FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I book?

The Website is also our booking system, enabling you to book on line using a credit or debit card. Once you have chosen your trip from the schedule page, click on more info to go to the itinerary page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click book now to create a temporary booking.  If it is more than 8 weeks until your trip starts you are given the option of paying the whole amount or a 25% deposit. To confirm this booking you need to click pay now.  When you click pay now you will be asked to log in or register as a new user.  Once logged in you are able to pay for your booking using our secure card server.  If you wish to change your booking or add to it, there is a ‘My Booking’ link at the top right of the page,  After making a booking whenever you log in you are able to view ‘My account’ and see the status of your booking.  To confirm your booking we require a 25 per cent non-returnable deposit.  The balance is payable 8 weeks before your trip.  We also give you the option to pay in full if you wish.  If you have chosen the 25 per cent deposit option, the balance will automatically be deducted from your card 8 weeks before the trip starts.  We will send you a reminder that this is going to happen, and if for any reason you wish to use a different card we will be happy to take the details over the phone.

Where is the nearest airport, meeting times & transfers?

Details of your nearest airports, meeting times and transfer durations for cruises embarking / disembarking are as follows:

  • Toulon Hyeres Airport
    • Hyeres Plage – 17.30, 15mins
    • St.Tropez – 17.00, 60mins
  • Nice Airport
    • Cannes – 17.00, 45mins
    • Menton – 17.00, 45mins
  • Genoa Airport
    • Genoa – 17.30, 15mins
  • Pisa Airport
    • La Spezia – 17.00, 60mins
    • Punta Ala Marina – 16.00, 100mins
When can I arrive & depart?

Embarkation time is 18.00 and disembarkation is 10.00. If you wish to travel independently and arrive earlier or depart later than these times, you may leave your bags on board whilst you explore ashore. If you arrive later than 18.00 don’t worry, we will adapt the evening programme to suit your arrival time. If you experience any delays whilst travelling, please let us know.

What travel documentation will I require?

You will require the following travel documentation:

  • Passport – with a valid in date (visas are not required on our cruises)
  • Travel Insuranceit is a condition of booking that you have appropriate insurance cover and we will require evidence of this, together with emergency contact numbers before you travel. (Please be aware that regular travel insurance may exclude sailing and should cover medical evacuation and repatriation from the yacht).
  • Guest Information Form – to ensure your comfort and safety on board we would like to know a little bit more about you. Therefore, following your booking we will send you a guest information form for completion and return to us.
What do I bring?

Day time temperatures in the French & Italian Riviera between May and October range from 19 to 26 degrees and at night can be as low as 12 degrees. Therefore warm and sunny during the day time but often cool enough to need a jumper in the evenings, and whilst sailing the wind chill can make it cool enough to need a lightweight jacket. It is also important to remember that it is possible to burn from the reflection of the sun off the water even if you do not feel very hot. In this instance it is advisable to have a long sleeved thin shirt and a thin pair of trousers to protect you. When packing please remember to use a soft bag – there is no room for hard suitcases on board. Please also note that whilst we have more stowage space than a smaller yacht, space is still limited. We provide you with a lifejacket and safety harness, all bed linen and bathroom towels. Please remember also that lots of thin layers are better than one thick one – it is easier to cool down than to warm up, so we recommend that you start with a lot of layers, and if they are too much you can always take one off.

We all tend to go on holiday taking too many clothes and with sailing this is especially the case – ‘less is more’ is generally worth remembering and with this in mind we recommend you bring:

  • T Shirts, Polo shirts, shorts and a long sleeved shirt
  • Fleece jumper / trousers (tracksuit bottoms) – not wool as this is difficult to dry
  • Light sailing / walking trousers – please do not bring jeans as they do not dry
  • Light weight waterproof jacket
  • Socks, fleece hat, cap to keep the sun off, gloves
  • Deck shoes with a non-marking non slip tread (fine treads are more effective than deep treads)

Much of this clothing is available from specialised sailing shops, but can be expensive. Any outdoor clothing for walking, skiing, hiking etc. will work just as well. Casual clothes and shoes to wear ashore:

  • Swim suit, beach towel, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Wash kit and personal medications (please bring sufficient for the trip plus extra and any medication you may need in an emergency)
  • Small selection of your favourite CD’s and books
  • Camera and film, small pair of binoculars

There is a hairdryer on board for your use, please do not try plugging your own hairdryer in. There are 240V sockets available to charge up phones, cameras, electric razors etc

Is there a minimum number to operate a cruise?

Our policy is to operate a cruise where we have taken a booking and if this means we have only one cabin booked then that is what we will do. (If we were seen to cancel cruises then no one would want to be the first person to book) Go ahead and book the first cabin in the knowledge that the cruise will go ahead.

