Frequently Asked Questions

We have included here most of the questions we were asked over the last few years:

  1. Do I need any sailing experience to join your cruises?
  2. You don't even need to have been on a yacht before. You can sit back and enjoy the experience or if you want to participate we can teach you the art of sailing.
  3. I am an experienced sailor. Can I sail the yacht?
  4. Of course. In that case we will explain to you the particularities of our yacht (every yacht is different) and we will let you take over until you decide that it is time to relax, have a beer and sunbathe on the deck!
  5. How does it work with the 'share a yacht' cruises (also called 'cabin cruises')?
  6. You have your en suite cabin and you share the yacht with other people. We all get together for breakfast and lunch, but the rest of the time you can interact as much or as little as you like with the other guests. We have been organizing this since 2004, and we know that people coming on a sailing holiday are very similar minded and like the company of each other. Usually many of our guests decide to meet in the evening for a dinner together or just a cold beer at one of the cafes.
  7. I have booked a cabin on one of your 'share a yacht' cruises. Will you cancel the cruise if nobody else books on these dates?
  8. Of course not! We run our cruises even with one person onboard. It wouldn't be right for you as you have booked flights, time off work, etc., but it will not be pleasant for us either to stay in port with no-one onboard. We like sailing and we want any excuse to be out there and sail from island to island!!!
  9. Can I bring my kids on a sailing holiday?
  10. A yacht is the perfect playground for kids and we 've had children of all ages onboard (from as little as a 4 months old baby). On 'whole yacht' charters the age of the child is not an issue, as it is just you and your friends onboard. However, on our 'share a yacht' cruises the minimum age is 8 years old, as some of the younger children can be tiring for the other guests. If you are parents with kids younger than 8 and you are interested for a 'share a yacht' cruise, please let us know as we can find similar couples.
  11. In which sailing area do your cruises take place?
  12. We used to cruise in the Aegean Sea in April and May (starting and finishing in Athens), in the Ionian Sea during the months of June, July, August and half of September and then we either moved back to the Aegean again, or we continued in the Ionian until the end of the season. However, because of the weather unpredictability of the Aegean Sea, we decided to stop cruising in the Aegean and now all our cruises are at the Ionian Islands.
  13. What are the differences between the Aegean and the Ionian Islands?
  14. During the winter months, there is a lot more rain at the western side of Greece, so the Ionian islands are very green, while the Aegean (where the Cyclades island group is located) are rocky and barren. The architecture of the Aegean is the small white washed houses, while in the Ionian there are some strong influences from the Venetian style. In the Ionian you will also find the typical village house of the Greek countryside, normally made of stone and covered with a red tiled roof. Finally, the distances between the islands are much smaller in the Ionian.
    We have been sailing for many years around the Greek islands and we can't really say that we have a favorite area. Each of them is very particular and very beautiful.

