cover you if you contract the virus before you travel in certain circumstances, whilst also offering reasonable premiums.
See this link or speak to one of our advisors for more info: Staysure Travel Insurance
If you require any specific advice or want to discuss any of the above further, feel free to call us on 0208 324 3118. You can also email us on [email protected].
We Look Forward To Welcoming You Aboard Soon!
Not the London Boat Show Offers
No boat show would be complete without a few tasty offers so take a look at these to see if any take your fancy. All offers are valid for quotes made from the beginning of the show until 31st January.
20% off the following departure dates for these 3 flotillas
Lefkas – 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd May, 6th, 13th, 20th June
Kefalonia – 16, 23rd & 30th May, 20th, 27th June
Corinth – 15th, 22nd & 29th May 5th, 12th June
10% Off the following dates Zaton Flotilla
15th, 22, 29th May & 6th June
10% Off the following dates for the Corinth Flotilla
7th & 21st August
Beach Club Offers
Level Up Weeks – Include 18 Hours of free tuition
2nd May, 26th September – £495pp
6th June – £599pp
Solo Traveller Weeks – No single supplements
9th May – £495pp
20th June – £699pp
5th September – £649
Boat Show Exclusive offers
16th & 23rd May – £449pp
4th July – £699pp
Stay & Sail Offers
Two Week Nikiana Beach Club & Flotilla Combo including flights
25th April & 2nd, 9th, 16th May
£975pp 2 share Bavaria 33
£875pp 3 share Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36i
£775pp 4 share Bavaria 37
Cabin Charter Offers
22nd, 29th May and 5th June
One way Lefkas to Corinth two weeks for the price of one, leaving 2nd May
Elan 344 – £1,100
Elan 384 – £1,322
For more information on our Virtual Boat Show click on the link below or see the rest of the site for more details on the sailing holidays we offer.
Crew Wanted! – Seafarer continues to operate flotillas in Croatia, France and Greece, as well as cabin charter in Greece and Croatia and our RYA training centres in Greece and Croatia, so we are now recruiting for a wide range of positions across all our products.
At Seafarer we pride ourselves in the quality of our crew, and our repeat clients often request them by name, which is a testament to both the quality of our crew, and of the importance of them to our clients’ holidays. As an independent company, our crew make the difference – our role is to ensure that all our clients receive an individual and personal service, something that is often hard to achieve in a larger company. From a crew point of view, this means that you aren’t just another “small cog in a large machine” but an essential part of our “family”. Like our clients, you will be treated as an individual, and have the ability to make your mark – we encourage you to think of new ideas, which can be easily heard by the small management team – good ideas will always be yours, and when practical, can be implemented quickly.
We look for crew of all ages, great for those starting in the industry after a fast track program, and also for those embarking on a new career – it’s all about people, so personable, enthusiastic and confident individuals can thrive with us, whatever their age. If you are new to the industry, then a flotilla first mate or skipper position is a fantastic place to start, whether your long term goal is to remain in the flotilla sector, or broaden your horizons into Skippered charter, instruction, superyachts or management. Like your driving license, your Yachtmaster Offshore means you are ready to learn and gain experience, and looking after a fleet of yachts on flotilla is a fast track in itself. For those looking to try something new after experiencing the fun of flotilla, then our cabin charter program might be for you – a larger yacht, more sailing and guests on board provide another set of challenges and skills to master. Click here for more information on flotilla crew vacancies – crew vacancies
If you are a RYA Cruising Instructor or Yachtmaster Instructor and the thrill of sitting in a damp yacht saloon in Osborne Bay teaching secondary port calculations is wearing a bit thin, then we have full season and freelance instructing opportunities in both Greece and Croatia. This is a chance to teach in warmer waters, and to experience a different side to RYA instruction. Our courses are run over a longer duration, so your students (and you!) get the opportunity to enjoy the social side of Mediterranean yachting, particularly as our tuition yachts generally follow the flotilla, giving students and instructors alike the chance to join in with the fun. Click here for more information – instructor vacancies
For all vacancies, we have our minimum requirements, with a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster being the minimum for skippers, and RYA instructor qualifications for both Sail Cruising and Watersports positions. You can find out all the details on all the positions available here
We are now conducting interviews at our offices in North London, so if you are keen on joining the team for the summer, drop an email, with your CV attached, to me – [email protected]
I look forward to hearing from you, and if it works out for us both, welcoming you to the team for 2021 and beyond.
