Frequently Asked Questions...
Bareboat charter, skippered charter or Assisted bareboat Charter / Flotilla?
If you have no sailing experience whatsoever then you are limited to a skippered charter. This means that a skipper will live on board the boat with you for the duration of your holiday and the skipper will ensure you have a wonderful cruise around the Ionian Islands. You can do as much or as little work as you like, although it is an excellent opportunity to learn how to sail. Children of ages 4+ can get involved!
With the skipper sleeping onboard the boat (own berth please), the cost is £850 per week on top of the normal bareboat price.
You can read more about Skippered Charters with Nisos Yacht Charter here: Nisos Skippered Charters
Assisted Bareboat Charter / Flotilla
This programme is designed for those of you who enjoy the safety net of a lead crew, but who want more freedom and to build confidence. With a maximum of six yachts plus a lead boat, the itinerary will be tailored to your requirements. We also do not request that you get to the destination at a certain time - meaning that you can enjoy the best of the afternoon winds! There will be no set group meals and if you need assistance in finding a suitable berth, then the lead crew will be there to help you. This is the perfect stepping stone to bareboat charter. The cost is only £300 per week per boat on top of the normal bareboat price.
On our Assisted Bareboat Charter / Flotilla scheme you also get the full 7 nights away from base, and not the normal 5 nights offered by all other charter companies!
You can read more about the Nisos Assisted Bareboat Charter scheme here: Assisted Bareboat Charters
This is the best way to explore the islands if you have relevant experience and qualifications (see below). You have total freedom on your sailing holiday, with the knowledge that you have back up and help just a phone call away. You pick up the boat and leave – and bring it back one or two weeks later. You can explore anywhere you want to within our sailing area, at a pace you dictate.
You can read more about our Bareboat Charter offering here: Nisos Bareboat Charters
Which area in Greece should we have our sailing holiday?
The Ionian of course! The Ionian is such a beautiful region. The islands remain green all year around (due to the heavy rains in winter and natural springs), and due to the lower wind levels than other parts of Greece.
The Ionian is also a sheltered area, resulting in predictable wind patterns and very small sea swells, so sea sickness is rarely an issue. This means that you can enjoy other aspects of your holiday other than just sailing such as snorkelling, canoeing, sunbathing, walking and relaxing!
In addition, the Ionian Islands are all fairly close to each other, resulting in a compact cruising area with a huge number of anchorages and stunning villages to visit.
Many of our clients have been returning year after year to the Ionian. Once you have been you will keep wanting to come back! The people in the Ionian are extremely welcoming and friendly – especially to bareboaters. You will be looked after by all you encounter on your travels.
If you wish to try an area other than the Ionian, then why not ask us for advice on sailing in other areas. We have partnerships with other excellent operators in Croatia and Turkey and will be happy to advise you on this. See: Sailing in Croatia or Sailing in Turkey
How long should we book for?
Our minimum charter lengths are for one week. The majority of our clients book a two week charter, as you can really explore the islands and relax. However one week is sufficient to see all of the islands in either the North or South Ionian.
We do offer day charters if availability allows. Bookings for Day Charters will be taken in the week prior to departure and can be arranged at short notice.
What is the wind like in the Ionian?
The winds are not as strong as in other areas of the Greek Islands, mainly as it is not affected by the Meltemi winds, which can blow for 5 or 6 days at a time at strengths up to F7/F8.
There is plenty of wind to have fun sailing. Typically winds will kick in about lunchtime at a strength of F3/4 and blow until evening. This means that you can spend the morning sailing gently to a lunch time stop, such as a secluded bay, and go for a swim or snorkel, have lunch on board and then have a sail to your evening destination.
The winds are fairly predictable and usually result in a very calm evening and night. This means that you can anchor off in confidence if you choose or have a comfortable night on a quay.
For more detail on the weather in the Ionian: Ionian Weather
What qualifications do I need to bareboat charter in the Ionian?
