Family sailing holidays aren’t just for experienced sailors these days. More and more families are discovering the adventure, and learning as they sail. This won’t be news to Sunsail, they’ve been championing the thrill of family sailing holidays for over 40 years, and are now UK leaders in flotilla and bareboat holidays worldwide, for seafarers of all levels: from complete beginners to seasoned skippers.
Set sail at the perfect level for your family
Sunsail categorise their destinations in three different levels, so no one ever sails beyond their abilities. Level 1 is ideal for beginners: distances are shorter, hours of sailing easy-going, and calm conditions are with you all the way. Level 2 gives intermediate sailors a more varied experience, and experts have a choice of Level 3 destinations, where they can expect stronger breezes, longer sailing hours, and more nuanced navigational challenges.
Whatever level you sail at, hiring a professional skipper with Sunsail is always an option too. So novices can relax, learn skills and build confidence. And experienced sailors have someone else to take the wheel from time to time – it is a holiday, after all.
All the fun, and camaraderie, of flotilla sailing
Flotilla holidays are awesome for families and, with over 14 flotilla destinations, Sunsail are experts in this fun, sociable, safe, and very kid-friendly style of sailing. Think of it like a fraternity of yachts, guided by a lead skipper, host and technician. Everyone still enjoys the freedom of steering their own craft, only with peace of mind, camaraderie and like-minded companions to share their adventures on sea, and land.
Time to find out why sailing holidays are fast becoming the first choice for active families? Have a look at six incredible voyages from the Mediterranean to the Andaman Sea, created for all levels of experience, and setting sail this summer with Sunsail.
1/6 Family sailing holidays in north west Greece – level one
Lefkas to Meganisi, is a Level One flotilla holiday, which means easy sailing, and almost perfect conditions for novice sailors to hone new skills. Your young crew will love the thrill of the Ionian Sea; visiting myth-laden Greek islands; dropping anchor in historic harbours, and discovering boat-only beaches for swimming and snorkelling. Plus, a Sunsail Kids Coordinator is on the flotilla’s summer crew: even more fun for junior mariners.
- Spotting dolphins all voyage long.
- Rambling round ancient Byzantine and Greek ruins on Paleros and Kalamos.
- Boat-only, hidden beaches, for snorkelling, swimming and diving.
- Learning about the legends of Odysseus on Ithaca.
- Exploring the traditional Ionia village of Katomeri.
- Kitesurfing at Milos Beach in Lefkas.
- Eating fresh seafood on island, after island.
Where: Ionian Sea, north west Greece.
Ports: Lefkas, Paleros, Kalamos, Ithaca, Meganisi.
Holiday type: Level One. Guided flotilla. Dedicated skippers available for first time sailors.
Length: Seven day holiday, approximately one to three hours sailing per day.
Find out more about Meganisi family flotilla holidays with Sunsail
2/6 Family sailing holidays in Croatia – level two
Apparently the Adriatic is so brilliantly blue that, along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, you can see it from space. Just one of the many seafaring yarns to tell kids on a Level Two flotilla holiday from Dubrovnik to Ston. You could also point out that Marco Polo was born on Korčula Island; only the Great Wall of China is greater than the 14th century battlements running over the hills of Ston, and Dubrovnik stars in Game of Thrones. That is if you can peel young sailors away from snorkelling and swimming, exploring national parks and hanging out with their new-found flotilla friends.
- Warm, sunny weather and line of sight sailing.
- Touring historic Dubrovnik and Game of Thrones’ locations.
- Exploring Korčula Island, supposed, birthplace of Marco Polo.
- Climbing the 14th century defensive walls around Ston.
- Snorkelling and swimming in the Adriatic.
- Swimming the salt lakes, and hiking, in Mljet National Park,
- Wine tasting in Lumbarda.
Where: Adriatic, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Ports: Dubrovnik; Slano; Mljet Island; Korčula Island; Ston
Holiday type: Level Two. Guided flotilla. Dedicated skippers available.
Length: Seven day holiday, approximately three to five hours sailing per day.
Find out more about Croatia family flotilla holidays with Sunsail
3/6 Family sailing holidays in Mallorca – level three
Experienced sailors will know Mallorca’s reputation: it’s the island that hosts Superyacht Cup Palma each year, the world’s longest running superyacht regatta. So you can look forward to plenty of challenge on this Level Three family flotilla holiday round the rugged west coast. But a balance of long and short sailing days leaves space for playing too. Good news, since everything’s on-route from Blue Flag beaches to UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Challenging sailing on Mallorca’s west coast.
