Greek Islands Flotilla Cruise with Colgate Sailing Adventures
Cruise the Spectacular Saronic Gulf of the Greek Islands
Ancient Sites, Exciting Sailing, Fun-Filled Ports and Delicious Mediterranean Cuisine
What’s not to like about this very special Greek Islands Sailing Cruise? “Cruising in Greece is truly our favorite destination,” says Steve Colgate, Offshore Sailing School founder and Chairman, who with his wife and partner Doris has led more than 10 Greek Island vacation flotilla cruises for Offshore Sailing School graduates. “Each day takes you to a picturesque anchorage with quiet villages, historic sites and scenic beaches; or a bustling port where you moor stern-to and set off to explore historically ancient ruins, temples, medieval castles, shop in open-air markets and dine in intimate tavernas.”
This area of the Mediterranean enjoys an average of 315 cloudless days a year, blue skies, warm weather (76°F to 82°F) and water temperatures averaging 80°F. In June during this Greek Island sailing cruise, expect light winds but you can never exclude the possibility of a Meltemi, which can blow 15-40 knots. The itinerary below (always subject to change) is generally in the Saronic Gulf – a well-protected area with pleasant sailing and much to do and see ashore.
Don’t Wait – Sign Up to Join our Greek Islands Flotilla Today!
Call 888-454-7015 or email Sail@OffshoreSailing.com
There are so many places to visit and such great sailing here you will want to come back over and over. Here’s a sample of the Greek Island vacation itinerary planned to date (subject to change).
Plan to arrive early in the day to get your bearings. Then relax by a portside taverna with a cup of strong Greek coffee and watch the world pass by. You will be able to board the Flotilla yachts at 6 p.m. Cruise leaders – Nate and Heather Atwater – who arrive the day before to oversee last minute details, will meet you as you arrive.
Day 1, June 17 – To Aegina (18NM)
The Greek Island sailing cruise fleet will likely moor or anchor in Agia Marina on the northeast corner of the island, not far from the fascinating 5th century BC Doric Temple of Aphaia and its adjoining museum. This stunning example of ancient architecture is set in a beautiful natural forest area with views across the island to the sea. Aegina’s history dates back to the 4th millennium BC with many archaeological sites marking ancient settlements. The island is famous for its pistachio nuts (called Fistikia), and is home to one of the most famous pottery-making families in Greece, located in the inland village of Mesagros near the Temple. You may want to visit the huge Greek Orthodox church, named for Agio Nektarios a saint known for miracle healing, who died in 1920. There are several nice beaches in the marina and Akrogiali Café – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner –puts torches in the sea seemingly to beckon the moon’s rise, for an amazing dining experience.
Poros is approached through a narrow, picturesque channel that separates the island of Poros from the Peloponnese peninsula. It’s mountainous green landscape overlooks red-topped roofs lining the streets of Poros Town, where you can moor stern-to on the southern side of the port. Pine, olive and lemon trees cover the hillsides and border sandy beaches. Consider hiring a scooter for this part of your Greek island vacation and head to the top of the island’s pine-forested interior to view the historic clock of Poros. Or visit Moni Zoodochou Pigis, an 18th century monastery built around the island’s only spring. The island’s most famous nightclub is Poseidon, perched on a hillside overlooking the town. The best cafes and shops are located around the town square near the museum and town hall.
The Colgates say Hydra is a must stop because of its attractions, ambiance, wonderful cuisine, nightlife, and donkey tours. It’s crescent shaped harbor is unique. Donkeys and walking are how you get around as cars and bicycles are not permitted. The Greek Island sailing cruise fleet needs to get here early and moor stern-to before most of the boats arrive. Slip into the relaxing Med way of life as you visit Hydra’s historic monasteries, museums and elegant mansions of bygone eras, or head to the beach for snorkeling and swimming. This is a great place to fill up the galley with local food, and baked goods, then have a coffee or aperitif on the waterfront and people watch before enjoying great traditional cuisine at one of its many tavernas. But don’t feed the multitude of cats as they will mark your chair in their traditional protective way.
You can see the green mountainous island of Kea from afar as you sail to the western edge of the Cyclades islands. Known as the Water Island (Ydroussa) with very rare numerous springs and streams, Kea is rich in Greek mythology. The Greek island sailing cruise fleet will likely dock at Korissia, the island’s main port in the south end of Nikolaos Bay where you’ll find a good selection of low-key cafes, tavernas and restaurants. The Lion of Kea, the most visited attraction on the island, dates from the 6th century and is said to have been sent there by resentful gods to drive the nymphs away and rob the island of water, all eventually restored by Zeus. You can rent a bicycle or motorbike, take a bus, or hike on trails as you explore the island. Or just wander through this laid-back harbor town with plenty of shops, tavernas and bars. There are more than 30 hiking trails, once part of the ancient road system linking the villages of the island.
