Parents with young children and babies are often concerned and reluctant about bringing them aboard a chartering yacht. Some parents decide to wait until their children grow up in order to realize such type of holiday and some decide to pursue it.
As a Professional Yacht Charter Broker, I would say that the YACHTING EXPERIENCE is for all ages! During my long time career in the yachting industry, I have had the opportunity to nicely work with families consisted of young children and babies. I never experienced any minor or large injuries during any of my charters in my entire career or I never experienced any small incidents that showed me that kids or babies should be excluded from this amazing holiday experience!
The crews of chartering vessels are always happy to have children on board. The supervision of the kids though is always the responsibility of the parents or of an adult from the charter party. Crews can always be supportive but having to do so many other tasks on board in order to accommodate the needs of numerous passengers, they cannot possibly dedicate their time to babysitting. The parents should have both the rule of watching the baby or children at all times. If any of the parents needs a break should always verbalize this to the other so the baby or children are watched after, at all the time. Nothing is assumed and this golden rule is great to have, on any type of floating vessel.
The kids if more than one often shares a cabin or even a bed. Infants usually are put to sleep in the parents’ cabin, in a baby cot provided by the boat. The boat also provides some other important items for the baby such: a special high chair for meals around the table, a life jacket for the baby of child and for all passengers of course.
It is important to mention to your Charter Broker how many pounds or kilos the baby and the children weigh so they can have the appropriate sizes of life vests aboard. Children and babies must wear their life vests at all times, it is suggested. The high chair also has to be asked for, as sometimes due to the shortage of space, the crew has to bring it from ashore, somewhere.
Additionally, it is important to inform the chef about the eating and drinking habits of the children and those of babies. Sometimes the infant is eating special organic formulas hard to find in the local market. In this case, the parent should inform the Charter Broker in advance so a research in the market is made on time, way before the charter begins. If same formula is not found locally, the parents themselves bring or ship the appropriate portion of food needed for a week for their baby.
Special sunscreen for children and babies and for sensitive skin passengers is not provided by the boat. The boat has some good products on board for sun protection, but if we have children with sensitive skin or passengers with sensitive skin, it is recommended they bring along their own products. Hats for babies and children are also necessary to be worn at all times.
It is recommended to bring some necessary medication along for your children or baby, for fever, aches… like you have at home, just in case.
If parents think they will need to wash some cloths for the children and for the babies on board, it is recommended they advise before the charter. Usually, laundry is not done onboard for any of the passengers. The crew always brings out the laundry to be done professionally if needed. But just in case, there is a need to wash something for the baby, let us know what detergent is needed for washing to have it aboard while cruising. No other laundry is being done though on the boat.
If parents feel more secure and safe with a net placed around the railing, it is suggested they mention this to their Charter Broker as well. The boat can provide this, if necessary, depending on the construction and type of yacht.
Generally speaking, kids, children, and crews they are all happy when they are on a charter. Crew members pay special attention to children, to their food and entertainment. Many chefs make special, adorable plates for children, they teach them how to make a cake or dough, and crews organize nice theme parties for them and spend hours watching them while they do water sports.
Boats have special snorkeling equipment and inflatable toys for children… for endless happy hours in the water!.
Tipping the crew is customary and it is usually done the day before disembarkation or upon disembarkation of your yacht charter. The crews are hard working professionals, being on duty at all times while on a boat charter, they are away from their families during the whole summer or during the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays in the Caribbean and in the Bahamas. The crews need to be tipped for their work, but the amount of the tip is entirely at the Charterer’s discretion. Despite this fact, us the Brokers, receive many times the requirement to assist on this matter and give some guidelines to charterers about tipping their crews.
Generally speaking the crew tips in the USA, the Caribbean and the Bahamas are higher than in other regions, such in Greece (East) and in West Mediterranean. The MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers’ Association) has issued a tip policy that seems to have the form of an accepted norm regarding the tipping of yacht crew members. According to this, the suggested tip for the crew varies from 5-15% of the total charter fee, excluding the running expenses of the charter. (Food, fuel, beverages, port fees etc). This percentage can be higher in the States where the tip can go up to 20% of the total charter fee. If you think this tip is high, please kindly take into consideration that crews work every day for 16-18 hours, from dawn to midnight. They really work hard to deliver excellence and to take care of the passengers’ needs.
If you plan to tip your crew, there are a few ways to do it. In cash before the disembarkation and in individual envelope for each member or in case you do not choose to carry so much money around, you can send the crew tips to your yacht broker along with your final instalment of the yacht reservation. Before the charter finishes the Broker will have the cash on board so you can distribute it to your crew personally. The distribution is usually equal to all members. If you wish to tip a crew member more than others for his/hard work is possible but not recommended as the crew works as an equal team.
Hiring a Greece Boat Charter is the best way to visit the famous Greek islands!
Many people have in their bucket list to visit the Greek islands, at least once in a lifetime! It is a totally justified wish and worth realizing it!
