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More time for sailing - really smooth sailing

More time for sailing - really smooth sailing

You have chartered a luxury yacht and you are now in the stages of gathering information about your week in Greek, Turkish or Croation waters. Stop! ere you decide where to go, ask about the wind patterns in the area. Ask you captain to give you a guideline for an itinerary which would include at least 3 or 4 day sails. We are so busy “seeing and doing” that we forget to pay our respects to the very first mariners who crossed seas and oceans using nothing but the power of the wind… and turn of the engine. "When in Rome” is the old adage, so make the most of your opportunity during your luxury yacht charter, to do just that and try some sailing - you will not regret it for a moment. Sailing is akin to meditation… is akin to slowing down everything (nothing mechanical — just sails) and fitting in with what Mother Nature has decreed suitable! It does much for children to live a sailing experience. Since the time they are born, there is always a device around, a mechanical device or an electronic device… something which whirrs and buzzes, or blinks and changes gear. Sailing helps children to appreciate just how far humankind has come. It gives them a place to start with … something to aid their reflection on such matters as the way we life our lives in comparison to those in very remote places (such as hilltop villages in Nepal). It’s vital for all of us to make time for sailing… and while you are in the calm waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, there’s no doubt that it’s going to be the smoothest sailing you could hope for. Sail more, and there will be beautiful, lasting effects, I guarantee it.

Magical Croatian city Rovinj

Rovinj - Great destination for luxury yacht charter Croatia

Have you seen this town before? She is Rovinj/Rovigno, one of the prettiest ports on the Adriatic and home to some of the friendliest people we have ever encountered. While sitting down for pre-dinner cocktails overlooking the bay, the 72-meter luxury charter yacht O’Pari III motored slowly into port, coming alongside the main town quay where she spent the early part of the night bouncing jazz numbers off the walls of Rovinj’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town… and entertaining crowds of onlookers, ourselves included.

The story of Istria comes floating across the table, where we dine on fresh mussels and deep-fried calamari in the company of our host, who lives here in Rovinj, and who tells us that Istria is now making a big splash on the international olive oil scene, with six of the nine Croatian olive oils awarded with Gold and Silver medals at the New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) all coming from producers here in Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula.

And it’s not just the olive oils that have us signing up for another trip to Istria next year - and next time, we will be visiting by charter yacht via the Kornati Islands - we’ve also developed a taste for truffles. Since our arrival, we have been sampling this delicacy in a dozen different ways, as tasty entrees, richly satisfying mains and even as an ice-cream dessert. Every charter yacht that comes to Istria on their way to or from Venice will like feature a truffle dish or two on their menu as the streets of Rovinj offer numerous sampling and shopping opportunities. Alongside Croatian wines and olive oil, warm sunny days spent by the sea. and a town full of artisans and gorgeous Venetian architecture, this is just the kind of place where you’d love to linger a little longer, makesure you’ve taken it all in.

Sitting atop its peninsula is the Church of St Euphemia, its spire rising tall and proud and topped with a copper statue of St Euphemia who rotates with the wind, thus being the only saint to predict the weather. If the saint is facing out to sea, the weather for the next few days will be favourable! On a day like today with clear blue skies, we see large luxury charter yachts pull into the harbour, opposite the St. Katarina island, situated in the centre of the bay, and by nightfall, they will enjoy one of the prettiest vistas in all of Istria... with the twinkling lights of the old town reflected in the highly polished marble paving stones that line the streets and alleyways, bringing an olde world charm to this tiny paradise.

LUXURY YACHT CHARTER… BY CHOICE

Luxury yacht charter was at one time the domain of the wealthy, and to some extent, still is … although more and more people are discovering that a carefree vacation on the water is, in fact, well within their reach… thanks to an explosion in the number of private yachts now offered for charter.

Luxury yacht charter gains plenty of media coverage through tabloid pictures of the rich and famous sunning on deck in their swimwear or heading down the passerella in their broad-brimmed sunhats. Those captured by the paparazzi are spotted on the French Riviera aboard well-known megayachts, chartered out at well over EUR300,000 per week. But mainstream media is now reporting about other versions of luxury yacht charter… seeking out the little-known destinations that are often overlooked by the jet set… and the smaller yachts that suit that environment completely, albeit on offer with only a few crew who, nonetheless, have all the knowledge and expertise that would make for a top vacation experience.

Yes - we are talking about luxury yacht charter for singles, for groups of friends and for young families… remembering that luxury means different things to different people. For a mother of two who runs her own kitchen at home, not having to cook for an entire week is an absolute luxury. For her partner, having a crew member to take his sons fishing while he reads in the cockpit’s shady depths, is a luxury. Likewise, for a group of sailing club friends, having a wide, comfortable berth and a cabin with private en suite all to yourself is a luxury worth mentioning. For those who have only ever motored around a coast in a small launch, the experience of taking the helm of a 112-foot ketch under the watchful eye of her captain may be a memory that stays with them long after that day’s winds have died down… and the yacht's diesel engines have started up… and the only thing left to do is sip a sundowner while the captain sets a course to the next overnight anchorage.

