FAQs

Food & Drinks

Can I buy groceries at the marina?

Yes. We recommend loading up on provisions at a Supermarket close to the marina. The food and drinks are fairly inexpensive and can be delivered right to your yacht. After you speak to the captain you can head to the market while your yacht is being cleaned and prepared. The closest supermarket is the Carrefour and it is located about a 10 min walk from the marina. If you are facing away from the water you take a left on the main marina road. That will lead you back to the main road (you’ll pass a Shell gas station). Walk about 25 yards left after you get to the main road and you’ll see the Carrefour across the street. The captain will happily direct you. We can also pre-arrange provisions to be delivered to your yacht. Just let us know prior to your arrival.

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What does a hostess provide?

You have a few choices in regards to provisions. You can go shopping with the hostess upon arrival in Greece or you can contact the hostess prior to your trip and put in any food/drink requests you have and the yacht will be stocked when you arrive. The hostess will pick up additional provisions as needed at different ports throughout your journey. Generally the hostess will prepare two meals a day (breakfast and lunch), however it is possible to spend an evening anchored in a port and have breakfast and dinner instead one day. If you are interested in this option, speak to your captain and hostess for more details.

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What should I buy at the supermarket?

Here is a list of items that we recommend you pick up:

Cooking/cleaning essentials: Dish soap, sponges, toilet paper, paper towels, milk, and olive oil if you plan on cooking.

Water: The bottled water in Greece is inexpensive and comes in large bottles. Because of the high temperatures and you will need a lot of water. You will also very likely need to restock your bottled water supply a couple of times throughout your trip. We recommend at least one large bottle per person per day. Most passengers buy enough for the captain as well as a courtesy.

Snacks: Fruit, chips, crackers, cheese are all great for snacking while you sail.

Items for lunch: Most customers like to buy ingredients to make sandwiches. There is a stove on the yacht so you can make warm lunches as well.

Alcohol: The supermarket has plenty of beer and wine (at a good price) for you to stock up on.

Ice: Bags of ice can be purchased at the marina. Ask your skipper about where and how much you will need prior to departing. Some yachts require ice to keep the icebox cold. You will also be able to purchase additional ice during your journey.

After you pay for your items, tell them you would like them to be delivered to Alimos marina and tell them the pier number and the name of the yacht. This is a free service.

*Don’t worry about remembering to purchase everything you need for the week. Almost all of the islands have markets where you can replenish your supplies if needed.

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When is breakfast?

You’ll have time while in port in the morning to either cook some breakfast on the boat or walk to a local bakery on the island for breakfast. It’s a good idea to ask the captain what time you will be departing the next morning. Generally it will be between 10am-12pm depending on the length of that days sail.

Note: If you hire a hostess they will prepare breakfast each morning

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What about lunch?

Since you will typically be sailing during the afternoon you will have lunch aboard the yacht. The captain will usually anchor the yacht in a beautiful cove for an hour or so and give you time to go for a swim, explore and prepare the lunch. All of our yachts have an oven and stove.

It is a nice gesture of courtesy to offer the skipper snacks and some lunch during the week. This is a minimal cost to you and they are often sailing all day won’t have time to prepare lunch on their own.

Note: If you hire a hostess they will prepare lunch each afternoon

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Where should I eat dinner?

In Greece, dinners are a very important event for family and friends to get together. Dinners generally last many hours and include many courses of fresh Mediterranean dishes, usually accompanied by carafes of wine. Every island has unique local specialty dishes, which your captain will be happy to explain to you.

We highly recommend consulting with your captain on where to eat dinner, especially on the smaller islands. If you would like an even better dining experience, you can ask your captain to join you for dinner. It is a great way to learn more about Greece, the islands, and the captain himself. In addition, in some of the smaller restaurants, the menus are only in Greek, so the captain will be an indispensable asset. He will also know the local specialties that you will not want to miss out on. It is common to order family style for the whole table, especially if you have a larger group.

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Should I tip at restaurants?

At restaurants tipping is not required and most often people just round up (so if the bill is €19 you pay €20). Generally 10-15% is plenty. At some of the smaller family owned restaurants on the islands it can be nice to give a larger tip if they provide complimentary food and drinks (you’ll find this is often the case if you dine out with your captains).

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How much should we budget for food and drinks while in Greece?

