Greece flotilla: 7-night Greek Cyclades flotilla

There can be many logistics involved when you choose to do a yacht charter or flotilla sailing holiday. Whether you choose to do a bareboat or a join the flotilla fun, this handy guide full of charter information should answer many of your questions. If not, then our sailing industry experts are here to help. 

Types of yacht

CATAMARAN

 

MONOHULL

A catamaran has two hulls with cabins in the side hulls or pontoons. The hulls are joined together by a central large area in the middle, an exterior seated area at the back and in some cases netted trampoline areas at the front. Catamaran's are great for the fun social space but they don't sail as well and can be a little bouncy.   A monohull has one wide hull with cabins accessed from a main salon area below deck, the cabins tend to fill the front and the back of the space. Monohulls are made for great sailing and have a deep heavy keel under the water so are very stable even when healing over. 

Yacht charter costs explained

A yacht will have the basic charter rate fee but like hiring a car, there are additional mandatory costs. 

Refundable security deposit or damage waiver

All yachts require a security deposit, damage waiver payment or a combination of both to insure them while on charter. A refundable security deposit is authorized by credit card or left in cash upon arrival at the base. The amount is a deductable and any damage to the yacht will be deducted up to the total amount authorised which can be in the thousands.  A damage waiver is a non-refundable charge based on a much smaller day amount. It is charged even if no damages occur to the yacht, however it offers piece of mind that even if the yacht is a right off after damages, you will only incur that cost. Damage waiver payments can greatly reduce or eliminate the security deposit amount. Full insurance details will be provided with a quotation for any yacht.

End-cleaning or charter pack

This is a one off fee. In some instances it can be paid in advance and will have a mandatory starter pack added on which will include some basic supplies.

Fuel

Is not included in yacht charter pricing. You will be given a yacht full of fuel and you will be expected to refuel upon arrival back at the base at the end of the charter. You can pay by credit card.

Water

Fresh water is not included in a yacht charter pricing. Yacht water tanks will be full upon arrival but you will be expected to fill as you go along. You can return the yacht with empty tanks.

Transit Log

This is something charged in Croatia and Turkey and is normally paid with end cleaning either in advance or upon arrival at the base.

Tourist tax or cruising tax

This is a tax per person normally added in Croatia and Caribbean destinations. It is paid upon arrival at the base or in some instances paid in advance with the yacht price.

Optional extra costs

Outboard

Some yachts include an outboard engine free of charge and for others there is an additional charge. You can expect to pay approximately 80 Euros per week in Europe. For Caribbean and other tropical destinations outboards tend to be included in the yacht price.

Skipper fees

Professional skipper fees are charged by the day and you will be expected to cover all meal costs for the skipper in addition to the daily fee. You can expect to pay around 150 Euros per day in Europe, 200 USD in the Caribbean and 240 USD in the Pacific. 

Flotilla fees

Joining a flotilla is a great idea if you enjoy and want to sail a yacht yourself but are a little unsure of the waters and the best things to see and do on land. We offer a flotilla in Greece and Croatia every other year.  The flotilla fees are added to the yacht charter fee - see more details below and at our flotilla pages.

One-way fees

In some destinations it is possible to pick up and drop off a yacht at different bases. There will be a one-way fee added to the yacht price. Yachts joining a flotilla may not be able to do a one way drop off.

Provisioning

Provisions are not included and all items additional to food also need to be purchased such as cleaning supplies and food condiments such as salt and pepper. In general, most marinas offer mini markets or larger supermarkets nearby. In some cases it is possible to pre-order some or all of your provisions. We will provide full provisioning details for your chosen location at the time of booking. 

Mooring and anchoring

Port fees are paid locally so not included in the charter rate. Mediterranean ports generally have yachts reverse and stern to the wharf or dock. This is known as Med mooring. There is limited anchoring off shore and few mooring balls (it is often too deep to anchor safely off shore). Some ports offer lazy lines for mooring.  In the Pacific, Caribbean and South East Asia mooring is generally by mooring ball or anchor. 

