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Old 24-02-2014, 20:52   #1
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Which is Cheaper, Cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

My wife and I and another couple are keen to bareboat charter for 3 weeks in the Med, and looking at Palermo, Sicily. However it then became apparent that unlike here in NZ where one simply finds a cosy bay and throws the pick over each night at no cost, that in fact in the Med not only do you need to pay for a marina berth, but in many cases there is only a marina option and even if there is not, one must pay to just moor in the bay.
Then I got to thinking that maybe the Med is in fact along way more expensive to cruise generally than the Caribbean. That is cost of charter, overnite berthing or mooring, eating out etc.

Can someone please tell me if my hunch is correct?.
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Old 24-02-2014, 21:03   #2
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Gee, if I had that choice, I'd make my decision on what part of the world I wanted to see.
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Old 24-02-2014, 21:19   #3
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Stu
I have not sailed either area so either would make me happy. I just get a sense that the med is 'quite' a bit more than the Caribbean and hope someone can enlighten me. Do you know??
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Old 24-02-2014, 21:30   #4
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

From everything I've read, your assumptions are correct. Regardless, my question still stands, 'cuz perhaps i misunderstand your reason for going. If it's a "sailing" vacation, then again, from everything I've read, the winds are much more consistent in the Caribbean, but I'm sure you know that already. I guess I'm just not getting it. Sorry.
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Old 24-02-2014, 21:35   #5
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Generally speaking, the Med is more expensive than the Caribbean, but it also depends on where you're talking about, and what your cruising agenda is.

The fun bit about the Caribbean is visiting remote beaches and beach bars, where the fun bit in the Med is visiting coastal resort towns. Slip fees in the Med are more expensive.
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Old 25-02-2014, 02:55   #6
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Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitrob View Post
My wife and I and another couple are keen to bareboat charter for 3 weeks in the Med, and looking at Palermo, Sicily. However it then became apparent that unlike here in NZ where one simply finds a cosy bay and throws the pick over each night at no cost, that in fact in the Med not only do you need to pay for a marina berth, but in many cases there is only a marina option and even if there is not, one must pay to just moor in the bay.
Then I got to thinking that maybe the Med is in fact along way more expensive to cruise generally than the Caribbean. That is cost of charter, overnite berthing or mooring, eating out etc.

Can someone please tell me if my hunch is correct?.

The danger here is generalisation. The med is a big place and is festooned with plenty of places to anchor free. Equally you can buy superb food both pre cooked and ingredients , that are way better then available in most carribean Islands.

As to cost , I'd say there's not much difference and in some aspects the carribean is more expensive and with less choice ( a function of Islands)

Eating out in the med can be very inexpensive. Fresh beautifully made pizza can be had in Southern France for 6-8 euros. Lunch can be had for 12 , with a glass of wine. Dinner can be had from 15+ . food in the carribean , outside of the French Islands is poor in comparison.

It's important to separate the hype from the reality. In Greece town docks are cheap, for example.

All in all , staying away from the tourist traps, I have sail cheaper in the med then the carribean. Based on many visits to both places.

Ps try finding good wine at € 1/litre in the carribean !!
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Old 25-02-2014, 03:12   #7
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Hello, We boat around the canals and the med with our motor cruiser. As someone has said if you want isolation then take a bare sailing boat charter round the Greek Isles. Eating out very much depends on what you prefer but if you send Seaworthylass a message via Cruising Forum she is in that area and will gladly give you the up to date info. Charters in France are expensive but you can anchor in bays along the coast if you want seclusion. The marina's along the coast are expensive especially in the high season from mid July to mid Sept. We tend to go along the Spanish coast early season and then into the canals or rivers for the high season. There are quite a few companies in England offering sailing holidays and I've gone both flotilla and bareboat and they are basic but fine and are backed by ABTA. You pay according to your preference. Just a personal view but the Sicilians can be a bit sharp with strangers where money is concerned.
If you want laid a back lifestyle with street markets and (table)wine at a Euro a Litre, others are bit dearer then try the Canal u Midi or the Garonne.
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Old 25-02-2014, 03:14   #8
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Bsolutely correct!
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Old 25-02-2014, 03:20   #9
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Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

To be specific, for example I can anchor for as long as I like in the rade de villefranche for free , buy Pizza locally for 6 euros , wine , bring your own 5litre containers can be got from the co-operative at €1.25 litre.