Provisions for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks  for the week will generally cost less than €150-200 per person.   Beer and greek wine are also very affordable.

Dinners can vary depending on the islands.   A fantastic, multi-course dinner with house wine on a typical island can be €15-30 per person.  On internationally famous islands such as Mykonos, the prices can be double that.

Based on feedback from normal trips, passengers spend about €250-500 per person per week.  That includes all food/drink related expenses.

 

 

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Is there a coffee maker on board?

The yachts will at least have a basic coffee maker.  It is essentially a filter that you fill with grounds and pour hot water over (there is a kettle on board).

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Packing & Travel

What type of luggage should I use?

It’s important to remember that you’re spending a week on a yacht so there is limited storage space in the cabins. If possible, pack a bag that is either small or easily collapsible. Carry-on bags or duffle type bags are ideal. It will free up a lot of room if your bag can be tucked away.

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What do I need to bring?

Passport: This is the most important item for you to bring. Be sure to double check the expiration date!

Medicine: You may not need it, but it’s always a good idea to pack some Dramamine in case the seas are rough. If you are prone to sea sickness, it can also be beneficial to speak to your doctor, who may be able to prescribe patches that are stronger and more effective. Many standard items (OTC painkillers, cold medicine, etc.) can be purchased at the drug stores in Athens or on the islands. Be sure to pack any required allergy medication (especially if you are allergic to insect bites).

Sunscreen: You will need sunscreen in Greece. If you don’t want to pack some, you’ll certainly be able to find some in the supermarkets in Athens or on the islands.

Clothing: We recommend bringing a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and/or sweater. Even in very warm months, the winds can make it feel a lot cooler in the evenings. A few other items not to forget: swimsuits, sandals, sunglasses, and a hat.

Towels: Linens are provided, which includes one bath towel per person. Many clients prefer to have more than one towel (for lying outside on the yacht) so we highly recommend packing a beach towel or purchasing one in Athens.

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What happens when I get to Athens?

Our yachts are conveniently located at Alimos Marina, which is 15 min from the center of Athens and 35 min from the Athens airport. There are a few different ways to get there:

  1. Take a taxi. Tell them “Alimos Marina in Kalamaki” and they will know where to take you. The cost per taxi is about €40-60 and it takes 30-45 min from the airport. The time and cost is much less from the center of Athens.
  2. Take a bus. This is an inexpensive but slow option from the Athens airport. The bus is theX96 and it runs round-the-clock every 20-30 minutes. Travel time is about 60-90 minutes (depending on the traffic) and the ticket costs €5 and can be purchased outside the airport main hall. If you are taking the bus, be sure to ask the bus driver to let you know where to get off (Alimos Marina in Kalamaki).
  3. Take the Tram. This is an affordable option from the center of Athens. You will just need to get off on the Marina Alimos stop on the blue/green line.
  4. We are happy to prearrange transportation for you.

Upon arrival at the marina you can check in with the captain or Greek Seas representative. Most of our yachts are located half way down Pier 8 in the marina (we will let you know if this is not the case with your yacht). You can see the location in the map below.

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Are there ATMs or banks?

On some of the small islands, it can be difficult to use credit card or find an atm. We recommend taking cash out while in Athens. There is a cash machine located in the same building as the supermarket (at ING).

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When do the yachts arrive and depart?

Embarkation is at 5pm on Saturday, which the standard in the industry.  However we always try to have the boat ready a bit earlier than that (the prior charter finishes at 9am and it needs to be cleaned and set up).  We generally recommend arriving at the marina around 1-2pm, which will give you time to fill out paperwork and shop for provisions at the supermarket.

The boat will arrive back in the marina the following Friday afternoon (the exact time depends on which island you are coming from and what time you depart).   You are welcome to sleep on the yacht that night in port and checkout is at 9am on Saturday, so that the boat can be cleaned and prepped for the next charter that afternoon.

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Are linens (sheets, towels, etc.) provided?

Yes, we provide luxury linens and bath towels. However we do recommend that you either bring an extra beach towel or purchase one while in Athens.

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Are there hair dryers on the yachts?

There are no hair dryers available on the yacht.  Standard hair dryers will only  work on board when the yacht is plugged into shore power (which isn’t available at all ports) because the large amount of wattage they use (max wattage is 350 Watts on yachts with inverters) .

