Covid-19 vaccination certificate not prerequisite to travel to Greece this summer, says tourism minister

 

If a coronavirus vaccination certificate is introduced at an EU-wide level, as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis suggested in a letter to the European Commission recently, it will not be a prerequisite for tourists to be allowed into Greece, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis clarified on Thursday.

 

“Under no circumstance will it become a condition for someone to travel to our country,” he told private broadcaster Skai, during a discussion on the government’s preparation ahead of this year’s summer season.

 

 The initial idea, he continued, is to test those who have not been vaccinated upon entry to Greece and let those with the certificate pass freely, to avoid “wasting resources.”

 

Mitsotakis asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to urge the introduction of a coronavirus vaccination certificate that would ease travel between member-states in the bloc, according to a report in Politico on Tuesday.

 

“It is urgent to adopt a common understanding on how a vaccination certificate should be structured so as to be accepted in all member-states,”he said, adding that he hopes to bring up the issue at an EU summit on January 21.

Original article here

 

 

 

Early reservations for 2021 sailing season are opening now with 8 weeks gratis option period

Flexible booking and responsible tourism 

With the sailing season starting in Greece just a couple of months from now and the end of the pandemic madness approaching, Aurora Yachting is once again inviting you on a voyage to the best beaches and hidden coves of the Greek islands. Once you get a taste of the freedom while sailing towards the horizon you will never return to the packed hotels and the crowded beaches of pre-covid times. With mass vaccination beginning or already ongoing in most of countries we introduce flexible booking options of 8 no-deposit weeks until the current restrictions are lifted and new border crossing protocols are established. More than any other community, the yachting people promote healthy, sustainable and responsible tourism, by raising awareness about the plastic pollution of the seas and the preservation of nature.

 

 

 

You choose the itinerary

Anchor where you like. Enjoy wild nature, empty beaches and coves with crystal clear water in some of Greece's best holiday spots: the Cycladic and the Saronic Islands.

 

 

 

 

 Immerse in the pleasures of Greece

You will hardly find a more international place than the Greek islands where young people from all over the world flock to have fun. In the old island ports and beach bars the parties start after sunset and last till the sunrise.

 

 

 

Savour the Mediterranean cuisine

Every port has dozens of sea front tavernas serving fresh sea food caught by the fishermen on the very same day. The waiters will usually help you with the yacht mooring and will invite you to a dinner.  

 

 

 

Aurora Yachting is a licensed charter operator with its own vessels equipped for optimal comfort. The company is based at Alimos Marina, in Athens, which is popular for charter sailing. Latest model sailing yacht by the French producer Lagoon, 42 feet model is equipped with the teak wood luxury specification, with capacity of up to 10 guests. The yacht can be rented with a captain.

 

 

 

Sailing season and prices

The sailing season for the Greek islands is from early April to late November. The high season is from June to September. The rental rates depend on the week of the trip. More information about availability and prices can be found on booking page

 

 


Lagoon 42 will be presented for a fourth consecutive year at the Dusseldorf boat show

The sailing catamaran Lagoon 42 will be presented for a fourth consecutive year at the Dusseldorf boat show. The fact that there are already over 800 yachts sold speaks for itself for the success of the model.

The thing is that Lagoon catamarans were never famous with any dramatic achievements for speed under sails or decent climbing angle against the wind. This is even more valid for fully equipped heavy charter modifications. The weight for multihulls is a total speed killer. That said, with the good choice of additional sails even with 6-8 knots of close reach wind and gennaker or code 0. The construction is sturdy and stable, even with waves on broad side the bow does not dig under the waves. The connection between the hulls solid and elastic in a sense it absorbs the twists. For a few seasons only few cracks on the gelcoat can be noticed in spots that take a lot of force. The gelcoat lacks the balsa sandwich ability beneath to absorb forces but this is not a problem at all. The boat is very easy to navigate. It has excellent visibility and maneurablility in narrow areas. Slightly rounded transom help a lot to sneak in easily between two boats in any packed Greek marina during the summer. Instead of staying at anchor and move with the dinghy all the time you could stay in the middle of nightlife in picturesque greek old town harbours on the islands. The big mainsail and the bimini cause slight disbalance during sailing. The catamaran always tend to turn leeward so the autopilot always have to turn to compensate that move. However if sailing and using the leeward engine  with minimum consumption the catamaran can reach 9 knots on halfwind. The new davits used in Lagoon 42 and Lagoon 46 provoke mixed feeling. Definitely it is very comfortable but causes lots of troubles in bad weather and hides a number of risk if the crew does not pay enough attention when working with it. If you could choose, I would prefer the classic type of davits.

The common impreassion is that Lagoon 42 is vet well-made boat, stable and not too expensive t maintain. The important parts are made seaworthy and experienced skipper can feel the decades of experience in multihulls of the French producer. It is not a coincidence that Lagoons are preferred brand catamarans for crossing Atlantic in the ARC race for amateurs. Bad impression cause small inexpensive things that the producer choose to mount cheapest version on order to save few coppers. At the same time almost all defects for elements under warranty are ignored by the producer. Often the buyer is asked to pay the difference in the price between the ordering list price and the list price at the time of the delivery. I would definitely give very low points to Lagoon for sale and post sale maintenance if it was not for the Bulgarian Lagoon dealer who was able to help me to sort half of the issues with the factory. Overall it is a decent service. Probably Lagoon 42 is the perfect catamaran to cruise the Greek islands with amateur crew. Eleven weeks for the coming summer are already sold out from last December. All charter bookings made during the Dusseldorf show from 18.01 to 26.01 will have 10% further discount.


