FAQ
Your questions, answered

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions, Answered


For any other questions, feel free to contact our office who will help!

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General

Do I need a sailing certificate to charter a yacht?

Yes you do, it is the Greek law. The skipper needs to have an ICC or Day Skipper Practical or equivalent in order to charter a bareboat. A Skippered charter is available for people without a qualification, or you can learn to sail through our Sea School. View our Accepted Qualifications page here: https://www.sailionian.com/holiday-planning/accepted-qualifications/
You also need to have a First Mate on board OVER the age of 18 - they do not need an official sailing certificate but experience is preferable.

Will my RYA certificate still be accepted?

Although the RYA Day Skipper certificate (and equivalent from across the world) is currently accepted by the Greek Port Police, there is a growing trend of the International Certificate of Competence being requested across Greece. We recommend obtaining an ICC in place of your Day Skipper certificate, then you are covered either way!

What is the minimum age to charter a yacht?

The minimum age to skipper your own yacht is 18, providing you hold the relevant qualifications and have experience. The first mate must also be at least 18 years old.

When is low, mid and high season?

2024 Season Dates:

Low Season - 31st March to 25th May & 29th September to 9th November
Mid Season - 26th May to 13th July & 1st September to 28th September
High Season - 14th July to 31st August

What specific sailing certificates do you accept?

See our Accepted Qualifications page for more information on the specifics here: https://www.sailionian.com/holiday-planning/accepted-qualifications/

When is Check In/Check Out

Officially check in is from 1600 onwards on your day of arrival and check out is 0900 on the day of your departure UNLESS CONFIRMED OTHERWISE AT TIME OF BOOKING. You need to notify the office of your arrival details whether Sail Ionian are organising your transfers or not so we know when to expect you.

What is the price of food?

On average the price of a meal in the evening is €20 - €25 per person including wine.

Where are the ATMs?

We recommend that you bring enough cash with you for the first few days. Places that have ATMs are:

Lefkas, Nidri, Vassiliki, Frikes, Big Vathi, Fiscardo, Palairos, Ay Eufimia, Sami, Corfu, Astokos and Mitikas

PLEASE NOTE - there is NO ATM at our base in Vliho so bring enough cash for you to pay your taxi driver!

Can I leave cash on the boat?

Greece in general is very safe and robberies are very rare, we wouldn't however recommend leaving large amounts of cash on board when you are not there.

Can we buy provisions around the islands?

We encourage you to provision as you go round the islands. Most of the islands have at least one small supermarket and a bakery. When you arrive we will do a route plan with you and answer any questions like this.

If we are making alternative arrangements after our holiday can Sail Ionian help?

Yes we can help to organise car hire, taxis to ferry ports etc and have a large number of local contacts for accommodation.

What's included in the price of the yacht?

The price includes a generous welcome pack of food and drink, bed linen and towels (plus spare for 2 week holidays), an outboard and dinghy (size dependent on yacht size), free route guidance, free mooring practice if required, daily SMS weather update according to your location, the final clean of the yacht and 24 hr call out emergency assistance. New for 2024, free Unlimited 4G WiFi on all boats!

So what's not included?

1. Flights - these need to be booked independently. See our flights page for more info.
2. Transfers - although we arrange them, we do not pay for them. A taxi for 4 costs 60 euros from the airport to our base in Vliho and is paid direct to the taxi driver.
3. Fuel - again, although we arrange it we do not pay for it. Your yacht will be fully fueled when you arrive. Upon your return to our quay, don't worry about trying to find a fuel quay, just moor up and we bring the fuel truck to you! Fuel is charged at the local rate. Generally you will use around 60 euros of fuel in a week.
4. Security Deposit/Damage Waiver - this price differs depending on which yacht you are on and you can decide on this when you arrive.

Brexit and ETIAS

Do I need a visa to enter Greece from the UK?

The European Commission has approved a proposal that gives British citizens the right to visa-free travel to other EU countries. This means 90 days of travel within a 180 day period will remain visa free within the Schengen area.
From mid-2025 you will need to apply for an ETIAS before you travel (exact date TBC).

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to certain countries European countries. It is valid for up to 3 years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

When does ETIAS come into force?

Exact dates have not been released but current plans are for this to be operational by mid-2025.

Who needs to apply for an ETIAS?

You can see a list of who needs to apply for an ETIAS here: https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias/who-should-apply_en#ETIAS-countries

I am a UK national; do I need an ETIAS?