While you are aboard your crewed private yacht charter in Greece, you can benefit from:
1. Having a dedicated crew team that works hard to please all passengers and delivers excellence. If you decide to hire a crewed yacht charter in Greece your Captain is knowledgeable of the waters, of the hidden jewels of the Greek archipelagos and he is able to communicate very well with local authorities and people. With a crew, you have no surprises, no difficulties. Just trust your professional Captain and his team, relax and enjoy the “ride”!
2. Having a private chef at your service! Your Greek chef aboard will prepare healthy, fresh meals for you and your family or friends. The menu will be adjusted to your own preferences. Same with the beverages. Your chef follows your exact instructions about your likes and dislikes and makes a customized menu for your weekly charter.
3. Having the flexibility to visit one or two islands per day! Every day you have the chance to see different beautiful places. Usually, in the morning the Captain leaves the port, makes a stop at a nice spot for swimming and lunch, and then in late afternoon he sails towards a port to spend the night. At the port, the guests can go ashore to explore, to do clubbing, shopping, dining, etc.
When you have booked your Greece Boat Charter, the next question is. “Where we will be going during this week, what islands we will cover within this time frame?”
Greece has lots of nice sailing itineraries to choose from, but the final itinerary will always depend on the weather conditions. The itinerary options have as follows:
The Cyclades Group of islands
The Cyclades islands are famous. You ask millions of people all over the world about Mykonos and Santorini… They all know that these islands are situated in the Aegean Sea, in Greece. They are extremely busy with tourists more particularly during the month of July and of August. All hotels and tavernas are booked and it is hard to book anything last minute. If you decide to visit Cyclades islands on board your Greece Boat Charter and especially these islands, you either have to book much in advance or your best option would be to visit them during the low months, such June, and September. These months are quality months, there are no big crowds and it is pleasant to be around.
Another reason to help you avoid visiting in July and August is the presence of the “Meltemi” winds. These winds are very common in the Aegean Sea during July and August and make the boats’ itinerary and passengers’ comfort difficult because they are strong winds. The Cyclades islands offer a great variety of things to do, to see and they are unique. Every island has its own history, local dishes, beautiful beaches, historical sites, local tradition…
The Saronic Gulf islands
The Saronic Gulf is not far from Athens. If you embark your Greece Boat Charter in Athens, within 2 hours the most, you reach your first beautiful isle, in the Saronic Gulf.
All islands in the area are close together, so you do not have long cruising hours in between each one of them. The Saronic islands are very much visited by the Athenians during the weekends due to their proximity to Athens. Saronic Gulf is beautiful, with nice blue waters and “green small isles” and small fishing villages.
It is a perfect destination for people who dislike long cruising hours and they want to avoid the Aegean Sea and strong winds…If you prefer calm waters, beautiful picturesque villages, nice sea food, small restaurants and clubs… this is the place to go. The islands also have a great history, like the island of Hydra, Spetses, Aegina, etc…
Every month during the summer is a good month for exploring the amazing Saronic Gulf islands!
The Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are the “Greek Bahamas”! Beautiful turquoise waters, superb landscape, amazing small fishing ports etc. There is a great spot for golf and a beautiful casino in Corfu one of the northern islands of the Ionian Sea. While in the area, you can visit lots of ancient sites, historical monuments, museums, fine restaurants and much more! The Ionian Islands are the jewels of Greece! It is not a coincidence that Aristotle Onassis had his own private island “Scorpios” in the Ionian and he was cruising the local waters onboard his own amazing luxurious charter boat “CHRISTINA O”. He chose Scorpios, because this part of Greece is something special and worth visiting.
Allow yourself at least 10 days for your charter if you wish to visit this paradise on earth, the West side of Greece.
If your embarkation is in Athens, you will go through the unique Corinth Canal and you will be in the Ionian Sea within 1, 5 days. You need another 1,5 days to come back to Athens, plus one week to spend in the area. This is a 10- day charter- in case you have hired a motor yacht Charter in Greece.
If you prefer to hire a catamaran in Greece or a sailing boat in Greece and go to the Ionian Islands, then you need 12 days for this holiday. If you ask me, there are some boats already based in the Ionian Islands, but they are mostly small bareboats (Boats without crew). Any month is good to visit this part of Greece. May, June, July, August, September, even until mid of October.
The Sporades group of islands
The Sporades islands are extremely beautiful, but fairly quiet if you compare them to the Aegean group of islands. An itinerary voyaging through these beautiful isles is ideal, during June or September. These islands are located in the middle of the Aegean Sea, therefore, during July and August we might have the Meltemi winds blowing here…It is a premium yachting destination, and nature is at its best above and under water! Here you will meet dolphins, sea turtles, seals, etc. The vegetation is rich, this group of islands has lots of pine trees. The waters are clear and turquoise blue. Some of the filmingof MAMMA MIA was made here.
The healthy fresh local food, the small tavernas the hospitable people, are some of the ingredients that make these islands unique! Worth visiting! Allow yourself 10 days at least if you wish to embark/ disembark your Greece Boat Charter in Athens.