The aim of the exercise is the same, regardless of whether you spent EUR15,000 or EUR150,000 on your luxury vacation: it's relaxation, it’s cuisine... ….it’s moving over the sea … it's soaking up the sun …it’s swimming… it’s shopping for souvenirs ashore… it’s sitting out under the stars and just whiling away the hours to the sound of your favourite music. Of course, if you are into champagne, caviar and lobster… and want to party every night ashore on Mykonos, you’d better be prepared.

Providing you know how much you want to spend, you need only ask us what we have on offer… the results may come as a very pleasant surprise.

What is a Blue Cruise?

A blue cruise is a Turkish-style, boating holiday where you get to stretch out, relax with your book and do very little. The schedule of each day aboard varies according to your chosen itinerary and involves seeing different parts of the Turkish coast — or indeed other locations in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece and Croatia — while indulging in all those self-pampering activities that one enjoys on holiday: eating, sleeping, sunbathing ….reading magazines, playing cards, listening to music …. waterskiing, wake boarding, canoeing …..swimming, snorkelling, beach combing … taking trips ashore to meet the locals and do some shopping and of course, finding hot nightspots in which to dance ‘till the wee small hours.

The Blue Cruise could be summed up as one of the most lesiurely approaches to cruising imaginable. Turkey is in a beautiful part of the world, and the gulet, a traditional wooden yacht, is a beautiful vessel. The waters of the Turquoise coast are a stunning shade of blue, and coastal towns are inhabited by friendly people selling some very unique handcrafts. Days are fine and sunny and the sea is warm and inviting. There is such a huge variety of flavours on offer as you sit down to breakfast, lunch and dinner that you will likely put on an extra kilo (this is fine!).

But it’s much more than this. A Blue Cruise is recommended for anyone who wishes to slow their hectic daily pace way, way down — and completely relax in the process. It’s a time to take off watches and gauge the passing of time by how hungry one feels. It’s a time to do as little as you please, all the while knowing that your crew is there at your beck and call. It’s a time to try new and exciting tastes and sample some interesting local wines. No doubt you will see some of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites - either up close or from the comfort of the gullet’s forward deck. It’s a time to move a little out of your comfort zone and try new games, such as backgammon — or perhaps a strong Turkish coffee with masses of dark ground coffee greeting you at the bottom of the cup. If you are fit, you can try your hand at any type of water sport. And if you love of the sun, gulets offer plenty of super-comfortable sun mattresses for you stretch out on … mindful that the sea is just a short hop away and perfect for an after-sun treatment.

Life on board a gulet is like one long pampering session. How you spend your days will be completely up to you.

The Turkish Coast of Turkey — why is it called “The Turquoise Coast”?

Did you know that he word “turquoise" comes from the French word for Turkish, as it relates to this very popular gemstone... the origin of which, way back in the middle ages, was Turkey.

Interestingly, the colour of the waters found around the coast of Turkey is also turquoise. We call the whole area the “Turquoise Coast” because of the brilliant turquoise blues and greens that abound in the shallows off the coast. These colours simply must be experienced in a lifetime, and this is one good reason to cast all doubts about not having enough time — or enough group members together, as the case may be — to one side and dive in!

What is a Gulet?

There is that word again, “gulet” …. it is often times misspelt, “gullet”, but it’s more important that you know how to say it, and that is just as it appears, [ɡuˈlet]. Gulet is a Turkish word, derived from the French word, “goélette” and the Italian word, “goletta” and the represents a type of two or three masted yacht of traditional design, built long ago as trade ships and fishing boats, and today mostly seen as large and luxurious charter yachts. Although some gulets are very large and heavy, this type of vessel comes in all shapes and sizes and presents charterers with one of the most comfortable - and most “environmentally friendly - options available today.

There are three main types of gulet, the Bodrum-style gulet with a rounded aft; the “Aynakic” with a transom-stern allowing for a large aft master cabin, and the “tirhandil” — which has a pointed bow and stern and for this reason is called a double ender. All three are drawn on traditional lines and for the most part, all are built from wood. This gives the yachts their style and ambience — as even when Teak, Ebony, Mahogany or Iroko are carved into shape and turned into a vessel, they continue giving out lustrous glow and a warm vibration. The soothing feel of wood underfoot and the calming energy imparted from the material itself is the reason why people relax and feel good while they are on a gulet,. Of course, anytime that you have the chance to go barefoot, it’s a certain stress-reliever.

Gulets abound in the market, but the important thing is that you find the one to suit your needs. You can charter one for a honeymoon. You can even charter one for a wedding, and stay on for the honeymoon. Gulets with 6 cabins or more turn into party boats with fabulous four-course meals on offer for a group of friends. Gulets with loads of water sports toys will be a big hit with your family.

Fundamentally, regardless of your choice of vessel, it’s all about creating the right atmosphere for total relaxation. The saying, “keep it simple” always seems to apply to a gulet holiday, and for many, the spaciousness, the high level of comfort, an array of modern entertainment and leisure facilities win hands down every time. Ah, and let’s not forget the crew — the smiley-faced crew, ever-ready to assist you in getting more out of your trip, will be some of the nicest people you could ever meet, both “kind” and “real".


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