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Old 11-07-2017, 06:25   #1
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Med cruising and managing Schengen

We are Canadian sailors (non-Schengen). One of our life dreams is to cruise the Mediterranean.
We've researched CF. Some say it’s not worth the trouble for non-treaty country sailors to cruise the Med while staying within the limits. Others suggest that hardly anyone gets caught so not to worry too much about it. We do not want to break the rules (i.e. exceed 90 days in any 180 day period within the Schengen area).
I agree it would be much easier not to go but we’ve worked toward this for a long time (we had hoped that the process for extended visas would be in place by now). We are pretty much on schedule in our preparations.
The plan is for a mid-late June departure from the East coast of Canada (dodging the icebergs ), arriving in the Med, via the Azores, late July/early Aug 2018. We are looking at departing the Med for the Caribbean in the fall of 2019.This gives us about 15 months in the Med.
We would like to see as much as possible while not feeling rushed to get from place to place. We’d prefer to mostly day-sail but realize some longer passages may be necessary. We will have to decide on a good place to winter-over.
We have to figure out how to work around the Schengen limits. (Including any Schengen time requirements for the Azores and Canary Islands.) We would appreciate knowledgeable opinions/suggestions (ideally based on experience) for potential itineraries.

“I’m not superstitious but don’t believe in taking unnecessary risks either”
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:18   #2
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Welcome to the beautiful Mediterranean Sea !

'Canadian citizens using Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area of countries in Europe for tourism or business stays under ninety days.
Canadian citizens with Canadian passports enjoy visa-free travel (tourists and business and family visits) for a MAXIMUM of 90 days in the Schengen Zone of cntinental Europe.
There is no visa which will allow Canadians to stay as a tourist over the 90 days. The days of backpacking around Europe for six months are over.
In the Schengen Zone you get 90 days inside for every 180 calendar days. That means Canadians can stay in the Schengen zone for a total of 90 days out of each 180 days. Both clocks start on the day you arrive.
Canadians must DEPART and be out of the Schengen zone for another 90 days before you can re-enter.
Canadians cannot leave the Schengen Zone for a day or two, then re-enter in order to restart the 90 day clock. Each day is cumulative until you reach the 90 days in a six month period.
The Schengen clock does not reset on the new year. It continues based on the actaul date of your first arrival, no matter what year'.

That's the rule so far.
But if I were in your shoes, I would visit the French consulate in Toronto, or Spanish, Italian, request an appointment with a consular officer to explain the purpose and nature of my travel plans.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:28   #3
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

The vast majority of CF respondents to threads such as these don't know how to work around the rules and still be in compliance. I'm a Canadian citizen who lives 6-7 months continuously here in the Med on a boat every year, totally legal without any visa issues. Been doing it for six years now. No sneaking around, all done right, several different ways to do it, it just requires some careful planning.

Please search the data base first for my many prior posts on this subject, then contact me via PM if you have any more questions. Just search my prior posts.

Sitting here right now in beautiful Croatia... did you know that Croatia is outside of Schengen? It's OK, most don't. Late next week I'll be in Montenegro.... also another non-Schengen country which is stunningly beautiful.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:42   #4
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Isn't there another layer of problems to be considered, with the rules about how long your boat can stay on EU waters without paying importation taxes? Here the Schengen visa list is not important and the list of countries where you can go to get out of EU shrinks considerably?
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:51   #5
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

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Originally Posted by pskudlarski View Post
Isn't there another layer of problems to be considered, with the rules about how long your boat can stay on EU waters without paying importation taxes? Here the Schengen visa list is not important and the list of countries where you can go to get out of EU shrinks considerably?
No, not "problems." Issues which have easy solutions.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:12   #6
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The vast majority of CF respondents to threads such as these don't know how to work around the rules and still be in compliance. I'm a Canadian citizen who lives 6-7 months continuously here in the Med on a boat every year, totally legal without any visa issues. Been doing it for six years now. No sneaking around, all done right, several different ways to do it, it just requires some careful planning.

Please search the data base first for my many prior posts on this subject, then contact me via PM if you have any more questions. Just search my prior posts.

Sitting here right now in beautiful Croatia... did you know that Croatia is outside of Schengen? It's OK, most don't. Late next week I'll be in Montenegro.... also another non-Schengen country which is stunningly beautiful.
This i need to learn, will have alook at your post, I am guessing, as an example you could do 30 days say in Greece, EU, then 30 days Croatia, non EU then 30 days say Italy, 30 days Turkey etc. Meaning a total of 90 days over 18o days spread out with non shenegen areas in between???
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:15   #7
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Quote:
Originally Posted by pskudlarski View Post
Isn't there another layer of problems to be considered, with the rules about how long your boat can stay on EU waters without paying importation taxes? Here the Schengen visa list is not important and the list of countries where you can go to get out of EU shrinks considerably?
The boat has 18 months. It's the people who have 90 days in the previous 180 day period.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:16   #8
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

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.... Montenegro.... also another non-Schengen country which is stunningly beautiful.
Of course a non-Schengen country, so far Montenegro is not a member of European Union, it's still a "Candidate Country".

