SE Asia

Thailand - Andaman Sea

Overview

The island of Phuket on Thailand is the perfect base from which to explore the Andaman Sea islands. Here you will discover miles of palm fringed sandy beaches, dramatic rocky headlands, crystal waters and coral reefs in a fine tropical climate. Coupled with the hospitality and magnificent culture of the Thai people, you are sure to have the best sailing adventure ever.

Discover the stunning national marine park of Phang Nga Bay; visit the towering limestone islands of Ko Phanak and Koh Hong; the sea gypsey village of Koh Pan Yi built on stilts; explore the beautiful islands of Koh Phi Phi ; or visit the Similan and Surin Islands, one of the world's top diving destinations.

 

Seasonality

Thailand enjoys year-round sailing as there are no typhoons and the seasonal monsoons are gentle. There are two distinct seasons, the North East Monsoon (dry season) that runs from November to April, with winds averaging 10-15 knots; and the South West Monsoon (wet season) from May to October, with slightly stronger winds and some rainy periods which usually only last 1-2 hours in the afternoon. From June to October these south west winds start to gust but rarely exceed 25 knots.

The air temperatures vary from 28 to 35 with an average sea temperature of 28- 32. The tidal range is up to 3 metres at high water springs.

 

Getting there

Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport is Thailand's principal airport, which is situated 20 miles outside of the city centre. The majority of flights entering or departing Thailand do so from Bangkok, which receives and sends flights to major airports all around the world. Thai Airways provides flights from Bangkok to Phuket. One you land, it will take you about 30 minutes to get to the base via taxi.

Malaysia - Langkawi Archipelago

Overview

The beautiful island of Langkawi located off the North West Malaysian coast, is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea. This unique island was declared a Geopark by UNESCO in 2007. Discover its unique landscape, lush jungle foliage and mangroves, magnificent beaches, warm emerald seas, and ideal sailing conditions. 

Langkawi is the largest island of the archipelago and has much to offer - the stunning Temurum Waterfall; Underwater World, one of Asia's largest marine and freshwater aquariums; and the popular Air Hangat Village, home to a three tier hot spring fountain. Set sail for Pulau Dayang Bunting (island of the Pregnant Maiden) the second largest island with a unique freshwater lake, said to have magical powers for helping couples conceive! To the west experience the local wildlife sanctuary on Pulau Singa Besar, where you'll get a chance to see monitor lizards, macaques and deer. Then snorkel the stunning reefs off Pulau Payar and sunbathe on beautiful Tanjung Rhu Beach.

 

Seasonality

Malaysia enjoys year round sailing. The North East Monsoon (winter monsoon) from November to April brings rain to the east coast of the country, leaving Langkawi dry and sunny with perfect winds averaging 10-15 knots and flat seas; the South West Monsoon (summer monsoon) from May to October brings slightly stronger winds and some short heavy squalls. August to October are the wettest months. The air temperatures remain between 76 F and 90 F year round, with average water temperatures of 26 C to 29 C.

 

Getting there

There are daily flights from London Heathrow and Manchester to Kuala Lumpur. Both Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia then have twice daily flights to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur. There are also direct flights from Penang and Singapore.

Australia

Whitsunday Islands - Coral Sea

Overview

Renowned as the finest region in Australia for cruising, the Whitsunday Islands are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The islands lie just off the Queensland coast and offer calm and protected waters and a huge selection of anchorages. You have access to over 90 different islands in the National Park all fringed with coral reef. Whitehaven Beach is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a must see for all travellers in this area and is easily accessed by boat from a protected anchorage. Along with the golden sandy beaches that you would expect, the Whitsundays boast unparalleled fringing reefs, making them a delight for snorkelers and diving enthusiasts. Tropical fish and turtles are abundant, and frequent sightings of dolphins and humpback whales are only a few of the marvels you are likely to experience here.

