Food & Drinks
When you book a hostess we generally recommend pre-paying a budget of €150 per person. For some charters you may have already paid this, contact your Greek Seas representative if you have any questions.
How the provision budget works
Prior to your charter we will send you a form where you can let us know if you have any food/drink preferences as well as any food allergies the hostess needs to know about. The hostess has a variety of Greek and Mediterranean dishes that they will prepare for you during your journey. They’ll have some initial items stocked on the yacht when you arrive and they can pick up additional items on the islands (as they get to know your preferences better).
Generally, this should cover food and drink costs for the week. It is not a problem if you do happen to go over budget; the hostess keeps track of spending and if the balance is low they will let you know that additional funds are needed. Note: Dinners are not included because we recommend dining out at one of the incredible local restaurants on the islands (the captain will be happy to recommend places).
You can also choose to go shopping with the hostess upon arrival in Greece, just let us know on the food/drink preference form.
If you would like to skip the trip to the supermarket ask your Greek Seas representative about including a starter pack.
If you do go to the supermarket you’ll just need to pick up enough items to get you started for the week. The islands have very nice markets that are also more affordable.
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.
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 a basic breakfast each morning.
If you hire a hostess they will prepare lunch each afternoon.
For skippered-only charters you will typically be sailing during the afternoon, so you’ll be able to enjoy lunch aboard the yacht while anchored in a beautiful cove. The skipper will anchor for an hour or so and give you time to go to go for a swim, explore and prepare lunch.
Some clients prefer a quick and easy lunch such as soups, pasta or sandwiches. However, all of our yachts have an oven and stove so you can prepare almost anything you would like. We recommend stocking up provisions from the island markets.
Note: On charters without a hostess, we recommend offering the skipper some snacks and a light lunch during the week. They are often sailing all day won’t have time to prepare lunch on their own.
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.
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).
Our captains (who all live in/near Athens) have put together this list of their favorite restaurants, coffee places and street food in Athens. The list includes a range of price points, tastes and flavors. The comments below are personal descriptions from our captains.
*A few quick notes:
- Good seafood restaurants are very difficult to find it in the center of Athens
- Souvlaki places are generally very good everywhere.
- You may need to make reservation, especially if it is Friday or Saturday.
- Pretty much all of these restaurants accept credit cards.
αύρο Πρόβατο (Black Sheep)– Very nice restaurant in the area of Pagrati (20min walk from the center but very close to Kalimarmaro Stadium). Nice bars also nearby.
The Canteen of Karagiorgi Servias– A cool, fairly secret restaurant located in a roof top of a building in Syntaga square. Authentic meat balls, french potatos, greek salad, 15 tables…. Open only in day time.
Kiki de Grece– A small bistro in the center of Athens. Very nice food.
Ο Τζίτζικας κι ο Μέρμηγκας (Tzitzikas and Mermigas)– In the center of Athens (Syntagma Square). One of the oldest restaurants. A lot of tourists but the food is still good.
L’Abreuvoir– Very nice, cosy, French restaurant. Is expensive. But perfect for a romantic honeymoon date.
Dexameni– Located just under King George Hotel (your favorite). Its nice during the summer because of the small tables in the sloped pedestrian road. Few plates, casual, mostly for beer and only for dinner (its too hot during the day time).
Hyrta– Nice restaurant with a view to Acropolis. A little bit expensive.
Baba Ghanoush– Terrific falafel – the best in Athens. Located in the Pagrati neighborhood of Athens.
Klepsidra Cafe– Outside dining only. It’s similar to “Dexameni”, but just under Acropolis in Plaka. Nice atmosphere, cheap but average plates.
Γιασεμί (Yiasemi)– Very cosy coffee and breakfast place in Plaka. It has different types of pita and sweets every day. Highly recommended.
Miran Deli– Something different than any other place. The paradise of traditional greek cold-cuts, cheese and olives. Near Monastiraki. Open only in day time.
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.
Packing & Travel
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 duffel type bags are ideal. It will free up a lot of room if your bag can be tucked away.
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.
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:
- Take a taxi/Uber. 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 less from the center of Athens.
- If you would like to pre-book your transportation we recommend: https://transfers-in-greece.com/. Just tell them you’re on a Greek Seas charter from Alimos Marina.
- 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.
Standard boarding time is on Saturday at 5PM. We usually recommend arriving at the marina between 3-5pm. Prior to that time your captain and the Greek Seas team will be busy preparing the yacht for your journey. However if you do need to arrive early we partner with a service that can store your luggage while you explore the marina, grab some food, or just relax without having to drag your luggage around with you.
Your Greek Seas representative will go over all this information with you prior to your charter.
Standard boarding time is on Saturday at 5PM. We usually recommend arriving at the marina between 3-5pm. Prior to that time the skipper will be busy preparing the yacht for your journey. However if you do need to arrive early we partner with a service that can store your luggage while you explore the marina, grab some food, or just relax without having to drag your luggage around with you.
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.
*If you do need to be back in Athens on Friday by a specific time (for a flight or ferry), just let the captain know and he will make sure you’re back in time if possible.
Unless otherwise stated, our yachts are all located at Alimos Marina which is located about 15 min from central Athens and 45 min from the Athens International Airport.
From either the airport or central Athens we recommend taking a taxi or Uber to the marina. You can also pre-book your transportation; we recommend this company: https://transfers-in-greece.com/.
Click here for more details about the arrival and boarding process.
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.
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.
We use the company OFX to get the best possible EUR/USD rate.
It’s important to note that the published rate you see online or in newspapers is often the interbank rate (the bank to bank exchange rate). This is the best possible rate that banks charge each other, however the consumer rate is different. The consumer rate (the foreign exchange rate you get from the bank for ATM withdrawals and credit card transactions) is generally 3-4% higher. We pass on the same rate we get from OFX to you, which is generally better than the standard consumer rate.
