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Old 07-03-2021, 08:04   #1
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Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Hello - Does anyone know how 'open' the various ports are from Valencia Spain to Turkey this upcoming sailing season?
We're having our sailboat delivered to Palma de Mallorca around the end of April, 2021 and want to cruise from Valencia along the coast to Turkey - stopping everywhere.
What will the ports be saying to us when we try to come to land?
Thank you!
Doug
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Old 07-03-2021, 14:32   #2
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Here in Spain there's very little traffic, although I see from time to time a sailboat under way. But this could also be due to weather.

In general, until recently - haven't checked this week - travel for non-business reasons was forbidden between provinces and the traffic overall very low with occasional controls on the highways.

In general, the situation in Spain is relaxed, but everything closes at 6. I can't tell how ports are handling it at the moment, but you might get away with the business of delivering a boat. Pure pleasure-cruising might encounter problems.
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Old 07-03-2021, 15:53   #3
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Hello Joh.Ghurt - So, assuming we take delivery in Palma, around the beginning of May, do you think we will be able to go to lunch there?
Thank you,
Doug
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Old 07-03-2021, 16:18   #4
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Inside Spain and towards France, I would try it. Get yourself some official looking papers that state you're delivering the boat and a reasonable target marina. Even better when you intend to do some finishing work at the destination and have a reasonable looking appointment with a craftsman.

Is it legal? I honestly don't know, but my first-hand experience in the past 3 weeks in Spain and France leads me to believe, the people executing the regulations aren't really so sure either. As long as you seem on a legit business trip and not playing tourist they seem to be willing to cut people some slack.

Best skip the naked deck-babes and do the professional shakedown cruise / system acceptance test shtick with long white trousers and navy polo-shirts. Works even better when all are embroidered with "Doug's Yacht Detailing and Delivery Service" and everyone on board wearing the same.

In general the tendency seems to be to open up towards May / June, so I really hope things will be getting easier. Seems around 9th of May, they lock-down will run out and they would have to renew it in Spain.

No idea about Italy / Greece / Turkey. Better ask someone over there.

However you need to organise your trip from the US to Europe. No clue about how crazy this is at the moment either.


Lunch in Palma, shouldn't be a problem, Dinner might be.
For the launching, talk to the guys at the shipyard (better than mailing, because it's easier to get what's really going on)
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Old 07-03-2021, 16:42   #5
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

For France, any foreign ship may cross the waters with stop in a speedy manner.
Navigation for professional reasons is allowed
Don't have more than 6 crew if you can avoid it.

I think this is still valid today: https://www.premar-mediterranee.gouv...inement-en-mer
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Old 07-03-2021, 16:56   #6
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Joh.Ghurt - Your advice is extremely valuable! Whereas we are moving our Chartering Enterprise from Florida to Dubrovnik, Croatia, we can push that as our mission rather than being tourists. We even have uniforms with the appropriate, embroidered, official looking names / company.
Thank you very much!
Doug
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:19   #7
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

This is very fluid and every government website has some information often in English. A simple search such as “ traveling in Italy and Covid” will get you plenty.
I am living in Switzerland with my boat in Italy.
Personally I think you will have big problems still in May but there is still a chance it will improve. Having proof of vaccination may make it easier. Expect testing requests and plenty of form filling.
I am more optimistic for June, July and thereafter.
Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2021, 12:06   #8
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

In general, France does not allow navigation in their waters right now. You might be able to get away with an in-transit stop to refuel. You would probably need to go to a port of refuge (these can be found on noonsite.com). We were departing France last November and they hailed us, based on AIS, and asked if we had official permission to navigate. I told them that we were a foreign registered boat leaving the country and therefore we were not required to get permission. They said okay, but they would be watching our progress. The first lesson is to turn off your AIS broadcast.

