Sailing Destinations of the World

The Seychelles

The breathtaking Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa, boasts some of the most brilliant flora and fauna on earth, just 4 degrees south of the equator. The outer islands are low-laying, mostly coral atolls and sailing is done mainly within the inner islands, all close together which make for easy island hopping. The Seychelles Islands can best be described as paradise on earth with towering granite rocks, swaying palm trees and turquoise inlets that are framed with sparkling white sand beaches. Mahe is the largest island and since it is surrounded by other islands, its beaches are relatively calm and safe. Mahe is a mountainous island with peaks approaching 1000 meters and tropical forests that are laced with hiking trails. The gorgeous tropical scenery, white beaches and shimmering aquamarine waters make Seychelles a perfect sailing holiday destination.

The Greek Islands

Sailing is really the best way to experience these breathtaking islands, setting your own island-hopping itinerary, finding secluded spots or dining on Greek cuisine. Greece has 6,000 islands scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, of which only 227 are inhabited. The Greek Islands are home to some of the greatest sunsets on earth and with more than 300 days of sunshine a year making this one of the best places on earth to charter a yacht. Each of these islands has their own unique character making every port visit unique. The continuous sunshine, traditional whitewashed villages, ancient archeology, stunning natural landscapes and rich culture draws sailors from all over the world.

Croatia

Called the ‘new Greece’, the ‘new Riviera’ and the ‘new Tuscany’, Croatia has become an increasingly must-go destination for all types of travelers, but there is really no better way to experience it than sailing the Adriatic, where the sun is almost always shining. Croatia has reshaped its infrastructure during the past decade to make it a popular destination for anyone seeking terrific cruising, historic settings and remote beaches. Croatia is one of the Mediterranean’s hidden gems, with 1,185 islands and 1778km of coastline, it is truly a sailor’s paradise. The Dalmatian Islands are wild, rugged and mostly uninhabited and offer some of the best sailing in the area. The rolling coastline is speckled with pristine beaches, lush green slopes and ancient villages steeped in history.

French Polynesia

Roughly halfway between Australia and California, French Polynesia’s 118 islands are scattered over an expanse of the Pacific Ocean stretching more than 2000 sq km. French Polynesia is made up of five main groups of islands, including Tahiti, a landscape of jagged volcanic peaks dotted with lush vegetation and spectacular waterfalls. The islands offer an alluring mix of beautiful lagoons, traditional culture and exotic marine life, with lots to explore on land as well as at sea. The wide lagoons around Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora offer plenty of protected flat-water sailing, and outside the reefs, the long Pacific swells will give you a taste of ocean sailing at its best.

Gulet Cruises

All of this may sound expensive but there are gulet holidays that will fit anyone’s budget. For the more expensive cruise, you would hire a private gulet with either a set itinerary or one that you designed yourself. During the months of July and August, this type of gulet hire would be more expensive but during April, May, and October it would be a little cheaper. The cruise that is the most affordable would be one that you would share with other travelers and during the off months mentioned above. It may also be less expensive if you choose one of the itineraries that the company offers too.

Most gulet holidays are booked for a minimum of one week but you can schedule two or more weeks. Saturdays are when most gulet cruises depart but if you need to board the gulet on a different day, you may have to pay extra. To make sure that you get the dates that you need you should book your gulet holidays five to six months in advance.

When traveling on the gulet there are many captains that prefer to use the sails instead of the engines to give you a relaxed cruise. The gulet will normally sail for only two to three hours each day so you will have plenty of time to sun bathe, enjoy the water around the gulet swimming, diving, and other water sports. You will also have trips into the local villages to sightsee, shop, visit local historical sites, and sample local cuisine. Some even offer nightlife tours to the villages from the gulet.

To find out more about gulet holidays you can visit your local travel agency. Make sure that you bring your camera to record all the memories you will be making on your gulet cruises.

This article is penned by Avisha Jain who is a self confessed travel enthusiast. She has traveled many places in Europe and Asia and enjoys writing about different travel destinations and places of tourist interest.