Joining a flotilla in Greece

We pride ourselves on our flotilla - the only Cycladic flotilla in Greece that we have led for over 25 years. The flotilla fee includes:

  • an expertly guided sailing tour led by lead yacht skipper and program director
  • provisioning advice throughout the tour
  • daily briefings on weather, course, swim stops and ports of call
  • VHF radio and visual contact
  • mooring and docking assistance at each port
  • shore hikes on our unique historic itinerary
  • a well-researched, gastronomic selection of local restaurants
  • social activities

Flotilla crew

Flotilla skippers or guides are responsible for leading the flotilla and ensuring your sailing vacation is fun, interesting and trouble free. They offer information about the destinations, technical support as well as help with docking procedures in harbors and anchorages. Flotilla skippers hold informative daily chart briefings, so flotilla guests can see where the lunch and swim stop options are and understand the nuances of the evening ports of call. They can also be reached for support by VHF radio while you are underway.

Flotilla hostess/program directors organize the social aspect of the flotilla and make sure everyone knows what is on the agenda each day. They may also help guests to provision, guide hikes ashore, organize the evening restaurants and help the skippers dock yachts in the afternoons. On larger flotilla lead vessels that accommodate cabin charter guests, program directors prepare and serve two meals per day.

Flotilla fees 7-nights

31-35ft monohull yacht: Euro 300
36-43ft monohull yacht: Euro 400
44+/catamaran: Euro 450

Flotilla fees 14-nights

31-35ft monohull yacht: Euro 500
36-43ft monohull yacht: Euro 650
44+/catamaran: Euro 800

The flotilla fee is a minimum fee and does not change if a yacht decides to leave the flotilla or only join for some of the itinerary. Pricing is subject to change without prior notice. Departure dates are subject to availability and discounts may change based upon the number of bookings received. A booking is not confirmed until a deposit payment is received and at that time no further discounts will be offered.

Not included in the cost of a yacht charter

  • skipper or crew fees
  • gratuities: for professional crew onboard or flotilla crew
  • flights and transfers
  • all land excursions, hotels, transport, car hire and meals
  • cancellation and medical insurance

Yacht inventory

What is included will vary per yacht but as a guide a charter yacht will include: dinghy/full cruising area charts and cruising guide or pilot book/navigational equipment (binoculars, hand compass and course plotting equipment)/initial full tank of water, fuel and cooking gas/VHF radio/autopilot/electric anchor windlass/wind instruments/furling or battened mainsail/furling genoa sail/bimini for cockpit shade (racing yachts have a boom awning)/transom/galley equipment (cooking and eating utensils)/standard safety equipment (navigational and first aid)/hot water/bed linen/FM radio/CD player/dodger/berthing fees at home port.

Some yachts may also include: GPS (plotter)/cabin fans/cabin reading lights/BBQ/outboard engine/snorkeling equipment/cockpit cushions/spray hood.

Sailing certification

To charter a yacht it is necessary to have experience and/or sailing certificates.

Mediterranean: to charter a yacht in the Mediterranean there must be at least one certified skipper and one experienced first mate on a charter yacht. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have a sailing license or a certificate from a recognized sailing school such as:

RYA: Royal Yachting Association / ASA: American Sailing Association / Intermediate Cruising Standard - Sail Canada / YA - Yachting Australia /ISPA - International Sail and Power Academy

The level of qualification required is a keelboat, day/coastal skipper or bareboat certification and you need to bring your original certificates with you. In addition to the above requirements you are required to have a VHF operator's license to charter a yacht in Croatia. Sailing resumes and powerboat operators card are not sufficient to rent a sailing yacht.

In addition to these certificates you can obtain the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) which is becoming a more recognized standard with European governments and charter companies. You will need to have one of the above certificates or pass a practical exam and make an application to be issued an ICC certificate. The sailing schools listed above are able to provide the practical exam and the application for ICC. You can find out more about the ICC on the RYA's section of the ICC - International Certificate of Competence

Caribbean and the Pacific: currently you are not required to present any formal sailng certification to charter a yacht in the Caribbean or the Pacific. It is normal that you are required to complete a sailing resume only. Should it be felt that your experience is not sufficient then you may be asked to have a skipper onboard with you for the first day of your charter. 