 

Seasonality

Summers are warm with frequent rain showers and winters are said by many to be the perfect climate - warm by day and cool by night. All the major central islands lie within 2 to 15 nautical miles of the mainland - from 1 to 3 hours sailing from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. The islands are all within sight of each other, separated by distances from about 0.5 to 5 Nautical Miles. The lesser frequented southern islands extend some thirty miles off shore and are up to 15 miles apart. Delightful secluded mainland bays are within 2 hours cruising north of Airlie Beach. Navigating about is therefore extremely easy, usually only by visual means, guided by the supplied charts and reference book - 100 Magic Miles. Rarely is it necessary to plot and steer a compass course. Situated on the same latitude as Tahiti, you can expect sunny tropical weather all year round, with temperatures seldom below 20°C even in the winter months. The South-east trade winds usually blow slightly stronger from March to May at about 20 knots. Lighter E-NE breezes September-December. July is the coolest time, January the warmest. Good anchorages are plentiful and varied. This is a great trip for sailing newcomers and families. You can swim in the Whitsunday waters but jellyfish are an issue and we recommend wearing a full length lycra suit (available locally) during the higher risk period (October – May) which reduces the risk of stings and is great sun protection too.

 

Getting there

International access to the Whitsundays is via connecting flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Cairns International airports. Daily domestic flights fly in to Proserpine on the mainland coast if you’re embarking from Airlie Beach and to Hamilton Island (aka Hamo) if you’re embarking from Hamilton Island. If you decide to embark from Hamilton, make sure you bring what you need with you as shopping options can be quite limited.

New Zealand

Overview

New Zealand is a nation rich in unparalleled beauty. The country has more boats per capita than any other nation; this is not surprising if one considers the spectacular sailing opportunities that New Zealand has to offer. On the east side of the North Island is the sailing paradise known as the Bay of Islands, a 50-mile stretch of coastline sheltered by more than 80 islands with plentiful anchorages, quaint towns, and beautiful beaches. From the South Island, explore the sheltered waterways and incredible scenery of Marlborough and Milford Sounds, and discover the natural beauty of the Able Tasman National Park.

 

Seasonality

Unlike in other parts of the Pacific Ocean, the weather in New Zealand is variable in any season, as are the wind directions and velocities. A land and sea breeze each day is typical. Navigation is straightforward. The tidal range is about six feet. Strong currents can run in narrow channels in certain locations, depending on the state of the tide, but generally are not an issue. In the Southern Hemisphere summer, November to April, the temperatures range between 75°F and 86°F (24°C to 30°C).

 

Getting there

A number of major operators fly to Auckland, with stop overs in Hong Kong or LA (for example) depending on the route taken. The Hauraki Gulf is then a short transfer from the airport, and the Bay of Islands is a longer drive north of Auckland. 
For Milford Sound either take a connecting, local, flight to Wellington and then a ferry ride across the Straits to Picton on the South Island, or fly to Christchurch on the South Island and then drive North to the Sound.

Eastern Mediterranean

Croatia

Croatia’s Adriatic coastline is rightly famous for its sailing and shore based sites from the national parks of the Kornati Islands and the cosmopolitan city of Split to the Medieval walled city of Dubrovnik. Fortified castles and Byzantine palaces reflect Croatia's great trading history and the towns come alive at night with harbourside restaurants and street cafes emphasizing Croatia's strong cosmopolitan nature and a sophisticated cafe society. Along the coastline of Croatia there are thousands of offshore islands, safe anchorages and harbours offering plenty of variety.

Pula + Istria

The Istrian peninsula with its clear seas, gentle summer climate, quaint villages and historic towns, is a magnificent cruising area. You can drop anchor in one of the many uncrowded bays or be welcomed by a modern marina. Voyages from Pula start from the Marina Veruda right in the heart of Pula, overlooked by the well preserved Roman amphitheatre which dates from the 1st Century AD but is still in regular use for concerts. Sail south to the pretty fishing harbour of Losinj, explore the historic buildings on the island of Rab and enjoy the picturesque and sheltered bay of Krnica.