Product Manager Seafarer Cruising & Sailing Holidays
Chief Instructor, Seafarer Training UK
Click here for more information on all our current vacancies, job descriptions and how to apply
We have long recognized that the Mediterranean sailing season could be much longer than it is and that the weather is suitable for sailing for all of November and into early December in parts of Greece. The same goes for February and early spring, with sunny days being the rule rather than the exception from February onwards.
It is actually flight programs to seasonal destinations that have dictated the start and finish dates in our various resorts, but with our return to the Saronic Gulf with our new base at Corinth utilizing flights into Athens, gives year-round flight availability.
We already extended our flotilla season this year with our explorer flotilla running from Corinth for the first 2 weeks of November. We are now doing the same for our Greece based RYA sailing school, moving our base from the Ionian to Lavrion, near Athens for the November to April period.
We will be operating a range of courses including the standard RYA Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and Competent Crew courses, as well as special mile builder and Yachtmaster prep voyages.
Embarkation will be from the port of Lavrion, near Athens and courses will be run aboard our spacious and comfortable Bavaria 46 with 4 cabins (2 en suites) and heating for those cooler nights. The sailing area will include the Saronic and Western Cyclades Islands as well as the Gulf of Euboea which offers strong currents of up to 5 knots, ideal for practicing tidal handling techniques.
Courses are keenly priced at just £599 for 6 days of tuition (7 nights onboard)
The course series is summarised below:
|Weekly Price||2 Week Price|
|15 & 22 November - Mile Builder - 1 or 2weeks|
|29 November - Competent Crew, Day Skipper|
|7,14 & 21 February - Competent Crew & Day Skipper|
|28 February - Competent Crew & Coastal Skipper||£599||£1139|
|7 March - Mile builder & Coastal skipper|
|14,21 & 28 March - Competent Crew & Day Skipper|
|4th April Mile Builder voyage- Lavrion to Lefkas 2 weeks||£1139|
|Single Occupancy supplement||£300||£595|
|Flights and transfers from||£195 pp|
Give us a call to discuss your training needs and preferred dates and leave the rest to us.
GREECE – LATE SUMMER BAREBOAT SPECIALS
2020 Bareboat Availability
|Boat||Available Dates 2020||From £||From €||Flotilla Supplement|
|Sun Odyssey 33i, 2014||3rd, 10th & 17th Oct||£890.00||€979.00||£290|
|Bavaria 37, 2015||26th Sept, 3rd Oct||£1,238.00||€1,361.00||£350|
|Oceanis 40, 2007||26th Sept, 10th & 17th Oct||£1,315.00||€1,446.00||£350|
|Bavaria 41, 2015||26th Sept, 3rd & 10th Oct||£1,558.00||€1,713.00||£350|
|Bavaria 46, 2016||12th Sept, 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th Oct||£1,760.00||€1,936.00||£400|
|Sun Odyssey 52.2, 2001||12th, 19th & 26th Sept, 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th Oct||£2,154.00||€2,369.00||£400|
|Bavaria 37, 2014||4th, 11th & 18th Oct||£1,238.00||€1,361.00||£350|
|Bavaria 41, 2015||11th October||£1,558.00||€1,713.00||£350|
|Sun Odyssey 33i, 2014||18th October||£890.00||€979.00||£290|
|Bavaria 37, 2015||4th October||£1,238.00||€1,361.00||£350|
|Bavaria 37, 2017||20th Sept, 4th, 11th & 18th Oct||£1,238.00||€1,361.00||£350|
|Bavaria 41, 2015||27th Sept, 4th, 11th & 18th Oct||£1,558.00||€1,713.00||£350|
5% discount for two week bookings
All boats include bed linen, towels, dinghy with outboard engine, welcome pack of provisions, end cleaning and a full domestic & safety inventory.
Plus extra discount for repeat customers. To book or for more info call us on 0208 324 3118.
From our lame excuse of a sailor, currently beached in Greece
As if the vicissitudes of lockdown were not enough for a sociable old salt, Captain Mad, our favourite man about the Seven Seas, ‘kneeded’ major surgery on his left leg at the back end of 2019, rendering him somewhat less than nimble about deck. To give the legendary old boy some respite and the chance to get some sun on his back, we packed him off to our beach club in the Ionian with strict instructions to make radio contact on a daily basis (before happy hour starts) and fill in his log.