Luxury Cruise Lines

  • Crystal luxury cruise is among the cruise lines that you would want to try out. They offer remarkable comfort which would help you treasure a lot of memories on you trip. The Crystal Cruise is known to be among the “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” as mentioned through the Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual readers’ surveys for 10 consecutive months. The cruise ship has a spa and Caesars’ Palace Casino and much more.
  • Silversea can also be regarded as among the Ultimate Luxury Cruise Vacation that individuals love. This boasts of the best ocean-view suites which is perfect for individuals who love going on vacations. They provide excellent customer services and are also known to provide delicious food.
  • The Seabourn is also thought to be among the best cruise ships in the world. They also had awards and great rankings by travel agencies well as those provided by the people who love going on a cruise. The actual stated cruise ship is known as an intimate personal club which could accommodate as high as 208 guests along with almost an equal number of staff as well as crew who are very friendly.
  • Regent Seven Seas luxury cruise can also be among the best luxury cruise ships because of its unique and it is unsurpassed levels of epicurean of production. This is a lot more expensive luxury cruise that is perfect for those people searching for luxury vacations and tons of fun. They have itineraries to more than 300 ports on all the 7 continents. This is truly what you would need if you wish to explore the world.

 

Best and Worst Cruise Staterooms

To avoid being disappointed in your stateroom, we have compiled a list of the some locations you might want to think twice about before booking.

  • Under the Lido deck. This isn’t always called the Lido Deck on each ship, but its the deck that commonly will have the pool, buffet and other deck space. The trouble with having a stateroom under the Lido deck is that there usually is activity happening there all the time, especially under the buffet area. You may hear jumping, chair scraping, and running. This may go on till 1 or 2 in the morning. Then at about 4 or 5 in the morning the crew will be up getting things ready to go. If you are under the kitchen area you may hear the crew firing up the stove and preparing for the breakfast buffet. Cruise ships will often have deck parties on the Lido deck.
  • Near a white space on the deck plan. The deck plans usually only show areas of concern to the cruise passengers. What you don’t see is housekeeping rooms, crew only elevators, laundry rooms, and more. Unless you know what is in the blank white areas on the deck plans it is best to avoid them. In some cases it may be the housekeeping supply room. Cruisers have been awakened very early in the morning as the housekeepers work to prepare their supplies for the day. There can be activity in and out of the rooms and you may hear doors open and close constantly.
  • Over the lounge. The lounges to watch out for are the ones where bands may play and passengers dance. Sometimes these venues run till after midnight. And if you are trying to have some quiet time in your stateroom right above the lounge, you may instead be hearing the beating of the music and the noise from the lounge below your stateroom. When Norwegian Cruise Line moved the Spinnaker lounge on a couple of their ships to the aft on deck 7, the staterooms above on deck 8 (that use to be over a very quiet gift shop) now were over a popular lounge that can be very noisy well after midnight.
  • Over or under the casino. Casinos deliberately use noise to try to attract customers and put them in the mood for gambling. So all those slot machines have their volume cranked up to try to draw you in. The problem is, if you are in a stateroom above or below the casino, you don’t want to be drawn in if you are trying to sleep. Unless you love to go to sleep with the sounds of Las Vegas pounding in your head, we would avoid booking a stateroom near the casino.
  • Under the fitness center. The fitness center usually begins to see activity as early as 5:00 in the morning. While it’s great getting in shape on the treadmill early in the morning, it is not so great for the folks trying to sleep in the cabins below the fitness center.

There are other areas to watch out for, such as near the gangways or other areas with lots of foot traffic going by.

On the flip side there are some good stateroom locations that tend to lead to a much better cruise experience. As long as the following staterooms don’t meet any of the criteria above then you should be good to go. The some best locations are as follows:

