For some reason the idea of sailing during a vacation seems like a far-fetched dream for most people. Images of celebrity yachts or perhaps cramped cabins and seasickness seem to be first thing to come to mind. But, sailing is actually quite accessible and you may be surprised to learn what a great way it is to really experience islands and coastal destinations.
Travelers are discovering what people in the boating world have known for a long time: bare-boat charters. A bare-boat charter is essentially like renting a car- you rent a boat and sail it for a specific amount of time, and plan to return it on a certain date. So what’s needed? Well, at least one person on board needs to have sailing experience and certification. This person will be the captain, and will need support from one or more crew members. Don’t have sailing experience? Consider enlisting the help of a sailing friend or relative!
Perhaps the best part about chartering a boat (or catamaran, for a super luxurious experience), is that it is now much less expensive than in the past. Companies like LateSail Ltd. are doing for boating what Expedia, Orbitz and other online travel agencies do for airlines; they now sell unsold inventory for a fraction of the price. This means that travelers can charter a boat for great per-person rates.
While on board, all accommodations are taken care of. Boat berths are quite comfortable, with very luxurious options available from top boat-makers like Jeanneau and Beneteau. Catamarans generally offer passengers their own ‘suites’, with private bathrooms to boot.
If you’re able to leave on relatively short notice, you can take advantage of even better last-minute rates. And this doesn't mean you have to get to your location within a week. Short notice for bare-boat charters can be up to 6 months.
There’s simply nothing like the sun and fresh sea air to rejuvenate your soul, so if you've always wanted to go on a sailing vacation, now is the time!
Guest Article by: Nyima Sonia Bieber