Holiday Helpline: Sailing Holidays

Holiday Helpline: Sailing Holidays

We asked three operators - Neilson, The Moorings and Sunsail to come up with a recommendation and sample price for three clients who have special requests for a sailing holiday.

Request 1: A couple in their 30s are looking for a quiet resort where they can get away from it all. They have experience of sailings and aren't concerned about price.

Neilson

Area: Greece.

Product: two weeks afloat in the Greek islands is an ideal way to relax, especially aboard the new Moody S31 yachts, which offer hot running water, double cabins, luxurious toilet and shower and even run to a CD player. Departing from Nidri, clients set sail around the picturesque Ionian Islands, in a flotilla of yachts with a trusty lead crew.

Cost: £1,147 per person for 14 nights in September aboard a Moody S31, including flights from Gatwick and transfers.

The Moorings

Area: British Virgin Islands.

Product: the 60 islands of the BVIs in the Caribbean, with hundreds of bays and hidden coves, are one of the best places for a leisurely nine-night cruise on a 32ft yacht. There is finally a four-night stay at the Sugar Mill Hotel, on Tortola.

Cost: £1,961 per person in November including flights to Tortola, via Antigua. First night in the Mariner Inn, at The Moorings' base, nine nights' yacht charter and four nights in the Sugar Mill Hotel in a deluxe room on a half-board basis.

Sunsail

Area: Thailand.

Product: sailing from Sunsail's base at Boat Lagoon on Phuket, after a direct flight from London, the couple would be able to travel around hundreds of unspoilt islands of Phang Nga Bay. The couple will also be able to cruise to the islands of Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Lee, Ko Racha Rai, Koh Iantra.

Cost: £1,615 per person for two weeks, including flights, transfers and the use of a 32-foot yacht.

Request 2: The party is a family of four, with two children in their teens. The parents have some sailing experience.

Neilson

Area: Greece.

Product: Club La Cite is based right on the beach at Porto Heli, a small town stretching around a large bay opposite the well known island of Spetse. The headland almost encloses the bay, creating a large and safe sailing area. The family have access to an array of dinghies, windsurfers and mountain bikes. Royal Yachting Association standard sailing instruction is included in the price. Mum and dad will enjoy tuition on fast dinghies, while the range of equipment and bikes will keep the children busy.

Cost: £950 per person for 14 nights' half-board, including flights from Gatwick, transfers and full tuition. Children have their own room.

The Moorings

Area: Greece.

Product: Athens and the Saronic Gulf offer a combination of culture, charming ports with excellent tavernas, good family nightlife and delightful beaches. The sailing here is wonderful aboard a three-cabin 36ft yacht.

Cost: £1,025 per person in August, including flights to Athens and 14 nights' yacht charter.

Sunsail

Area: Greece.

Product: a Sunsail club is the answer. Staying ashore in a beachside hotel, with half-board accommodation, swimming pool, tennis and, at some locations, beauty therapy. Guests can learn to sail in a vast array of dinghies, catamarans and windsurfers provided free of charge and supervised by qualified RYA instructors. Children from the age of two to 16 years old can join one of the children's clubs, which look after kids all day, every day from 9.30am to 5pm.

Cost: adults £1,005 each and £815 per child, including flights and transfers, with accommodation in a mezzanine room with four beds.

Request 3: The third client is a group of four friends who have no sailing experience and are working to a tight budget.

Neilson

Area: Turkey.

Product: Bodrum is the lively centre of southwest Turkey, with local weekly markets, busy quaysides, tourist shops, a wide selection of bars, restaurants and outdoor nightclubs. Bitez is 20mins away and has its own selection of bars and restaurants. Neilson's Surf Club is right on the beachfront at Bitez and has become a mecca for surfers from all over Europe.The club offers restaurants, bars and two pools. The windsurfing here will be perfect in the gentle mornings and, as the group becomes more proficient, the afternoon winds will provide a real adrenaline buzz.

Cost: £595 per person for 14 nights' bed and breakfast, including flights from Gatwick, transfers and full tuition.

The Moorings

Area: Caribbean.

Product: St Lucia for three nights followed by a one-way cruise through the Grenadines on a 50-ft crewed yacht with private cabin. All meals and drinks are included except one dinner ashore. The cruise takes in the islands of Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, the Tobago Keys and Petit St Vincent.

Cost: £1,328 per person, including flights to St Lucia, returning from Grenada via Barbados. Three nights at the Marigot Bay Hotel, seven-night Grenadine cruise and three nights in the Secret Harbour Hotel, Grenada.

Sunsail

Area: Turkey.

Product: one of Sunsail's four Turkish clubs out of season would be ideal. October in Turkey is beautiful, many of the tourists have gone, the weather is excellent and the sea is warm. Turkey is cheap to eat out and buy drink. Half-board accommodation at the Farmess Club near Bodrum will combine a good introduction to sailing with the town's nightlife.

Cost: £650 per person for two weeks, including flights and transfers.

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