  • In between other staterooms. If your cabin has staterooms above, below, and on all sides of it then you are more likely to have a good experience in the cabin. This is not always a guarantee though as you may end up with a neighbor that likes to crank up the TV volume. But normally the other passengers around you are also looking to get some sleep so that they can enjoy the next day’s activities.
  • On the aft of the ship. Aft cabins tend to be very popular because they offer wonderful views of the wake of the ship and don’t usually have a lot of neighbors. You still need to be aware of what is around your stateroom though. On some Princess ships, for example, the aft stateroom might be near a loud exhaust vent that also might be releasing some unpleasant smells (check out the blank white spaces on the deck plans). For the most part the aft cabins are a hit and cruise customers love them.
  • Midship staterooms. A Midship stateroom on an upper deck tends to lead to a better cruise experience. The location can make getting around easier since you are located in a more central location to where you want to be. Some of the ships are very large and walking from one end of the ship to another may give you more exercise than you want. Also because the elevators can sometimes be busy, if you have to use the stairs, this location will mean less stairs to go up or down.
  • Expanded balconies. Sometimes the deck plans show them and sometimes they don’t but some cabins have larger balconies than others. Space is everything on a cruise ship and these extra spaces can make your cruise experience that much better. Instead of sitting on a cramped balcony, these balconies tend to have loungers that allow you to really stretch out. Some of them are covered (protected from the weather and wind) and some are open (lots of sun). Several Carnival ships have expanded balconies marked out on the deck plans. On some of the Grand Princess class ships the last aft cabins on the port and starboard side of the emerald and dolphin decks have expanded balconies.
  • Hidden Gems. There are lots of these on a cruise ship and a good cruise/travel agent will know about them. For example, forward oceanview cabins on the upper decks of some Celebrity ships, such as the Celebrity Summit, are much larger than a normal oceanview and the large porthole window offers some fantastic views of the bow of the ship. On some smaller Princess ships, such as the Dawn Princess, the oceanview cabins on the forward of the Dolphin deck offer a very large balcony sized window. On some Carnival ships, such as the Carnival Legend, some inside cabins on the Main deck actually have french doors that let in a lot of light and some of them actually have a view through the lifeboats.

Planning A Cruise Vacation

Early bird booking 

Book in advance, almost 6 to 8 months earlier. Cruise lines offer excellent deals to travelers who several months ahead of their travel date as a promotion strategy. Make reservations during the wave season could get you free or slashed air fare, cabin upgrades, free beverage packages and other on-board complimentary amenities.

Last minute reservations 

It might not be a very practical option for a family, but if you are traveling with friends, alone or as a couple, you can book, pack and go. Last minute bookings, almost 3-6 weeks before the sail date, can help shave off a few hundred dollars. The only downside of this tactic is that you have to settle for what is given to you (e.g. Rooms without balconies); there is no choosing.

Travel off-season 

Travelers can snag a great price on a cruise ship vacation by travelling off-season. The prices dip even further during hurricane season. An advantage of travelling during the off-season is that you can escape the crowds and enjoy a more relaxing and peaceful holiday.

Grab sales and discounts 

The travel industry, as far as cruise ship vacations are concerned, has an abundance of sales and promotions. To get the latest updates, you can register with a travel agent specializing in cruise travels and vacations or sign up for newsletters. Such sales don’t offer savings over and above 50%. This is a tip to tell which offer can be trusted and which not.

Shorter cruise 

Can’t afford a week-long cruise ship vacation? You can always book yourself for a shorter one. Given the demand for shorter cruises and more affordable rates, many cruise lines offer cruise trips closer to home. It gets more economical as you save a major chunk on airfare.

Book on board 

If you are a travel buff and plan to take more cruise ship vacations in the future, you can book on board. It’s not exactly a reservation, but a credit that can be applied to any future booking you make for a cruise ship vacation. The advantages include flexibility in choosing travel date, itineraries and cruise ship and reduced deposit amount. The deposit amount is refundable.

Honeymoon On A Cruise

Go For A Long Cruise Vacation

You might have heard it from people that a one week cruise trip is enough to enjoy the journey to the fullest. But it’s not the same when it comes to honeymoon, you need some extra time alone with your partner where you can make memories, know each other in a better and exciting way. So, always go for a 2 or 3 week long cruise journey.

Plan Your Activities

Every time you are heading for a cruise trip, make a list of all the fun activities that you and your partner want to do, this way it can be easier for you to know what to do on board. Discuss things with your travel agent or do some research online and know about all those activities and facilities that your cruise is going to provide you.

Romantic venue in everyone and one cannot deny that good food means a happy mood. If you want your partner to enjoy the trip to the fullest and stay happy all the time then every time you are heading for your meal, try the most cozy corner of the restraint which serves some finger licking good food. You surely are going to have a whole fun ride by following this tip

Spa And Gym

You always have to be careful about your health no matter what and if you are planning a 3 week long cruise trip then you surely need some gym or other physical activity. Head to the spa with your partner to get relaxed and pampered like never before. Not only the spa is where you can go in fact try some workout with your partner to stay healthy and fit or maybe to impress each other?