Zadar + Kornati Islands

Just 15 Nm south of Zadar is an amazing group of islands called the Kornati archipelago. This beautiful and scenic National Park is home to 89 islands, islets and reefs, attracting divers from all over Europe. You will find an abundance of small coves, ideal for lunchtime anchorages a lovely afternoon of snorkelling. The Kornati islands and islets are mostly rocky, so there are no permanent settlements on the islands. Zadar is 3,000 years old; it is particularly known for its Romanesque churches, and claims the smallest cathedral in the world. Zadar is a thriving city steeped in history and well worth exploring. The Kornati islands were made a National Park in order to protect their natural beauty. Sailing south from Zadar, Sibenik and Primosten are within easy reach, both charming ancient towns. From Sibenik you can easily visit Skradin and the stunning Krka waterfalls, a must see for all visitors to the area.

Split

Built within and around a fortified Roman palace, the historical town of Split is the perfect base from which to cruise the Dalmatian Coast. Located in the heart of Dalmatia, Split became a popular retirement destination in the 4th century for Roman emperors such as Diocletian. Today, it is renowned for its variety of archaeological, historical and cultural monuments among them the UNESCO listed Diocletian Palace. Chartering from Split allows you to experience the finest views and areas that this fascinating country has to offer. Croatia’s location has long made it a country of strategic importance, and the various civilisations and cultures that have had influence here over the centuries have all left their legacy, and contributed to a rich and diverse culture. You can sail north to the Kornati Islands National Park, visiting the stunning waterfall at Krka enroute. Your other option is sailing south to the islands of Brac, Hvar, and the medieval city of Dubrovnik. Highlights of this area include visiting the Blue cave nr Vis, people watching in the chic cosmopolitan main town of Hvar, and visiting the famous Zlatni Rat beach on Brac.

Dubrovnik

The medieval city of Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast is known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ for good reason. At night Gundulic Square comes alive with cafes but in the morning is used as a farmer's market. Dubrovnik has a Renaissance history and lively Summer Arts Festival. English writer George Bernard Shaw once said, “Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it.” The city’s climate is typically Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Visitors can find groves of lemon, orange and tangerine trees beside palms and agaves. In addition, they can stroll through renaissance parks, flower gardens and medieval stone palaces.

Greece

The stunning landscape of Greece with it’s lush vegetation, whitewashed houses, olive groves and crystal clear waters is the perfect backdrop to a sailing adventure. We'll drop anchor in a deserted bay for a quiet lunch, explore historic sites dating back to the beginning of civilization, visit sleepy fishing harbours and visit bustling towns. The Greek Islands offer everything you could hope for on a sailing adventure. With reliable afternoon breezes and a variety of harbours and quaysides lined with traditional tavernas, sailing in Greece is a truly wonderful and relaxing experience. And with 2000 Islands and more than 10,000 miles of coastline to explore there is always more to see. There are numerous charter bases throughout the Greek Islands, they can all be grouped into the following 5 main geographic areas:

Ionian Sea

The Ionian sea surrounds the west coast of Greece and is the ideal location for a relaxed sailing trip in Greece, particularly popular with families and less experienced sailors and as such is home to many flotillas. Sailing the beautiful Ionian islands you will experience gentle afternoon breezes, warm seas and friendly waterside tavernas. This sailing area is unchallenging and ideal for couples or smaller groups, and families with children seeking a relaxed sailing trip. The sheltered waters of the Ionian offer a vast array of tranquil bays and enchanting fishing harbours and villages. Navigation is very simple with no tides, currents or other hazards. There is generally a good sailing breeze from late morning through to the afternoon, with winds rarely exceeding Force 5. Drop anchor in picturesque bays or moor up in bustling little fishing harbours. The 2 main charter bases in the Ionian are Corfu and Lefkas. From Corfu, in the Northern Ionian, you can sail south to the beautiful islands of Paxos and Anti-Paxos, visiting the attractive harbours of Mourtos and Parga on the mainland. From Lefkas explore the sheltered waters of the Southern Ionian and discover the charms of Meganissi, Ithaca and Cephalonia. There is good reason that the Ionian is a very popular sailing destination.