Aurora got a new panoramic winter windshield

 

Just right in midwinter Aurora got a new panoramic winter windshield. Apart from the additional comfort provided when sitting at the cockpit table it will help protect the teak deck from dust, rain and salt. 

 

 

  The custom work was done at a workshop based in Alimos marina using the original Sunbrella fabric.

 

 

 


Aurora Yachting chose MMK booking manager as a primary booking platform and received a Silver Partner certification.

 

Aurora Yachting chose MMK booking manager as a primary booking platform and received a Silver Partner certification.

 

 

 

Yachts are listed in the MMK database. The are accessible to charter agencies for booking via the online portal and are distributed via the search engines. All administration tasks carried out during the processes of booking, invoicing, interacting with clients, and port authorities documentation will be processed online via a local booking manager application. Booking Manager certifies that Aurora Yachting is a professional legal entity with its own fleet of yachts, duly registered for yacht charter activity in Greece.

 

 


Aurora arrives in Athens after passing through Corinth channel 12h before it collapses

Aurora arrives in Athens after passing through Corinth channel 12h before it collapses

Aurora and her crew though the channel of Corinth
When we entered in the Bay of Partas, we moved towards the southern side in order to pass via arch 3 and 4 of the bridge of Rion in order not to interfere with the  commercial traffic. It was not like there was much of it after Patras anyway. So finally after relaxed day of motoring surpassed only by high speed ferries  at the end of the day we could see the pillars of the Bridge of Rion.
Aurora in the Bay of Patras
Ferries quickly passing us

Five miles away from the bridge we have called the traffic control as stated in the navigation guide and as expected they told us to pass through the southern arch. Later turned out that from small boats no one was calling. I have stated our port of departure and arrival and crew number and we continued. Few miles after the bridge just as we were preparing to have dinner the border police had the their boat lights on us and in 15 minutes and they tied to us and boarded. After 2 hours checking all boat papers, passports, IDs, cabins and storage spaces we were free to continue. Somehow I was not hungry anymore and I went to bed. Later a wind appeared but with 25 miles remaining to the Corinth we were not in mood to open sails in the dark and continued with engine. At around 4 we moored in the town of Corinth port and had few hours sleep more until sunrise. Once we got up Georgi already had a bag of cheesepie. We called Corinth pilot control and we were told to go at the entrance. We drift there for 20 minutes and we were given permission to enter into the channel.

Aurora approaching the bridge of Rion
Aurora just before border police check
Aurora into the town of Corinth
Aurora drifting at the entrance of the channel
Aurora entering the channel

Once inside the channel there was no wind or noticeable current and within 30minutes we were on the other side. We were curious view for tourist groups on the bridge saluting us and occasionally we waved at them. We moored on the other side to pay the tax for the channel as this is probably the most expensive channel in the world per mile. For 3,5 miles we paid 108eur for 12 meters boat. That makes somewhere 30eur per mile. Never the less this channel needs a lot of maintenance and saves quite a distance so we were happy to pay the tax. We went back to the boat where Georgi already had found some local dog to play with and not the imaginary one. We released the mooring lines and find our way between the anchored tankers in front of the local oil refinery. According to our calculation in the early afternoon we would be in Alimos marina in Athens. We called Mirko to know we are coming and took small nap while Georgi was heading to the southern cape of Salamia.

Channel of Corinth
Aurora was a curious view alone in the channel
No wind or current noticed
Georgi with his real dog

Soon after lunch on the 20th day since we left Les Sables d'Olone we have entered into the Alimos marina. Mirko and Ani were waiting for us and we moored at Aurora new home port. In the afternoon we washed the sails and the boat and put all deck in order. Rado and Nikolay tested the dinghy out of the port just before sunset. Once we finished our activities was time to go out and celebrate the succesful  completion of our trip in a local tavern with live greek music. It was such a celebration that apart of Rado, Georgi and Nikolay  hardly got up to take the flight to Sofia on the next day.

Aurora trip successfully acomplished
Rado and Nikolay testing Masha
Both skippers Rado and Rado salute the crew for successful trip
All being saluted by the tavern singers

On the next day we got the news that the overnight storm was so strong that some stones collapse into the Corinth channel and now it is blocked for a month at least. Last 6 days since we left Capo di San Vito we were running in front of the big storm. We slept at sea and did not stop overnight in any port and we were quite exhausted at the end but now we were satisfied we did it in this way and we managed to sneak through all dangers and furies of the nature.

During the night Corinth got blocked for a month at least

Aurora is now in good and professional hands and is being prepared for the summer season. Apart of standard equipment , she will get generator, solar panels, air condition in salon and cabins and watermaker to ensure full boat autonomy. If anybody wants to sail with her is very welcome on board. She is being chartered with or without skipper. The area of sailing will be mostly the Saronic gulf and the Cyclades islands, however it is also possible to take her back through Corinth to Lefkada if someone wants to sail her there.

Aurora is now in good hands that take care of her in a professional manner

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