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Old 20-06-2012, 11:09   #1
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Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

I've searched the archives without success and am looking for some help.

We are US citizens who are currently in the Med and will sail to the Caribbean. However, since we entered the EU in June we cannot remain in any EU countries for more than 90 days and must leave the EU for the remaining 90 days to reset the 180 day clock. In our case we must be out of the EU at the end of August and cannot return until December.

Our intention is to sail to the Canaries in October. Yet the Canaries are still part of the EU with the same Schengen rules.

If I understand the Schengen rules correctly, we cannot re-enter the EU or the Canary Islands until December.

Is that correct? That makes the passage to the Canaries and the Caribbean logistically very complex!

Thanks for any input.
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Old 20-06-2012, 11:31   #2
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

Have you cosidered spending time in Morocco, saving just a few days of you 90 Schengen days to call into the Canaries before setting of across the Atlantic. I have been to Morocco and to me it is not dangerous, however I have not cruised there. Here is a link to the best info on cruising the Moroccan coast I have found.

http://www.worldcruising.com/content...occo_wcm24.pdf
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Old 20-06-2012, 11:41   #3
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

You are quite correct!! The era of US citizens doing the North Atlantic circle route, US to Europe and back in two years legally is pretty much over.

Our trip was 18 months over a two year period starting in 2010. Halifax to Ireland and cruising Scotland with a lay-up in Scotland the first year. The second year was Scotland to Norway and then heading south to the Canaries to cross to the Caribbean in November/December of 2011.

Fortunately, no-one in the Canaries cares one iota and we cruised all but two small islands. No-one in Europe cares either. Portugal was the only country where you could end up with a problem. That said, the shared computer database is supposed to be accessable in the near future so we heard. This would expose US cruisers to more risk.

The agreement was not directed at well heeled sailors that spend money in the port cities of Europe. I think it was originally to get rid of squatter hippies that hopped country to country.

One could consider Schengen tit for tat as non-US cruisers in the US must report in on arrival at each new port while cruising in the US. Shocking and a giant hassle I would say. Also, what is the point?

Managing 8 billion people on planet earth is making it a very complex world for those of us that like simple.
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Old 20-06-2012, 12:40   #4
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

the med is a big place you haven't said where you are now i personally have never had a prob with the 90day rule but you could either back track to turkey for awhile then head down towards Tunisia then onto Gibraltar Morocco
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Old 20-06-2012, 12:41   #5
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

Gibraltar, Turkey, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro as well as the aforementioned Morocco. Outside of those not a lot of options. I realize it makes for a long passage without stopping in Malta or elsewhere if you head to the Adriatic or the Turkish Med but those apparently are your choices. Of course you can possibly pull into one island or another or a port and fill up with fuel and provisions and ask for safe harborage.

I have not heard of anyone doing this but maybe you can go to an embassy and get an extended visit visa - in Europe I believe it is known as a Type D visa. This would be obtained from the consular office - by appointment - and may take more time than you have to just get! If you knew or expected to spend most of your Med time in Italy or Spain then you would go to that particular office and apply. Hardly helpful as I know you probably don't want to spend all your time at some office far from your boat and the water! And it still might take 2-3 months to get the visa and by then it would be too late for you.

Has anyone else out there done this? I have backpacked thru part of Europe and found other travellers with the same problem and hope to sail there as well someday and not have to be looking at the calendar to see if I overstay my welcome.

Cheers, Mike
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Old 20-06-2012, 12:52   #6
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

I had the same question in a previous thread planning my trip to the Med and received a great suggestion from Dave "goboatingnow". Suggest you read through this thread for details Schengen Agreement

but basically the answer is you can apply to an individual country (France or Italy for example) for a non Schengen, long stay visa. Some countries I think may give you up to a year if you look responsible .

Then when in that country you are not using your 90 days of Schengen time.
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Old 20-06-2012, 14:27   #7
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

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Then when in that country you are not using your 90 days of Schengen time.
This seems to be correct but it is up to each individual country to recognize another countries D visa so it is not 100% sure method. Note Croatia will become a schengen member in 2013,
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Old 20-06-2012, 14:40   #8
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

In 2006-7 the only countries which cared about enforcing the 90 day stay were Portugal, Greece, and Germany. We stayed in the EU about 18 months before we got to the Canaries, and they couldn't have cared less. Even the people who ran into trouble in Portugal were able to pay a bit and get a new visa.
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Old 20-06-2012, 14:43   #9
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

Go to one of the marina's at Cabo Negro, some 15 NM south of Ceuta and bide your time. It is my experience that everyone marina in Spain requires the presentation of your boat's documents and if you hit a bureaucrat on a bad day you are in for trouble.

On the other hand they can be very helpful if they like you and disregard any rule.
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Old 21-06-2012, 08:04   #10
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

Thanks for the replies!

We have used up all but 7 days of our Turkey visa. And yes, Turkey checked our visa at several marinas we visited along the coast to make sure we were still legally in their country.

Then in Greece we have had our passport stamp checked in quite a few places when we check in with the port police. So at least Turkey and Greece are very aware of our time limits.

We are worried about Italy and Spain now too because of the problems they are having with their economies and fining us we would be easy if we over-stay.

That is why we are soliciting as much information as possible from this group. Unfortunately, spending only 2-3 days in the Canaries before crossing the Atlantic is not possible because of the repairs, re-provisioning and preparation that is needed for that crossing.
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Old 21-06-2012, 08:09   #11
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

Find a hospitable spot in N-Africa. Morocco is not that bad and you are close to the Atlantic. Forget about Italy and Spain. Particularly Spain.
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Old 21-06-2012, 08:22   #12
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

The only place I would not return to is the port in Arricife on Lanzarote as it is a dump without facilities. In this port you must report to the Port Authority officials which could be risky however it wasn't an issue for us in the fall of 2011. They just wanted the money.

The remainder of the ports we visited in the Canaries were only interested in the slip rental and we did not come in contact with any state officials only marina workers. Consequently, I think the risk is very low. Schengen was never mentioned and no one asked how long we had been in Europe. It does not appear to be on their radar. The islanders aren't big fans of mainland Spain anyway.

You can worry about this stuff enough to make yourself crazy. We took the attitude that the die was cast and just hoped we would make it through. It worked out great and I would like to return to the Canaries as they are interesting and spectacular.
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Old 21-06-2012, 08:53   #13
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

We got checked in Sicily and that was 2009. I would expect that today they are even more stringent. You'll need to hop into Tunisia or Morroco before entering Spain. Croatia is also an option but its a little off your cruising route.

If you are concerned about entering Tunisia, or want some more information, try reading Aislings acount on their blog. They are a Canadian flagged vessel cruising the Med. They've managed to stay in the Med for several years now, hoping in and out of the Schengen countries. Here's a link to their blog on entering Tunisa from Sicily. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Robyn
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Old 21-06-2012, 08:58   #14
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

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You'll need to hop into Tunisia or Morroco before entering Spain. Croatia is also an option but its a little off your cruising route. Robyn
What about Gibralter? They aren't Schengen.
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Old 21-06-2012, 09:14   #15
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Re: Med to Caribbean Crossing Dilema - Schengen Problem?

Hang out in Greece a few more days, and your EU problems may be over!

Curiosity, what is the penalty if you overrun this rule? Is this really an issue to be considered about? Are we talking about a few hundred dollars fine? Or something more severe?

I would have a hard time imagining that the islands people will give you a hassle, but the world is a different place than it was 20 years ago. Can you manufacture a repair emergency? Maybe that will buy you some leniency!
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