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Sailing in the Whitsundays

Certainly a recurring item on every travellers’ ‘bucket list’ is the opportunity to sail the Whitsundays.

Whether you are an independent tourist, couple, group of friends, student or a backpacker, there are certainly many ways you can fulfil the dream of sailing away into a Whitsundays sunset. There is definitely options to suit your budget, timeframe and desired itinerary.

1. Crewed Overnight Sailing Tour

There are around 30 different overnight sailing trips in the Whitsundays all of which depart from Airlie Beach and return at the same point. These are varied in length, from 1-3 nights in total, and cover all types of travellers to ensure there is something suitable for everyone. An overnight tour includes a skipper and crew and you will join the trip with a group of fellow passengers, and depending on the trip it can be from 6-50 guests in total.

These vessels are sorted into the following categories – backpackers, couples, adventure sailing, small group sailing, scuba diving and sailing catamarans.

Almost every tour will visit Whitehaven Beach and will stop at up to 4 different snorkel sites around the Whitsunday islands.

The price you pay includes the skipper, crew, meals, snorkelling equipment and marine park fees.

Some tours also feature extra activities including scuba diving, kayaks, SUP boards and an onboard spa.

2. Private Charter

If you are travelling to the Whitsundays in a group, another option is, rather than joining a crew overnight tour, is to privately charter a vessel. This means the group will have the boat to themselves for 2-3 nights with a skipper and host to do all of the work.

There are many perks to having the vessel to yourself. Not only is the itinerary more flexible, the group also has a more personalised, intimate setting without the hassle of skippering-yourself or cooking meals.

Almost every vessel is available for private charter and our travel specialists can assist to find the most suitable vessel to charter.

3. Bareboat Charter

Unlike a private charter or crewed overnight tour, bareboat charters are skipper-yourself style with just the group onboard the vessel (no skipper or host). This style of trip is a great option for small groups or couples who are wanting an intimate getaway and the chance to operate the vessel at your own leisure. Most bareboat charters start with a minimum charter period of 5 days and the company will offer some training prior to departing as well as a sample itinerary.

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