The Peloponnese peninsula
Especially the East part of Peloponnese peninsula is extremely beautiful with great areas to visit such: Nauplion, the first capital of Greece, the ancient theatre of Epidavros where the acoustics are amazing and ancient drama is still being presented to the public, the city of Monemvasia… and many more…
A lot of Charterers wish to visit these places due to their historical significance. Also, this part of Greece has usually calm waters. If the Meltemi winds blow in the Aegean in July or August the captain suggests this itinerary as a nice alternative route. Besides the important historical monuments you can visit, the whole East Coast of Peloponnese peninsula is beautiful with small villages, with beautiful hidden beaches and perfect spots for nice anchorages.
A week or more is enough for your Greece Boat Charter along the Peloponnese peninsula, a fun but also educational experience that will remain in your memories forever!
The Dodecanese group of islands
These islands are located far from Athens. Usually if people choose to have a Greece Boat Charter in this particular area, they know that: they need to either allow themselves longer periods for this yacht charter if they embark/ disembark in Athens…Or if they prefer to meet their boat in Rhodes or Kos they need to add to the expenses the relocation fee of the boat to go to Rhodes or to Kos.
This cost involves the fuel that the boat burns to come to meet you in Kos or Rhodes plus the cost of fuel for the boat consumes to go back to her base after the charter. Some owners additionally charge for the time that it takes for the relocation. The total cost of relocation depends on the yachts’ engine consumption and the flexibility of the owner to relocate the vessel.
There are some boats that are based in the areabut they are small and usually are bareboats (Without crew) The Dodecanese islandsare unique, different from the Cyclades, the Sporades or the other groups of islands. Still very beautiful with their own character. Chartering a motor yacht charter around Rhodes and Kos is enjoyable. There are lots of activities you can perform in the islands, such site seeing, having educational tours, biking, hiking, swimming, snorkelling, having time for water sports, for fine dining, going to the casino, and many more. Depending on the islands you visit in the Dodecanese you have the chance to see the two sides of the coin: small fishing villages with a few inhabitants like in Halki or Kastelorizo… or large ports with 5 -star hotels, like in Rhodes! Rhodes has an international airport, you can have direct flights from Europe. You can visit the Dodecanese any time of the summer months, all months are beautiful. The temperature is a little higher than in other parts of Greece, as these islands are located in the southern part of the country.
The famous Cretan diet is one of the healthiest diets worldwide! Studies say that Cretans live longer than other people in Europe. But Crete is not famous only for this reason. It is famous also for its natural beauty and hospitable people! Crete is located in the southern part of Greece, thus usually the climate here is warmer than in other areas of the country. The beaches on the north or the south side of the island are amazing. Elounda is one of the most famous beautiful beaches with 5- star hotels, worth visiting. Falassarna… is a unique beach not too far from Chania. The waters of Falassarna beach have natural springs of cold water coming out from the bottom of the sea… Loutro is a small fishing village where you can only reach by your own Greece Boat Charter… Samaria Gorge is a ‘must visit” place, as well as the ancient city of Knossos famous for the Greek Minotaur in Mythology.
One week is the minimum time for a charter in Crete… as the place is unique with lots of activities to do. There are no boats based in Crete, your own Greece Boat Charter has to relocated from Athens to Chania or Heraklion for a pickup/drop off there.
A healthy, tasty diet is undoubtedly an important element for a successful Greece Boat Charter. All crewed yacht charters in Greece have high professional cooks or chefs aboard, who work hard from day until night in order to please their guests’ nutrition needs.
Motor yacht charter vessels, catamarans in Greece, sailing yachts and motor sailers they all offer amazing culinary experiences to the passengers! While you do a Greek island hopping, your chef prepares all your meals, from an amazing buffet breakfast, to delicious lunches and to superb suppers.
Greek cuisine, especially the Cretan diet is popular aboard the Greece Boat Charter vessels. But if passengers prefer something different, the chef can easily accommodate different needs.
More specifically the chefs on board a mega yacht charter in Greece can prepare Greek cuisine, Thai cuisine, French, Italian and many more.
The Greek Olive oil, the fresh vegetables, the lean meat, the fresh fish, the red and white Greek wines… are some of the base ingredients for the chefs’ incredibly delicious creations!
How do you choose your menu and how much you can intervene in order to have the best menu for your family and guests, aboard your Greece Boat Charter?
Yacht Charter Questionnaire
Once you book your Greek yacht charter, the broker sends you a document to fill in, which is called charter questionnaire. This document has many questions about your food and beverage preferences. Once you complete the charter questionnaire the yacht broker sends it to your chef aboard your chosen boat. The chef follows your preferences and creates a custom made menu for your weekly Greek charter. It is important you mention on the charter questionnaire about your food allergies, if any.
The same procedure is followed for your beverages. Your yacht charter broker sends you a list of the available Greek or imported wines and champagne lists, along with prices. You can choose the quality and quantity of alcoholic beverages you would need for the duration of your charter. The imported wines and champagne are more expensive than local Greek products.
Once your chef has your preferences on the questionnaire, he orders the goods from his preferred local store and he has everything delivered to the boat. As a result when your embarkation day comes, everything you need for your weekly menu is aboard the vessel. Your chef makes a custom made menu for you. Some fresh products such fish, bread and vegetables are also bought on the Greek islands and everything else along with some items that are hard to find in the small villages are purchased in Athens.
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