However, if you are looking for something beyond traditional Mediterranean air drying, there are a few options:

  • You can use the hair dryer in one of the restrooms near the port if you have the correct European adapter.
  • You can also purchase and bring an inexpensive camping-style hair dryer for under $20, like this one.  But these tend to not work very well.

You can read more about power outlets on the yachts here.

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Reservations

How does the private charter reservation process work?

When you make the excellent choice to book a private charter with us we will send you an official quote with all the relevant information. We can then put the yacht on hold for 5 days. Once the deposit is received the yacht will be booked. The deposit is 50% of the trip price and can either be paid by bank transfer or credit card via paypal. Note: the credit card price is about 2.9% higher because of fees.

The remaining funds will be due one month prior to your trip.

We also require a €2,000-€3,000 (depending on the yacht) refundable deposit which can be put on a credit card in Greece. This is just in case of any damage done to the yacht (by you, not the captain). This is just a hold and the money will only be charged in the event of actually damage caused by the charter group.

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What is your cancellation policy?

In the case of a cancellation we are unable to refund any deposits that have been paid.  We recommend our clients purchase travel insurance.  Depending on the circumstances of your cancellation you may be able to claim part or all of the purchase price back from your travel insurance provider.

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What is included in the price?

This price includes one of our amazing Greek skippers as well as port fees, taxes, linen, and cleaning at the end of the trip.  We even include fuel, so there are no out of the pocket expenses.  The only items not included are food and drinks (unless you purchase a food/drink package).

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Are children welcome?

Of course! Charter sailing is a perfect family vacation. It provides the perfect mix of adventure, activities, and relaxation. We do recommend children are old enough to swim for safety reasons.

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How does the cabin charter booking process work?

For cabin charter bookings we have an automated system.

  • The pricing is per cabin based on double occupancy and the trips all start on a Saturday.
  • ​There is no charge to reserve a cabin.  Once we have all three available cabins on a yacht filled for that week, we will contact you to collect the payment and confirm your trip.  Your trip is not confirmed until the payment is received.
  • If you are flexible in your dates let us know in the questionnaire section when you book.

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Why Are Prices In EUR?

Most of our clients are based in the United States and we accept USD as the main form of payment currency.  However, since the yachts and trips take place in Europe we keep the pricing in euros.  We get fantastic exchange rates via USForex which we pass down to the customer.  As soon as you’re ready to book we’ll send over a trip quote with deposit total in USD using the current exchange rates.  The remaining balance can also be paid in USD using the exchange rate at the time the balance is due (generally about month prior to the trip date)

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At Sea

Do I need to help sail the yacht?

It is important to keep in mind that your skilled captain will navigate and sail the yacht, however they will occasionally need some assistance from a passenger with raising a sail and while anchoring in the ports. If you have hired a hostess or deckhand no assistance will be required.

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Where does the captain sleep?

Generally the skipper will sleep in one of the available cabins. On smaller catamarans this would be one of the standard rooms, while some larger yachts have specific skipper cabins. If you have any questions about this, just let us know.

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What does a hostess do?

The cost to add a hostess is 950 euro for the week. Their duty is as a deck hand crew, preparing and serving breakfast/lunch/snacks as well as drinks & cocktails. They also keep the boat clean and nice. You can read in more detail on our Hostess/Inclusive page.

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Do I need to know how to sail?

Nope. Your highly-trained, knowledgeable captain has all skills and know-how to handle all of the sailing.  However, they will occasionally need some assistance from a passenger with raising/lowering a sail and while anchoring in the ports.  If you have hired a hostess or deckhand no assistance will be required.

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Is there cell service?

Cell service is very good in the Greek Islands. Just make sure to check with your provider to make sure your phone will work while overseas. We do provide wifi on the boat on request for a small fee.

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If I have my sailing qualifications is it possible to help the captain and pilot the yacht at times?

Of course!  We always like to like to mention that the captain must be on hand to supervise and all final decisions are made by the captain.

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Is seasickness an issue on charters?

Since you’ll be sailing on a boat, seasickness is always a possibility, however we have found that passengers tend to get seasick on smaller charters less often than cruise ships.  This is because you’ll spend most of your sailing time outside and you’ll always be within site of land.   A vast majority of clients have no issues at all and even clients who are very sensitive to motion sickness adjust after a day or so at sea.  We recommend bringing an over-the-counter medication such as Dramamine if you are prone to motion sickness.

