Taking a medium sized sail boat trip is an intimate experience because it can only accommodate a few people. WIth a sail boat, the captain has the option of allowing the boat to just drift, with the help of the sails or if it's a windless day, he can use the motor. So you enjoy a relaxed rather than a rushed journey most times.
Fortunately when we set off from La Spezia with Captain Lorenzo nicknamed Gerre, it was a gloriously sunny day with calm waters. The wind helped us glide along the deep blue Ligurian sea and Gerre used the motor whenever he wanted to manoeuvre us close to the 5 Cinque Terre towns for better views. All along he gave us the history of the Villages and all the places we passed en route to them.
In a medium sized sailboat it's easy to strike up conversations with fellow passengers and the Captain because you spend so much time together sharing the same beautiful experience. Sun bathing is possible on the boat itself, as well as swimming in the sea once the boat completes it's journey past the 4 Cinque Terre towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza and is finally anchored off the last town of Monterosso al Mare. At this point lunch is served by the Captain mainly an assortment of finger foods. Drinks are available throughout the cruise. There is even a restroom on board.
On the way back, the boat takes the same route, but because the journey is more relaxed, the Captain allows those who are keen, to take the wheel and gives them sailing lessons. My husband was over the moon as he took the wheel from Captain Gerre and took on the high seas for quite a long time! The lessons he learnt served us well when we did an independent boat trip in The Netherlands, later in the month!.
This Tour is to be taken to appreciate the sheer beauty of the Cinque Terre from the sea. You get to understand what the Poets and early settlers saw that drew them to these places. The perspectives and views of the Cinque Terre from the water are unparalleled.
This Tour is not recommended for those with sea sickness.
Arbaspaa srl is a good company that offers well designed Tours and they have very experienced Captains in charge of all their boats. We were fortunate to have the young, enthusiastic and knowledgable Gerre Lorenzo, who gave us an unforgettable day with great views, camaraderie, sailing lessons, ocean swimming and kept us regaled throughout the journey with his sense of humour and wonderful stories of Liguria and beyond.
If you want to have a memorable experience in the Ligurian Sea with the jaw dropping backdrop of the Cinque Terre, take this Tour and if you're truly lucky, you'll be taken around by Captain Lorenzo!
Felicia Variava Albert, Managing Director, Blaze Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India