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Bareboat charter, skippered charter or a assisted bareboat?

Skippered charter

If you have no sailing experience whatsoever then you are limited to a skippered charter. This means that a skipper will live on board the boat with you for the duration of your holiday and he will sail you to wherever you want to go. You can do as much or as little work as you like, although it is an excellent opportunity to learn how to sail and you will be encouraged to get involved.

With the skipper sleeping onboard the boat (own berth please), the cost is £700 per week on top of the normal bareboat price.

Assisted Bareboat Charter

This programme is designed for those of you who enjoy the safety net of a lead crew, but who want more freedom and to build confidence. With a maximum of six yachts plus a lead boat, the itinerary will be more challenging and flexible. We also do not request that you get to the destination at a certain time - meaning that you can enjoy the best of the afternoon winds! There will be no set group meals and if you need assistance in finding a suitable berth, then the lead crew will be there to help you. This is the perfect stepping stone to bareboat charter. The cost is only £300 per week per boat on top of the normal bareboat price.


This is the best way to explore the islands if you have relevant experience (see below). You have total freedom on your sailing holiday, with the knowledge that you have back up and help just a phone call away. You pick up the boat and leave – and bring it back one or two weeks later. You can explore anywhere you want to, with no restrictions.

Which area in Greece should we have our sailing holiday?     

The Ionian of course! The Ionian is such a beautiful region. The islands are lush green (due to the heavy rains in winter and natural springs) all year round which compares very favourably with the barren islands in other areas of Greece.
The Ionian is also a sheltered area, resulting in predictable wind patterns and very small swells. This means that you can enjoy other aspects of your holiday other than just sailing such as snorkelling, walking and relaxing!

Many of our clients have been returning year after year to the Ionian. Once you have been you will keep wanting to come back! The people in the Ionian are extremely welcoming and friendly – especially to bareboaters. You will be looked after by all you encounter on your travels.

How long should we book for?     

Our minimum charter lengths are for one week. The majority of our clients book a two week charter, as you can really explore the islands and relax. However 1 week is sufficient to see all of the islands in our area.

Or if you really want to relax, book a boat for 3 weeks or more…

What is the wind like in the Ionian?     

The winds are not as strong as in other areas of the Greek Islands, mainly as it is not affected by the Meltemi winds, which can blow for 5 or 6 days at a time at strengths up to F7/F8.

There is plenty of wind to have fun sailing. Typically winds will kick in about lunchtime and blow until evening. This means that you can spend the morning sailing gently to a lunch time stop, such as a secluded bay, and go for a swim or snorkel, have lunch on board and then have a sail to your evening destination.

The winds are fairly predictable and usually result in a very calm evening and night. This means that you can anchor off in confidence if you choose or have a comfortable night on a quay.

For more detail on the weather in the Ionian, please click here:

What qualifications do I need to bareboat charter in the Ionian?     

We require evidence that you are able to handle the boat in a safe and controlled manner. This can take the form of a recognised qualification (RYA, ICC etc) or if no formal qualifications are held (as is the case for a large proportion of experienced sailors) phone us for a chat.          

What type of boat should we charter?     

Typically you have the choice of catamarans or monohull yachts. Whilst catamarans offer more space on board, this will severely limit your mooring up options (especially in high season), and you will end up anchoring off in most places. We only operate monohulls for this reason.

What size of boat should we charter?     

All of our boats can be sailed by a crew of 2 or more. All control lines for reefing, sail uphaul, genoa furling etc are fed back to the cockpit. However if you are new to chartering or Ionian style mooring (see later) then the smaller boats will be easier to moor up safely with a small crew. Smaller boats also offer you more options when choosing a space to moor up.

If you are in any doubt, call us to discuss.

What time can we get on the boat – and when do we have to bring it back?     

Boats are returned to our base by 9am on your day of departure. We then spend the next few hours cleaning, checking, maintaining, polishing, refuelling, filling water tanks, scrubbing, replacing linen etc etc etc. In short we have a lot of work to do, before we let you on the boat. Typically the boat will be ready by mid afternoon, and we will get you away from base on your day of arrival. Therefore you get a full 7 nights away from base each week.

