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Where we'll be setting sail in 2016 by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in SPORTS & ACTIVITIES By Maggie O' Sullivan

Ready about: the London Boat Show opens at Excel later this week. The show is not just for diehard yachties, it’s also a great place for landlubbers to find the perfect sailing holiday, from flotillas in Turkey to gin palaces in the Caribbean. But if you can’t make it to the show and fancy a life on the ocean wave this year, here’s a taster of what's on offer in 2016.


Sunsail is one of the UK’s best-known sailing operators, offering worldwide bareboat charter, flotilla and skippered holidays. Sunsail is also the go-to company if you want to learn to sail or become a fully certified skipper (it has a sailing school in Port Solent as well as several overseas). Bareboat charters are graded according to experience: less-experienced sailors might tackle The Bahamas (above; level 1; seven nights from £3,769), for example, while those with more experience might go for the Mediterranean (levels 1-3; seven nights from £928). Setsail 

Setsail specialises in skippered holidays, flotilla sailing and bareboat charter in the Mediterranean; it also offers charters in Thailand and the Caribbean during the winter months plus ‘sail and stay’ and learn-to-sail holidays. If you’ve already sailed in Turkey or Croatia, how about pottering around Majorca? From £1,760 for a week’s three-cabin bareboat charter.Sailing Holidays

A flotilla holiday is a great way of meeting new people or enjoying a sailing holiday with friends and family without necessarily sharing a boat with them. Sailing Holidays has been organising flotillas in the Greek Islands since 1976 and each flotilla – typically consisting of 9-12 yachts – is supported by a fully crewed lead yacht (who also know where to find the best beaches and the best tavernas). Two weeks in a South Ionian flotilla in May costs from £755 per person, based on 6 people travelling.SCIC Sailing 

If you fancy something a little more stylish (and letting someone else do all the hard work), try SCIC, which has a small fleet of skippered classic yachts and superyachts in Turkey and the Greek Islands. SCIC also offers a selection of themed sailing cruises, from wellness and archaeology to ‘the sound of silence’. From €2,765 for an exclusive week’s cruise for six.Fleewinter

For all the luxury of a superyacht but at a fraction of the price, try Fleewinter. Following the success of its 65ft superyacht launched in the Greek Islands last summer, it will be introducing a second 52ft catamaran this year. The larger yacht has four double cabins, the smaller one has five, and both have a live-aboard skipper and chef plus an ‘in boat’ speedboat, capable of 30 knots so ideal for water-skiing, wakeboarding and wet ‘ringo’ riding (all equipment is also on board and included in the cost). A week’s stay from £990 per person, half board (based on a group of ten people sharing) or £495 for a three-night break (also based on 10 people).

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