Flotilla sailing has long been a popular holiday option the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Pacific Islands.
While Australia isn’t known for flotilla sailing adventures, the bareboating industry is on the international radar, and in the Whitsundays its a way to see natural landscapes and the beauty of the area without the big crowds associated with day trips and cruises.
That’s all about to change, as in an Australian bareboat industry first, Sunsail Whitsundays will be offering professionally led bareboat flotilla sailing experiences, exploring the outer Great Barrier Reef and Queensland coast as far north as Magnetic and Dunk Island.
Sunsail Whitsundays general manager Sedron Hooper said the charter company have obtained a special permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which allows for charters to explore well beyond the existing boundaries of bareboat operation.
“Queensland’s Coral Coast lies in the protected lee of the Great Barrier Reef and ranks as one of the greatest cruising grounds in the World,” Mr Hooper said.
“Thousands of adventurers have sailed in the stunning Whitsunday Islands. With this new initiative, we are making it possible for charterers to venture beyond the traditional boundaries and explore the Great Barrier Reef as well as the islands and anchorages between the Whitsundays, Magnetic and Dunk Island, aboard a flotilla of Sunsail vessels travelling in company.”
Participants can skipper their chartered vessel in company with other chartered bareboats, with the confidence of knowing they are guided by a lead vessel, skippered by an experienced Master Mariner with extensive local knowledge.
Pre-departure route planning, daily navigation and activity updates, on call support from the lead vessel and open channel radio communications contribute to greater safety. It also creates opportunities for the kind of camaraderie experienced by likeminded people exploring new boundaries together.
“Whether new to chartering or an old hand, Sunsail Coral Coast & Outer Great Barrier Reef Flotillas offers the next level of chartering experience. Spectacular North Coastal Island and mainland anchorages, remote coastal and island resorts and for the first time, bareboat access to snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Hooper said.
Mr Hooper said there had already been a few bookings, as people were keen to mimic a European sailing holiday, without the hefty price tag. For more information you can visit www.sunsailwhitsundays.com.au
Source: Whitsunday Times.