Our charter price includes end of charter cleaning, diesel and outboard fuel and an outboard for the tender. Beware comparing prices on headline numbers only!

Additional costs to budget for when chartering from Nisos Yacht Charter, include the following:

  • Taxi transfers from Preveza airport to our base on Lefkas. These cost 40 euros per taxi each way. Each taxi (air conditioned Mercedes or similar) can take 4 passengers. If numbers dictate we use a smart mini coach which costs euros 10 per head.
  • An insurance premium (see price list) which covers you for anydamage to the boat and its equipment.
  • Flights to Preveza airport.
  • There are no mooring fees in the Ionian. It is expected that if you are using a town quay or private pontoon, that you spend some money in the town, ie at a supermarket or taverna. Please be sensitive to this. 


I have never moored stern to before with an anchor. How can I learn?

Stern to mooring (laying out the anchor from the bow) is not difficult, although a certain amount of knowledge and practice is required. If you have not done this style of mooring before, please let us know and we can provide some tuition and advice when you arrive in Greece for a fee. A couple of “live runs” with all the crew with instruction from our skipper will stand you in good stead.

What is navigation like in the Ionian?

Very simple! All boats are supplied with a full set of charts, latest edition Pilot Guide, hand held and binnacle compass and GPS. Most of our boats also have a plotter. Due to the close proximity of the islands to each other, and lack of hazards in the sea, navigation can be done mostly by sight. Water is generally very deep (due to the steep mountains).

What do I need to pack for my holiday?

The most important items to pack (in soft bags please!) are the obvious ones:
Sun cream; sun hat; swimming costumes and a camera!

If you are sailing in peak season,

then it will be warm night and day, but best to bring a sweater and trousers just in case. Long sleeved shirts are a good idea to protect you from the sun.

If you are chartering in the tail ends of the season, bring some sweaters and trousers with you as it can get cool in the evenings.

Also bring a light weight waterproof as there is a greater chance of rain.

What happens if the boat gets damaged?

If in the unfortunate case that your boat gets damaged or equipment lost during your charter, all we ask is that you inform us as soon as possible. The boat insurance covers you for total loss or damage to the boat with no financial exposure to you at all

What happens if the boat breaks down?

These are complex boats full of electrical items, plumbing, woodwork, mechanical engines, sails all of which are put under significant stresses from time to time! Things may go wrong.

Our maintenance programme is extremely detailed and we work extremely hard to ensure that we pick up all problems before they become a problem for you. However, if you do have a problem, contact us as soon as possible.

We will either talk you through over the radio or telephone how to rectify the situation, or otherwise come and find you.

We have an Atlantic 21 RIB (ex RNLI) which is pretty quick and can be with you within a couple of hours if required.

There are so many charter companies to choose from – how do I ensure that the company I pick is reputable?

Pick a company which uses its own boats. Nisos do not use any other boats. We only trust our own boats. Ask the company the name of the boat you will be using – sometimes they have never even seen the boat!
Ask to see feedback from previous customers.
Ask other peoples opinions on message boards.
Talk to the company in detail – are they responsive to your questions?

What books / charts can I buy in advance to plan our holiday?

Planning your holiday should be a lot of fun.

The following books and charts can be purchased in the UK and although they are on the boat, they will enable you to plan itineraries and routes prior to departure.

The best and most informative books to buy, and ones which you will use time after time are:

Ionian by Rod Heikel

This covers all places you are likely to encounter on your holiday and is full of great tips and advice. Note the acknowledgment to Nisos Yacht Charter Ltd in the preface to the 5th edition!

Greek Waters Pilot by Rod Heikel

In as much detail as the Ionian, but covering all of the Greek Islands and mainland. Hard back book – an absolute must.

Charts G121 – The Inland Sea and G12 – Lefkas to Zakynthos

All of the above can be purchased from Imray. Follow the link: www.Imray.com