    From a cruising point of view, unfortunately the Aegean Sea is not ideal for yachting holidays especially in July and August when the Meltemi is blowing with strong to gale force winds. The Aegean can get quite uncomfortable for a yacht even with a wind force 5 on the Beaufort scale, but with anything stronger than that it’s very unpleasant.
    Of course it’s not impossible for a yacht or catamaran to sail at those conditions, but as we want our holidays to be pleasant and relaxed, we are sailing at the Ionian Islands instead. The fact is that everyone falls in love with the Ionian Sea as it has amazing waters for swimming and snorkeling, the distances between the islands are ideal (a couple of hours on the way each day) and the wind is very stable as it is the sea breeze which starts at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, goes up to a pleasant force 5 and dies down after sunset. 
    But the most important is the lack of waves and swell at the central Ionian Islands, as Lefkas and Kefalonia form a barrier which stop the waves coming from the Adriatic Sea, so the sail is exciting but the sea is not uncomfortable. The Cyclades are definitely worth a visit and our suggestion is to visit them if possible before or after your cruise, by ferry or domestic flight from Athens.
  15. How many miles will we cover each day?
  16. The average distances between the islands of the Ionian are 12-20 miles, while in the Cyclades it is 30-40 miles. In the Ionian every day we normally stop in a bay somewhere halfway for swimming and lunch and we continue our sail in the late afternoon.
  17. Are we likely to sail in the night?
  18. No. We normally leave the harbor around 9:30 a.m. and after a few hours of sailing and a few hours anchored in a bay, we arrive at the next island between 3-5 p.m. where we stay moored until the next morning.
  19. I would prefer to stay in a deserted bay one or more nights of my cruise. Is that possible?
  20. Of course it is possible (only on 'Whole Yacht' cruises), but you need to consider your dinner. As dinners are not included in our prices you can have one of Alicia's famous 3 course dinners, for a cost of 40 Euro per person (for a minimum of 4 guests).
  21. I heard that yachts do not stay horizontal when sailing. Is that dangerous?
  22. That is completely normal! Yachts are actually designed to heel a bit and that is not dangerous or even uncomfortable. Catamarans on the other hand do not heel at all. If you have heard about yachts capsizing, that usually applies to racing boats out in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, being pushed to their limits during a severe storm.
  23. You say that your holidays are all inclusive. Is there not some extra cost that I may have to pay during my cruise?
  24. Absolutely not! Except for your dinners and transfers, all other expenses are included in the price. We can organise your transfers between Athens airport or Athens city center and the yacht by an 8 or 20 seater minibus or a taxi.
  25. How is the weather during the season?
  26. The summer in Greece is dry and warm, but the weather varies a bit during the season. In April, May, September, October and November you may get the occasional shower and the temperature may be a bit lower, around 20 degrees Celsius. During June, July and August we don't see even a droplet of rain and the temperature can reach the 30s in August.
    The wind in the Ionian and the Saronic is normally very light in the morning, it starts increasing in the afternoon reaching a pleasant force 4-5 in the evening and finally it dies after sunset. In the Cyclades the winds can be stronger (Force 5-7), but we can also have days of complete calm. And of course at the Greek seas the skies are always blue and the clouds are as rare as the rain!
  27. Are we likely to have a storm?
  28. Very unlikely. In July and August the meltemi wind is blowing in the Aegean Sea (eastern side of Greece) which has a strength between force 6 and gale force 8, but during those months we cruise in the Ionian sea where the typical wind force is 4-5.
    Of course there may be a couple of gales in the Ionian sea as well during the months that we cruise there, which however don't last more than 24 hours. If a gale is forecast, then we spend the day in harbor and we continue our cruise the following day. Even during the gales the skies are blue, it is only that the winds are stronger.
  29. I would like to experience a storm at sea!!! Do you never sail in stormy weather?
  30. We do occasionally, but not during our normal cruises and only if our guests really want it. We have sailed with S/Y 'Alexandros' and S/Y 'Velos' in winds up to force 10 and with other yachts up to force 11 (near hurricane!) and both the yacht and the crew are perfectly happy in those conditions. However in the areas where we cruise normally, the problem in stormy weather is that all the yachts stay in port (and there is a big number of yachts in those areas!), so we will definitely not find a berth at the next harbor. That is a problem, as it may mean a sleepless night out at sea in a storm, which is not the idea of fun for anybody.

    However, when we cruise away from the busy areas and if all of our guests are up for such an adventure, then we can sail in a storm depending on which harbor we are heading to. Please note that we can never get caught in a storm accidentally, as all gales are forecast in advance! You can enjoy some photos of cruising in stormy weather in our Photo Gallery 2008, when we were sailing through the Gulf of Corinth.
  31. Will I get seasick?
  32. Very rarely people get seasick onboard as in the areas where we cruise the winds are not too strong and the waves never too big. Actually people get seasick in ferries a lot easier that in yachts! If you are worried about seasickness you can bring with you some pills like 'Stugeron' or a travel wrist band, which you can buy from pharmacies and airports. If you realize you are getting seasick while we are sailing and you don't have any pills with you, don't worry as we normally have some onboard.
  33. Do I have to share a toilet with the other guests?
  34. No, each cabin is en suite, with its own toilet and shower.
  35. What clothes do I need to bring with me?
  36. At the Greek Islands people dress very casually, for men shorts and T-shirts is the norm, and for ladies, light summer dresses or similar to men. Actually, you will probably spent most of the day in your swimming gear.

