#4 Sailing away on great service
5 March 2021
Q. Kiran, SailSterling is a fast and stylish powerboat in the world of yachting hire companies in Europe. Your enthusiasm for sailing and sailing holidays is quite literally a breath of fresh air. Tell us how you came to sail away with the idea of SailSterling (sorry)
A. Richard Osei, my co-founder of SailSterling, and I were inspired to start SailSterling when we organised a sailing holiday for friends together off the coast of Croatia a few years ago. It went so well that we start receiving referrals almost immediately.
We knew that we could find an eager audience for sailing holidays that were properly thought through, with flexible itineraries and on which guests could relax completely. Our vision was that everything would be done for them to enjoy the beautiful scenery, great food and total experience of sailing in beautiful locations. It was such an exciting proposition to be able to pull ideas and inspiration together for our guests that we founded SailSterling almost straight away, to get on with the business of planning our first tour.
Q. How do the tours work and what’s the difference between the SailSterling Wine & Catamaran tour of the Aeolian Islands and your Greek & Croatian tours?
A: All our tours have been personally researched ‘on the ground’ by Richard and I. It was tougher than it sounds (honestly!) and the fact that we have now personally experienced the tour through the eyes of our guests means that our insider knowledge goes a long way. We have worked out tailored itineraries that work across all ages, interests and that are fully flexible.
Our Wine & Catamaran tour around the Aeolian Islands, just off Sicily, has been curated by Richard and I to capture the best of the islands and show that to our guests. We have met the chefs, skippers and sommeliers and know that we are introducing only the best to our guests at every step. As a result of our work our guests are treated to exclusive dinners or private drinks in breathtaking places, not always available to other tourists.
In contrast, but no less special, our boat charters in the Greek or Croatian Islands are handled by our very capable and hand-selected partners in both regions. We know them very well and have worked with them for many years which should remove any worries guests may have around hiring boats there.
Our guests receive our first-rate customer service and we organise everything for the tour including itineraries, restaurant reservations, travel and transfers. We make the booking process seamless and offer a 24/7 concierge service. The advantage here is that our guests have more flexibility to make alterations to their itineraries and to liaise directly with the charter operator whilst on their holiday.
Q. How flexible are your private charters in reality and how does that play out on tour?
A. We always start with some suggested itineraries in the region that are tried and tested but if guests have specific islands in mind or certain spots they’re keen to visit then we have the flexibility to build this into itineraries. We also encourage our skippers who are looking after our guests on board to suggest extra little places they may know personally and which can easily be included whilst out at sea.
We encourage our guests to build their holiday itinerary around what they want to see and do. It could fishing or water sports, diving lessons or visits to archaeological sites. Whatever it takes to make the most of their trip and maximise their enjoyment, we want to make everyone happy.
On that note, our catamarans are family friendly too. We do suggest that families may want to hire a whole catamaran for themselves, but our itineraries are flexible to cover different ages and interests, whether you’re 16 or 66. For families with younger children guardrail netting is ideal for helping to keep kids and everyone safely on board the yacht or any boat for that matter.
Q. What else sets SailSterling apart on board?
A. We are sticklers for detail and we like to think we’ve tried to think of everything to make each tour as personalised to our guests as possible whilst showing them the hidden bays, coves and best restaurants and vineyards of the beautiful islands we sail around.
For example for the Wine & Catamaran Tour of the Aeolian Islands. On board we serve only the best selection of world wines hand-picked by us. Additionally, in their bathrooms our guests will find fantastic local, Sicilian artisanal spa products such as https://www.ortigiasicilia.com/ for that added luxury touch. In their private cabins guests will receive personalised polo shirts as well as a welcome gift bag from SailSterling.
Up on deck we have worked with cocktail designer NIO with whom we have crafted our very own Aeolian Island cocktail. Our skippers and crew can accommodate any special or additional diet requests and respect cultural or social sensitivities. Needless to say, our skippers and crew share our views on cleanliness, tidiness and respect for the environment, all of which are hallmarks of SailSterling.
“I wanted freedom, open air, adventure. I found it on the sea.”
-Alain Gerbault, Sailor
Stringent cleaning procedures are already in-place across all boats globally for the well-being of our crew and guests. These will be further enhanced to meet government guidelines in the UK and Italy which are in place in July 2021 in relation to the COVID pandemic. These will include temperature checks prior to boarding; hand-sanitising stations in public areas; additional deep cleans of public areas including decks; social distancing if required. With each catamaran’s capacity at a maximum of 10 people including skipper and chef, if required in August, guests would remain in catamaran bubbles during visits to vineyards and other on-shore activities.