News and Blog

When stepping aboard a charter with us, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is about crew gratuity. After spending seven nights with your Captain and Chef, you want to make sure you follow proper tipping etiquette and show the crew your appreciation for the services that they have provided. We thought we would take some time to discuss gratuity in depth and give more of an insight to what is standard throughout the private, crewed charter world.

While the crew does get paid a salary, they are working incredibly long hours when guests are onboard. Our crews go to great lengths to ensure that you have the vacation of a lifetime with us, which is why it is considered to be good etiquette to leave a proper tip.

Customary tip in the crewed yachting industry ranges from 15-20% of your charter’s retail rates. For example: if you are sailing with us during our high season with a retail rate of $5,095, 15-20% gratuity would be $750 - $1,000.

When identifying what percentage to leave for your crew, our approach is simple. Treat tipping as you would in any other setting. Start with considering the level of service you feel you received on your trip. As your crew are such an integral part of your vacation, the level of service provided can impact your tipping amount.

Taking into consideration all the effort put forth by the crew daily, tipping on the high end of the 15-20% scale is the best way to express your gratitude for their above and beyond efforts. However, should you feel that their service provided was average, tipping in the middle range of the scale is acceptable.

At the end of your charter, you can choose to tip your crew in cash or via credit card. Your Captain will ensure that the tip is divided evenly among crew members.

We’re ready to start dreaming about vacationing again and what better way to start than to share exactly what it is that we love about sailing! When thinking about just why we love sailing, we’re reminded of how unique each sailing experience is to every individual. With that in mind, we thought we’d reach out to some of our past guests, followers, and lovers of sailing to ask them just why they enjoy sailing the open waters. Read on for the list we created with the help of our fellow sailing lovers!

Top 10 Reasons Why We Love Sailing

When asking people what they loved most about sailing, the most mentioned reason is the relaxing and peaceful nature sailing provides. We don’t disagree! As you step aboard each sailing excursion, you open yourself up to a new set of experiences and get to view the world in a way that not many do. Sailing offers you the chance to explore areas of each destination that are not always available to those traveling on foot. The open waters offer you the chance to disconnect from everyday life. With little to no electronics, WiFi, and connection to land, it’s easy to take the time to focus on yourself and loved ones and take in your surroundings. Something we often forget to do! Another reason several of our followers mentioned was the sunrise and the view of the world as it begins to wake up. It’s not your average sunrise and you won’t take this view for granted from the deck of a sailboat! The act of sailing reminds us of great memories and gives us a hint of nostalgia as we remember trips of a lifetime that we’ve shared with loved ones. Whether you grew up learning to sail or you discovered its joy later in life, you’ll never forget your times on the water. Open waters bring serenity and calm, something you can’t always find on land. Away from the hustle and bustle, you have the opportunity to soak up the silence, sun, and ocean waves that are all around you. Several of our followers mentioned the sounds of sailing and we know just what they mean! Once on board - after the sails go up - the sounds of the wind passing through them and the water hitting the sides of the boat create a soothing soundtrack to your vacation. Getting to experience the beauty of your surroundings – no explanation needed here! There’s something about stepping aboard a sailboat that sets a luxurious scene. Different from any resort, a sailboat offers a quality of vacation you can’t find anywhere else. The memories you make from sailing are unique and something you’ll cherish forever.

We hope these reasons remind you to never stop thinking about traveling and sailing – even if it seems far away – the open waters are always waiting for you.

When you’re on board with Festiva Sailing Vacations, we strive to provide you with the best sailing experience possible. That’s why we are always mindful of the changes in weather, popularity, and the island happenings that come with each season of sailing.

Read on for more information on our top two destinations and their sailing seasons!

British Virgin Islands

While we don’t think there’s a bad time to visit the British Virgin Islands, sailing there definitely changes with the seasons!

High Season

As it gets colder and snowy in the states, you can expect more folks are going to want to head to the Islands! The warmth and luxuriousness of the British Virgin Islands draws in a large amount of its travelers during the November – May months. With unbeatable weather and water temperatures, it’s easy to see why this time of year provides such a great (and popular!) escape.

Low Season

Once things have begun to warm up at home, the travel deals and availability begin to open in the British Virgin Islands. You may not be escaping the cold anymore, but you’ll certainly be escaping everyday life! We consider this season to be from June – August. Water temperatures are still just as perfect this time of year, making for great scuba diving, fishing and snorkeling.

Hurricane Season

We take our boats off the water from early August to early October. While we can’t predict the weather, this is our best option in our effort to avoid as much of hurricane season as possible and make sure everyone enjoys safe and relaxing vacations.


Our sailing season in Greece lasts from the end of May to the beginning of September. And though it is short, it is ever popular! During these months, there is no bad time to travel in Greece. With average temperatures ranging from the high 70s to low 80s and water temperatures around the same, our Greece charters offer travelers a unique way to explore these historic islands.

You’ve finally made plans to take the vacation of a lifetime. After planning, packing, and purchasing flights – the last thing you want to do is worry about something going wrong on your trip. Unfortunately, life does happen, and it can throw a wrench in your travel plans – your flights get delayed or canceled, unexpected circumstances come up at home, natural disasters - you name it! That’s where travel insurance can come into play.  

While it may not be your first thought after booking your vacation and buying flight tickets, purchasing travel insurance can provide an added level of comfort knowing you’re covered even in the most unexpected circumstances. That’s why we highly recommend the added security of trip insurance – make your vacation truly carefree! 

When sailing with us, we recommend CSA Travel Protection to all our guests as they provide affordable protection to your diverse traveling needs. With CSA, you can start by getting a free quote and selecting the exact amount you want covered with them – meaning you can lump your sailing vacation, airfare, and more into your protection plan with them. CSA offers 24-7 emergency assistance anywhere in the world, in-house claims processing, and cancel for any reason coverage.  

Your vacation is both an exciting adventure and an investment – don’t take the chance of vacationing without added security! With the ease of service they provide and years of experience, CSA makes the choice easy when it comes to traveling with a peace of mind.  

The Updates

We’ve made a few changes to our preference forms and wanted to share them with you. Since each destination we sail is different from one another, our preferences forms should be too - after all, sailing the Med is far different than sailing the Caribbean!

You’ll now notice that when you navigate to our Already Booked tab to fill out a preference form, there is a separate form for BVI/Caribbean destinations and Greece. Our British Virgin Islands preference forms have remained the same, but we have made a few changes for Greece.

For Greece, we will now require some additional travel information to provide to our base in Greece. Before completing the preference form for this destination, you’ll want to make sure you have your passport numbers (and those of the other guest in your cabin) and your flight information handy.

Why preference forms are important?

Preference forms help us provide you with the best vacation possible! While they do tell us who you are, they also tell us more about your personal preferences and exactly what you need to feel comfortable and relaxed on your vacation with us.

Have a special occasion you are celebrating or any dietary needs, restrictions, or requests? You’ll let us know here. Are you wanting an active and adventurous vacation or a relaxing and quiet one? We’ll ask you about that too.

All this information is important because it helps us prepare for your arrival and make sure we are pairing you with other like-minded folks. Submitting your form is easy - once all of your required information and extras have been entered in you’ll just need to submit.

After submitting your report, we get a copy and you will also receive one for your records. If you have any questions while in the process of filling them out, please let us know and we’re happy to walk you through it.