“You don’t need a maritime qualification to experience a MedSailors sailing holiday, you just need the desire to explore and enjoy…we take care of the rest.”
I went on my first MedSailors trip to Greece back in July 2016. Since then, I’ve sailed four in total! I feel pretty confident I can give you a good overview of everything you need to know about MedSailors. I’ve completed Greece Saronic, Croatia Discovery, Antigua in the Caribbean and last week, Sicily Aeolian Islands in Italy. I’ve loved them all, so don’t ask me for my favourite! They all offer something a bit different, but they’ve all been incredible.
Who are MedSailors?
Owned and operated by three kiwi yachties, they believe a great sailing holiday is experienced on a yacht. Their passion for sailing has built their reputation as market leaders who offer the highest quality sailing holidays available. With picturesque towns, bars, vibrant restaurants, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, it’s no wonder so many guests return time and time again.
What’s a MedSailors trip?
A chance to experience an unforgettable 7 days as you set sail around the most breath-taking islands in the Mediterranean, enjoying epic adventures and authentic local culture. The perfect mix of exploring, partying and relaxation. MedSailors is what YOU make it, and everyone I speak to has different experiences. The trips are designed for people age 20-35, but you’re in control of however you wish to experience it. I’ve partied hard on some trips and totally chilled on others. Ultimately you’re going to have a great time! It’s one of my favourite ways to travel.
For 2020, MedSailors have routes in Greece,Croatia, Turkey and Montenegro. Each listing on their website will show you a video trailer, the route, the yachts available, highlights, day-to-day itinerary, prices and information on how to get there.
Six nights’ accommodation onboard your own yacht; a fully qualified Skipper; learning how to sail; breakfast and lunch; drinking water; a paddleboard and snorkelling equipment (mask, fins and snorkel). You can bring your own snacks and alcohol on board, and you’ll eat out for evening meals (which you paid for separately).
Their sailing trips run for 7 days and 6 nights. For Saturday departures, you will return to port around midday on the following Friday, with the final check out by 3 pm. For Sunday departures, you will return to port around noon on Saturday, with the last check out by 3 pm.
There are three different types of yachts available at various price points. Premier, Monocats and Catamarans. Brand new for next year, Monocat yachts are a mix between a catamaran and a monohull. They are new 2020 models offering the ultimate in space and luxury with an extra-large social and dining area, onboard 360 sound system and lots of extra charging sockets. MedSailors range of Catamarans provides the ultimate in space and comfort, with ample sunbathing decks and a generous living area. I personally love a Catamaran, but all the boats are of high quality and more spacious than you think. You can check the website here for more detailed images and descriptions of the different yachts.
Your Crew (aka, the people you’re paired with!)
When booking your trip, MedSailors will provide a questionnaire to gauge the type of holiday experience you’re looking for. They then match you with like-minded people who are similar ages. I’ve got to admit, they do the pairing so well. In Italy, everyone kept complimenting that whoever is responsible for putting the boats together did a fabulous job! We were all beautiful suited to each other but equally enjoyed when we all came together to hang out too. The trips are tailored for people aged 20-35; however, do reach out if you’re slightly older or younger as they’re likely to accommodate you. I’ve been with a friend, solo and twice with my boyfriend and enjoyed each experience equally as much. I’d love to go with a group of our friends one day!
It’s worth noting that depending on the route, there can be anywhere between 3 to 10 boats sailing together at one time. Each boat has roughly 6-8 guests on board, so there’ll be plenty of people to mingle with which is something I love about MedSailors.
Your Skipper will become a big part of your trip, they’re responsible for all the sailing, keeping the boat tidy and cooking you breakfast and dinner. They’re incredible. I’ve had Skippers from Argentina, Brazil and Portugal and stayed friends with them all on social media. Most of the Skippers are aged early 20’s to early 30’s and all the crew speak English. Typically, the team is made up of Brits, Kiwi’s, Australians, Europeans and South Americans. They are all RYA certified Yacht Masters. This means as well as being fully qualified sailors, they are happy to teach you how to sail, which is free of charge during your sailing holiday. In addition to their Yacht-Master qualification, the skippers attend a pre-season MedSailors training in preparation for the season. Make sure you set aside some cash to tip your Skipper, they deserve it for how hard they work to make your trip the best it can be.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll have a Guest Manager who rotates around the boats during the week too. This person is responsible for all queries, keeping guests happy and providing you with information on each island/location you visit. They give the best tips, advice and local knowledge.
Cabin & Sleeping
The cabin you sleep in for the week is excellent. You’re provided with linen, bath towels and pillows, and I’ve always slept well. The beds are really comfortable and not claustrophobic. The catamarans definitely have the bigger of bedrooms, but you’ll find most of them have a small wardrobe, draw or shelves to store your possessions. My best advice, pack light. You’ll mostly wear swimwear during the day, shorts and a tee for activities and maybe something a little nicer for the evening meals and bars. I like packing a bikini cover-up I can eat meals in and a light cardigan in case it’s windy.
