Around the world in 24 months - Soundings Online

Around the world in 24 months

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Charter operator Sunsail plans to announce at this fall’s United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., that it will offer Sunsail the World, a charter program that allows sailors to cruise up to five destinations around the globe at their own pace.

Charter operator Sunsail plans to announce at this fall’s United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., that it will offer Sunsail the World, a charter program that allows sailors to cruise up to five destinations around the globe at their own pace.

“I think this will appeal to anyone who has ever dreamt of sailing around the world but realizes they do not have the time or funds to ‘drop out’ for a couple of years,” says Sunsail sales manager Steve McCrea. “I believe it will be very appealing to our repeat clients who want to expand beyond the Caribbean, as well as recent retirees looking to explore exotic destinations.”

With Sunsail the World, sailors will be able to select five destinations — from a list of more than 30 across the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean — and sail each as a separate weeklong cruise, completing all within 24 months. Each trip must be chartered by the same skipper, according to Sunsail, and must depart from a different Sunsail base, typically aboard a 40-footer, either a Beneteau or Jeanneau.

“We chose a 40-foot yacht because it was middle range,” McCrea says. “However, we can certainly accommodate any larger, smaller or even catamaran if the client prefers. We like to remain flexible in that sense so the client can choose what will suit their crew best.”

Each leg can be tailored to suit sailors as either a bareboat, skippered or fully crewed charter, says Peter Cook, Sunsail general manager. “For example, if they are sailing a more challenging area they may want to take a skipper for a day or two,” Cook says. “If they prefer a more leisurely sail, they can have a chef on board to prepare the meals. Although we typically feel most of our clients will want to sail themselves, we know they will be pleased to have the options available.”

Sunsail the World is being offered for an up-front fee of $15,000. Fuel, cruising taxes, provisioning, a yacht damage waiver, travel insurance and other associated costs — such as a skipper — aren’t included. Sunsail says each weeklong trip is valued at around $3,000.

“I think Tahiti, Thailand and Croatia will be the top three sought-after destinations,” Cook says. “Tahiti, well, because it’s exotic. Plus, I think it’s every sailor’s dream to one day sail the South Pacific,” says Cook. “And Croatia because it’s the hottest spot in the Mediterranean — full of history, culture and unbelievable sailing through a myriad of islands.”

Thailand would be a popular destination because there are places you best see by water, he added.

McCrea says he’s excited about bringing U.S. sailors closer to far-off destinations. “With Sunsail the World, it will be easier and less expensive for a charterer to experience his dream,” he says.

The U.S. Sailboat Show — (410) 267-6711, www.usboat.com— runs from Oct. 6 to 10.

Sunsail USA, Annapolis, Md. Phone: (888) 350-3568, (410) 280-2553. www.sunsail.com