We require evidence that you are able to handle the boat in a safe and controlled manner. This can take the form of a recognised qualification (RYA Day Skipper Practical, International Certificate of Competence etc). If you have any doubts, please do just call us or email us for advice.
Each boat must have at least one qualified Skipper on board. There is no way around this, even if you have ample experience.
Co-Skipper does not have to hold a formal qualification and no VHF licence is required for Greece at present.
We can provide a skipper for a half day, full day etc to help you settle on to the boat and make sure you are completely happy.
For more information on Qualifications Required: Qualifications Required for Chartering
What size of boat should we charter?
All of our boats can be sailed by a crew of 2 or more. All control lines for reefing, sail uphaul, genoa furling etc are fed back to the cockpit. However if you are new to chartering or Ionian style mooring (see later) then the smaller boats will be easier to moor up safely with a small crew. Smaller boats also offer you more options when choosing a space to moor up.
Generally speaking we advise to charter the smallest boat you will be comfortable on.
What time can we get on the boat – and when do we have to bring it back?
Boats are returned to our base by 9am on your day of departure. We then spend the next few hours cleaning, checking, maintaining, polishing, re-fuelling, filling water tanks, scrubbing, replacing linen etc. In short we have a lot of work to do, before we let you on the boat. Typically the boat will be ready by 5pm, and we will get you away from base on your day of arrival. Therefore you get a full 7 nights away from base each week. There are many beautiful places to spend your first and last nights close to our base, such as on Megannissi Island.
Please be patient with the base team on turnaround day. We will get you away! Better to set off of a properly prepared yacht!
Provisioning and Base Facilities?
Our base is at the Hotel Vaya in Perigiali on the east coast of Lefkas Island. When you arrive we will have your own table ready for you in the lovely shady waterside garden, where you can relax and have some lunch. There is a small supermarket close by (approx 3 minute walk), and when you pay they will ask the boat name and then they will deliver your provisions down to the boat for you.
Showers are available at the Hotel and there is access down to the waters edge for those who wish to go for a refreshing dip.
Will my mobile phone work in the Ionian?
In short, YES. There is good mobile phone coverage throughout the Ionian and due to the close proximity of the islands to each other, there are very few areas of No Signal! Of course if you have a non Greek mobile phone it will be fairly expensive to make and receive calls. Vodafone offer a Euro Passport package which for around £3 per day makes it as if you are in the UK (data, texts and calls just come off your normal UK monthly allowance).
If you are planning on being in the area for any length of time or need to make long calls, then it may be worth considering buying a Greek mobile sim card. If you do go down this route, you will need to make sure your mobile is unlocked from your mobile provider at home.
Sim cards can be purchased in Lefkas.
Internet coverage is also good in the area, so if you need to keep in touch with the office or loved ones whilst on holiday, a mobile broadband connection will also work - again if this is a non Greek contract, it will be expensive to use. 3G is widely available.
There are numerous Internet Cafes on the islands and some tavernas now have free wi-fi hot spots, which you can log into for free.
What do the prices include?
Our charter price advertised includes:
- end of charter cleaning, bed linen and one towel per person.
- diesel and outboard fuel and an outboard for the tender.
- collision damage waiver insurance. This is a fully comprehensive insurance policy that covers you against any damage or loss. So, if you do accidently damage the boat or lose some equipment you pay nothing. The tender and outboard engine are excluded from this. The reason we do this, is so that there are no barriers for people to not tell us if they have damaged or lost something. We need to know for your safety and the next clients.
- starter pack of cleaning materials, toilet rolls, kitchen roll.
- Bed linen and one large towel per person.
- Beware comparing prices on headline numbers only!
Additional costs to budget for when chartering from Nisos Yacht Charter, include the following:
- Taxi transfers from Preveza airport to our base on Lefkas. These cost 50 euros per taxi each way. Each taxi (air conditioned Mercedes or similar) can take 4 passengers. If numbers dictate we use a smart mini coach which costs euros 10 per head each way. Taxi fares are payable locally.
- Flights to Preveza airport.