Greece also does not allow any navigation in their waters. I think that you could navigate through their waters as long as you don't stop, but I have read comments on Facebook about having to get navigation permission in order to navigate when leaving. If you decide to take the southern route, the last that I checked Tunisia is very tight also. However, I have heard that the rules are not always enforced. Again, check noonsite for up to date information.
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Old 08-03-2021, 13:05   #9
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

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Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
This is very fluid and every government website has some information often in English. A simple search such as “ traveling in Italy and Covid” will get you plenty.
I am living in Switzerland with my boat in Italy.
Personally I think you will have big problems still in May but there is still a chance it will improve. Having proof of vaccination may make it easier. Expect testing requests and plenty of form filling.
I am more optimistic for June, July and thereafter.
Good luck.
Thank you very much - we're still waiting to get vaccinated - but, there is hope we'll be able to get vaccinated before we leave the US around the middle of April. Likewise, we're optimistically hoping things will open up as the season progresses.
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Old 08-03-2021, 13:10   #10
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

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Originally Posted by tedowens View Post
In general, France does not allow navigation in their waters right now. You might be able to get away with an in-transit stop to refuel. You would probably need to go to a port of refuge (these can be found on noonsite.com). We were departing France last November and they hailed us, based on AIS, and asked if we had official permission to navigate. I told them that we were a foreign registered boat leaving the country and therefore we were not required to get permission. They said okay, but they would be watching our progress. The first lesson is to turn off your AIS broadcast.

Greece also does not allow any navigation in their waters. I think that you could navigate through their waters as long as you don't stop, but I have read comments on Facebook about having to get navigation permission in order to navigate when leaving. If you decide to take the southern route, the last that I checked Tunisia is very tight also. However, I have heard that the rules are not always enforced. Again, check noonsite for up to date information.
Your referral to noonsite.com is very appreciated! I'm looking at that now and will follow the information from there, as our departure from USA approaches.
Thank you very much!
Doug
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Old 09-03-2021, 08:15   #11
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Your profile states that you are from Florida, so your first challenge will be in getting to Spain or anywhere in the EU. Then there is the matter of interprovincial travel and finally between countries. A pandemic does not make any of that easy or assured.

Per the US Consulate in Spain:

Due to COVID-19 Spanish travel restrictions, U.S. citizens cannot enter Spain unless they meet very specific requirements or have already obtained special permission from the Government of Spain.  Additionally, U.S. citizens travelling from the United States or certain other countries will need to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and complete a Health Control Form (

Restrictions related to COVID-19 remain in effect throughout Spain and vary widely by region.  U.S. citizens should carefully monitor regional governments’ websites and local press reports for more information.  Ensure you are familiar with local requirements prior to traveling between regions in Spain and remember to follow the instructions of local authorities.  Not doing so could result in fines or arrest. The most common restrictions in Spain include:

A nighttime curfew
Public or private gatherings limited to six people
Limited movement to and from many locations unless it is for a legitimate and essential purpose, such as work, medical reasons, education and training, returning to your residence, taking exams, helping the elderly, minors or disabled people, banking, insurance, legal, or administrative matters, and any emergency or force majeure situations
Limited capacity in religious facilities, funeral homes, shops, restaurants, and bars

Croatia is open to travelers this March but officially closed for tourism from the US and other non EU/EEA/UK nationals.
Quarantine rules in Croatia varies depending on the traveler’s nationality, the country they are traveling from, reason for travel, and COVID-19 PCR test result presented.

Third-country nationals entering Croatia due to business or education reasons are not required to undergo quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result upon arrival. The test must be within 48 hours from the time of taking the swab to arriving at the Croatia border. If the test is older than 48 hours, entry to Croatia is still allowed, however they will be required to quarantine for 14 days and undergo COVID-19 PCR test again at their own expense. The local test cost between $130 to $300 or more, depending on the testing locations in Croatia.

You need a valid U.S. passport to enter Croatia. Croatia requests three months validity on your passport. Croatia is NOT a member of the Schengen area. If you transit a Schengen country en route to Croatia, your passport should have at least six months of validity to avoid difficulties.

The standard entry aspects [pre-Covid] are that you do not need a visa if you hold a valid U.S. passport and are traveling to Croatia for tourism or business for less than 90 days within any rolling 180-day period. This 90 days in any 180 day period, travel restriction is similar to that of the short term visa of the Schengen countries.
For entry and residence requirements in Croatia, please visit the Embassy of Croatia’s website. The U.S. Embassy is not able to expedite or intervene in the issuance of a Croatian residence permit.
Visitors to Croatia must register at a local police station within three days of arrival in country. If you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, this process is generally done on your behalf by the property owner.
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Old 09-03-2021, 09:19   #12
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Doug, a small update from Spain: Yesterday and right now sailboats (Dutch and French) in transit arrived in the rather small port I'm located at. To me it looks as if the sailing season has started.

