There have been moments this spring where the idea of a leisurely cruise around the Med seemed as likely as Richard Branson taking you on a trip to the moon. Nice idea, but unlikely. Yet things have changed rapidly and - as the magazine went to press - it is once again possible to travel across Europe all the way to Greece in order to go sailing.
Shift in focus
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things. The charter industry has responded with a subtle shift in operational focus. As an example, Sunsail, aware that many were less inclined to fly, redistributed resources to areas that could be more readily accessed by car, train or ferry.
By the same token, Dream Yacht Charter’s announcement of a new base in La Spezia, in northern Italy was also timely as it provided a more accessible base for sailors keen to explore the Med without having to take a flight. There is a new air of optimism, epitomised by Jake Bowerman, UK Marketing Manager at online charter company Click&Boat: “Since the lockdown has been lifted we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of bookings and in some countries are actually up on the last year. Our boat owners also now have the option to add an ‘Enhanced cleaning’ icon to their listings showing that the owner applies strict sanitary measures related to Covid-19.”
Of course, this is a developing story and, while the possibility of flying to Greece and Croatia is now back on the cards, as the magazine went to press, trips to Spain and the Balearics were once more subject to 14 day quarantine procedure for travellers returning to the UK.
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