    If you are coming in spring or autumn you should bring some warmer clothes just in case it gets a bit cold in the night and a light waterproof for the occasional shower.

    Even for those who want to dress a bit more formally, smart casual is the norm which would be a pair of trousers and a shirt for men or a light dress for women!

    Try to avoid making the common mistake of bringing too much stuff with you, as you will never use it and it will constantly be in your way, because storage space is limited.

  37. What shoes do I need?
  38. Usually people walk barefoot on yachts sailing in the warm climate of the Mediterranean. Alternatively you can use flip-flops or light shoes, but please make sure that they have non-marking soles. For wandering around the islands and going out, bring whatever is best for you, as there are paved paths almost everywhere.
    Please keep in mind that we don't use the same shoes/flip-flops onboard that we use on the land, in order to protect the deck from stones and keep the yacht clean.
  39. Shall I bring bed linen and towels with me?
  40. Bed linen and pillows are provided, as well as one bath towel, one face towel and one deck/sea towel per person. We have light blankets onboard as well, as in early spring and late autumn the nights can be a bit cooler.
    The reason we cannot provide extra towels for changing them in the middle of the week is because they are quite bulky and storage space on yachts is limited, but you are welcome to bring your own.
  41. Can I sleep on the deck?
  42. The nights in Greece are very beautiful and the night sky is one to remember. You can sleep on the deck, but you will need to bring with you some type of mat and a sleeping bag because the mattresses of the yacht as well as the bed linen cannot be used on deck.
  43. What type of sun protection shall I use?
  44. The Mediterranean sun is very pleasant but can be painful as well, if you sunbathe for too long without protection. You can bring your cream with you, otherwise you will find a big choice in the local shops. If your skin is not used to the sun, ideally factor 30-40 for the first couple of days and 15-20 for later. If you don't want to have two different creams, then one that is somewhere around 25-30 would do. Of course it depends on the level of protection that you need, for example as we spend 6 months on the boat each year, we use the highest factor available.