Overall the boat traffic of the locals picked up too - probably because today is the first nice day in the past weeks. My boat is gently rocking from the wake of the passing boats.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:05   #13
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Your profile states that you are from Florida, so your first challenge will be in getting to Spain or anywhere in the EU. Then there is the matter of interprovincial travel and finally between countries. A pandemic does not make any of that easy or assured.

Per the US Consulate in Spain:

Due to COVID-19 Spanish travel restrictions, U.S. citizens cannot enter Spain unless they meet very specific requirements or have already obtained special permission from the Government of Spain.  Additionally, U.S. citizens travelling from the United States or certain other countries will need to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and complete a Health Control Form (

Restrictions related to COVID-19 remain in effect throughout Spain and vary widely by region.  U.S. citizens should carefully monitor regional governments’ websites and local press reports for more information.  Ensure you are familiar with local requirements prior to traveling between regions in Spain and remember to follow the instructions of local authorities.  Not doing so could result in fines or arrest. The most common restrictions in Spain include:

A nighttime curfew
Public or private gatherings limited to six people
Limited movement to and from many locations unless it is for a legitimate and essential purpose, such as work, medical reasons, education and training, returning to your residence, taking exams, helping the elderly, minors or disabled people, banking, insurance, legal, or administrative matters, and any emergency or force majeure situations
Limited capacity in religious facilities, funeral homes, shops, restaurants, and bars

Croatia is open to travelers this March but officially closed for tourism from the US and other non EU/EEA/UK nationals.
Quarantine rules in Croatia varies depending on the traveler’s nationality, the country they are traveling from, reason for travel, and COVID-19 PCR test result presented.

Third-country nationals entering Croatia due to business or education reasons are not required to undergo quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result upon arrival. The test must be within 48 hours from the time of taking the swab to arriving at the Croatia border. If the test is older than 48 hours, entry to Croatia is still allowed, however they will be required to quarantine for 14 days and undergo COVID-19 PCR test again at their own expense. The local test cost between $130 to $300 or more, depending on the testing locations in Croatia.

You need a valid U.S. passport to enter Croatia. Croatia requests three months validity on your passport. Croatia is NOT a member of the Schengen area. If you transit a Schengen country en route to Croatia, your passport should have at least six months of validity to avoid difficulties.

The standard entry aspects [pre-Covid] are that you do not need a visa if you hold a valid U.S. passport and are traveling to Croatia for tourism or business for less than 90 days within any rolling 180-day period. This 90 days in any 180 day period, travel restriction is similar to that of the short term visa of the Schengen countries.
For entry and residence requirements in Croatia, please visit the Embassy of Croatia’s website. The U.S. Embassy is not able to expedite or intervene in the issuance of a Croatian residence permit.
Visitors to Croatia must register at a local police station within three days of arrival in country. If you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, this process is generally done on your behalf by the property owner.
Thank you very much! Since we are having our boat shipped to Palma, I looked on-line to see the Spanish entry situation for us to fly into Palma to take delivery of our boat. I saw what you have printed, here.

So, I contacted our shipping company to ask them about this and they said they will send me an 'invitation' to Palma to take delivery of our boat and given that, they said we shouldn't have any problems taking delivery.

Then, I started this thread to find out what is REALLY going on over there.
Thank you very much for helping provide that local view of reality!
Doug
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:08   #14
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
Doug, a small update from Spain: Yesterday and right now sailboats (Dutch and French) in transit arrived in the rather small port I'm located at. To me it looks as if the sailing season has started.

Overall the boat traffic of the locals picked up too - probably because today is the first nice day in the past weeks. My boat is gently rocking from the wake of the passing boats.
By 'in transit', do you mean they were being delivered from freighters, or that they were just cruising by you?
That you are seeing more marine traffic is a good sign, indeed!
Thank you very much!
Doug
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:14   #15
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Re: Cruising from Spain to Turkey during this virus?!?!

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Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post
By 'in transit', do you mean they were being delivered from freighters, or that they were just cruising by you?
They are just stopping to take break or wait until the wind changes. No freighter involved, they were sailing on their own. The port is far too small for freighters.

An idea is to check for a few days the ais via vessel-tracker in a big marina close to the place you're interested in. You'll get an idea what is moving these days.
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