Are children allowed on board?

Our minimum age is 18, unless a family wish to book the whole yacht. In this situation our minimum age is 12.

Am I financially protected?

In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations1992” all passengers booking with Essential Sailing Ltd are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of the company. There is no requirement for Financial Protection of day trips, and none is provided. This Insurance has been arranged by International Passenger Protection Limited and underwritten by Insurers who are members of the Association of British Insurers.

What if I want to discuss my trip before booking?

We are very happy to talk to you before you book about any aspect of your trip, and Saghi will always answer your query either by e mail or telephone as soon as possible.

I am travelling alone, can I book a cabin to myself?

We very much welcome individual travellers on-board – however as we only have double cabins we regret that 75% of the cabin cost will apply for single occupancy.

Who else will be on board?

There will never be more than 6 guests, the skipper and the crew / host. Our cruises are open to bookings from individuals, couples, groups of friends and families and we expect to meet a wide variety of people from a wide range of backgrounds – sailors and non-sailors alike.

What happens when we arrive?

Embarkation time is 1800. On arrival you will be shown your cabin, given time to unpack. Once every one has arrived there will be a welcome reception giving you the chance to introduce yourselves to the other guests.  Dinner will be served at approx. 20.00, after which there will be time to discuss the itinerary for the week.  There will be a safety briefing after breakfast on the first morning of the cruise.

How are cabins allocated?

All of our cabins are double occupancy with en-suite bathrooms. The two forward cabins are identical and may be reserved upon first confirmation of your booking. The two aft cabins are reserved for the crew and 3rd booking confirmation accordingly.

What about safety?

The Beneteau Oceanis 50 is an exceptionally well found ocean going yacht, which complies with all the MCA regulations for safety and safety equipment. There will be a full safety brief when you arrive and reminders of important points during the week. Your skipper and crew are professionally qualified and are on board to look after your safety and comfort during the cruise. They are used to sailing with groups of people of all ages, and teaching them the ropes. They allow all guests to participate in all aspects of life on board, but they also impose some rules: especially enforcing our no smoking policy and when to wear lifejackets.

Who chooses the route?

We want you to enjoy your holiday and let it come up to your expectations and encourage all guests to tell us of their thoughts and ideas on the first day, and then together we work out a route that is right for your trip. Unfortunately if bad weather sets in, we might not be able to carry out our plans as exactly as we would wish, so we always have a contingency plan as well.

How much time is there to explore?

The answer to this is as long as you need. There are harbours where in a trip ashore of 1 hour you can see all the sights and want to be off again – there are other harbours where you might want a day to explore. We will discuss your requirements for time ashore in conjunction with the route planning to make sure we get the correct mix of sailing and exploring to satisfy your expectations.

What happens in bad weather?

It happens to us occasionally that there may be a day where it would be considered unwise to go sailing. In this case, because safety is of paramount importance to us, we will find alternative things to do. These could range from an organised excursion ashore, navigation lessons on board or watching a DVD from our well stocked library.

Will we learn about sailing?

We do not offer official RYA courses, as they are demanding on the itinerary. However your skipper is more than happy to teach you as much (or as little) as you are interested in. As we go along you get a chance to haul up the sails, use winches to trim the sails, take a turn at the helm, learn new knots etc.  A lot of this learning comes by practice.  You can also practice your navigation and get 1:1 tuition on any parts of the RYA syllabus that you are interested in. Please remember to ask us lots of questions.  If you want to brush up on your theory or take a theory course before you come we suggest that you might like to try a correspondence course or interactive learning on CD ROM

What If I have never sailed before?

Our cruises that start and finish in the same location and do not require an offshore passage are ideal for beginners. Our first day will always be quite short to give you time to gain your sea-legs and get to know the boat. Your skipper and host are both used to teaching novices and will still coach and encourage you even if all the others on board seem to know what they are doing. Don’t worry about the technical terminology we know how to make ourselves easily understood.

What about spending money?

Your sailing holiday is all inclusive for life on board however you may wish to spend money ashore on excursions or a visit to a local restaurant. Plus don’t forget, there will always be those souvenirs!

What about eating ashore?

We will often visit harbours, ports and marinas where you may wish to eat ashore, and for the cultural and culinary experience we would encourage you to do so. However, unlike other companies who advertise that a certain number of meals must be taken ashore we do not wish to do that and will always offer our evening dining experience in our all inclusive package.

What about alcohol on board?

Like driving, alcohol and sailing do not mix, even if you are not in charge, and so we do not allow the consumption of alcohol while we are under way. Once we are at anchor or alongside however, there is nothing like a gin and tonic to round off a good day’s sailing. We provide 1 large glass of complimentary wine with dinner. If you would like more you are welcome to bring your own duty free allowance from UK with you.