sailing in Greece

Old Jul 19th, 2000, 02:07 PM
  #1  
George
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sailing in Greece

Can anyone recommend any good charter companies that rent boats (w/skipper) out of Athens for a week other than the Moorings? My wife and I would like to go in September. Also we would like to visit Santorini but I have heard that Santorini is probably too far to include on a sail from Athens -> Athens in a week time. Any advice?
Is it possible to rent a boat from someplace further south than Athens?
 
Old Jul 19th, 2000, 03:12 PM
  #2  
Thyra
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George: my husband, myself and another couple have chartered a 38 foot yacht for 7 days out of Athens and sailing to the Saronic Gulf islands(Hydra, Aegina etc)with Skipper in October, through Exas Worldwide Yacht Charters. We are all non-sailors so we chose a 7 day itenerary that includes the the amphitheatre ruins on the Pennisula. These are all short sailing days and safe docking places recommeded for non sailors. It is a 2 week trip to the island group know as the Cyclades where Santorini is and apparently you need superior sailing skills from what we possess. We decided to arrive a week before our charter and FLY to Mykonos and Santorini, but if you are an avid sailor you might choose the more difficult trip, (the Charter agent mentioned something called Meltemi (Sp?) winds that are supposed to be tricky and which stranded Price Charles on a Greek Island for a week last year). The company we have been dealing with has been fantastic so far. Thalea the US Charter agent and Niko the Greek Agent have taken great pains to answer questions via email within 24 hours.. and believe me I have innundated them! They mailed us Greek calendars at Christmas and sent ahead the provisions list (if you choose you can return the list to them and they will have the yacht stocked before you leave). They also pick you up from the hotel in Athens and take you to the port at Pireus (sp?) and offer tours of Athens included with the charter. I checked their references and paperwork meticulously and found glowing reviews and everything in order. Obviously I can't speak to the experience since it is still 53 business days and counting until we leave, but judging on the level of service thus far I have been very, VERY impressed. They also have a web site if you are interested I can send you more info. Also you can go to www.greektravel.com and contact GSPC charters that is recommended by Matt Barrett, actually they were the company I started out with, but I found a better price with Exas, (and slightly better customer service)if you need more info. email me directly.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2000, 06:27 AM
  #3  
George
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Thyra,

Thanks alot for your reply, that's exactly what I was looking for. I'm going to call Exas. I also think the seperate Santorini trip is a good idea, we are going to try to work that in as well. Have fun on your trip!
 
Old Jul 20th, 2000, 09:11 AM
  #4  
Robin
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Hi George--

I hope you love sailing in the Greek Islands-- we had a blast.

I see that Thyra mentioned GPSC. This is the company we chartered with (bareboat), and we were only partially satisfied. I think you could work around the problems we ran into, and maybe they would even be less of an issue with a crewed charter, since you'd have someone right there to be your advocate, but I thought I should warn you of our experience.

Most of the dissatisfaction had to do with the boat. It was older, but we selected it because it was a good name and well-built, and we anticipated that it would sail well. What we did not anticipate was that it would be in very poor repair. The boats that they offer are privately owned, and are only maintained as well as the owner cares to do. Ours didn't. The problem is that the GPSC reps here typically have no first-hand knowledge of specific yachts, so they really don't know of potential problems. We learned later that there had been complaints about this boat in the past that had not been addressed.

I tell you this just to alert you to stuff to watch for. I would suggest not considering boats more than a few years old. Also, plan to inspect the boat VERY carefully before leaving, and ask in advance what possibility you have of changing if it is not to your satisfaction. And, as I mentioned, utilize the skipper to make sure your needs are met-- I'm sure that will help a lot.

I loved the experience, and would do it again in a heartbeat, so I hope this doesn't come off as too negative. But it's frustrating to think you know what you're getting and to be disappointed. So this is just a word to the wise.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2000, 10:30 AM
  #5  
George
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Robin,

Thanks for the reply, I will certainly keep that in mind. What boat did you use? We are also talking to GPSC, and are looking at a 44ft sun magic.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2000, 10:51 AM
  #6  
Thyra
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George, keep us updated on your planning and trip please. OK Robin, this is so weird! I was adopted so maybe we are genetically linked somehow. Like two parallel sets of footprints going the same direction but never crossing.... Did you decide on a Safari? Oops sorry wrong forum....
 