Athens and the Saronic Gulf

The Saronic gulf lies to the East of the Peloponnisos peninsula in the Aegean sea. There are bases in Athens, Lavrion and Poros, all of which allow you to combine a sailing adventure in this wonderful cruising ground with a few days ashore exploring the throbbing metropolis that is Athens. With reliable winds and a good variety of islands to visit, the Saronic Gulf is very popular sailing destination that suits sailors looking for a change from the Ionian and is easily accessible with regular flights to Athens. The Saronic islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses have a great mix of modern and ancient Greek culture, with cosmopolitan towns, ancient temples, Byzantine castles, small fishing harbours and unspoiled anchorages.

Sporades Islands

The Sporades islands are a beautiful archipelago in the North East of Greece, which are renowned for their pristine sandy beaches and azure blue seas. This is a sailing area that offers the best of everything that Greece has to offer –the golden beaches of Skiathos, the picturesque fishing villages that dot the coast of the Gulf of Volos, the remote islands of the Alonissos Nature Reserve, and the charming cobble stoned streets of Skopelos. The sailing conditions offer a mix of gentle cruising and more adventurous longer passages to the outer Sporades. It’s the perfect location for the more experienced sailor to set sail with both long and short passages between islands and varied winds. You can sail the Sporades from the main bases of Skiathos, and the adjacent mainland.

Cyclades Islands

If you have ever seen pictures of perfect Greek islands with white houses on sun-drenched hillsides, it’s likely it a picture of one of the Cyclades islands. The Cyclades islands are the most well-known of the Greek Islands. The Cyclades are islands of contrast, from the lively nightlife of Mykonos to the natural beauty and architectural style of Santorini, to the cosmopolitan islands of Paros and Naxos, and the unspoiled smaller ports and anchorages of Irakllia and Koufonisia, with each island having it’s own very unique feel and character. The Cyclades islands are further apart than the islands in the other cruising grounds in Greece and seeing them all can involve some longer days sailing. In the summer months the Meltemi wind can blow from the north making this an area best suited to the more experienced or adventurous sailors. There are limited charter options starting on the Islands however the Cyclades are easily reached from the Greek mainland, either from Athens, or ideally from Lavrion which is just a few hours sail from the first Island (Kea) and easily accessible from Athens Airport.

Dodecanese Islands

The name for the Dodecanese Islands comes from the Greek word for “twelve,” because there are 12 major and 120 minor islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, off the Turkish coast. The island of Rhodes, shaped like the head of a spear at one time was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Colossus of Rhodes – until an earthquake in 226 BC brought down these great symbols of wealth. This unique sailing area lies just off the coast of Turkey and is home to some of the most beautiful islands in Greece. Discover Simi's picturesque harbour, the famous monastery of St. John on Patmos, the dormant volcano on Niseros, Kalimnos, home of the sponge divers, and Samos, once home to Pythagoras, where the main town is named in his honour. The longer passages and weather conditions make this the perfect holiday for those seeking exhilarating sailing.

Turkey

Turkey really has it all, towering cliffs and secret coves, deserted bays and sandy beaches. The scenery is breath taking and the hospitality and warmth of the Turkish people will impress you. Whether it is the reliable winds and variety of sailing itineraries or the many sheltered bays along the coast which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling in clear turquoise water Turkey’s unspoilt coastline with beautiful bays all along the coast has something for everyone. The afternoon winds are reliable and you can stay out sailing until early evening, enjoying the wind, as you won't be fighting for a place to moor. Most nights will be spent moored to a wooden jetty built by the restaurant in the bay. There are 3 main points from which to explore this wonderful coastline.

Bodrum

The Northernmost charter base odrum lies just 8 miles to the east of the Greek island of Kos. Bodrum itself is a thriving city with a unique blend of ancient history, lively bars and restaurants and a bustling bazaar. Sailing from Bodrum presents many otions, you can head north to the Gulf of Gokova with so many coves and bays for you to explore. Or sail south into the Gulf of Datca via the ancient ruins of Knidos. Anchor in the bay and stroll among the ruins of a once thriving metropolis and the home of the famous statue of Aphrodite.

Marmaris

Marmaris is a bustling resort with a lovely seafront of restaurants and cafes, with traditional gullets all moored at the town quay. During your journey, visit the extensive bazaar filled with fresh spices, "designer" T-shirts, leather jackets, pashminas, hand-carved backgammon sets, stunning silver jewellery, hand-woven kilim rugs and much more. Perhaps you will catch a whiff of the region’s famed frankincense forests as you boat around the southern coast of Turkey. On Ephesus, Caunus, and Pergamos you can see historic ruins ranging from the proto-Greek period to the Byzantine period.

