When planning a vacation in Greece, taking a private sailing cruise is often on the bucket list. And why not? With its crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, and scenic coastline, Greece is the perfect destination for private day cruises, sunset cruises or any kind of boat tour. However, booking a daily cruise in Halkidiki can also be stressful, especially if you’re not familiar with the local practices and customs. To help you make an informed decision, we have put together a list of five helpful things to know when booking a daily boat cruise in Greece.
1. Price Transparency
When it comes to booking a private boat cruise, price transparency is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, many daily cruise operators use shady tactics to deceive customers about the actual price of their services. They surprise guests with hidden costs like fuel surcharges, crew costs, and applicable taxes. To avoid such situations, it is crucial to ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs before booking.
2. Cash vs Digital Payments
While some private daily cruise businesses and tour operators may prefer cash payments to avoid taxes, this practice is not only illegal, it also puts you at a disadvantage in case of a dispute. To protect yourself, it’s best to pay with a traceable and easily verifiable method like online payment, credit or debit card. When cash payments are unavoidable, make sure to ask for a legal receipt for the full amount.
The natural beauty of Greece has made it a popular tourist destination for many years, often compensating for the lack of professionalism and quality of the services provided. In the yachting and private cruise industry this has often led to complacency on behalf of the operators. Customers’ complaints can range from reports of the crew smoking inside the cabin, poor personal hygiene and uninvited flirting. To ensure a pleasant and memorable trip, look for operators with a good reputation and high standards of professionalism.
4. Multiple Commissions
Paying commission for a referral is not unusual in the tourism industry. Online booking platforms, hotels and local travel agents often receive 15-25% of the price. However, in July and August when demand is really high, it is not uncommon to see charters that regularly sell for 600-700€ being sold for 1200€ just because there are 2-3 middlemen getting a cut. This leads to overpriced cruises and mismatched expectations. After all there should be a difference in quality between a 600€ and a 1200€ cruise. To avoid paying more than necessary, consider booking directly or compare prices online.
5. Word of Mouth
The word of a friend, or of someone who has nothing to gain goes a long way in helping you find the best private cruise operators in Halkidiki. In this day and age this means checking out social media accounts, google business profile reviews, and all sorts of feedback from other travelers. This is also where you come to play an important role. As mentioned above, reviews and social media presence is often curated by the companies themselves. However, sharing your experience (positive or negative) through reviews, comments and social media posts helps improve the pool of information for future bookers, and it improves the industry by rewarding the better service providers.
At varkaris.gr, we understand the importance of these factors when booking a daily cruise in Halkidiki. Our prices are transparent, and you will never find surprises. We prefer digital payments to ensure transparency and easy traceability. We strive to exceed your expectations by maintaining high standards of professionalism. We avoid multiple commission situations and encourage direct bookings to keep our prices reasonable.
In conclusion, a sailing cruise or boat tour in Greece can be an unforgettable experience if you book with the right operator. Remember to keep these five helpful tips in mind when booking a daily boat cruise in Greece.