Praise your way through the Greek Islands
Sailing through the sun-drenched Mediterranean archipelago of the Greek Islands feels utterly heavenly. Cruise lines such as Costa, MSC, Norwegian and Holland America offer regular sailings to popular Greek destinations. It can be tempting to book a cabin on one of their giant ships and be done. With current travel precautions, taking a trip with a few hundred (or thousands) of your closest new friends to relatively nearby neighborhoods may not seem like the most appealing option. Why not navigate less traveled waters and charter (rent) your trip through the Greek Islands?
The advantage of chartering a vessel
Price. Renting a private sailboat, houseboat, yacht or catamaran may not be as expensive as you think. While you might not be able to buy something like a celebrity, weekly rental prices during the off-season can be reasonable, depending on your budget. If you share the cost with your fellow travelers, it can make the price even more acceptable. Of course, the more luxurious the ship and the time of year can drive up the price.
Crowd control. When you charter a private boat, you control the guest list. If you have a large family and don’t want to get lost in the crowds, this is a great travel option to consider. Or, if you want to stay small with your favorite friends, most sailboats can accommodate up to 12 people. You can be as loud or as quiet as you want.
Hidden treasures of the island. Greece has over 170 inhabited islands, but most visitors only go to the more popular islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Corfu and a few others. By renting a sailboat, you can create a tailor-made itinerary. Cruise through smaller and lesser-known islands and discover Greece’s hidden gems.
How to start
One of the first things you’ll want to do is figure out how long you want to sail and, most importantly, what your budget is. From here you can search for the different types of ships available. Sailboats and catamarans tend to be the more affordable options. If you can enjoy a little luxury and chic, there are various private yachts available. There are plenty of boats available for charter for those who prefer to order their own boat and are experienced sailors. Many charter companies also offer courses for those who may be a bit rusty in their sailing skills or want to learn.
Are you traveling with a large group? No problem! Several companies offer flotilla vacations, a group of boats that travel the same route at the same time together. Sites like Zizoo and Sunsail are great places to start planning your adventures.