Cruise ships are luxurious and often times very affordable options for vacationers who want to relax without the ‘hassles’ of planning your own trip or itinerary. They indeed offer all-inclusive getaways and the chance to cross seas and oceans, sipping Martinis every step of the way. But the reality is that cruise ships are responsible for a major part of the world’s ocean pollution so if you’re going to cruise this summer, then why not sail instead?
Sailing any of the world’s great wide oceans is an experience to be had. Dropping port along the way and visiting sea-side towns and remote islands along the way. Learning some knots and trying your hand at being a skipper is something any sea-worthy traveller should undertake. I’m not suggesting you start looking for a boat in the classified sections though, there are plenty of opportunities to rent boats and a crew if you don’t prove to be all that great of a sailor.
As opposed to a cruise vacation, you have a lot more freedom if you sail to stop where you’d like and how long you’d like. Many cruise ships moor up for only one night in a city. But honestly, who can see Budapest in one afternoon if you’re cruising down the Danube? In Europe and in the UK there are a wide range of sailing companies that not only rent you the boat but also a couple of crew members that show you the ropes and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be anchoring and casting off like a natural born sailor on your own.
Our advice: take a course before heading out. This is a great idea for families who want an active holiday with a lot of sightseeing and bonding time. A beginner’s course will make sure everyone is straight on which side is port and starboard, among the other sailing necessities.
Next is the hardest part, deciding where to take your sailing vacation: weaving through Greek islands? Exploring the English Channel? Heading north to visit Scotland’s majestic Faroe Islands?
Even a trip around the world seems doable after reading about Jessica Watson’s arrival home this weekend in Sydney after completing a round-the-world sailing trip on her own at the age of 16. If you don’t want to sleep on the boat every night, reserve hotels near the shore!
Grab a low cost flight to Greece or Italy, maybe Turkey or Egypt to start your sailing adventure and don’t forget to pack the sunblock! Sailing is no longer a luxury, an activity reserved for the rich and famous. Sailing as a family is a great and very affordable holiday idea, one that takes you anywhere the wind blows!
Have you ever tried a sailing adventure? Where would you go?