As a charterer you will inevitably spend more money because of time constraints and lack of local knowledge.

You will do the same in the carribean.

In my case, I like the carribean for the bountiful and interesting sea life. I found the Islands and people less interesting, the med was the exact opposite.

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Old 25-02-2014, 03:28   #10
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Ah ! I forgot to tell you. In France if you take along an empty plastic containers(empty 1 litre water bottles are fine) to the local Cave(carve) you can first taste the wines, select the one you prefer and they will fill your empty bottles from a petrol pump type dispenser. Enjoy !
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Old 25-02-2014, 05:12   #11
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Another factor is in the Caribbean you are in a beautiful place being destroyed by it's local inhabitants. There are old cars pushed off the road, trash, dead dogs rotting in the ditches, etc. It really is disgusting if you stop to look. The only thing I would look forward to if I went back is the diving.

I'd second what Dave and others said about the Med. It is interesting every day. Every day you wake up and go, holy crap, look at that. It isn't just about villages but about scenic natural mountain ranges and crystal clear water.

As far as expense, I think the cost of chartering the boat is more expensive in the Med, food is relative as you can't compare half rotten potatoes and tasteless bread to what you get in France, Spain, and Italy. Greek is a little more hearty.

Croatia is very, very expensive to vacation in. I spent twice the amount there last year compared to the year before (more than twice actually).
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Old 25-02-2014, 05:55   #12
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, kitrob.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:02   #13
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Would it also depend on if you are planning to island (country) hop in the Caribbean? Not sure in the three week time span how many different places you would want to go but you would have the added expense and time, paperwork, etc. of clearing customs at each different location.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:38   #14
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

While I'm sure that there are some lesser expensive places in the Mediterranean, the fact is that it's generally cheaper in the Caribbean. It's the exception that proves the rule.

The reason is that the FOCUS is different. If you want to go to the Med, you're probably not looking for isolation, but for cute, fun, old resort towns. if you go the Med for the first time, are you going to Villefranche, and pass up nearby Nice/Cannes? Are you going to eat pizza every night? By the way, 6 euro is about 8.25 dollars, so pizza for three at the inexpensive place is 18 euro, or 25 dollars. Is that really cheap compared to one large pizza for three in the Caribbean?

If you go to the Med for the first time, you're going to want to go to places you've heard of. If you go to the Caribbean, same thing. The difference is that in the Caribbean, what you've heard of is anchoring off of a relatively desolate beach beside an island. You can certainly go to a resort town in the Caribbean and spend money as well, and if you go out to dinner you can spend a fortune. You can also fairly easily avoid doing this.

So it really should come down to what experience you're looking for. Do you want to sail around Caribbean islands, or old European cities? You specifically mentioned Sicily. Beautiful place, but if you've never been there, the places you're going to want to spend your time are on land.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:49   #15
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Re: Which is cheaper, cruising the Med or the Caribbean$

my experience , of doing the standard 2-3 week charter , especially in the BVI, USVI, etc was that it was very expensive, Good food was very expensive and the food in the supermarkets was "OK" Hard to get good meat. Eating out was expensive too, especially in the cute spots.

In the Carribean, if you like your food, you need to provision well at the major towns. the USVI was a bit cheaper but IMHO not as nice to place to visit.

Barbados and Antigua were both frightfully expensive as was Martinque and Guadaloupe, ( but the croissants very nice),. St. Lucia was off-putting, you eat with the tourists elsewhere hmmmmm

I did find the hassle you get in the Carribean from people, a bit off-putting.

I don't think you can really compare the Med to the Carribean, I mean there are very different reasons to go there. 15 years ago , when Turkey was still cheap, I had a charter there that was 1/3 the price of the Carribean , YMMV.

PS the 6-8 euros pizza was freshly made ( really thin base) wood cooked would easily feed two , given I pay Dominos the equivalent of about €12 euros for the nonsense that passes for pizza.

My experience, is if you want a largely self contained , sea orientated charter, maybe diving, etc then the Caribbean isn't bad. The Med offer so much in comparison that really its hard to characterise in a few sentences. It your desire is to sil around largely undisturbed islands anchoring as you do , They try the Porguelles, etc

Croatia is an exception IMHO, prices have gone nuts, I last chartered there about three years after the war, and it was very very reasonable, Now its nuts and best avoided if you are cost sensitive.

Dave
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