Quick Notes:
-If you are worried about seasickness, we highly recommend the Saronic route.  This route features shorter sail times and calmer seas than the Cyclades (if Athens is your base).
-If you do need to go into your cabin during sailing, we recommend a quick trip or laying down for a nap is always nice.
-While you’re anchored or docked for the night there will be very little rocking or movement of the boat.

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What should I expect from the captain on charter?

The number one priority of your experienced and knowledgeable Greek captain is to ensure your safety while sailing the Greek islands, so it is very important to listen to them and understand that any route decisions are based on this principal.

Their second priority is to help you have the best possible vacation.  We find that clients who interact with their skipper while on charter have the best overall experience.   Don’t hesitate to ask questions if would like to learn more about sailing, history, or various activities on Greek islands.  We recommend inviting them out to dinner on one of your first few evenings.  It’s a great way to get to know them better and they’ll likely know the best local menu items on each island.  

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Misc.

Is it common to tip the crew/captain?

If you think you crew did a great job we recommend tipping them at the end of the charter. They work hard to make your trip unforgettable and they will really appreciate it. There is no standard amount and recommendations vary depending on the size of your group and the yacht.  As a guide, clients tend to tip between €150-400 total for a skippered charter and €200-600+ total for a skipper/hostess charter.  This is just a suggestion and in no way required.

On charters without a hostess, it is also a nice gesture of courtesy to offer the skipper snacks and some lunch during the week.  This is a minimal cost to you and they are often sailing all day won’t have time to prepare lunch on their own.

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Does the captain speak English?

Both the skipper and hostess will certainly speak English. They will be happy to answer all your questions in regards to Greek food, culture, history, etc. They will also assist your party in choosing restaurants and ordering local specialties if you would like them to accompany you to dinner in the evenings.

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Is the yacht insured?

The boat is fully insured by Llyods of London against damage and personal injury. However personal belongings are not insured. That can be insured in through travel insurance in your home country. In Greece, all the boats have third party insurance by law, but that does not include personal belongings.

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What is a refundable damage deposit?

This is an authorization for a payment on your credit card for a certain amount to cover any damages. Your card is only charged in the event that damage is incurred to the yacht by your party. Damage as a result of the skipper is not the responsibility of the chartering party. This is a rare occurrence.

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How do I book ferries between islands?

This is a good website for checking ferry times and booking tickets: https://ferries.greeka.com/

If you are looking to take a ferry we recommend that you book your ferry tickets ahead of time.

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What months are the Greek charter sailing season?

Greek Seas Charter Sailing Season Chart

The charter sailing season in Greece begins in early March and ends the first week in November.  The prices for charters are variable depending on the month you sail.  Prices are 30-40% lower in the low season (early and late).  Prices peak in August which is considered high season.

Seasons

Note:

Blue signifies a lower relative price

Red signifies a higher relative price

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Does Greek Seas offer bareboat charters?

Greek Seas does not offer bareboat charters.  When charter sailing in Greece we highly recommend sailing with a Greek skipper because of their experience on the Aegean Sea (which can be very unpredictable) as well as their invaluable knowledge of the islands.  

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Is there a risk of contracting the Zika virus while in Greece?

Currently, Greece has no known risk of Zika from mosquitos according to the CDC

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Routes

What sailing routes are available?

There are two main route options from Athens: The Cyclades and the Saronic Gulf.

The most popular charter route from Athens is the Saronic Gulf because of it’s beautifully lush islands, shorter sailing times and calmer seas.   Because of the possibility of high winds and rough seas in the Cyclades we only offer this route if the conditions permit.  

It is the nature of charter sailing in Greece that there is a possibility of areas with strong winds in the Aegean which may prevent you from sailing comfortably to certain islands on certain days. As a result, your exact route will be dependent on the weather. Your skipper will make the determination when they have a reliable forecast, which is generally a day or so before sailing.

We highly recommend keeping open mind  and letting your captain know what you are interested in experiencing (nightlife, historical sites, hiking, etc) when you arrive and he will do the rest!

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Can we sail to Mykonos?