- There are generally very few mooring fees in the Ionian. It is expected that if you are using a town quay or private pontoon, that you spend some money in the town, ie at a supermarket or taverna. Please be sensitive to this.
- Fresh water tank re-fills as needed on your holiday (not expensive).
I have never moored stern to before with an anchor. How can I learn?
Stern to mooring (laying out the anchor from the bow) is not difficult, although a certain amount of knowledge and practice is required. If you have not done this style of mooring before, please let us know and we can provide some tuition and advice when you arrive in Greece for a fee. A couple of “live runs” with all the crew with instruction from our skipper will stand you in good stead. There is a good guide on Stern to Mooring here: Nisos Stern to Mooring Guide
What is navigation like in the Ionian?
Very simple! All boats are supplied with a full set of charts, latest edition Pilot Guide, hand held and binnacle compass and GPS. All yachts also have a colour chart plotter. Due to the close proximity of the islands to each other, and lack of hazards in the sea, navigation can be done mostly by sight. Water is generally very deep (due to the steep mountains). There are NO tides or currents to be concerned with. Commercial traffic is very light in the Ionian area.
When you arrive at our base, you will be offered a thorough area briefing which takes about 30 minutes. If you are new to the area or need a refresher then it is strongly advised that you take up this offer so as to make the most of your precious holiday.
What do I need to pack for my holiday?
The most important items to pack (in soft bags please!) are the obvious ones:
Sun cream; sun hat; swimming costumes and a camera!
Here is an ideal packing list:
Long sleeve light weight cotton shirts
UK/Greece travel adapter plug
Light weight waterproof jacket
Evening wear (nothing too smart – you can be as formal or informal as you wish in this area)
Flat shoes (no heels on the boats please)
Sun cream (waterproof)
Sea sickness medication if required
Music/Camera and required chargers!
If you are chartering in the tail ends of the season, bring some sweaters and trousers with you as it can get cool in the evenings.
Also bring a light weight waterproof as there is a greater chance of rain.
Everything for the operation of the yacht is on board. This includes an Invertor (150 watt) for light weight applications.
What happens if the boat gets damaged?
If in the unfortunate case that your boat gets damaged or equipment lost during your charter, all we ask is that you inform us as soon as possible. The boat insurance covers you for total loss or damage to the boat with no financial exposure to you at all. If you are involved in an incident with another vessel, please inform us before departing the scene. Get the other parties contact details, witness reports if possible and lots of photographs of any damage to all vessels.
What happens if the vessel develops a mechanical fault?
These are complex boats full of electrical items, plumbing, woodwork, mechanical engines, sails all of which are put under significant stresses from time to time! Things may go wrong.
Our maintenance programme is extremely detailed and we work extremely hard to ensure that we pick up all problems before they become a problem for you. However, if you do have a problem, contact us as soon as possible on 0030 693 2717533.
We will either talk you through over the radio or telephone how to rectify the situation, or otherwise come and find you.
We have an Atlantic 21 RIB (ex RNLI) which is pretty quick and can be with you within a couple of hours if required. We will never ask you to return to base.
There are so many charter companies to choose from – how do I ensure that the company I pick is reputable?
Pick a company which uses its own boats. Nisos do not use any other boats. We only trust our own boats. Ask the company the name of the boat you will be using – sometimes they have never even seen the boat!
Ask to see feedback from previous customers.
Ask other peoples opinions on message boards.
Talk to the company in detail – are they responsive to your questions?
Check what is included in the headline price and understand your financial exposure in case of damage/loss.
What books / charts can I buy in advance to plan our holiday?
Planning your holiday should be a lot of fun.
The following books and charts can be purchased in the UK and although they are on the boat, they will enable you to plan itineraries and routes prior to departure.
The best and most informative books to buy, and ones which you will use time after time are listed below. All are available from www.imray.com
This covers all places you are likely to encounter on your holiday and is full of great tips and advice.
In as much detail as the Ionian, but covering all of the Greek Islands and mainland. A great coffee table publication.
All of the above can be purchased from Imray. Follow the link: www.Imray.com