Old Jul 20th, 2000, 02:28 PM
  #7  
George
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Thyra,

I contacted Thalea and you are right they seem very knowledgable and courteous. We are looking at chartering a 43 ft Bavaria boat from them in sept. I'll keep you posted. I will tell her that you gave me her name.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2000, 04:07 PM
  #8  
Thyra
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George, regarding Robin's post and GSPC charters. One thing I can say about Exas is that it is a Greek company. One of the patrons I emailed in my quest for references commented extensively on the quality of the boat he chartered. Please do tell Thalea I gave her your name (Note: I am in no way affiliated with Exas, just a so-far satisfied customer) but give her my name since it might make up, in some small way, for the 10 million emails I have sent her over every last little piddling thing! She has shown incredible patience! Let me know what you decide and regardless I wish you a wonderful trip!
 
Old Jul 21st, 2000, 12:17 PM
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Robin
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Hi George--

I just got your question about our boat with GPSC. It was a Corsair 45 (Swedish-built) and I think it was about a 1986. As I said, we knew, or thought we knew, what to expect with an older boat (my husband and I own a 1979 model), but this didn't work out. My understanding is that it was removed from their offerings after that time.

I'm not sure, but I think a Sun Magic is a Jeanneau. If so, if it's fairly new, it should work out fine. I do know that Bavarias are great boats, but I'm not sure if they are more or less roomy. I don't know Exas Charters, but Thyra's enthusiasm is influencing me!

Thyra, if we are twins separated at birth does that mean one of us is the evil one?? (PS, still just in the dreaming stages in Africa, but I'm monitoring the posts!)
 
Old Jul 21st, 2000, 12:36 PM
  #10  
Thyra
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Robin: Yes, you are. Sad to say I am most likely the evil one since I live in Hollywood. I am also in that dreaming stage for Africa...5 year anniversary coming up, but my husband says no planning until we get back from Greece.. so I do it on the side. Do I smell addiction? Better leave off this subject line or someone will scold us for not being in the proper thread etc. Anyway George has promised to keep us updated. Just curious Robin, what time of year did you go sailing in Greece and where did you go, and what was the weather like?
 
Old Jul 21st, 2000, 01:10 PM
  #11  
Robin
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I was there in September of 1998. We did a bareboat charter (three couples) in the Cycladic Islands, after first visiting Santorini and Rhodes by plane. We left from Piraeus, and went (I think) east to Sounion, then Kea, then to an island who's name escapes me, then Paros, Seriphos and across to the Saronic to Hydra and Aegina. It was a 10-day charter. This was not exactly our original plan. We got a late start from Pireaus, which is why we stopped so soon in Sounion. Then, the next morning we had a rash of boat trouble, and had to wait for repairs, so that's why the short trip on to Kea. However, the beach at Sounion is a lovely place to have breakfast and beer! After the no-name island, we had intended to go on to Mykonos, but we got caught in a little squall (in port) that made us cautious about setting off, and we ended up losing a day there. This was the only serious disappointment in the itinerary, as we were really anxious to see Delos. We opted not to go there the next day, because it would have taken us to our farthest point, and we were out of "spare" days to make up for delays, if anything further had gone wrong. We went on to Paros, which was a highlight, and spent quite a bit of time there. I loved the interior of the island-- rent a car if possible, to explore! And, they have a (bad) Mexican restaurant in Paroikia (we are Californians, so we needed a fix)! From Paros we went on to Seriphos, and there we made our last itinerary change. Again, due to weather and wind, we felt that we couldn't continue north through the Cyclades, so we turned west to the Saronic. I don't recommend that-- it's a long crossing, and we had a lot of chop to deal with from the weather in the area. But the Saronic Gulf is much calmer, and once we got in there it was fine for the couple of days we had left.

I should mention that the weather was great most of the time, but the wind wasn't at all what we expected. Often we had very light winds, and would therefore motor, but then a little storm would show up and churn things up. The Meltemi has the reputation as a powerhouse blowing in from the north, but during our trip it often ran into wind from the south, and to some degree they would cancel each other out!

In general it was great "Mediterranean" weather-- dry, warm, temperate, with a few exceptions. We fell in love with the islands, and all threaten to run away and live there!
 
Old Jul 27th, 2000, 11:09 AM
  #12  
Robin
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For Stephanie's questions about Turkey...
 

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