The simple answer is yes…as long as the winds cooperate.

If you take the Cyclades route Mykonos is a possible stop, however, occasionally there can be strong meltemi winds which can prevent safe passage to Myknonos on a sailing yacht.  The captain is able to make a determination based on wind forecasts during your trip.

However there is another option: if strong winds prevent you from sailing to Mykonos it is also possible to take a short ferry (1 hour) from the island of Syros to visit Mykonos.  So if you would really like to visit Mykonos, just let you captain know and he should be able to find a way.

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Can we sail to Santorini?

It is not possible to sail to Santorini. The island is too far from Athens to visit aboard a sailing yacht in one week.  Additionally, Santorini is an island that is best experienced by staying in one of the amazing hotels  and resorts lining the volcanic cliffs. The only port available for a sailing yacht to dock overnight is on the other side of the island from the main town. There is not much around the port and it can take a 45 minute taxi ride to get to the town. This is why we recommend flying or taking a ferry before or after your trip and staying for a night or two in one of many the amazing hotels in Santorini.

You can find more information here: http://greececharter.wpengine.com/is-it-possible-sail-to-santorini/

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Yachts

Do the yachts have air conditioning?

It is generally cool at night and you can get a nice cross breeze by opening up your windows so air conditioning is rarely needed.

However, some of our larger catamarans do have air-conditioning:
Lagoon 400 (some models)
Lagoon 420
Lagoon 450
Nautitech 47

It is important to note that when the yachts are anchored in port the air conditioning works on a generator and can certainly be used, however it isn’t possible to use it all night because they are not made for heavy usage. This also requires a large amount of fuel.

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Is there WiFi on the yacht?

We are able to offer wifi on many of our yachts, but please request this when you book because there is limited availability. Here are some important things to keep in mind about the wifi:

  • The wifi works via a hotspot connected to the 4G mobile network.  Data can be purchased in 2GB increments. If available, Greek Seas will provide a complimentary 2GB.
  • It is easy to purchase additional data.  You’ll just need to purchase an access code (which you enter online) for more data.  They sell these passes/codes in most markets on the islands and they cost around €10-20 (for 2GB). The skipper can tell you exactly where and how you can purchase them.

Important Note

We recommend turning off all auto updates on phones and computers, this tends to use up data very quickly. Sending photos and streaming also uses up a lot of data. We mention this because people are usually very surprised when the 2 GB is used up in a few days.

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Are there power outlets on the boat?

The power situation can vary depending on the yacht, so if you don’t see your yacht listed below it’s always good to double check with your Greek Seas representative.

Lagoon 380 | Lagoon 450 | 
The above yachts have an inverter which allows for a 220V plug that can accommodate items up to 350 Watts.  These plugs are in each cabin.  All you will need to bring is a standard US/Greek (southern european) adapter.  Something like this works well.   Please note that these outlets are only functional when the yacht is plugged into shore power.  Some ports offer this while some of the smaller ones do not.

There will be a USB plug available in the main saloon (via a 12V cigarette lighter outlet) which will work the entire journey for charging small electronics like phones.

Items such as a standard hair dryer require too much wattage and can only be used when the yachts is plugged into shore power.

Oceanis 40 | Bavaria 49 |
At a minimum all  yachts are equipped with a cigarette lighter outlet (12V).  For these yachts the skipper will have provide a car adapter which has USB outlets for you to use to charge your phone/ipads.  You can also bring your own car adapter if you prefer.

If you require overnight power for an appliance such as a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, we recommend purchasing a battery pack which can be charged during the day via the 12V cigarette lighter or 220V plug.

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Do the boats have a sound system?

Yes, the yachts have a built in car radio-type interface with external speakers. You can hook your phone/tablet up to the boat’s speaker system via an AUX cord (we recommend you bring your own).

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What are the cabins like on the yachts?

The cabins on sailing yachts are meant to be a nice, cozy place for napping and sleeping.  So there isn’t much space for standing or walking around.  On most yachts, the standard bed size is equal to a Queen sized bed.  Each cabin has windows (deck hatches), which work as skylights as well as a way to and let in sun and a nice cross breeze.

There is space for storing clothing and other personal items, however storage space in the cabins and yacht in general is limited, so remember to follow our packing guidelines and try to bring soft luggage.

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