Greece

Athens essential information

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Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in Athens. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don't forget to pack a copy to take with you.

Plan

Before you go

Address
Sunsail
Zea Marine Freatida
18536
Piraeus
Greece  

Our Greek base is located in Athens at Zea Marina. Zea Marina is conveniently located in the port of Piraeus, around one hour from Athens International Airport. Zea Marina lies on the northeast coast of the Saronic Gulf.

As you prepare for departure, please reference the Athens Cruising Guide to learn more about chartering in this destination.

Opening hours

Base hours
Mon-Thu: 9am-5pm

Fri and Sat: 9am-8:30pm

Sun: 9am-2:30pm

The base is open from early April to mid-November.

Time zone
GMT +2 hours (GMT +3 hours from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Language
The official language in Greece is Greek.

Cost of living in Greece

The cost of living in Greece is approximately 10 percent less than the UK. Prices in Greece usually include service charges although it is normal to leave loose change as well.

What to bring

Passport and visas
Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return. Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket, otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid.

If your child is not already included on a valid British passport, they are required to hold their own passport.

EU passport holders do not require a visa.

Non-British passport holders should check with their local consulate direct.

It is the responsibility of each individual to ensure relevant visas are obtained where necessary. We cannot be held responsible for refusal of entry or travel due to lack of visas. If you're in any doubt, please contact your embassy for full details.

Customs + immigration
All visitors must have a valid passport or an IC for European citizens and onward ticket.

Travel formalities for non-EU citizens: For the citizens of the EU, no passports are required. An ID is enough. There are no currency limits, customs formalities or vaccines required.

Travel formalities for non-EU citizens: a valid passport is required for citizens from countries other than the EU. Visitors of some countries a visa is obligatory. There are currency limits and customs formalities. For more information, contact your embassy.

There is no departure tax for Athens.

Sailing licences

Click here to view the sailing requirements in Greece.

Why do I need a Day Skipper or ICC with Sunsail when other companies don't ask for it?

By Greek Law, Port Police officials require a ‘Solemn Declaration’ to be signed and presented on request alongside the official boat papers, stating that you hold the relevant qualifications to sail in their waters. With 40 years’ at the forefront of the sailing holidays industry, we pride ourselves on being the best. Our valued reputation is second to none and we conduct all operations with great diligence, and according to the current laws and regulations of each destination. This is why we ensure that you have the necessary qualifications and paperwork to fully enjoy every sailing destination, and that you are made aware of any clauses or terms and conditions that may affect your holiday.

To charter a yacht in Greece, there must be at least one certified skipper and one experienced crew member, both over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions and be able to use navigation and pilotage skills to plan the day’s sailing and know your position at any time.  The Skipper should be accompanied by at least one crew member (First Mate) of “Competent Crew” level (ASA 103 or RYA Competent Crew Course) or a similar/equivalent certification from any recognized sailing association.*  As a yacht skipper, you are required to have a sailing license or a certificate from a recognized sailing association AND/OR an ICC or IPC as detailed below:

Skipper is REQUIRED to have one (1) of the following: 
• US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course” or above 
• ASA “104 Bareboat Cruising Course” or above 
• RYA “Day Skipper Course” or above 
• Or a similar/equivalent certification from any recognized sailing association

AND/OR

Skipper is REQUIRED to have one (1) of the following: 
• ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International – Prerequisites: RYA “Day Skipper Course” or similar/equivalent certification from any recognized sailing association or complete the ICC Assessment form to prove competence from previous experience. 
• IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America – Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”

It is mandatory that skippers take their original copies of certificates with them, in case they are requested to present them in person.  If you do not have a recognized certificate, you should obtain one before your departure. 
*If the First Mate does NOT have a sailing license, they must fill out a Sunsail sailing cv to confirm that they have the necessary skills to sail in Greece aboard a Sunsail vessel.  They must also fill out a Declaration of Honor to provide a legal declaration to the Greek Port Authorities that said crew member is competent to crew aboard a chartered yacht.

Luggage + packing list
Luggage allowance is 20kg per person. Only one item of hand luggage per person is allowed and this must not weigh more than 5kg. For storage aboard we recommend travelling light and using folding luggage.

Lost or damaged luggage whilst flying is the responsibility of the airline and is not covered by your travel insurance. Thomson Airways carries no liability for loss or damage to valuable or fragile items packed in hold baggage however caused. You must not include in checked baggage money, jewellery, precious metals, computers, personal electronic devices, negotiable papers, securities or other valuables, business documents, passports and other identification documents or samples.

We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage, as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.

Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.

Incidents
If an incident occurs, immediately report it to airport officials and ensure Property Irregularity Reports (PIR) are completed. Claims will not be considered once you have left the airport.

What's on board

Cool Boxes
Cool boxes are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Please sign for these and return them clean and undamaged otherwise you will be charged for replacement. Only one per boat.

Mobile phones
Coverage is good around the major towns on the mainland and on many islands. Main operators include Cosmote, Q-Telecom. Stet Hellas, and Vodafone. Please check with your service provider for coverage details and call costs. You may need to activate international roaming on your contract.

Music + iPods
All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your iPod whilst sailing you will need to bring along an iTrip or FM radio transmitter.

Drone
The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-greece/

Electricity
The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts. Electricity in Greece is 220 volts and uses the standard European 2-pin plug. In order to use electronic equipment that is 220 volts you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.

Internet
You will require a 3G key to get internet onboard. This can be purchased from the airport Germanos shop, located in the arrivals hall.

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Sail

About the marina

Zea Marina facilities

  • Fuel
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Supermarket
  • Chandlery
  • Restaurant
  • Cafes
  • Bars
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Laundry/Dryers
  • Postal services
  • Wireless internet access
  • ATM
  • Bank

Our boats are on Quay C.

