Please let me introduce myself - my name is Margaret. I have just joined the wonderful team at Sailing Holidays in the London office, having been a customer for many years.
I have sailed all my life and was brought up on a yacht with my family. My father built a 55 foot ketch in South Africa and we crossed the Atlantic when I turned 7 years old. We sailed around the South American coast for 9 months, before spending 6 more years in the beautiful islands of the Caribbean. I was home educated and came to England when I was 14 years old. When my three children were just 11, 13 and 15, I wanted them to experience adventures and learn the magic of sailing, just as I had as a young child. There was no better place for them to learn than in the calm, warm, safe waters of the Greek Isles, so I started my research online.
I remember to this day, making a call on a Saturday afternoon as I wanted to speak to someone personally about what I could expect from a flotilla holiday. Barrie (the owner and founder) answered my call and we chatted for ages. It was clear to me, that this was a private independent company, owning all their own yachts, offering a personal approach in providing first class sailing in a relaxed and professional manner. I was quickly reassured, that we would not be left on our own to sail in waters that I was not familiar with. The idea of island hopping with 9 other yachts appealed to me, as we are a social family.
When searching for a holiday, the following criteria were really important to me:
Stress free planning - I wanted to arrive at the airport and not worry about how to get to the boat. I was looking for a company that could take care of all the logistics for me, from flights and airport transfers, to planning our sailing routes each day.
Flexibility and freedom to explore quiet bays, hidden beaches and destinations that can only be reached by boat.
Quality time together as a family, away from the world of IT.
Time to socialise with others and make new friendships.
Educational - learning new life skills and responsibilities by working together as a family team.
Wildlife spotting, snorkelling and learning to fish.
Financial Protection - knowing the monies I had paid were financially protected through ATOL.
"One of my favourite memories from our very first flotilla holiday in the North Ionian. My three children were aged 11, 13 and 15 when we first set sail. To put it simply - we had the best holidays imaginable."
"Connecting families and friends to the magic of the
The joy of dropping an anchor in an emerald bay, inflatables and paddleboards ready and everyone diving off the boat, whilst I prepared my favourite Greek salads with sardines, was just magical. Interacting with other yachts in our flotilla was an absolute must for us! Finding ways to launch ourselves off the boat was competitive and became a performing art to entertain everyone in the bay. How many goes did it take to dive through the rubber ring and who could stand on the paddle board without falling off whilst catching a can of something cold - wonderful memories all captured on camera, for us to enjoy for years to come.
Everyone had a role to play, from lifting the anchor, securing the dinghy, hoisting sails, cleaning the galley, steering at the helm, fender duties, chart plotting and preparing to berth. At the end of the day, we were the last yacht in, as I loved to make the most of the afternoon winds and see how fast we could go. The lead crew were always waiting for us and gave us that peace of mind of where to go - stern to, bows to, pick up a mooring, side on - all instructions were easy to follow and the children quickly learnt all the hand signals and throwing lines.
Inviting others to join us in our cockpit for sundowners, with icy cold Mythos beers, exchanging stories of the day was always fun. Couples and groups without children, loved to join in and listen to our stories and the children enjoyed our adult banter and formed their own social circles with other yachts in the flotilla.
Let 2024 be the year that you experience a
holiday of a lifetime.
Returning back to our yacht from yet another cosy Greek taverna and stargazing in warm temperatures, with everyone playing cards or telling jokes, allowed our family to connect and have fun, leaving all the pressures of daily life behind.
Now my children are adults and planning their own flotilla holidays with their friends. They learnt new life skills which have given them confidence to do their own exploring - how wonderful is that! And I am still in touch with all the new friends I made on our flotilla holidays.
If you fancy sailing in calm conditions with an independent flotilla specialist then simply Get In Touch. Our highly skilled teams out in Greece have many years of experience with Sailing Holidays and our office team have all worked on the flotilla yachts, so you are in excellent hands!
In the meantime I am really looking forward to getting you out on the water this year, so let's make it happen for you.
Margarete iling Holidays Team