Increase Your budget

As it is your first time on a honeymoon, you would have to spend some extra money for some extra and luxurious facilities too. So, be ready to handle the expenses that you are going to have in order to make a one memorable trip, try the picture packages that the ship has and take as many pictures as you can and capture your moments for a lifetime!

Booking At The Right Time

Book Early

Many cruise lines open their reservations on their sails 1 or two years before their departure, which means you have the chance to book your cruise in advance. If you know exactly where and when you want to travel then it is the best choice as it gives you a lot of options on everything from itineraries to date to different cabin categories. You will get the early bird prices, which can be pretty less as compared to the listed prices. And by booking early, you can avoid restrictions that cruise lines may endorse closer to the sailing time.

Recognize That Different Regions Have Different Lead Times

Another important that you must consider is that different remote destinations have a limited cruising time – for example like Alaska, where ships don’t sail in winter season – so they tend to fill up early. A normal rule for cruise lines is – the farther the destinations is the further you should book it as more planning and preparation is required from booking a flight to hotel reservation.

Use Flexibility To Your Advantage

If you are not stuck with a fix date and you can afford to be flexible, this can mean huge savings for you. Sometimes booking a cruise a week prior to your travel can get you a decent discount or a promotional fare. Being flexible when cruising is the best way to save money and catch a great deal. Hence it is advised to keep checking the dates before and after you want to travel.

Think Way Ahead If Traveling With A Group

For huge groups, it makes sense that you book your cruise two years prior, if the cruise line will allow it. But bear in mind the same thing doesn’t goes for flights you can reserve them only 330 days ahead, and the departure ports are confirmed only 18 months before sailing. Booking early for large groups can also confirm that the ship dining rooms can also accommodate them.

Book Last-Minute To Get A Deal

If the price is an important factor for you, arranging a booking 45 to 90 days before sailing can get you deeply discounted fares. Cruise lines will be looking to fill in empty cabins once the early bookers have paid their full fares and they have an idea as to how many cabins have been left. Nonetheless, even these fares are not as low as the initial early booking price.

Dressing for Cruise Comfort

Dressing for On-Board Leisure

A cruise is a fantastic opportunity to relax and unwind. It obviously makes sense to check weather conditions and ensure you have items to suit all weathers along your voyage route. There are plenty ways of keeping warm and cool and it’s also important to protect your skin with wide-brimmed hats, light pashminas and kaftans, especially at the hottest times. If you’re hoping to build in a workout or two using the fantastic fitness facilities aboard most cruises then consider a basic workout outfit too. You’ll need at least one long-sleeved jumper as well as a lightweight jacket in case of colder weather, especially if you hope to enjoy the night sky from the deep seas.

Dressing for Evening Dining and Leisure

Your cruise will offer a wide range of entertainment and dining options for the evenings during your trip. Your operator’s catalogue or website should have a directory of all their facilities and alongside this should be a dress code. Many dining dress codes don’t allow denim and your best option is probably to pack a few formal yet comfortable dresses. Easy to wear and easy to pack give yourself a couple of options. If you don’t have much space opt for a classic black or neutral dress and pack your favourite statement jewellery instead.

Dressing for your Destination

Although the highlight of your trip may be the cruise you will be stopping at least one destination along the way. Remember to pack clothes to suit the destination and the activities planned when you get there. If you’re involved in an active holiday and may be trying out scuba diving or snorkelling then ensure you’ve got appropriate swimwear and casual beach clothing. If you’re cruising in a colder climate, such as the Baltic then ensure you pack enough woollies to keep you warm and likewise linen pants are essential for Caribbean cruises.

Discovery Voyage With Luxury Cruises

A travel agency offers many cruises which are the epitome of a 6-star luxury cruise with the best amenities you can ever find. These magnificent cruise ships will provide you with the indulgence that you desire. The state rooms are spacious, cuisine is tasty, facilities is complete, and many more. You will be truly pampered inside magnificent cruise ships. Travel agents will provide you all the services that you can expect in your journey.

