Month: May 2022

Why should you choose a skippered sailing holiday charter in Greece?

Zorba greece Saronic island sailing

Adventure travellers Sarah and Matt explain why they those chose a stress-free all-inclusive skippered sailing holiday to enjoy the very best of Greece’s blue water sailing in the Saronic Gulf.

“The aeroplane doors opened in Athens and we were bathed by wall of Greek heat. After two years of limited travel options, we couldn’t wait for our skippered sailing holiday in Greece to begin. 

After a short taxi ride, we jumped on a ferry from the bustling port of Piraeus’ to meet sailing yacht Zorba on the island of Aegina; the heart of the Saronic Gulf. Skippers Aga and Greg were waiting to meet us on the harbour front with beaming smiles and open arms. They were as happy to see us as we were to see them. Their love for sailing in Greece was clear to see from the moment we exchanged pleasantries and had a quick tour of the boat and we were already beginning to see why they come back here year after year. 

Offering fully catered, skippered charters in Greece is something a little different from the iconic flotilla charter that it is known for but Aga and Greg are passionate about showing their guests the true authentic Greece and sharing their local knowledge – something you just don’t get from bareboat hire or a group flotilla. From finding deserted desert islands with only wild deer and peacocks for residents to the relationships they’ve forged with the locals and traditional tavernas; their passion for the culture and lifestyle is infectious. 

Polish couple Aga and Greg make the voyage. A sailing couple for over six years, they own and sail Zorba, a beneteau Cyclades 50.5 and spend their summers living aboard while they sail and explore the Saronic Islands and the lesser Cyclades with guests. With four double cabins, a twin bunk and generous saloon area, sailing yacht Zorba was the perfect floating base for us to explore Greece. She has a great space on deck for dining alfresco lunches under sail, sunbathing on deck or the option for full shade under the cockpit. A swim ladder and transom shower were perfectly positioned for the multiple swims throughout the day in a variety of azure blue anchorages.

For those wanting to learn more about sailing a modern yacht in Greece under the guidance of a professional skipper and instructor, we couldn’t have asked to be in better hands than with Greg. Having spent many years sail racing in the Baltic, he traded his fast paced corporate life, bought a boat, headed for Greece and has remained sailing here ever since. He quips that ”at the point in the year I have to wear socks – this is a disaster for me“.

Aga, a film producer turned sailor, cannot do enough for guests. Appearing every morning with a beaming smile and an enormous bowl of fresh fruits, yoghurts and nuts, she would then ring ahead to ensure we were booked into the best local taverna at each anchorage. It’s clear to see why Aga and Greg have a loyal following of returning customers – there really is nothing they won’t do for their guests.

We spent a lot of time researching the sail area in Greece and looking at our options for hiring a boat ourselves. Having done a small amount of local coastal sailing over the years, we just couldn’t get our heads around the idea of being responsible for an entire boat ourselves, route planning, weather watching and catering for ourselves while still trying to enjoy the scenery and making time to relax.

 

Sailing and island hopping in the Saronic islands, we were pretty much guaranteed good sailing with the meltimi winds making Greece one of the best warm weather sailing destinations in the world. With the consistant winds and small tidal range, exploring the Greek islands by boat makes for safe sailing. That being said, it gets shallow quickly, everything is done on a who-you-know not what you know basis in Greece and with harbouring to stern being the norm in most ports – we just couldn’t imagine being responsible for our own boat and still being able to completely relax.

Choosing a fully catered and skippered yacht charter in Greece meant we were able to get the perfect balance of learning the ropes and sailing holiday relaxation without the responsibility of our own boat.

Greece is well known for its sunshine sailing in the travel industry and boat world. But VentureSail Holidays are offering something a little different with their fully catered, skippered charter sailing holidays. Staying away from the flotilla towns and tourist hotspots, sailing with Zorba in the Saronic islands and the Cyclades offers so much more than just a bareboat charter. A safe, stress-free environment to learn the ropes under the guidance of a professional skipper mixed with the local knowledge of the best anchorages, swim spots and traditional Tavernas really pays testament to Aga and Greg’s years of accumulated knowledge and easily answers the question of why a skippered yacht charter is the best way to sail in Greece.”

Why you should join us for the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival!

Falmouth Classics Parade of sail

Following two years’ of virtual festivities, we are absolutely thrilled that the acclaimed Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival is returning for 2022, running alongside the thrilling Falmouth Classics from 17th – 19th of June. The festival draws visitors in their thousands and this year is set to be the biggest and best in its 19 year history. If you have yet to experience it, here’s why you should join us!

IT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MARITIME MUSIC FESTIVALS IN EUROPE

Whilst a fairly bold claim, the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival is indeed one of Europe’s largest maritime musical festival and it has the added bonus of being completely free! Festival-goers can wander the streets of this harbourside town, marvelling in it’s rich maritime history whilst admiring the picturesque waterside views. As night falls, sounds of deep, hearty singing begins as over 70 shanty groups share their songs and stories. With over 20 official festival venues to explore and 700 performers to admire, there is plenty to see and do!

almouth Sea-shanty

THERE’S PLENTY OF FUN TO BE HAD, BOTH ON AND OFF THE WATER!

As the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival coincides with the Falmouth Classics, there is so much for visitors to soak up. The Falmouth Classics is an esteemed three-day spectacle which sees a regatta of racing, parades and variety of onshore events. Take to the water on one of our vessels to participate in the racing or simply experience the action with the wind in your hair and spray on your face. Alternatively, head to one of the many onshore vantage points to feast your eyes on the exhilirating sailing as well as the magnificent parade of sail. Be sure to have cameras at the ready!

KEEPING THE HISTORY OF SEA SHANTIES ALIVE

With over 700 performers from around the world, the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival was founded in 2003 with the desire to keep the history of the sea alive through sea shanties, songs of the sea and local Cornish songs. For those new to shanties, they originate as a collective folk song, traditionally sung to accompany the rhythym of labour onboard larger sailing vessels, generally on British and European ships. Whilst the exact origins have been lost in the history of time, it is thought they can be traced back at least as far as the mid-1400’s as a working song. Traditionally there would be a lead solo singer, or ‘shantyman’, who would lead the singing with the crew joining in for the chorus. Known to bring a sense of fun, a ‘shantyman’ was often said to be worth two pairs of hands on board, so successful were they in maintaining morale and increasing productivity. Today, hearing these songs, one is certainly reminded of times gone by, the ballads often heartwarming, lifting the spirits and bonding and connecting us as one – which is exactly what they were designed to do.

We have several of our vessels joining this year, including one as a private charter with others offering some post-regatta sailing. Here are some of our classic sailing boats that will be heading to Falmouth for thia fantastic weekend;