The Montenegrin Foreign Minister expects that it could join by 2022.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:54   #9
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Thanks Pilou, we agree on interpretation of Schengen rules
pskudlarski, I believe you may be referring to the VAT. It shouldn’t be an issue as I would have 18 months and the time is reset by leaving the EU for 1 day.
Kenomac, I often follow your posts and replies and always find them informative and often entertaining. I will likely take you up on your PM offer once I have more suggestions.Agree “problems” are just challenges waiting for solutions…

What I’m really after here is suggestions for itineraries that would have us see lots of the Mediterranean in our 15 months. This would have us traveling directions and distances at a cruisers pace considering seasonal winds (direction and strengths) while remaining Schengen legal (ie by visiting possibly Croatia, Montenegro, Tunisia, Albania and/or Turkey). We would be well positioned to winter over in a “nice” place. If I get some good ideas from here, I will try to come up with the best plan to suit us. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:57   #10
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The vast majority of CF respondents to threads such as these don't know how to work around the rules and still be in compliance. I'm a Canadian citizen who lives 6-7 months continuously here in the Med on a boat every year, totally legal without any visa issues. Been doing it for six years now. No sneaking around, all done right, several different ways to do it, it just requires some careful planning.

Please search the data base first for my many prior posts on this subject, then contact me via PM if you have any more questions. Just search my prior posts.

Sitting here right now in beautiful Croatia... did you know that Croatia is outside of Schengen? It's OK, most don't. Late next week I'll be in Montenegro.... also another non-Schengen country which is stunningly beautiful.
Agree with Ken. Don't even think of not following your dream to cruise the Med. It is not hard, and there are a number of ways of staying for as long as you wish. One word of advice. Think about staying longer. There is an awful lot to see and do in the Med - many come for months, and stay for years!

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Old 11-07-2017, 09:00   #11
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

We have been sailing the Med as Canadian sailors since 2011 for 6 months or more precisely 180 days each year. The way we've done it was simply to alternate between Shengen and non shengen countries while not exceeding 90 days in each. Mostly between Turkey and Greece. You can also use Croatia, Montenegro and perhaps although not sure Albania, Tunisia and Morocco. Simply plan your route accordingly.

We play the rules by the book in foreign countries simply because if cought in illegality you end up in the hands of authority representatives with variable level of ethics. They can ask you unreasonable amount of money as it happened with a friend sailor and put your ship in detention until you pay the fine!

Visa for extended stay is possible with a good reason as we experienced last year. we obtained a 40 additional days in Greece to monitor the situation in Turkey following the coup before returning finally to our base in Marmaris. Hope this help!
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:48   #12
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

Without a special (meaning non-tourist) visa Canadians (and Americans) can't remain in Schengen countries for more than 90 days in any 180 day period. Unfortunately some people conflate "Europe" and "Schengen", and "Med" and "Adriatic". Many, many CF members are aware of the rules, and abide by them by leaving Schengen countries for non Schengen countries of which there are many. Croatia and Montenegro are only two. Albania, is another that actually is in the Med (and Adriatic) as is Gibraltar. Cyprus is another (but has some similar rules). And of course there is Turkey and all the other eastern, and southern Mediterranean countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:21   #13
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

The western Med is somewhat more difficult logistically with only Gibraltar and most of Morocco to exit for VAT and Schengen, but it can be done. But after you get to Italy and then the Adriatic and eastward, Schengen and VAT avoidance become very, very easy to deal with.

With all the migrant issues the Schengen countries are presently dealing with, I can't see Croatia or Montenegro being in any hurry to join the party. Especially seeing as how they fought a civil war not long ago, largely centered around the muslim/Serb issue. Lots of churches.... no mosques around here, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.

OP,

Fifteen months isn't nearly enough time. Three to five years is more like it just to get a preview... what's your hurry?
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:31   #14
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

It's really just a matter of moving to non-Schengen countries between your 90 day periods of Schengen. Now, some of the non-Schengen countries are expected to join but for now you have Ireland, UK, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus that are not Schengen but are part of the EU. Also, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are not Schengen.

Also, when we go, we do intend to make any trips home during our non-Schengen periods.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:15   #15
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Re: Med cruising and managing Schengen

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Originally Posted by casarei View Post
This i need to learn, will have alook at your post, I am guessing, as an example you could do 30 days say in Greece, EU, then 30 days Croatia, non EU then 30 days say Italy, 30 days Turkey etc. Meaning a total of 90 days over 18o days spread out with non shenegen areas in between???
just a remark: Croatia is not Schengen but EU!

And as Austrian and EU Citizen let me say these regulations are really bullshit.
What the **** do the think when the make such bloody regulation... nothing... because every regulation you make causes at least 10 exceptions.

So f... regulations at all and insist on good behavour.

BUT on the other hand... look at US law and regulations... a country I really do not want to visit.
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