Cape Sounion is another amazing place to visit during your Greek island vacation, perched on towering cliffs of the Attica Peninsula where you’ll find the area’s biggest attraction – the legendary Temple of Poseidon. Its worn white marble ruins have been restored many times, starting in 440 B.C. when the original temple was built to honor the god of the sea. Look for the mark of George Lord Byron, the famed romantic poet, then visit the nearby ruins of the Temple of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Overlooking the gorgeous Saronic Gulf, the views from Cape Sounion are stunning, with picture-perfect sunsets. The fleet will anchor on the west side in Cape Sounion Bay, where you can enjoy viewing the Temple of Poseidon from your cockpit, with aperitif in hand.
Day 6, June 22 – Back to Marina Zea (15 NM)
Since we must return the boats by 9 a.m. the next morning (June 23), the fleet will arrive back at Zea by 4 p.m. today. A walk along the Piraeus waterfront takes you past shops, with sumptuous seafood restaurants and harborside tavernas. At the marina you can enjoy showers, WiFi, shopping and entertainment. If you didn’t spend time sightseeing before the Greek island sailing cruise started, a trip to The Acropolis is truly a must as it is built on a flat-topped rock rising 490 feet above bustling streets below, and usually has an amazing sound and light show at dusk. You might also want to walk among the towering marble columns of the Parthenon which many consider the high point of Greek art. The marina has a Greek Naval Museum and many other attractions within walking distance. There is so much to see and do here, you might want to add an extra day or two before you head back home.
The catamarans we have reserved for this very special Greek Islands Flotilla cruise are: Three Sunsail 444s with four cabins, four heads (bathrooms), and five showers (one on the stern to rinse off after swimming); and one Sunsail Premium 404 with four cabins and two heads. Both models have ample storage for your luggage in small areas in reached via the forward cabins.
Greek Islands Cruise Package Prices and Payment Terms
This exclusive cruise has just 15 cabins available (the 16th reserved for Nate and Heather). It will fill quickly, as Greece is traditionally one of our most popular Colgate Sailing Adventures Flotilla Cruise destinations and we have not been here in several years. The cruise is open to all sailors, with a $300 discount per person for Offshore Sailing School grads who hold US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification. Find a friend or loved one, or come alone, and call 888-454-7015 today to reserve your cabin.
Package Rates Per Person:
- Single private cabin – $3,295 ($2,995 with above grad discount if you qualify)
- Double shared cabin per person – $2,995 ($2,695 with above grad discount if you qualify)
To guarantee your cabin, a 30% deposit of the total package is due now. Final payment is due on February 1, 2018. A $300 refundable damage deposit is also required at time final payment is made. No refunds are allowed after February 1, 2018. Please purchase Travel Insurance.
Included in Your Per Person Package:
- Private or shared cabin on one of the flotilla yachts, assigned by the Atwaters
- Welcome party arrival night with heavy hors d’oeuvres (meze in Greek) or light dinner
- Starter pack of provisions to include breakfast and lunches for two days
- Fuel charge for the duration of the charter
- Ice, full water and fuel tanks prior to departure
- Damage waiver applied by charter company
- Commemorative shirt and cap for this cruise
- Comprehensive cruise e-book prepared by Offshore, to help you plan your trip
Nate and Heather Atwater will assign cabins and boats based on resumes we receive from participatnts, appointing a Skipper and Navigator (mate) from those with Bareboat Cruising or higher certification levels. The Skipper is also required to hold a US Sailing or ASA IPC (International Proficiency Certificate) which can be achieved easily with the required certifications mentioned here.
What’s Not included:
- All travel costs to and from Greece and the Sunsail base
- All meals aboard or ashore during the cruise except for the starter pack
- Beverages you wish to have aboard while cruising (Greek wines are quite good)
- Any costs incurred to visit sites during the cruise
- Extra provisions, water, ice or fuel bought for the boat while on the cruise – shared by all aboard each boat
- Docking/mooring fees per night (range from 10 Euros per boat for stern-to Med-moorings on town quays to 50 Euros per boat in marinas) – shared by all aboard each boat
- Shore showers (some charge a small fee)
Plan to bring enough cash to support a kitty on each boat, which will be used for docking/mooring fees and shopping excursions with your crew for fresh baked goods, veggies, and meals you want to prepare aboard. Restaurants on the islands offer local cuisine, usually at modest prices. Greek is the official language, but many people speak English and French. The currency in Greece is the Euro.
The Sunsail base at Zea Marina is conveniently located in the port of Piraeus, about an hour from Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos), roughly a 60 Euro taxi ride. You can also take a bus or metro from the airport to the base. The base has a supermarket, restaurants, cafes and bars showers, postal services and WiFi Internet.The mobile network is good in Greece.
If you want to arrive a few days early and stay near the base, Sunsail recommends the Savoy Hotel in Piraeus (email@example.com). Many airlines including Delta, American, and Olympic Airways from the U.S. service Athens. Since Mariner Travel books so many people to their Greece bases, you might want to let them book your flight too. For flights call Soon Saysomvang, 866-649-2003.