By Amira Hashish
Dreaming of a Caribbean sail where the cuisine is a match for the scenery or fancy gliding through the picture perfect islands of French Polynesia in style? The Sailing Collective specialises in global yacht adventures which hone in on bespoke experiences and off the beaten track adventures for individuals or groups. Founder Dayyan Armstrong tells us why his goal is to give guests a true trip of a lifetime…
What inspired the launch of the Sailing Collective?
The launch of the Sailing Collective in 2012 was inspired by our passion for sharing the wonderful aspects of sailing charters to an audience of wide-eyed travelers interested in experiencing nature and culture through this unique vantage point. When we started, we noticed that the other organisations either focused on partying or ‘do it yourself’ budget sailing trips. So we took our passion for adventure sailing and married it with our philosophy of hospitality. Our approach was unique in that we considered ourselves a travel company first and foremost and we use sailing charters as our platform to showcase world adventure to our audience. We then integrated an advanced culinary program focusing on regional provisioning and sourcing all our ingredients used aboard from the islands and coastal farmers along the way.
How does the concept work?
Sailing Collective Travel Co. is unique in the yacht charter industry. Along with being yacht brokers, we only use hand-selected captains and chefs who work directly with Sailing Collective to ensure each departure is unique and bespoke. With access to over 4000 yachts worldwide, we cherry pick the quality charter sailboats for our clients to ensure comfort and quality amenities aboard. An interested client will reach out to us directly about a private or group sailing charter.
Do you do individual and group voyages?
Yes, we provide both group journeys where guests can book a solo or double occupancy cabin aboard one of our scheduled departures. Our group journey schedule is posted on our website and interested travelers can book directly online. We also organise bespoke custom private charters for groups of friends of families. A client will contact us with an interest of a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, for example, and we work with them to match them with the right vessel at a price point that works with their budget. We then match them with a captain and chef team and we work with them to design the perfect itinerary.
Which kind of destinations do you cover and where do the sails start?
Since our start in 2012, we set out to bring as many travelers throughout the world as possible. Because of this, we now have more than 25 unique itineraries that we have created. The Sailing Collective operates our yacht charters all year long and choose itineraries based on the season. For example, during the summer we mainly focus on the Mediterranean with itineraries throughout Croatia, Aeolian Islands, Sardinia, Corsica, Turkey, Mallorca (the list goes on) and when the season ends, we pick up where we can voyage like French Polynesia, Thailand, and the entirety of the Caribbean. One of our mottos is ‘if there’s water, a coastline, and sailboats available, we’ll plan an itinerary there’. An itinerary typically starts and ends in the same locations. For example, in French Polynesia we depart from the island of Raiatea. We then circumnavigate the Leeward Islands exploring the islands or Huahine, Taha’a, Bora Bora, and then end back at the same marina on the island of Raiatea.
What do your itineraries include?
A typical day looks like this: we wake up anchored in a calm and secluded cove. Our chef prepares an outstanding breakfast and guests have coffee, tea, and their morning swim. We then lift anchor and sail for a couple hours where we will find another unique cove where we will anchor and explore. The captain might lead a snorkel or a beach adventure while the chef prepares yet another outstanding meal. If any other yacht is nearby, there is a look of envy when our chefs prepare their cuisine. After lunch, we might sail for a short while to our end destination. We may decide to spend the night at a marina where we’ll explore ashore and go to a unique restaurant that Sailing Collective has discovered during our voyages. The itinerary is curated, but we also allow for adventure. If a once in a lifetime experience presents itself to us, we will be the first to pivot and change tacks. This has lead to many life-long beautiful memories.
How long do your voyages tend to last?
Our voyages are typically one week long and often run from Saturday to Saturday. There is some room to customise the schedule by request.
In addition to the captain, what other team members are included?
Each departure has one captain and one chef aboard. Larger catamaran charters might have a first mate but typically our charters are lead by a captain and chef team.
Do you offer bespoke experiences?
Each Sailing Collective experience is bespoke. We have a saying for captains at the Sailing Collective, ‘we don’t follow our own itineraries’. This allows us to listen to our guests and curate an experience for them on the spot. Our captains share experiences with each other and if one of the team members has an incredible experience at a restaurant or a hike for example, we’ll adapt. Our goal is always for guests to have the most unique week of their lives.