Gocek + Fethiye

A Gocek sailing adventure allows you to explore the mountainous pine-forested shores, ancient ruins and peaceful anchorages that adorn Turkey’s Turquoise Coast at your own pace. The shorefront is an attractive pedestrian- friendly esplanade lined with trendy cafes perfect for grabbing a cold drink and people-watching. Gocek is ideally positioned to explore the Islands of the Guklf of Fethiye, enjoy a wonderful cruise with short passages and protected anchorages and lap up the local hospitality. Many tavernas in secluded bay offer their own private jetty to visiting yachts. The bazaars of Fethiye offer a fascinating shopping experience, with a great variety of locally produce including spices and clothing, and of course traditional Turkish rugs. Bartering here is a sport and you will have plenty of chances to hone your skills. There are plenty of beautiful, luscious anchorages such as Four Fathom Bay, Ruin Bay, Wall Bay and Tomb Bay all within easy reach and the historic Lycian coast to explore.

Western Mediterranean

Italy

Italy has so much to offer. Stunning scenery, world famous food and wine, warm hearted and charismatic locals and thousands of years of vibrant history and culture. Italians like their country so much that many of them choose to spend their holidays at home. There are a number of great cruising grounds in Italy each truly unique. 

Elba

Explore the magnificent Tuscan Islands and west coast of Italy from either Scarlino near Piombino on the mainland, or from the largest and richest of the Tuscan Islands, Elba. Known as the most beautiful of the seven Tuscan islands, Elba has an indented coastline offering beautiful anchorages and harbours. Then set sail for the volcanic island of Capraia, the closest island to Corsica; explore the rugged coastline and nature reserve of Montecristo (only accessible with a special permit); the diving paradise of Giglio; and the enchanting coves and Roman remains on Giannutri. Although the Tuscan islands are a perfect cruising destination for a one week holiday, with easy access to the western Italian coastline, Corsica and Sardinia, you may just want to stay a little bit longer.

Naples

There are numerous bases in the Naples area from which we can launch our voyage to explore the ancient and beautiful Amalfi coast. Visit the spectacular ancient Roman ruins of Pompeii, the stylish island resort of Capri, the fashionable resort of Sorrento, or sail south to the extraordinary Aeolian Islands. Words truly fail to describe the beauty of this cruising area.

Tuscany

Sail from Piombino, Scarlino or Punta Ala on the Tuscan coast, and explore the magnificent Tuscan Islands. Elba, known to be the most beautiful of the seven Tuscan islands, has an indented coastline offering beautiful anchorages and harbours. Then set sail for the volcanic island of Capraia, the closest island to Corsica; the nature reserve of Montecristo (only accessible with a special permit); the diving paradise of Giglio; and the enchanting coves and Roman remains on Giannutri. Bastia, on Corsica, is within easy reach and is a wonderfully interesting town built around the natural harbour.

Sardinia

There are a number of beautiful sailing options in Sardinia. Located on the beautiful "Costa Smeralda" (Emerald Coast) only 10 minutes from Olbia Airport is the Marina di Portisco. From this natural green cove you can sail north to the Maddelena Archipelago, a natural park with stunning beaches, pretty bays and turquoise waters. Alternatively sail from Cannigione, a sheltered harbour with excellent fish restaurants; visit the marine park at Lavezzi for some amazing snorkeling and diving; wander around Porto Cervo with it's infamous shopping and boutiques; relax on the famous pink beach at Budelli; and overnight in the pretty harbour of Bonifacio on the south coast of Corsica. On the west coast you can start your holiday from Alghero, or located in the southwest of Sardinia is Carloforte, the only populated area on San Pietro Island, which forms part of the Sulcitano Archipelago. These small islands offer natural anchorages and turquoise waters. Venture along the southern coast to Villasimius or sail up the west coast to Stintino and discover secluded coves, white sand beaches and dramatic rock formations.