As a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.
We travel in small groups and wherever possible we use local transport, stay in locally-owned accommodation or homestays, eat at authentic local restaurants, support traditional artisans and small-scale businesses, and provide opportunities for travellers to interact with local people.
On this sailing adventure you will visit some well-known islands and some that are more off-the-beaten-track where the income from tourists is very welcome. For example, the island of Sifnos which is known for its high-quality ceramics which you may wish to browse or purchase. We can also sample local seafood in one of the waterfront tavernas, explore the terraced olive groves and visit the Museum of Popular Art.
Neighbouring Folegandros is also a spectacular but less well-known island, where we can visit small, family-run tavernas and hike to the Church of the Panagia for a stunning sunset vista. As part of our responsible travel guidance to passengers, we encourage you to dress respectfully if you wish to enter this or any other church on our trip, by covering your shoulders.
Your boat will be skippered by an experienced sailor, who will also be your tour leader. Of course, the main criteria for our skippers is their sailing ability but where possible we try to provide local employment and we’re delighted to have local sailor, Georgios as a member of our crew.
You will travel in a small group, with a maximum of eight passengers on board a 50ft yacht, but if there are fewer passengers then we will use a smaller yacht. Bathrooms are shared and although there is hot water, we encourage passengers to use it carefully. Toilets are usually operated by hand-pumps and we have recycling arrangements on-board.
Weather permitting, we use the power of the wind to sail the boat as much as possible which means that we have less impact on the environment than if travelling by other modes of transport. When on land, you will mostly hike or walk although you may choose to take excursions by car or by public bus on Naxos and Syros.
During the trip, we shop for local produce for our breakfasts and lunches, which the whole group will prepare and eat together on board the boat. In the evenings, we avoid the more touristic restaurants and seek out authentic, often family-run places so that we can support the local economy.
After a three-year process, we were proud to become a carbon neutral company in 2010 and we operate this trip on a carbon neutral basis, by offsetting 62kg of C02 emissions for each passenger.
We also offer passengers who book their flight through us the option to offset those emissions. To date, we have offset more than 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by investing in a range of internationally accredited renewable energy projects in destinations where we travel.
As a tour company, our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. In 2002, we established a charitable foundation so that our passengers and staff could support grassroots community projects around the world. To date, it has raised over £2million for over 75 projects involved with health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development, and environmental and wildlife protection. We match every donation made by passengers and pay the administration costs, so every penny that is donated goes to a good cause.