Day 6 - MAD ABOUT THE SWANSONG
Much excitement at the beach club yesterday with honours at stake for the weekly regatta. Eavesdropping on the race briefing I discovered the course markers included a floating doughnut and an inflatable swan. All contestants were required to do was circumnavigate the doughnut and fly three times around the birdie and they’d quacked it.
A mixed flotilla of six boats lined up for the start – a few more were somewhat off the pace. The wind was blowing unsteadily at around 2 knots (ish!). As the whistle sounded, they rather floundered forward, sails gasping for air. However, by the time the first dinghy rounded the swan, some sort of pecking order had been established.
Like every regatta the Nikiana version had its own ‘je ne sais quoi’ – nobody on shore knew a thing. I wandered down to join the beach crew on the waterfront to enquire who was leading. ‘No idea,’ said Max. ‘Can’t say,’ said Hannah. ‘Does it matter?’ asked Giles. ‘Connor probably knows,’ Joe volunteered.
Just as well, thought I as Connor was sitting in the patrol boat in the middle of the water. There was a brief moment of tension when a local in a kayak and a pair on a stand-up paddleboard overtook a clutch of contestants but, in the dying breeze they soon put clear water between themselves and the field.
At pre-farewell-dinner drinks the anticipation was palpable. I mingled asking several of the contestants how they got on. ‘No idea,’ said one. ‘Can’t say,’ said a second. ‘Does it matter,’ commented a third. ‘Connor probably knows,’ Joe volunteered. It was all over when the swan sang – an appropriate end to the final event of the week.
Well obviously Conner knew – he was doing the handicap! At first when the announcement came I thought Connor said the race had been won by Batman and Robin. Made me wonder if the swan was actually The Penguin in disguise. Joking aside, it transpired that the names to be etched on the honours board were Kate and Robyn, a mother and daughter team.
Seeing as they hail from Ashbourne in Derbyshire, which must be just about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, what’s not to like about that?
Day 4 - MRS MAD ABOUT THE BUOY
The Lady of the Lagoon has landed
I’ve been keeping it under my Captain’s hat but Mrs MAD has finally made it onto the water. I have to say the waterfront crew here are simply amazing and couldn’t possibly be more helpful. None more so than Connor, who fearlessly gave the Lady of the Lagoon a quick refresher in a Laser 2000, whereby she was quickly zipping up and down across the bay on the back of a force 4 Nor’westerly. Despite being beach-bound myself it was a joy to see.
If you ever wanted proof positive that once you’ve learned to sail it’s easy to get back into a buoyancy aid and relive the experience, this was it. I haven’t often had dinghy envy in my life, but sitting in the taverna viewing proceedings through my binoculars, I would happily have crewed for her.
The other great thing about Seafarer’s Nikiana beach club is that even if you don’t sail there is so much to do. Whilst the good wife is now happily working her way towards taking her place in the weekly regatta, I am rehearsing my role as ‘kayak-taxi-uber-driver’ for a short trek across the bay to a rendezvous with pre-regatta lunch at a restaurant called ‘The Breath of Zorba’ on Saturday.
And what’s not to like about that? Just have to hope he hasn’t pigged out on the garlic.
Day 3 - ON TENTERHOOKS FOR A TENTACULAR SPECTACULAR
You only need a couple of squid!
Far have I travelled, and many a strange thing I have seen and eaten on the Seven Seas, but few things can compare with a char-grilled cephalopod. As every educated old salt worth his salt knows, the literal translation of Cephalopod from the classic languages is ‘head foot’ (never let it be said I didn’t listen to old Chug Summers at school!) And in the pantheon of ‘head feet’, amongst the 50,000-odd (and odd is indeed the word) members of the Phylum Mollusc, the Octopus and the Squid are leg-end-ary.
KEEPING OUT OF ARMS WAY IN THE PUB QUIZ
So here’s the thing – if you ever want a really killing pub quiz question, ask ‘how many legs are there on an Octopus?’ Most back-bar pundits will happily scrawl 8. Next question, ask ‘how many legs does a Squid have?’ At this stage, unless the pundits are using their mobile phones (and shame on them says MAD), they will be perplexed.
