Greece is a magnificent country that offers so much to travelers including a rich history, fabulous scenery, wonderful food, and warm people. There are so many great places to visit including such iconic places as Santorini and Mykonos. Athens with its’ gleaming Parthenon also offers so much for visitors along with many other great islands including Crete, the largest island.
Private yachting in Greece is also very special considering all the great islands that one can visit and explore during a 7-night itinerary. Itineraries that can include both Santorini and Mykonos, but also include such gems as Paros, Milos, Sifnos, and Poros, to name just a few.
In my current research for a group with this travel in mind, I thought it would make for a great blog this week since there are so many different aspects to planning a private yachting adventure in Greece.
Of course, first and foremost, I’ve found some knowledgeable people to work with who know the ins and outs of the various vessel options, itinerary considerations, timing and pricing, crew management options and everything else that’s required to consider for this different mode of travel.
From the standpoint of the various vessels, you can go with the smaller catamarans similar to those used in the BVI’s (British Virgin Islands) and other Caribbean destinations or you can go with a faster, more luxurious option like the motorized yachts, that ultimately look as though they’re only affordable for the ‘rich and famous’. Fortunately, the latter is a myth when you have a group that has some degree of means and they can be a very affordable option.
In between, these 2 options are the typically Greek, oftentimes wooden ‘motorsailers’, that are also available but tend not to be as luxurious or comfortable an option for those discerning travelers that I tend to work with most of the time.
Two extra cost factors that are part of the equation with private yachting in Greece include the VAT and the APA. The VAT refers to the Value Added Tax that can run anywhere between 6.5% up to 24% depending on the size of the yacht, amount of hire time, and other licensing considerations. The APA is short for “Advanced Provisioning Allowance” that is payable in advance and enables the yacht crew to pay for all expenses during the charter. Items such as food, beverages, fuel, port fees and any other costs that they may require while under charter. Both of these added expenses are a straight percentage of the actual charter price for each yacht.
What’s great about these accounts is that they tend to cover, in full, the majority of expenses so that it’s largely ‘all inclusive’ for all passengers. If there’s any residual at the end of the charter, clients, of course are returned the balance or this money can be used to help pay for the 10-15% recommended gratuities for the crew at the end of the charter. These gratuities are on the base charter rate only, before the VAT and APA expenses.
Some of these yachts have various sizes and room/bed configurations that can allow for more flexibility with guests to determine individual pricing and needs for the charter. Other yachts, including most catamarans tend to have more equal accommodation so that everyone traveling can pay an equivalent amount for the charter.
Timing for these yacht charters is from May to October, with the pricing lower on the shoulders of the season and more during the peak summertime months of July and August. If sailing in the popular Cycladic region, the winds tend to become stronger throughout the summer months though so you may have to consider another more sheltered area at this time. Late June/early September may be the best timing for this region since the water does warm up after the summer months, particularly if you're wanting to enjoy the pleasure of swimming.
The other wonderful aspect of private yachting in Greece is the ability to go at your own pace. Of course, you need to rely on the advice of the Captain, based on the weather and his knowledge and overall recommendations in order to get the most out of your experience. All vessels tend to have some form of fun water toys including such things as a motorized tender, water skis, snorkeling & fishing gear, jet ski, wakeboards, SUPs, and various other inflatable water toys.
So, if you’re interested in considering a yachting experience such as this just about anywhere in the world, let me know and I’d be happy to help you work through all the mechanics of it. It really is such a great opportunity to do something different to what you may be used to doing, just like the rich and famous! LOL!