South East Asia - Thailand: to charter a yacht in Thailand there must be at least one certified skipper. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have a sailing license or a certificate from a recognized sailing school such as:

RYA: Royal Yachting Association / ASA: American Sailing Association / Intermediate Cruising Standard - Sail Canada / YA - Yachting Australia /ISPA - International Sail and Power Academy

Priving and invoicing

The minimum charter period is typically 7-nights in high season. In mid and low season less than 7-nights is possible. Our yacht fleet prices are shown in the currency of the charter destination. Pricing is subject to change without prior notice. A booking is not confirmed until a deposit payment is received and at that time no further discounts will be offered.

As a North American company we convert to either USD or CAD for invoicing. Euro invoicing is available for European customers only. All website exchange rates are advisory and are intended to provide general currency rate. At time of invoicing latest exchange will be used.


Boarding location

Athens: Kalamaki Alimos Marina

Yacht charters start on a Saturday at 17:00 in Greece. We suggest that flotilla guests arrive between 14:00-15:00 and divide into provisioning and check-in teams.

Athens International airport is at Spata, a 45-60 minute taxi ride from the marina and central Athens. Saturday is best spent visiting Athens sites before coming to the marina and boarding. If you arrive early at the marina on boarding day, bags can be left but you will not officially be able to board until 17:00. If you arrive early, explore the marina, shop at the Marionopolis supermarket 1 block west of the marina on Poseidonos Blvd along the beach) or have a drink or light lunch at Skipper’s or Kitchen Bar

By taxi
Airport to downtown: Yellow taxis can be found lined up at the airport. Taxis take 45 minutes to 1 hour to get downtown based on traffic. It costs approximately 50-60 Euros one-way per taxi.  They are smaller European vehicles and only have room for three passengers and baggage. Drivers may charge a baggage fee that is approx. Euro 3. 
Downtown Athens to the Kalamaki Alimos Marina: It takes 15-20 minutes and costs approx. 20 Euros per car one-way. Do not get out of your taxi at the marina until you have identified your meeting point, as it is a big marina.

By bus
Airport to downtown: Bus number X95 travels from the airport every 30 minutes making 8 stops (including the Hilton) and then terminates downtown at Syntagma/Constitution Square. It is air-conditioned and costs approx. 5 Euros. Syntagma Square is a short distance to most hotels but a taxi may be advisable at this point. Plaka hotels are within walking distance from Syntagma if you do not have too much baggage. 
Airport to Kalamaki Alimos Marina: Bus number X96, runs every 30 minutes south from the airport to Piraeus along the coast passing by Alimos Kalamaki Marina and costs approx. 5 Euros. Ask the driver for the Edem Taverna stop. You want the west main entrance road where the Shell station and Edem restaurant is located. 

By tram
Downtown Athens to Kalamaki Athens Marina: Public transport by subway tramcar from central Athens hotels is easy and convenient. From Syntagma Sqr. (Athens centre) take the tram line to Alimos marina (EDEM stop). The metro runs every 30 minutes from 05:30 to 00:20 on a daily basis. The ticket costs approx 8 Euros per person. 

Alimos Kalimaki marina Athens Poseidon Charters

Boarding in Paros

Paroikia marina is approximately 15 km from the airport by taxi. Afros yachting look after all yacht check-ins at the marina. Afros yachting is next to "Marina Café on the first floor, see also the meeting point on the map.  If you arrive early at the marina on boarding day, meet with your owner/operator base staff then explore the marina, shop at the supermarket (Carrefour located across the road from the marina) or have a drink or light lunch at Marina Café.  Bags can be left with your owner/operator. 

By air and ferry
You can fly daily from Athens to Santorini. www.aegeanair.com then take a ferry to Paros.

