Charter cruises in a group - sailing in a charter flotilla. Instead of sailing on your own, you set sails for your sailing holiday in the company of many like-minded people on the other boats in the flotilla. The growing success of this way to organize charter holidays is a simple equation: common goals times community experience equals a high fun factor.
Flotilla cruises today are nothing at all like just one boat sailing in the wake of the other. Individual expectations and ideas of all participants are taken into account and included in the planning of the joint charter holiday. And there is ample room for individual activities if wanted. The organizers just take care of a feasible general schedule and that participants are not overburdened. What proves them right is that flotilla sailors are quite often repeat offenders.
Ideal for boating newcomers
Flotilla sailing offers a variety of advantages: The organisation and planning of the sailing holiday are basically taken care of by the organiser. There is a prepared programme of activities and events which will be adapted to the groups wishes along the way. The skippers of the participating yachts are in controll of sailing their boat as far as they want but do not have to take sole responsibility of the ship and crew as the flotilla captain is always nearby as a contact person or support if required. This makes flotilla sailing an ideal offer for newcomers who still need to gain more sailing experience.
Northern Sporades are a perfect destination
Some destinations are particularly suitable for joint sailing cruises as they are either particularly protected or are known as not particularly windy. The northern Sporades in the Aegean, for example. Here, there is still a possibility of Meltemi winds in the summer months but due to the short distances between the islands, which also lie cross to the prevailing wind direction, a beautiful part of Greece can be explored in a flotilla which would probably remain closed to the individual with too little practical sailing experience.
Beautiful bays to lay at anchor
No less popular is the Ionian Sea on the west coast of Greece. Many beautiful anchorages south of Corfu are a regular destination for sailing flotillas in the summer. Along the southern coast of Turkey, beginners benefit predominantly from the protection of the highlands and coastal mountains. Modertae thermal breezes promise relaxed sailing here. And in parts of Croatia, the islands are often so close together that the coastal cruise almost resembles sailing on a larger inland waterway. Favourable circumstances under which even the almost untrained sailors can find an uncomplicated as well as pleasurable entry into the wide world of boating.
Individual cabin charter is available
Apart from chartering a complete yacht in a flotilla, on almost all flotilla cruises single berth or cabin charter is available for a few sailors. Whether in a flotilla or on yachts sailing on their own, almost the entire choice of sailing destinations world wide is open to you today - from the Danish South Seas to the wonderful world of Caribbean islands like the British Virgin Islands or Grenadines to the dreamlike and remote Pacific atolls. It is just your choice!
"Sailing Groups" - together on your own
Together on your own - that is probably the shortest way to summarize the idea of so-called "sailing groups", a variant of flotilla sailing. These events are characterised by a high degree of individual programme options. Depending on the ideas of the participants, not much more than the general scope and course of the trip are defined, yachts booked and the journey organised jointly. Those who finally want to set the course together or go their own way until the return journey often decide so only after arriving at the charter base - mostly overseas. One thing is for sure, however, if necessary, helping hands are always nearby.
Competitive Fun Regattas
Fun regattas, which have been established on the market for over a dozen years, are a much more organised form of sailing in a group. Apart from the competitive aspect, they contain all the essential elements of a flotilla, though mostly on a larger scale: a common sailing schedule and organized conviviality for sometimes several hundred participants. In addition, they offer an extra dose of thrill that is so important for many sailors, especially on holiday. Even though the rules of the race are often relaxed, there are still fierce battles for podium places.
Individual booking is available
And just by the way: Even with this competitive variant of flotilla sailing there are regularly places for individual bookers available on participating yachts. So you do not have to wait until your own crew is complete. This is another reason why the range of fun regattas continues to grow. Once intended as an additional service for weaker booking phases, they are now an integral part of the local event calendars. From Turkey, the Aegean and Croatia to the Balearic Islands - there are hardly any Mediterranean areas that are excluded from fun racing competitions. Of course there are also fun regattas in the Caribbean and other overseas destinations.
Pure sailing romantics
And even in the Netherlands fun regattas are being organised. By the way, our neighbours offer flotilla fans perhaps the most unusual sailing experiences together - a cruise with small flat and round-bottomed yachts of traditional design from Friesland through the IJsselmeer to the Waddenzee. Those who were previously used only to standard serial yachts have to rethink considerably at sea and in port. Leeboards have to be operated and instead of furling sails you now handle peak halyards and gaff jaws. But there is pure seafarer romance and a deep insight into the sailing of bygone days. Single berths are also available for charter.
Clear trend towards flotilla sailing
Charter flotillas - whether near or far, relaxed or competitive - are perhaps the best way for many leisure and holiday sailors to enjoy boating. Simply to gain experience safely before you cast off the lines on your own responsibility for the first time, or simply to have more fun in a large group. The success proves the organizers of these sailing holidays right for years. With the increasing number of offers available it is already foreseeable today that the trend to flotilla sailing is far from over. It is rather set to become a hit.
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