    We insist that you use a cream instead of an oily lotion because oil will stain the teak deck and create slippery surfaces which are dangerous on a yacht. Also we would appreciate it if you don't use the types that contain coloring agents as again they stain the surfaces of the yacht. A practical tip is to avoid the types that are in a spray bottle, as half of your cream will end up blown away with the wind!!!
  45. Do I need to bring my own snorkeling gear?
  46. There is snorkeling gear onboard, but as we cannot carry many fins of each size, you may find that your size has already been taken by someone else. Normally this is not a problem, but you are welcome to bring your own mask and fins.
  47. What type of luggage shall I use?
  48. The ideal is soft, medium to small size bags which you will either stow away once you have emptied them, or keep them at one side in your cabin with your stuff in them.
    If you do have to travel with hard suitcases, please contact us to see if it is possible to leave them at Lefkas, once you have emptied the contents in your cupboard. STORAGE SPACE IS LIMITED ON YACHTS.
  49. Can I charge my mobile phone, laptop and camera on the yacht?
  50. Every cabin on Velos and Alexandros is equipped with a 220V AC plug, similar to the ones at home, so you can charge anything you want at any time.
    If you are coming from the UK/USA/Canada, then you will need a UK/USA/Canada to European plug adaptor, which you can buy from electrical equipment stores or from the airport Duty Free shops.
  51. Will I have mobile phone reception during the cruise?
  52. There is very good reception on the islands and as the distances between them are small, there is good reception out at sea as well. It is only in a couple of bays and villages that are surrounded by high mountains, that you may not have any reception at all.
  53. I need to regularly check my email. Will that be possible?
  54. At most of the villages there is an Internet cafe where you can access your email, or cafes with Wi-Fi where you can access the Internet with your laptop or mobile phone free of charge. We also have Wi-Fi onboard Velos and you are welcome to use it for free, but please understand that this is on a mobile phone connection so you shouldn't download/upload large documents or photos.
  55. Do I need to cook on the yacht?
  56. No. Breakfast and lunch are provided and there is a choice of tavernas at the islands where you can have your dinner. If you decide to stay in a deserted bay for the night, you can have one of Alicia's famous 3 course dinners, for a cost of 20 Euro per person (for a minimum of 6 guests).
  57. How much will I pay for a meal in a taverna?
  58. Of course it depends on what you will order, but the typical cost would be around 13-17 Euro for an appetizer, main dish and a beer or local wine.
  59. Can I pay by bank card at the tavernas and local shops?
  60. Very rarely, so you better not count on that. On the islands, life is simple and there is no crime at all, so people never had any reason to start using credit cards.
  61. If I need cash, can I withdraw money with my normal bank card?
  62. There are ATM machines in most villages where you can withdraw money with your bank card and banks in the bigger places, where you can cash traveler's cheques, etc.
  63. How can I get to the boat from the airport?
  64. There is very detailed information in our page 'Getting to the yacht', which you can find at the left menu.
  65. Are the transfers between the airport and the yacht included in the price?
  66. The transfers are not included in the price, as there are good and inexpensive connections by public transport (bus or metro), taxi, or private transfer service. For information on the various options as well as costs, please visit our page 'Getting to the yacht', which you can find at the left menu.
  67. What time can I board the yacht on the day of my arrival?
  68. Boarding time is at 5 p.m., however usually the yacht is ready around 3 p.m. and unless we have some maintenance in progress we will invite you to come onboard earlier. Until then you can enjoy a cold drink at one of the local cafes.
  69. What time do I have to leave the yacht on my day of departure?
  70. On your last day disembarkation is at 9 a.m. (just after breakfast). It takes us many hours to clean and prepare the yacht for the next cruise, as well as carry out the required maintenance. If there is some spare time until your transfers to the airport, you can always have a last drink at a cafe nearby.
  71. I would like to combine a cruise on your yacht with a holiday on land. Is it possible?
  72. You can check our Yacht & Hotel offer, or you can search for your preferred type of accommodation in the Internet.
  73. Our group is bigger than 8 people. How can we fit on a yacht for a sailing holiday?
  74. We had big groups in the past and it is not a problem. You can charter both our yachts (Velos and Alexandros) and both yachts will sail together as a small flotilla.
  75. Can I go SCUBA diving?
  76. Yes, but according to the Greek regulations, you can only SCUBA dive through an authorized club. Diving takes place from the morning until late afternoon/evening, so depending on what time you will be back you may miss one day's sail, which is something for you to consider. If you are coming for a two week holiday (Yacht & Hotel), then it will be ideal if you take advantage of your week on land to do some diving.
  77. I want to try my luck with fishing! What do I need to bring with me?
  78. It depends on the method. One way is to trail a line with a rubber bait or metal spinner at the end, while the yacht is under way. The fish we catch with this method is usually tuna and around 1 Kg in weight. A fishing rod makes things a bit easier, but it is not necessary and you can simply have your line on a plastic reel. Alicia is always happy to cook your catch for lunch!

    Another method is to use a line with a hook. The yacht has to be stationary (in a bay or at the harbor) and you usually catch fish which is too small to eat, so you throw them back in the sea. You will need some bait, which can be bread, tinned corn or little live worms(!), and it is a nice pastime, especially for kids.
    Finally, spear-guns are not illegal, so if you have one you can bring it with you. Obviously, you will have to swim away from the area where the yachts are moored and people are swimming for safety reasons. There is not much fish around, so you need to be lucky to bump into one when you are snorkeling, but you can always try!
Contact us
Contact info
ANKO YACHTING Ltd. ZAIMI 52, RIO 26 504, GREECE Thanos & Alicia Christopoulos
(0030) 6936 797 680