We have clients from all over the world. However, since many of our clients, as well as our home office, are based in the United States 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 very good exchange rates via OFX which we pass down to the customer.
We are happy to say that we also now accept EUR, GBP and AUD wire transfers.
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 a few days. Once the deposit is received the yacht will be booked.
We require a 50% deposit to reserve the yacht. The deposit is paid in US dollars via secure online ACH (bank) transfer. We will email you a quickbooks invoice where you can securely enter your bank details.
Please note that we can also accept credit card, but there is a 2.9% credit card processing fee (charged by the cc companies).
We also accept EUR, GBP, and AUD wire transfer.
The remaining funds will be due one month prior to your trip.
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.
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-pocket expenses. The only items not included are food and drinks (unless you purchase a food/drink package) and the tip for your crew (optional).
Your Greek hostess will assist the captain as well as prepare breakfasts and lunches. They will also do their best to keep the yacht tidy throughout the week.
Note: Dinners are not included because we recommend dining out at one of the incredible local restaurants on the islands (the captain will be happy to recommend places).
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.
If you require overnight power for an appliance such as a CPAP machine we highly recommend purchasing a battery pack which can be charged during the day while the motor is running via the 12V cigarette lighter or 220V plug. We aren’t able to guarantee sufficient power overnight when there isn’t shore power available.
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.
-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.
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. You’re also welcome to invite 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.
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, the average tip is usually around €100 per passenger for a skippered charter and €150 per passenger 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.
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.
There are plenty if fantastic museums to visit, however in order to get a real understanding of Athens we recommend walking the streets of the city and visiting some of these sites:
- Spend an afternoon visiting the famous world heritage site: the Acropolis of Athens and the new museum.
- Walk in the areas of Plaka (with the narrow alleys under the hill of Acropolis). There are lots of restaurants and bars in this area.
- Go to Monastiraki square and visit the flea market (Ifestou 2, Athina 105 55, Greece)
- Drink a Greek coffee or freddo espresso in the square of St. Eirini (near Monastiraki)
- Take Ermou street all the way to Syntagma square and watch the changing of the guard in the parliament (change every hour on the hour).
- If you have time search if there is performance in the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
- If you’re looking for a drink, Athens is well known for the night life. Here are some great options:
*All these areas are safe for walking at night.
All of our charters return to Alimos marina on Friday afternoon. The exact time is fairly flexible and depends on what time you leave the final island that Friday morning. If you have a flight on Friday, just let your captain know at the beginning of your charter.
Check out is 9am on Saturday. We offer the opportunity for clients to spend that final night on the yacht as an added convenience, but we do want to point out some possible disadvantages. Since Alimos is a busy marina located in Athens it can be loud in the evenings (there are night clubs and heavy traffic nearby) and the air can be stagnant at times since it is the mainland. We also like to note that your skipper will depart the yacht on Friday evening so they have a night in their own bed before their next trip Saturday morning.
Many people enjoy spending the final night on the yacht, but if you want to be assured a quiet, cool night of sleep we would recommend booking a nearby hotel. We highly recommend the Poseidon Hotel which is a short walk from the marina.
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 July/August which is considered high season.
Blue signifies a lower relative price
Red signifies a higher relative price
We only work with a small number of Greek skippers and hostesses who meet our strict standards on sailing ability, local knowledge and friendliness. We understand that having a fantastic skipper/hostess who know the islands, food and culture is a crucial part of your overall charter sailing experience.
We schedule the skipper/hostess a few months prior to your trip when we know the full booking slate for that week. If you have a preferred skipper/hostess we’ll do our best to accommodate your request but there are certain weeks they may be unavailable or pre-booked on another trip.
Recent law changes have made it more difficult for a US citizen to rent vehicles in Greece. Many places are now requiring you have an IDP (International Drivers Permit). While some smaller rental places may not require this license, we highly recommend getting one prior to your journey if you’re planning to rent a vehicle, ATV or scooter in Greece. Luckily it is easy and inexpensive to attain an International Drivers Permit. The best method we’ve found is through AAA.
Here is what they state you’ll need:
- Download and fill out an application, and bring it to your nearest AAA branch office**.
- Two original passport pictures (also available at AAA branch offices**).
- A valid U.S. driver’s license.
- Pay $20 USD permit fee and you’re ready to go!
*You can also get the permit through the mail if you can’t visit an AAA office. You can find information here.
The sailing season in Greece runs from late March through October, with prices as well as the tourist crowds peaking in August.
The chart below will give you a good idea of average air and water temperatures each month of the season in the area around Athens.
|Date||Avg High Temp (°f)||Avg Water temp (°f)|
The winds in the Cyclades pick up in June through September. This can be great for sailing, but also make for the occasional rough day at sea. The captain will do his best to take you the best route possible, but if you are worried about rough seas you can chose to go the calmer route through the Saronic.
Regardless of the route you chose or the month you visit, you will enjoy many sunny days during your sailing trip in one of the most beautiful and ancient landscapes in the world.
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!
As long as the winds cooperate it is possible to sail to Mykonos.
Because of it’s unique location there can be strong meltemi winds which can prevent safe passage to Mykonos on a sailing yacht. The captain is able to make a determination based on wind forecasts during your trip.
There is also 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.
However, if you really want to ensure a visit to Mykonos, we recommend taking a ferry or flight to the island before or after your charter.
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: https://greececharter.wpengine.com/is-it-possible-sail-to-santorini/
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This sailing yacht is equipped with a cigarette lighter outlet (12V). 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.
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.