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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.

The Adriatic

Adriatic is base ro may luxury charter yachts in Croatia.

The Adriatic is the part of Mediterranean Sea and it’s very much like a lake, in that it gently laps the shore — there are no huge waves charging ashore to pull sand from beaches or stir up the seafloor… and what waves there are arrive - for the most part - in a very sedate fashion, just to affect that gentle washing sound of water on pebbles — the very sound you likely have on your list of favourites! It is because the sea here behaves in such a way as to remain calm during the summer that the area is fortunate to boast a palate of some of the world’s most eye-catchingly restful colours!

During our trips around the Croatian coastline — and we have been three times now — we have been fortunate enough to have been able to cruise aboard a luxury yacht — an experience which has, in turn, afforded us an opportunity to bear witness to the ever-changing hues of the Adriatic. These colours change according to the depth of the water, the type of sea floor and the colour of the sky... shades of blue and green which seem to soothe the soul.

We have seen that beautiful tone that one might refer to as “emerald”, which is actually the tone of the water when it is very clear and yet has a greenish tint… as opposed to turquoise, which is more blue than it is green. We’ve seen dark blue waters, of course…. and we've seen aqua blue, aqua blue indicating that the sea floor has the palest of pebbles. I can say that we’ve seen every colour in between and so must conclude that the colour of the Adriatic depends on where you are in the area — whether there is moss on the sea bed or whether it is just white pebbles.

Those lucky enough to charter a luxury yacht and take a week’s leisurely cruise around the coast will enjoy every shade under the sun… and may even come up with their own name for the colours of the water. There must be a million shades of Adriatic Blue!

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".

A truly fascinating country

A truly fascinating country, Turkey is blessed with tremendous natural beauty, a richness of culture and a vibrancy borne of her unique geographical positioning at the junction of East and West People from all corners of the globe are drawn to Turkey - enticed by the colours of cities such as Istanbul, the cultural capital of Turkey with its soaring minarets and Byzantine treasures and by strange and captivating landscapes such as Cappadocia.

Others still, are drawn by the beauty of the Turquoise Coast, that much-indented coastline stretching from Bodrum to Antalya, famous for its lively nightspots as much as for its turquoise-coloured waters.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as a week spent cruising on a sea of iridescent blue. . . leisurely laying anchor in all-but-deserted coves where the smell of fragrant pines fill the air and bees hurry between the last of the springs wildflowers.

Where the distant sound of wandering goat-bells tumbles down forested hillsides to meld with the gentle lapping of the sea on the shore. Where the only remnants of last nights deck party are the two pairs of brass finger cymbals souvenired by one of the ladies on board.

This is as peaceful as life can get - dramatic scenery, windswept ancient ruins, friendly locals and mouth-watering cuisine prepared to your liking as just some of the highlights.

And if you want to get active, we will show you how to get the most out of your holiday time with non-stop fun and adventure including exciting nightlife, journeys off the beaten track and colourful shopping expeditions in open air bazaars. Swim, snorkel, paraglide, raft, trek, kayak, ride horses, explore ruins above water and below and take in a Turkish bath experience, all in the space of a week.

The choice is yours, but whatever the pace, you will find the beauty of the Eastern Mediterranean seascape as romantic and inspiring as can be. Holiday in the best sense of the word with a professional team at your side to give you guidance and assistance whenever and where ever you should need it. We offer a range of suitably luxurious vessels, from high-speed motor yachts to traditional motor-sailers and performance sailing yachts. And we understand the value of you having the right crew. We know the crew on all of our yachts and do our best to ensure a perfect match.

We have been attending to charter guests from all over the world since the early 1990s and are known for our careful attention to detail and our ability to provide a highly personalised service. Most importantly, we enjoy what we do and are committed to serving our guests only the very best of what the Turkish coast and Greek Islands have in store.

So when you have a mind to try a cruise along the Turquoise Coast, we invite you to Charter Turkey and live a little summer high life on the Sunny Side of the Med.

The Homecoming

“Oh my God, Turkey!? … why would you want to go to Turkey? Haven’t you heard of the film, “Midnight Express”? Such were the expressions of surprise and disbelief from my former work colleagues when I announced, back at the beginning of 1992, that I was going to spend a summer in Turkey. It still amazes me that a Hollywood film could have caused so much trouble, creating an image of the country that would have an effect on tourism for years. Lucky for me, I had family in Turkey who were quick to assuage my fears about coming alone… and who had nothing but good things to say about the country and her people. Had it not been for these folk, my parents would never have allowed me to buy a ticket headed for Istanbul in the first place, let alone “wing it” in getting myself onto a connecting domestic flight, and boarding an airport shuttle bus destined for the city of Izmir. I was somehow supposed to stop that shuttle bus along its route, using the word, “otogar” – at which point in time, I would be catching a ride for the final leg of my journey… or so I thought!