- Touring historic Palma de Mallorca: home to one of Europe’s largest marinas.
- Fun beach activities at Camp del Mar.
- Treasure hunts on Dragonera Island.
- Exploring Port de Soller in UNESCO World Heritage Serra de Tramuntana.
- Tapas beach party and family activities in St. Elm
- Regatta Day at Port de Andratx.
Where: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Ports: Palma de Mallorca; Camp del Mar; Port de Soller; St. Elm; Port de Andratx.
Holiday type: Level Three. Guided flotilla. Dedicated skippers available.
Length: Seven day holiday, approximately four to five hours sailing per day, plus free sailing.
Find out more about Mallorca family flotilla holidays with Sunsail
4/6 Family sailing holidays in the British Virgin Islands – level one
Just east of Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are right at the heart of the Caribbean, and an idyllic location for this Level One family flotilla holiday. The sparsely populated islands are wildlife havens, scattered with fascinating natural phenomena, and prime territory for watersports, so you can confidently promise kids an unforgettable adventure. And, as far as the sailing itself goes: think peaceful and easy going, line of sight navigation, consistent breezes, and fair weather.
- Peaceful, easy cruising with line-of-sight navigation.
- Visiting Virgin Gorda to see The Baths.
- Windsurfing, SUP, kiteboarding, and reef snorkelling in Gorda Sound.
- Exploring Norman Island: inspiration for the novel ‘Treasure Island’.
- Snorkelling in Privateer Bay, and diving round The Indians.
- Gorgeous Caribbean beaches, coves and cays.
- Charming islands and sheltered harbours.
Where: Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Ports: Tortola; Spanish Town; Virgin Gorda; Anegada; Trellis Bay; Jost Van Dyke; Norman Island.
Holiday type: Level One. Guided flotilla. Sailing experience essential. Dedicated skippers available.
Length: Eight day holiday, approximately three to six hours sailing per day.
Find out more about BVI family flotilla holidays with Sunsail
5/6 Family sailing holidays in St. Martin, southern Caribbean – level two
Half-Dutch, half-French, but with character all of its own, St. Martin is as fascinating to explore as it is to sail on this Level Two, bareboat, family holiday. With a mix of colourful islands and paradise beaches, idyllic coves, marine reserves and charming towns you can promise kids just about anything here from carnivals to swimming with dolphins.
- Bareboat sailing, island hopping, and exciting open water passages.
- Warm weather, coastal and blue-water sailing.
- Swimming with turtles and dolphin at St. Bart’s Marine Reserve.
- Wreck diving and snorkelling on Anguilla.
- Exploring historic forts and impressive lighthouses on St. Bart’s
- Desert island adventures on Tintamarre.
- Summer long Caribbean carnival atmosphere.
Where: St. Martin, southern Caribbean
Ports: St. Martin; Tintamarre; St. Bart’s; Anse de Colombier; Philipsburg; Anguilla; Marigot.
Holiday type: Level Two. Bareboat sailing, skippering experience essential. Dedicated skippers available.
Length: Eight day holiday, approximately two to three hours sailing per day.
Find out more about St. Martin bareboat family sailing holidays with Sunsail
6/6 Family sailing holidays in southern Thailand – level three
If the idea of captaining your own yacht round the magical islands of southern Thailand is appealing, this Level Three bareboat family holiday is a wonderful combination of adventurous sailing, intriguing cultural experiences, wild nature, and spectacular beaches. And if you need to convince kids, start by mentioning jungle treks, swimming and snorkelling in the Andaman Sea, thrilling caving experiences and diving with manta ray.
- Bareboat sailing, spectacular coastlines, and gentle breezes.
- Warm, tropical weather.
- Trekking jungles, and swimming with whale sharks and manta ray.
- Visiting Khao Phing Kan AKA James Bond Island.
- Snorkelling, swimming and fishing on Ko Naka Noi
- Exploring the iconic Island of Phuket.
- Fantastic Thai food, on island after island.
Where: Phuket, Andaman Sea, southern Thailand.
Ports: Phuket; Ko Phi Phi Don; Ko Lanta; Ko Muk; Ko Racha Yai; Ko Naka Noi.
Holiday type: Level Three. Bareboat sailing, skippering experience essential. Dedicated skippers available.
Length: Seven day holiday, approximately six to seven hours sailing per day.