By ferry
There are daily boats from Pireaus, Athens. Ferry schedules and tickets to Paros. www.ticketsonline.gr/

 

 


Additional expenses

Description 
Euros (€)
Hotel in Athens mid-range per night 90-120

Taxi one way Athens marina to/from airport

55

Athens airport express bus to Athens Marinas one way per person

8

Evening meals in restaurants per person

20-30

Entrance to Temple of Aphaia per person

5

Entrance to Kea museam

3.50

Entrance to Delos per person

8

Average bottle of wine

15

Large bottle of beer

3.50
Regular coffee 3.50
Small bottle of water 2
   

Visit to Santorini

 

- mid-range apartment per nightfor caldera view

230

- double hotel room per room per night for non-caldera view

70

- ferry to/from Santorini one way

38

- small car rental per day

45

 

 

Gratuity - suggested amounts

 

7-night cabin charter per couple staying in a cabin: gratuity per crew member (typically a skipper and hostess)

100-150

14-night cabin charter per couple staying in a cabin: gratuity per crew member (typically a skipper and hostess)

150-200

7-night flotilla yacht (sailing yourself): from the group aboard gratuity for the flotilla leader

150

14-night flotilla yacht (sailling yourself): from the group aboard gratuity for the flotilla leader

200

 

Evening meals

Evening meals are a cultural and gastronomic experience on our program. The wonderful selection of local restaurants on the itinerary, are traditional tavernas that have been chosen for their superb traditional or Greek fusion food, friendly atmosphere and local pricing of approximately 20 Euros per person. About 50% of the restaurants on our program do not accept credit card for payments at dinner. 

Restaurant customs

Appetizers and main dishes often arrive at the same time as Greeks are accustomed to many small meze dishes. It is customary to look into the display case and see what is fresh for the day.  Seafood such as calamari, octopus and swordfish is inexpensive but larger white meat fish like grouper and lobster is sold by weight and can be pricey (ask for the price/weight of the fish before ordering). Meals at our wonderful selection of local tavernas average around Euro 20–30/person but can be more depending on your order. There is always a service charge (approx 1 to 2 Euro per person) for sitting at a table in Greece, which includes bread and cutlery - but this service charge is not a tip. If good service is delivered then a minimum 10% tip is welcome.

 


Sailing conditions

Greece is a great yacht charter destination for intermediate to experienced level sailors. The best time to sail is May through October. A sailing license/certificate is required for bareboat and flotilla yacht charters. If you are on a skippered bareboat or cabin charter, you do not require any experience or certification to sail with a skipper.

Location
Sailing conditions

Saronic and Argolic Gulfs

 

This is the best area for a first time bareboat charter in Greece offering line of sight navigation and short passages. This area is protected by mainland Attica which limits strong winds and any larger seas.

Central Aegean:

Cyclades

The Cyclades are a more challenging area with longer open passages and potential for larger seas with stronger summer winds.

North and East Aegean: Sporades and Dodecanese

Both areas offer shorter passages and line of sight navigation but larger seas and stronger summer winds occur.

Ionian

 

A good choice for a first time charter in Greece with shorter passages, line of sight navigation and calmer conditions.

Wind and sea

The seas in the Saronic Gulf, north and east Aegean are generally calm with Ostria or southwesterly winds in the spring, and Meltemi northerly winds in the summer. Generally there is 5-15mph of wind offering wonderful light air sailing conditions May through October, however stronger winds above 20mph are not uncommon throughout the season.

On the Ionian side winds tend to be lighter and from the northwest in the spring and potentially stronger from the north or northwest in the hot summer months.

A one-meter short chop is the typical wave height in the eastern Mediterranean, but three to five-meter swells can develop. Longer passages of 40-60 miles are relaxing in light winds but can be more challenging if the wind and seas come up. Tides are minimal in the Mediterranean ranging between 20-60cm.

Weather forecasts

The most accurate weather forecasts in Greek waters can be obtained by the internet at local island cafes. Log on to the following websites:

National Centre for Marine Research: www.poseidon.hcmr.gr    
Worldwide wind surfer localized conditions: www.windfinder.com
National Observatory Athenswww.noa.gr
Meteowww.meteo.gr

Mooring

To allow for more yachts in the tiny Greek ports, sailors do Mediterranean Mooring by dropping anchor and backing stern-to the wharf in the harbors. Some harbors offer lazy lines - fixed underwater moorings with access lines on the wharf. There are no mooring balls and dropping anchor off shore is limited, as it is often too deep to anchor safely. There are very few organized marinas for charter yachts in Greece, instead you pay nominal fees to moor in municipal town harbors. Read more about Med Mooring on our yacht charter details pages

Greece operates under region A of the international navigational system - red right leaving.


Flotilla FAQ's

What certificates do I need to sail a yacht if I am on a flotilla in Greece?