Yes, UK nationals will need to apply for an ETIAS unless they are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Do I need an ETIAS for each country I visit?

In short, no. ETIAS is not country specific, once you have one it can be used to travel between countries requiring it until it expires.The ETIAS travel authorisation is valid for up to 3 years, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.

How much does the ETIAS cost?

7€ per person.
If you are under 18 or over 70 years old, it will be free of charge.

How long does the ETIAS application take?

It is hard to say as the process isn’t in place yet, but current advice is - Filling out the application is quick and easy. Most people will receive their ETIAS within minutes, but in some cases it can take up to 30 days.

Where can I find out more information on ETIAS?

You can find more information here: https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en

The Yacht

Are charts and pilot books provided?

A G121 paper chart, local Ionian pilot book are on board along with a compass, dividers and chart plotter. If you want to travel north or further south to Zakinthos we can provide G11 and G12 charts. Please ask in the office. Electronic charts are on all yachts.

Are bed linen and towels provided?

Yes sheets and pillowcases are provided with blankets early and late season. Towels are provided for use on board the boat.

What size are the towels?

The bath towels are 66x120cm and you will receive a hand towel too.

Do we bring beach towels?

Please pack your own beach towels unless otherwise pre arranged

Is there snorkel equipment on board?

There will be at least 2 sets of snorkels onboard and we have a limited supply of fins which you are most welcome to borrow.

Can I use my hairdryer or straighteners on board?

On most of our boats they won't run on the 12 volt supply run through an inverter. You can run them through the 240 shore supply although this is not always readily available. Most places that you stop have showers with electrical points in the local tavernas and supermarkets. Some of our new, larger yachts have powerful inverters and generators so you are able to use a hairdryer.

Showering on board

All of our yachts have hot water showers on board (provided the engine has been running at some point in the day). A lot of people will still use the showers in the harbours, normally in the supermarkets or tavernas. Prices for these range from €2 - €5 and most have electrical points for those wanting to use hairdryers etc.

CD Players/iPod Connections

All of the yachts have either bluetooth or AUX connections which you can use to connect your device for music

What about fuel?

When you arrive, the yacht will have already been filled up with fuel. A full tank of fuel is more than enough for a one or two week charter, and probably even three! At the end of your holiday, return to the Sail Ionian quay where there will be the fuel truck waiting to fill up your yacht, you don't have to go through the hassle of finding a local fuel station.

I'd like a paddle board ( SUP) onboard, is this possible?

Adding a paddle board to your yacht for your holiday is a great idea, and it'll keep everyone entertained for hours. We have a number of paddle boards available to rent. You can hire a paddle board for €100 per week. These are best to pre-order by contacting the office before you arrive

Sailing

Where can I sail to?

Most of our clients on a weeks holiday sail to the following islands: Lefkas, Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Ithaca, Atoko, Kefalonia. Anyone out for a bit longer sometimes venture up to Corfu or down to Zakynthos. The possibilities are endless.

Safety

What happens if I need a doctor?

There is a hospital in Lefkas, a medical centre in Vassiliki and on Meganisi. We can get a doctor out to you on our high-speed rib in an emergency, otherwise we can arrange for one to meet you in a number of selected ports.

Can we drink the water from the yacht tanks?

You can but we wouldn't recommend it as most water supplied from local quays is not filtered. Bottled water is very cheap to buy and you can buy frozen bottles which keeps your fridge cool when the engine is not running.

Transfers

Will there be someone at the airport to meet me?

A taxi driver will be holding a Sail Ionian sign and will direct you to your transfer. We arrange all transfers unless told to do otherwise so please don't jump into a taxi unless it is one of ours.

What happens if our flight arrives late?

Depending on your arrival time, there may be someone here to meet you and they will do a basic handover (lights and toilets and, tell you where you can go for dinner. The boat papers and a full handover will be done in the morning.

Is the supermarket open if I arrive late?

There are three supermarkets in Vliho, a little one just across the road and a slightly bigger one about 5 mins walk away. They are both open till about 10pm during the season.

What happens if my flight departs late the day we leave?

You have a couple of options - we can organise for you to use a local hotel in Nidri as a base for the day. It has a lovely pool, bar & restaurant as well as somewhere safe to leave your bags. Or alternatively we can organise car hire for the day so you can go and do a bit of exploring.