The marina has its own swimming pool. You can swim for free if you buy drinks at the bar.

Sailing licences

Sailing experience: Level 3

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area.

Get more information on Athens sailing conditions.

Sailing grounds

Skippered charter information
The skipper’s time is booked from 12pm-12pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved a skipper for the first day of your charter and have a 6pm start, he or she will use this time to ensure they are happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you've reserved a skipper for a later date on your charter they will start at 12pm on that day.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. They are not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He or she must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of the contract with you.

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the check out skipper’s time is booked from 6pm-6pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day.

The skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. We suggest that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his or her time with you on the yacht. We also suggest that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover: anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and this is your responsibility. We suggest that you discuss this on the first day with your skipper and establish whether you'll provide cash for meals, whether you've included him or her in your provisioning or whether you'll accommodate him or her as part of the group for meals ashore.

The skipper must have his or her own cabin. We prefer not to put the skipper in the bow due to the shared head and size of the cabin. If you expect your skipper to stay in the bow, please let us know well in advance so that we can choose the appropriate (small) skipper.

For one-day check out skippers, it's your responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay all expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him or her back to the base.

The average tip for a skipper is 15-20 percent of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at your discretion.

Sailing area restrictions
This information is covered in the chart briefing.

Night sailing
Night sailing is not permitted; you must be moored at least one hour before sunset at all of our locations.

Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht.

Charts and pilot books can be purchased by mail order from the UK chandler Kelvin Hughes by contacting 02380 634911.

Sailing permits + taxes
In Greece it's essential that we have all of the following details in advance: full name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality and passport number or ID card number for every member of your crew so that your boat papers can be prepared. You won't be able to sail without these papers, and failure to supply information in advance could delay your departure from the base.

It's also essential that you bring any RYA certificates or other sailing qualifications with you.

Moorings fees + taxes
Greece does levy mooring fees in some harbours, and these are not included in the price of the charter.

Most overnight stops in this area will be ‘bow to’ Mediterranean mooring on town quays. This will cost approximately 10 euro per night to be paid at each town locally. Marina prices are considerably higher, depending on the size of your yacht.

If you stop free of charge at a private jetty, it is expected that you will eat at that taverna.

Shower facilities are available at most restaurants for a small charge.

Health + safety

Illness or injury 
If you get ill and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip contact a member of Sunsail staff as soon as possible on either your lead boat or at our base. If you need to make a claim for curtailment due to illness, ask the base manager for assistance and contact your insurer’s emergency medical service immediately.

Your insurance company will assist with travel arrangements, advice and payment of bills.

Obtain receipts for any medication, treatment or transport you have to pay for and submit with your claim.

Safety 
All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets and harnesses. We leave it up to you to decide when personal safety equipment should be worn.

We have a limited supply of children’s life jackets (age 4+ only). If you have your own children’s life jacket we would encourage you to bring it along.

We suggest that children who are not strong swimmers should not be allowed in a dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and that they should wear a buoyancy aid or harness when on deck.

Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.

Swim Safe 
For your safety and for environmental reasons, the feeding of fish is not recommended and may be prohibited in some destinations.

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Shop

Around the base

Hotels

Savoy Hotel 
Iroon Politechniou 93
Piraeus 185 36
Tel: +30 2104 284 580
[email protected]

Currency
Local currency – Eur (EUR). You can exchange money at the departure airport, but the exchange rate is often better once you are in Greece. Visa and Mastercard are accepted in larger restaurants, marinas, supermarkets and at the base, however, it is advisable to have cash as many places are still unable to accept credit card payments.

Please note: base is unable to accept cash or personal cheques, and cannot give cash back on credit or debit (Switch/Delta) cards.

Credit card information
Travellers cheques and credit cards are accepted in most restaurants and shops in the major towns.

Please note: bases are unable to accept personal cheques and cannot give cash back on credit or debit (Switch/Delta) cards.  

Currency can be exchanged commission free at any high street TUI retail travel agent on production of your Sunsail invoice. You can pre-order your currency from a TUI travel agent by telephoning them in advance on 0870 9005154 to find your nearest branch.

Banking
Banks are open Monday-Thursday from 8am-2.30pm, and on Friday from 8am-2pm.

There are often small exchange offices in town offering a better exchange rate than the bank. They are open from 8am-8pm.

Banks are available in Piraeus close to Zea Marina, Epidavros, Ermioni and also on the larger islands of Aegina, Hydra, and Spetsai.

Shopping
Supermarkets: the supermarket Sklavenitis is situated five minutes by foot from the base.

Shops in Greece tend to be open from 9am-1pm and in the evening from 5pm-8pm.

Special purchases include lace, jewellery, metalwork, pottery, garments and knitwear, flokati rugs, leather goods, local wines and spirits. Athens is the centre for luxury and designer goods and local handicrafts.

Hydra and Spetses offer a wide variety of jewellery, art, and boutique shops catering for sophisticated tastes. Regional specialties can include silver from Ioannina, ceramics from Sifnos and Skopelos, embroidery and lace from Crete, the Ionian Islands, Rhodes and Skiros, alabaster from Crete and flokati rugs from the Epirus region.

Visitors should be aware that many ‘antiques’ sold to tourists are fake; it is illegal to export any item of real antiquity without a special permit from the Export Department of the Ministry of Culture.

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For more information on what's included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

Choose Sunsail

20+
Stunning Sailing Destinations 
14
Flotilla routes
48
Types of yachts
44 yrs
Creating holidays
4 hr
Service guarantee
Consumer protection