Where do I even start with the incredible food you’ll be fed? I’ve liked every single one of my meals on my trips, the Skipper’s do an exceptional job at putting together yummy breakfast and lunch options. Everything is fresh, healthy, and you’ll never go hungry. You eat evening meals on land, and they can either be with your boat, as one big group or by yourself if you wish. MedSailors often organise meals where you pay a fixed fee and choose your meal prior. In Croatia, we ate at a Vineyard with a farm, and in Italy, we all ate at a Farm House where they served us 14 different dishes.
Activities & Extras
Each route has the option to do additional paid activities, excursions, watersports, hiking or tours. I’ve done parasailing, mud baths, walking history tours, swimming with stingrays, wine tasting and rented quad bikes and scooters to see the islands. I highly recommend budgeting for these things, but the best part is, you don’t have to do them if you don’t want to. Many of our group did a few hikes in Italy while Benji and I explored the local town. It’s totally up to you what you fancy doing!
This totally depends on a few factors. The route you pick, the type of yacht you’d like, the time of year and how many people go (bigger groups or returning guests get a discount). They also offer early bird prices, so now is an excellent time to book a year in advance! Spending money, visas, travel insurance, extra activities/excursions, flights and departure taxes are not included. Generally speaking, prices can start from around £600 per person, but if you check the website, all the prices are at the bottom for each route.
You will have to pay a local payment which covers your tourist taxes, marina and port fees and fuel for the week. It is paid directly to your skipper on the day of your departure. The local payment amounts to approximately €95 for yachts & €100 for catamarans per person. In Croatia this is 700 – 750 Kuna, in Greece and Montenegro this is €85 – €100 and in Turkey, this is 650 – 750 Turkish Lira.
How much extra shall I budget?
Spending money will vary across routes as Croatia is a bit more expensive than Greece and Turkey. As a suggestion for your evening meal and some drinks, MedSailors recommend allowing €25-€35 per day for Greece, Montenegro & Turkey, and €30-€40 per day for Croatia. I feel this is pretty accurate but obviously it up to you. I generally spend extra on snacks, souvenirs, activities, cocktails and food.
What are the bathroom facilities like?
Lovely! There are usually two bathrooms on board which you will share (I have had an en-suite in Greece on a Premium Plus boat before though). There’s a proper toilet, but the rule is, don’t flush paper down it. You pop the paper in a waste bin, and the Skipper will empty it regularly. Most boats have an electric flushing system which you’ll be shown how to use. The showers are really nice too. Plenty of space but the rule with showers is to keep ’em quick! You’re all sharing a tank of water, so be conscious of how long you’re showing for. I’ve also showered off the back of the boat as there’s a hose you can use to wash down with. There are usually showers at least once or twice at a port or marina you stop too, so you can shower on land if you’d prefer.
What if I get seasick?
During peak season the water is calm and, on most days, you won’t even feel the swell. For days when it is slightly windier, MedSailors recommend packing anti-motion sickness medication. No one has been sick on any of my trips, but personally, we’ve found sea bands, ginger biscuits and flat coca-cola helps. Also, watching the horizon and staying out in the fresh air above desk helps! Don’t be afraid to tell your Skipper if you’re feeling unwell, they’ll able to provide tips and help.
What if I’m not a very strong swimmer?
Life jackets are available on all the yachts, and there will be plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Or, if you prefer, you can stick to lounging around, soaking up the rays on deck! I’ve been on trips where a few people didn’t swim at all.
Are the yachts secure?
Yes. MedSailors have never had an incident of theft on any of their sailing trips. Valuables can be safely stored in your cabin or below deck. I’ve carried my laptop, and thousands of pounds worth of camera equipment (for work purposes!) on all my trips and it has all been safe.
What’s the wifi and charging like?
All yachts are equipped with European sockets (two-pin plugs), so you will need to bring an adapter for your devices. The boats also have iPhone-compatible stereos and jacks, so you can play your favourite tunes! Power is available onboard your yacht whenever you are connected to shore power. All other times, you should be able to charge your devices when the yacht’s engine is switched on. Check with your Skipper in advance, and they will let you know when to plug-in. There is no Wi-Fi onboard the boats, but you can find hot spots on the shore at many restaurants and bars during your week of sailing.
What shall I pack?
Beach towel, suncream, a floatie/inflatable (or use their recycling programme to get previous guests ones from the week before!), light clothing, games, portable phone charger and a reusable water bottle. Don’t bother with a hairdryer or straighteners, the boats don’t have enough power to make them work properly. For more packing tips, read their blog post here.