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Old 20 October 2014, 13:46   #1
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Flotilla Holidays

It's mine and Mrs W's big birthdays next year and I wanted to take my family away on a special holiday. (2 adults and 2 kids)

Looking into a Flotilla Sailing holiday, the trouble is that I've never sailed before and everyone on here will take the piss I've found this website that seems quite good?

Home

Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with this type of holiday???

Cost is a factor so how much do these things end up costing?

Thanks in advance
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Old 20 October 2014, 14:11   #2
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My parents, brother and I went on a 1-week flotilla with Sailing Holidays in 2008, out of Fiskardo, Kefalonia.

I couldn't fault them. It was perhaps the best holiday I've ever been on.

That company in particular didn't require you to do a week of mooring practice either, which was good. We were one very good dinghy sailor, two ex-sailors and one non-sailor, but didn't have any yacht experience, and had no trouble at all. I think they offered help for those with no sailing experience.
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Old 20 October 2014, 14:36   #3
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We've done plenty of charter holidays, but always bareboat. The few times we have joined in with flotillas for a day or so, we've never really enjoyed it as much. We find with a flotilla the emphasis always seems to be on getting somewhere quickly (often not very far away), mooring up on a town quay, hitting the beach to play football, find a bar, etc., which isn't what we want.

We don't want to cross oceans, and indeed only aim to sail max of half of every day, but do want to explore some of the area we are in, see how far we can get, spend some time ashore walking in the villages (and preferably the coastline/country/hills), and like a nice quiet cove to anchor in at the end of the day.

But I can imagine that with a young family, having other boats/children and organised activities might be a good thing, the ability to step ashore off the boat mosts nights may be a positive and having a support boat with engineer/staff is a comforting thought!

Price varies wildly according to where you want to go, what season, what boat, and when you book. As a rule, boats are plentiful in Greece and Turkey and flights are regular/cheap, so those are probably the cheapest desitinations, and do have some lovely areas to sail in. Croatia typically slightly more expensive, but is one of my favourite places with loads of wonderful islands to explore. With all the stupid flight taxes Caribbean more expensive again, but deals can be occasionally found. If only a 1 week holiday, far easier (and cheaper) to go somewhere with a direct flight and avoid the inter-island planes. Exotics (Seychelles and the like) even more expensive!

In general with costs, remember to include things like fuel (some charge you a set fee, others just ask you to fill up the tank at the end), food (flotillas will often eat out more than traditional cruisers like us!), water (some Greek islands will charge for a water tank fill as it's so scarce), mooring fees, cruising permit/paperwork, insurance, outboard hire, etc. Although we've never used them, Sailing Holidays used to have a very good reputation, so I'm sure they'd take you through all this (and more!) if you give them a call.

We always take a basic load of food with us (as many charter yacht bases have limited shopping facilities within easy reach), top up at supermarket as soon as we can, and hopefully markets/local shops every day for fresh bread, fruit, etc., and maybe eat out once or twice a week. Anchoring in quiet coves just around the corner from the main harbour often avoids any charges. Or especially in Greece, many restaurants have quays that are free overnight if you then eat there. With our method of cruising, I'd say we probably allow something like max of 150/person/week (all adults) above the cost of the boat/flights.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 20 October 2014, 16:07   #4
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Great replies, thanks so much.

I've seen one that has caught my eye and as always it will be tough as it has to be in school holiday times and many of the boats are for 2 weeks only during that time....

But the Kefalonia one week looks good?

Kefalonia Flotilla

The boat will be a Beneteau 323 (looks BIG!)

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Old 20 October 2014, 17:08   #5
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Congratulations on the big 50
Big thumbs up on Sailing Holidays we did a 2 week Ionian sea a few years back on a Beneteau 331s with 3 kids and if I went again I would want a bigger boat (as the kids have doubled in size since then!) it was one of our best holidays we only really spent money on eating out and buying food every thing ells was included fuel, mornings, insurance I looked around and as I have no sailing qualification this did limit us to how we could go with! But was very happy with our choice. We went towards the end of August and it was very hot as you would expect but a wonderful holiday that we all talk about still 4 years on.
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Old 20 October 2014, 17:14   #6
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I've pretty much done that exact Kefalonia route on a yacht from the Sunsail Vounaki base a few years ago. Winds in that area generally very calm, picking up in the afternoon (if at all!), so you might do more motoring than sailing.

But plenty of nice anchorages or little town quays, depending on what you want - the dreaded Med mooring isn't nearly as hard as people make out! Certainly a very good area for an easy first charter.

I remember walking up a hill on the west side of Ithaca to find the lost Cave of Loizos, and being rather disappointed with the cave, and more entertained by their translation skills!
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Old 21 October 2014, 02:38   #7
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Sailing is great !, and I say that as a committed petrol head/powerboater.
While you probably have good boat/nav/sea skills already , sailing is a whole new skill set to get to grips with !. I recon that you would be wise to do an RYA course to get the bassics, before going to sea with the familly.
RYA dinghy courses can be found on your doorstep at south cerney.

South cerney sailing club run regular RYA courses, the instructors are good as are the facilitys.
HTH.
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Old 21 October 2014, 10:52   #8
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Quote:
But the Kefalonia one week looks good?
That's pretty much the same route we did: Fiskardo, Euphemia, then straight to Vathi I think. Then the island next to Sivota and Nidri, which is called Meganisi; we stopped there and liked it so much we went back there for a land-based holiday the following year (we did hire a small powerboat, though). Then Sivota, and back to Fiskardo.

Same type of yacht too, if I remember rightly. It's looks big, but it's not too intimidating, and we found it easy enough to handle both under sail and motor. More windage than a RIB, obviously, but an experienced powerboat helm like yourself shouldn't have any trouble with that at all.

We had a mix of short days and longer ones: Fiskardo–Euphemia was a nice, simple run down the channel with the winds from behind, so quite simple sailing, and a good way of getting to know the boat. Vathi–Meganisi was longer and a little more demanding if you felt confident to push the boat a little harder beating upwind.

There was a target time to get to the next port, if I remember rightly. That was set so you could go straight to the next stop, or anchor for an hour or two in a sheltered bay on the way for lunch, enjoy yourself sailing, etc.
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Old 21 October 2014, 12:47   #9
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Looks Great Mate...I know a lot of people that have done the same sort of Family Holiday...and they ALL loved it
Just hope the Bug doesn't bite too deep!
Bit of shock....Harvey Nicks..AFTER Lidel's
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Old 21 October 2014, 15:20   #10
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You will need an ICC (international certificate of competence) for sailing in Greece. its a state law!! We sailed a similar route this summer and it was great but predominately very low winds. We went with Sunsail (love or hate them) and had a Jeanneau 42, which was very well appointed with good, functional kit.

There's some great places to visit and if you are a rookie a flot would be good, but is limiting if you want to be more independent. We've done both, the kids love flot, the wife and I like a bit more freedom. However, there's nothing like having some help for putting lazy lines onto a thorny tree, above a sea urchin covered rock from the comfort of your own cockpit!!
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