Actually, in both cases, the answer is ‘none’. Cephalopods may be called ‘head-foot’, but in fact they don’t have feet at all. Instead they have both ‘arms’ and ‘tentacles’. Then it gets even more tricky because, actually, the eight-pronged Octopus has six arms and two tentacles. Then, every single squid in the whole wide world has eight arms and two tentacles. In both cases the tentacles are shorter than the arms. Lesson over!
ARE YOU A SUCKER FOR A TENTACLE?
Anyway the point is, that last evening, Lady MAD and I enjoyed the most delicious Octopus I’ve ever eaten, just down the road from Nikiana, at a restaurant by the harbour. No idea what it had been marinated in, but the tentacle (the bit with suckers on) and a half on the plate could easily have been mistaken for lobster. Dialling-up our gastronomic lunchtime aspiration, we then lunched today a short feet-in-the-sea walk down the beach at ‘the blue and white restaurant’ on fresh squid.
Only in Nikiana with Seafarer – and what’s not to like about that?
Day 2 - FROM GOLDEN FLEECE TO GOLDEN BEACH
Captain MAD and the Argonauts
A great nation of sailors, the Greeks. Back in the day, in fact since time immemorial or even before, heroes of myth and legend set sail on adventures of derring-do. One such was Jason who, on his good ship Argo, sailed in search of a Golden Fleece – never let anybody tell you old MAD never paid attention in classic lessons with Chug Summers.
ARGONAUTICS ARE US
Having been appraised of the knackeredness of MAD’s left knee, and concomitant lack of yachting, the beach crew at Seafarer’s beach-based sailing emporium very kindly arranged for me to have a day sailing on the 34’ Elan yacht ‘Argo’ – all boded well for a day island-hopping in the wake of Jason and his crew.
IT’S ABOUT THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
I’ve always liked to sail with a diverse ship’s company. My fellow Argonauts were Si, a brewer from Leeds (always good to have a brewer on board!), Lara, a health professional from Cardiff (ditto), and Nikiana beach club supremo Joe – who looks like Poseidon’s more handsome younger brother. Not to forget of course the Lady of the Lagoon herself, Mrs MAD, who had put on hold reinventing her dinghy career for 24 hours.
LET’S START WITH THE DERRING-DON’TS
Our skipper was Lissi who started with the best safety briefing on the derring don’ts I have ever heard. It’s long been a great joy to me to see young sailors take the helm and the fact that Lissi gained her Yachtmasters five years ago at the age of 20 is a tribute to the endearing attraction of open water sailing. Actually, 4 of Seafarer’s instructors are young female Yachtmasters, a tribute to their equality policy.
In Lissi’s practised hands, all of us crewing as required, we were under canvas for a nice long beat to the neighbouring island of Meganissi. As ever the target for any seasoned salt was ‘lunch’ and we duly made land and a lazy-line mooring at a stone quayside abutting a quintessentially Greek taverna where we shared a quintessentially Greek lunch. Luckily the waiter, who looked rather like ‘Lurch’ from the Adam’s Family, spilled a glass of wine in my lap which resulted in a second carafe and watermelon ‘on the house’ – my groin may have been three sheets to the wind, but what’s not to like about that.
The good yacht Argo, complete with super-skipper Lissi, can be chartered on a day-cruise basis by any guests staying at Nikiana. The maximum crew complement is 5.
Day 1 - THE QUARICEP CONUNDRUM
Slipping up on a dodgy duckboard outside my local, The Rusty Scupper (2-4-1 pink gin for senior citizens every Tuesday and Thursday), necessitated 8 days in hospital whilst the NHS drilled holes in my kneecap and reunited it with my quadricep tendon with steel hawser. Not only a bit jippy, but it rather stymied my challenge for the Cowes’ Week round the island race this summer.
SEAFARER TO THE RESCUE
So recently I’ve become something of a lame excuse of a sailor. Luckily help was at hand from the good folk at Seafarer who found space for me at Nikiana, their beach club on the beautiful island of Lefkas, beach-based sailing central a-go-go. Hence, I sit here writing this whilst looking across a bay of brilliant translucent water, under azure skies and a benevolent sun, as a mild Force 3 breeze ruffles sails inshore.
