Have you ever considered chartering a yacht in a flotilla? What is a flotilla even? Do you see this advertised and wonder how it works?
Well whether you are a qualified skipper, or totally unqualified, or have little to no experience, or have plenty of experience but don’t feel like chartering alone, or just feel like meeting new folk out on the water, then a flotilla is the perfect way to charter!
Flotillas are a preplanned, coordinated charter trip hosted by various charter companies in varies destinations. They have set calendar dates and a selected fleet of yachts which guests choose from. Generally a flotilla is made up of about 6 to sometimes 14 yachts, which can be a mixture of both monohulls and catamarans depending on the venue – but usually are mostly monohulls. The flotilla is always lead by a ‘crewed’ lead yacht, consisting usually of an experienced skipper and hostess at least. They take the reigns, providing support to the guest yachts in the fleet and leading each day through the program.
The lead skipper and crew act as guides, taking guests on semi-flexible itineraries to all of the best locations, whilst providing mooring assistance, advice, weather reports and instruction if need be. They are there to be called upon by any of the yachts in the flotilla and offer.
These flotilla charters provide the ultimate balance for those wanting the adventure of an independent charter but with the carefree comfort of a supervised trip. Generally, customers can venture out on their own nearby escapades with family and friends during the day for some private time, with all boats in the flotilla reuniting in the evenings just in time to share stories over a sociable sundowner with other like-minded holiday-makers.
Flotillas are particularly popular for family holidays, as they are a wonderful way for kids to interact, or for couples on their own, as they can fill their days with activities with the other boats and between swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, wind surfing and so on, make new international friends. Boats meet up for lunchtimes and evening moorings in pre determined places, share specially planned events such as leisurely beach picnics and barbeques, fun competitive regattas and pre-dinner party cocktails.
So in a nut shell – you charter a boat as part of a preplanned fleet with a preplanned route and on dates that are preset. You may charter bareboat or hire a skipper for your own yacht. You choose your boat out of the list of boats on offer for the flotilla. You do have your own privacy and plenty of time to do your own thing, but can also follow the fleet 100% should you prefer. Moorings are booked for you each day and itineraries planned. Basically you sit back and enjoy sailing and being with other boats and people without any of the planning hassles!
During the Mediterranean summer months, some ideal places to consider doing a flotilla charter would be the beautiful Greek islands, which boast picturesque harbours, relatively short sailing distances between anchorages, lots of activities on and off the water and reliable winds.
The coast of Croatia offers clear turquoise waters, Medieval walled-in cities and abundant culture.
Whilst Turkey would have a flotilla experience that oozes a Far Eastern feel, with strong winds to challenge the more skilled sailors in the north, or quaint towns such as Gocek, providing lighter winds for those seeking a more leisurely trip.
On the other end of the world, the Caribbean allows for a spectacular island-hopping flotilla experience in the months of December, January and February. Snorkeling the transparent water, chilling on deserted white beaches and enjoying the ocean wildlife with the BVI’s and Belize in particular, being top of the list.
Ultimately there will be a flotilla to suit your specific needs, wants and level of experience. Chat to us about your thoughts on this and we can find the perfect fit for you.