With luxury cruises, you will be taken to fantastic places in Southeast Asia such as the following:

  • Philippines: This country has beautiful tourist spots like Boracay, Palawan, and the Batanes Islands. The cruise ships will surely pass along the waters where these wonderful locations can be found.
  • Hong Kong: This country boasts of The Peak, the Victoria Harbour, and the Giant Buddha.
  • Vietnam: Your travel agents can take you to Ha Long Bay, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, and many more.
  • China: Aside from the Great Wall of China, you can visit Tian Tan, the Lushan Mountain, Dahanyang Peak, and the Peking Man Site.

Cruise ships that offer around-the-world journey is a once-in-lifetime opportunity. It can cost you thousands of dollars, but the experiences gained are priceless. Money is not a problem for those people who have saved up money all their lives just to have this experience. The cost usually depends on your departure and destination points, as well as the length of thejourney. Longer journeys can take you to more exotic destinations. Travel agents can offer you choices for sightseeing packages so that you will get what you pay for.

You, as a passenger of cruises, can enjoy world-class four-course dinners, highbrow entertainment, and pricey staterooms. You can even hop aboard from a number of ports of call. Enjoy the amenities and services of cruise ships when you sail with them. Cruising would be a lifetime memory to remember that you will cherish every minute of your life.

Boating Etiquette

Our vessel, the Patricia Ann is a big boat. At 9 knots she tosses about a 4 foot wake. I am knowledgeable of this and prepare appropriately. When I am nearing smaller sized boats, or large ones for that matter, I slow way down to reduce the wake.

Cruising, as a leisure activity, has existed for more than a hundred or so years. During this period many practices and traditions have been created in order to help alleviate the normal tension that comes with working with the conditions. Regardless of how long you’ve been cruising there’s always that anxious experience when you are out there on your very own. If this experience ever disappears, you will want to take up playing golf.

Regardless of whether underway, anchoring, mooring, docking at a marina or smooth sailing with close friends, don’t increase the anxiety of your cruising neighbors by disregarding custom and traditions.

Clearly, the rules of the road are likely to determine how you maneuver your boat underway so as to avoid impact. What if no risk of crash is present, will you be then free to do anything you want when functioning in the vicinity of other boats? Most importantly, keep in mind that you are accountable for you own wake and any injuries done by it. When overpowering a slow-moving boat in wide open water, do this with the maximum amount of room as depth circumstances permit and slow your velocity, if required, to avoid rocking the other boat. There’s nothing much worse than being down below in a slow trawler or sail boat, preparing your morning meal, and being abruptly overtaken in close quarters by a noisy, wake-throwing, go-fast boater. That is particularly if the wake leads to the hot sausage oil and cup of joe to be tossed across the galley.

When overtaking a boat, it is standard to call the cruiser on the VHF and tell him your planned objectives. It ought to be remembered that occasionally the vessel being overtaken may need to slow its pace to cater to the overtaking vessel; I prefer to ask the cruiser to reduce his velocity to make the passage simpler and less hazardous. If you are continuing at 8 knots, the passing vessel can only slow to about 10 knots to have enough speed disparity to pass efficiently. Nevertheless, at that speed the overtaking boat still throws an unpleasant wake. You should slow to 4 knots to permit the overtaking boat to pass at 6 knots that allows for a smaller sized wake.

Be certain to go into an anchorage or mooring space at a slow pace. This is like going in a new community. You would like your others who live nearby to like you. Again, you do not want to produce a wake that could upset someone’s supper or beverage. Do not forget that the first individual in the anchorage has the right to establish the swing radius. Do not get too close to other anchored watercraft. The blowing wind can change and in a couple of minutes you might have fouled and twisted anchor lines, and hulls and dinghies slamming against one another.

Whenever you stop for gasoline or diesel, bear in mind that other watercraft may be holding out to get to the fuel docking station. Don’t go away your vessel to get food or spend time in the ships store. Tie up safely, follow appropriate fueling methods, pay the bill and move away to some other docking area or guest slip if you must do other business on land. If you’re already securely docked in the marina and there’s no dock master or assistant around to help boaters as they dock and undock, it’s respectful to help other people in your area with their lines.