Fast forward to the day of my arrival, I flew from Istanbul down to the coast with very little trouble and, with not a penny of local currency, proceeded to board the shuttle bus which took passengers into the city. As luck would have it, within 5 minutes of sitting myself down, I had met the manager of a Bodrum hotel, who paid for my bus ticket and who stopped the bus, grabbed my suitcase, and said that we had arrived at the “otogar”. We hopped off the bus and then proceeded across a busy highway, in the centre of which lay a double-sided, steel barrier dividing the north and southbound lanes – which of course we straddled and crossed. me coming up the rear. Having climbed over these divides, and reached the side of the road, this fellow then walked me into the Pamukkale Bus ticket office and began negotiating the amount of my ticket fare in the only currency that I had with me at the time, US Dollars. After some discussion with the men behind the counter, some of which sounded a little heated – I’ll never know what was said – my “knight in shining armour” announced that I would be paying a certain fee to the cashier and that my bus would depart in 30 minutes. He then shook my hand, wished me well and was gone – back across the highway to flag down a bus heading into town. I stood there in wonderment, taking in all that was going on around me and feeling the excitement of the past 30 minutes quietening down within. Following an uneventful five hour bus ride, in which I was offered nothing but smiles and kindness from fellow passengers, I arrived at my destination. My cousin, anxious to greet me, whizzed over to the bus station on a fat-wheeled moped and asked me to hop on behind! I pointed to my suitcase, and she waved her hand as if to say, “we’ve thought of that!” – and promptly made a request to her young son that he follow us along to a specific point on the town quay. I rode with the wind in my hair for the first time that day (I had been wearing a hat up until the bus ride from Izmir), and my suitcase was trundled along at top speed behind an enthusiastic second cousin, happily reaching the other end of the quay in one piece. Within a few hours, I found myself caught up in a love affair of everything Turkish – the sights and smells of the bazaar, and of restaurants cooking garlic dishes for early diners, all mixing with the sweet smell of pines and salty air. There were men with lemon cologne wafting from their newly shaven faces and women with dresses that appeared simple and yet colourful against a backdrop of castles and stone buildings. It was enchanting, and these days I reflect upon the whole experience as an absolute gift. It was my blissful homecoming – if ever you could come home to a place you’ve never seen.

Life Began In The Sea

Have you ever heard of the word, “biophilia”? It was new to me just a week ago. I stumbled upon a research article, where the writer placed Edward O. Wilson, the Harvard University biologist, naturalist, and entomologist, who coined the term right up there with the most learned on the earth. Biophilia refers to the human need to feel close to their natural environment .. and that just about sums it up for me. I am happiest when I’m at the sea… happier still when I’m in the water. If there’s lush green foliage covering the hillside all around me… it just makes it all the more soothing for the eyes. I know that time and time again I’ve been fortunate enough to experience true bliss when floating on my back, comforted by warm Mediterranean waters. Fort those moments, when I’m extremely present… and my ears know nothing but the sounds of the sea, I remember that life began in the sea, and if we want to connect with that part of us that has been around for eons then it's essential that we all have a chance to enjoy the sea!

We want to enjoy the sea, yes, and yet we want also for all future generations to enjoy it. This is when we have to remember that we are all custodians of the planet… and that the sea covers 70 percent of it. I see in future, educators bringing even greater awareness of the needs of our precious planet to our children from the earliest of school days - perhaps even before school begins - and allow for this knowledge to ripple-up.

Going “zero waste”, ensuring we carefully dispose of waste and making the choice to use only eco-friendly, biodegradable products is just the beginning. It’s a good idea to learn more about our local environment and just how our closest ecosystems rely on minute individual components in order to maintain balance. In addition to learning the facts, we also need to learn the “how to” — the practical applications that will ease the load on our coastal environment. For this to happen, we need to create a movement, one that involves the entire community and has every member, young and old, join hands to get behind the effort.

Kids already sense their ties to the natural world. They need to be affirmed in their instinctual, loving ways. If every child born to us grew to love the environment and worked with the planet, not against it, we would soon know the beauty of a world transformed. We are two-legged peace activists, every single one of us… and the sea needs us as much as we need the sea.


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