THE LADY OF THE LAGOON
Much as I’d love to get back into a dinghy, the knackered knee- simply won’t bend enough to get under a boom. But there is another agenda – it’s time to get the good Lady MAD back onto the water under sail. She has long claimed a heritage of a winning career in Mirror Dinghies and Lasers back in the day, but has staunchly avoided taking the helm for the last decade or four. So, with the kind support of Giles, Hannah, Lizzie and the beach crew here I’m sending her back to sea!
MY PLANS TO BE A SUPER-SUPPER
For me I’m going for a more straightlaced and straight-legged experience – I’m going to try one of these new-fangled ‘Stand Up Paddleboards’ which seem all the rage. They look a bit tricky to mount but I’m hoping to find my feet by the end of the week – so watch this space for daily reports.
ALSO ON THE AGENDA…
We’ve just had souvlaki and salad for lunch, washed down with a couple of ouzos – what’s not to love? This afternoon we’re swimming and chilling and tonight it’s the welcome party (suitably socially distanced in every way). Tomorrow we take to the water. It’s a whole new normal!
For more information or availability, you are welcome to call one of our sales consultants on 0208 324 3118.
Four Days exploring the Gulf of Corinth
So there I was, standing on an empty ferry quay in Aigio when suddenly a very large Seafarer Flag rounded the headland. Minutes later I stepped aboard Eugenia and was greeted by a warm welcome from the Saronic Gulf & Corinth Canal Flotilla lead crew.
I had travelled to the harbour on the North Coast of the Peloponnese in order to spend 3 days taking photos & video of Seafarer’s brand new route. In fact, due to travel restrictions, this was only the second week of running! We had 4 days to cruise back to the base taking in the atmosphere of the Gulf of Corinth.
Located on a small island just off the coast of the Greek mainland, this village boasts a large harbour on one side, and on the other is a wonderful, relaxed bay which faces the mainland and is surrounded by small restaurants and a church on the western end. I only had an hour to explore this small village but wished I had longer to while away the time around the bay, hike in the hills, swim in the crystal clear waters and really relax away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The harbour was huge for a place of its size, offering plenty of space for easy mooring. I was also struck by how great it would be for families with lots of fun opportunities for activities in a small, tucked away setting.
After a bit of motoring and a cracking sail we started approaching the town of Galaxidi. The town sits in a natural harbour surrounded by mountains and numerous islands making for a stunning approach with the sun just entering golden hour. We kept our sails up until the last minute before heading in to take a look at the seafront which rises towards a wonderful church at the highest point. We moored on the town quay and the lead crew had a bit of a chat with the guests. I headed out on a paddleboard to have a look around the harbour while watching an old gaff-rigged sailing dinghy crisscrossing the bay.
The dipping of the sun behind the mountain signalled that it was time for a beer. We settled down for a cold one (oor two) whilst watching the mountains of the bay turn pink with the setting sun.
After waking up early to take some shots of the town, we set off on a calm Greek morning to the port of Antikira. It is set in a natural harbour and boasts a small quay with a traditional lighthouse on the end. We moored up in the crystal clear waters and were greeted by local boys having a great time diving in and swimming in the harbour. We only spent a short time in the town but we were made very welcome wherever we went.
Another decent sail took us to the uninhabited Alkyonides Islands at the eastern end of the Gulf of Corinth where we anchored in a wonderful bay with our guests and two other boats. There are 3 islands in the archipelago and the largest boasts an abandoned monastery and what looks like a small fort! Depending on the wind direction there are a number of anchorages but beware as the two islands are linked by very shallow waters.
Upon anchoring, we immediately launched the dinghy and went for a bit of an explore and a snorkel. There were some amazing rock formations where the two islands joined and the waters were clear & turquoise. The setting sun reminded us to head back to the boat where we spent a happy night gently rocked to sleep at anchor.
Back to Corinth
As we were not in a rush to leave we took the opportunity to swim in the clear seas and get some diving practice before beginning the 15nm trip back to Corinth in a light wind. On our way we stopped to peek through the Corinth Union Canal to Lake Vouliagmeni. A great spot to anchor up and explore. On arrival back in Corinth it was time to back up hard drives and get ready for the final group meal in a lovely small family taverna just out of the centre of the city.