To charter a yacht in the Mediterranean there must be at least one certified skipper and one experienced first mate on a charter yacht. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have a sailing license or a certificate from a recognized sailing school. Find out more on the flotilla information section. 

Where do I provision my yacht when I'm flotilla sailing?

Details on provisioning will be provided with your yacht charter contract. In some cases, you will be able to provision online. If you join us flotilla sailing in Greece our programme directors will show you where to buy your provisions on each island you sail to.

I want to do some sailing on my own is that possible as part of a flotilla?

Yes. The lead yacht is there to provide as much or as little assistance as you require when you are on a flotilla sailing holiday. If you wish to solo sail for one day and meet the flotilla later you can choose to do that.

Does my crew on flotilla with me have to be with the rest of the flotilla each night?

No. Flotilla sailing is a great social activity as well as a sailing holiday so you will probably find that you enjoy meeting up with the other yachts each evening to talk about your sailing stories from the day. If you want to eat aboard your flotilla yacht with just your own crew, you can choose to do that as often as you wish.

How do I get a weather forecast when I'm flotilla sailing?

If you are flotilla sailing in Greece with us, we will check the weather dailing and inform you of the weather conditions the night before.

Will there be charts or a cruising guide to the area aboard?

There are always current charts and cruising guides provided on charter boats.

Will I receive help on navigation when I'm on a flotilla

Each morning before departure there will be a full chart brieifing with the skipper and first mate of each flotilla sailing yacht. The lead flotilla yacht will be in VHF radio contact with your yacht throughout the day if you require that assistance.


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Destination: Greece

Title: Flotilla Greece 7-nights June 2016

Just came off of a week flotilla with 3 other boats in the Cyclades sailing with Captain Steve. I’ve sailed in different areas of the Med as well as BVI in flotillas but this was among the best. The desire to create a memorable experience was evident from the outset as we visited Aigina and were given a thorough briefing of the history of the island and a tour of the ruins. The same intensive briefing occurred for each of our stops which added to our land side enjoyment. Poseidon chose the very best dinner spots each night and our flotilla expectations were met and exceeded.

From: Stan Nashen

Location: Canada


Destination: Greece

Title: End of great week's flotilla in Greece

It was great to spend the second week with Bob and Lisa on Alexadros. Great company, great sailing and we enjoyed being in Greece on the Aegean. We were impressed with the organisation, support and enthusiasm of Poseidon Charters and the leadership of Steve and his team. We take great memories back to Australia.

From: Alan Marshall

Location: Australia


Destination: Greece

Title: Aegean flotilla Athens to Paros 15-26 September 2012

Wow! Too soon a wonderful voyage ends. What a fantastic time we have had. The Margarita team gave a brilliant introduction to the crew of Kalliopi of the Cycladic islands. Doing a flotilla sail was the ideal way to get to know the islands, learn the peculiarities of local sailing (the Med moor for example) and with a great mix of ashore and afloat activities. The highlight for the sailors in our crew had to be the day under sail between Milos adn Ios (although at least one of us slept through it). And of course the run with a pod of dolphins between Ios and Paros was a real bonus. Balancing the sailing was an idyllic two night's at Santorini in the cave house hotel. Terrace views from paradise! A great bonus of flotilla sailing was having the local knowledge of the Poseidon crew both for the places of interest on the islands and equally important, where to eat. The Mediterranean diet is supposed to be good for your health - but maybe we over did it as I don't think any of us lost any weight this trip. So hat's off to you for balancing the wishes of the entire flotilla group. Or as they say in the Navy, Bravo Zulu!!

From: Eric, Kit, Tony, Janet, Glen & Sharon

Location: Ottawa


Destination: Greece

Title: Paros-Athens, Jeanneau 42.2 Greece

Hello how are you Poseidon team? We hope that all the flotillas are going well. It seems like such a long time ago that we sailed but it was just last year -we miss it! I'm sending you a picture of Margarita so you can update the website! I've got many more images that bring back fond memories of our two flotilla years in a row! I'll put them in a cd and send you over by mail. I hope to speak to you soon. Cheers!

From: Paulo Freire de Oliveira & Crew

Location: Porto, Portuga



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