Flotilla Sailing Vacations
In 1972, Steve and Doris Colgate decided it was time to open new horizons for Offshore Sailing School alumni and introduced “flotilla cruises” to the United States market. The very first flotilla sailing holiday cruise they led was in August 1972 in the British Virgin Islands with 36 participants on a British Virgin Islands flotilla of six identical boats from The Moorings. In 1973 they headed to Greece with 40 eager graduates. Then the Coast of Maine, Turkey, Yugoslavia before it split, and then Croatia, France, Tahiti, Tonga, the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest, Belize, the Windward and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Martin, St. Lucia, and the list goes on.
Flotilla Cruise Sailing Credentials Criteria
These special sailboat vacations take you to places you might never go on your own and, best of all, they provide lasting friendships. Our flotilla sailing holidays are open to all sailors with sailing certifications or requisite experience, a Colgate Sailing Adventures™ Flotilla Cruise is a super travel deal. Not yet a sailor? Sign up for one of our 3-day or longer certification courses, available in Florida and the British Virgin Islands and earn your passport to see the world under sail.
Make Every Vacation a Sailing Vacation
Four to six flotilla sailing holidays are planned each year, led by our official Flotilla Cruise Guides, Nate and Heather Atwater. Read more about the Atwaters here . . . and watch for more cruises coming up in addition to these:
- Gulf Islands of British Columbia – July 14-22, 2017 (4 cabins left)
- The Amalfi Coast of Italy – September 16-23, 2017 (Filled but taking wait list reservations)
- St. Martin in the Caribbean’s northern Leeward Islands – January 12-20, 2018
- Saronic Gulf of the Greek Islands – June 16-23, 2018
Our Flotilla Cruises are the best way to enjoy bareboat chartering. “Bareboat” chartering means you sail the boat, just like renting a car. But on these sailboat vacations, Offshore Sailing School charters four to eight cruising boats and takes care of all the details. All you need do is sign up, pack your sailing clothes, and meet at the cruise departure location for these turn-key sailboat vacations.
Bring a Friend or Loved One, Make New Friends
With three or four private cabins, spacious main salons, cockpits and decks, these boats are ideal for socializing and enjoying the outdoors. You may purchase a single private cabin, or share a cabin with another sailor you bring with you on a flotilla sailing adventure. We assign individuals and couples to each boat based on sailing resumes required from everyone on the cruise. Colgate Sailing Adventure flotilla cruises are open to all sailors who have sailing experience that is at leaset equivalent to what is learned in US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification courses. Most participants have taken the Offshore Sailing School Fast Track to Cruising or Live Aboard Cruising course on large catamarans or monohulls. The most experienced aboard are designated “skipper” and “navigator”, tasked with taking charge in an emergency. They also are the “voice” of all aboard in communications with the Cruise Leader.
Sharing and Sailing
Everyone shares in the fun and sailing on all our Colgate Sailing Adventures. In the evenings, stories and laughter abound as you relax under a canopy of stars while dining al fresco in the cockpit. Each morning your Cruise Leaders make the rounds to discuss the itinerary and navigation on each boat. In an Offshore Sailing Adventure flotilla, all the boats follow the same route and rendezvous in an anchorage or harbor designated by the Cruise Leader that day.
Who May Participate
“The trip was fantastic. Whoever does the arranging of people did a great job, we had a great time on our boat.”
Terry and Michele Brown – Salt Lake City, UT
Colgate Offshore Sailing Club cruising adventures and sailboat vacations are for sailors who enjoy the company of other sailors. All participants should have minimum certification at the Learn to Sail level (or equivalent experience) and experience on boats of at least 26’ in length. You also must be in good health with strength and ability to move about a cruising boat easily underway; able to get into a dinghy from the cruising boat and back onto it without assistance. As part of the flotilla sailing holiday, you must be willing to participate with others aboard – trimming sails, steering, helping with anchoring, docking, picking up moorings, and sharing cooking and cleaning up. Minimum age for participation is 18.