Having never sailed in the Corinthian Gulf before I was surprised at the range of amazing destinations to visit and how quiet it was. Hours would go by without seeing another yacht and even the busiest destination, Galixidi was quiet with lots of space on the quay. Despite having a thriving maritime history this area is so often overlooked and therefore is great for those looking to explore an area less well known but with all the usual charm found all anywhere in Greece. The sailing was mixed: most days started quite still but picked up to around 20kts later in the afternoon. One thing that was instantly noticeable was how flat the sea state was even when the wind increased. I’m not sure why this was but it made for some very comfortable sailing.
I would like to thank Callum and Louise for having me on their boat, the lovely Eugenia for three nights and I look forward to joining them in a few weeks to see the Saronic Gulf.
For more information or availability, you are welcome to call one of our sales consultants on 0208 324 3118.
Coronavirus Safety Measures
We would love you to enjoy your holiday with us, and in these unusual times, we would like to make you aware of the measures that we are taking to minimise the risks to you and your party when travelling. You will receive some additional more comprehensive information from us in your ticket pack before you travel, but here are the main steps we are taking to help keep you safe.
In-resort, all our base personnel, transfer drivers, airport representatives and other staff will be fully briefed and trained on personal protective measures and will comply, where practically possible, with all recommended and required additional local safety measures. As everyone knows, these rules and regulations change regularly, so please be aware that additional measures may be in place when you travel, and hopefully, they will decrease soon and become a thing of the past, with brighter times ahead.
- All yachts will be sanitised and disinfected before check-in
- Unfortunately, we won’t have snorkels and masks on yachts – feel free to bring your own
- Anti-bacterial handwash and hand sanitising gel will be provided on all yachts
- Masks and gloves will be available if you don’t bring your own
- Lifejackets will be sanitised and kept ashore between each charter
- Bed linen and towels will be delivered in sealed bags directly from the laundry.
- Yacht briefings, check-in will be conducted in the open air on deck.
In addition to the above:
- All briefings will be in the open air with appropriate distancing measures in place
- We will advise against guests visiting other yachts during the flotilla
- For group meals, there will be individual tables outside
- There will be take away & delivery options available at all stops
- There will be a programme of activities such as quiz nights, kids activities and visits to points of interest with appropriate social distancing measures in place
Training Yachts & Cabin Charter
We’ll be employing all the measures detailed in the yacht section, as well as:
- All briefings will be in the open air with appropriate distancing measures in place
- We will advise against guests visiting other yachts during the flotilla or voyage
- For group meals, there will be individual tables outside.
- There will be take away & delivery options available at all stops
- On training yachts, the saloon berth will not be available to book.
- Disposable masks, gloves and hand santitser will be available onboard if guests don’t have their own.
Nikiana Beach Club
The total number of guests in the hotel will not exceed 75% of total capacity to aid social distancing
- All rooms will be cleaned to the standards set by the Ministry of Tourism
- All check-ins will be conducted outside
- All TV and air conditioning remote controls will have special covers
- All restaurant staff will wear the correct PPE as designated by the local authorities
- We won’t be using buffet service but instead serving to tables
- Tables will be further apart to allow for social distancing but the kitchen hours will be lengthened to allow for this
- Hand sanitiser will be available at all times
- We will have a booking system for sunbeds and disinfect each day
- Sunbeds will be grouped with two metres between each group
- The swimming pool will be limited to 10 people at one time
- Guests will be encouraged to use the toilets in their rooms
- ll briefings will be conducted in smaller groups with social distancing
- When queueing for boats social distancing will be in place
- Dinghies & other equipment will be disinfected after each use
- Guests will get a buoyancy aid for the entirety of their stay
- When ferrying to mooring boats just one group plus driver
- Teaching will mainly be conducted from a powerboat
- All European aircraft have had their cabin air filtration systems upgraded to the equivalent of operating theatre standards whilst air is renewed every few minutes. Masks must be worn on board at all times
- All airport transfer will adhere to government regulations on social distancing and masks must be worn
- Private transfers are available on request
- Quarantine requirements have been lifted in both directions of travel (UK from July 19th) in all main Mediterranean destinations.
- Sample COVID 19 testing is implemented at some airports on arrival. If you are selected, you will be asked to stay in your accommodation for up to 24 hours to await the test results and all clear. This will be a small sample of arrivals.
We hope we can start removing some of these measures as soon as we are able, but in the meantime we will keep you updated as often as possible.
The Seafarer Team
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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.