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Old 06-02-2020, 20:12   #1
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Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

Hi all,

We're bringing a yacht to the Med this year to compete in some classic yacht regattas. The yacht arrives in Genoa by ship; we race in Italy, Spain including Balearics, and France, then back on the ship in Italy again. We'll be there six months. Unless we like it so much we decide to stay.

Few questions we have, maybe you can help.

- sim cards for phones. Who's a good mob to go with that gives decent coverage from Italy across to Spain? Need a pay as you go type program rather than a long term contract.

- Best cruising guides for this part of the Med? We'll have time between regattas for pottering. Looks like late june/early july we'll be able to visit Corsica and we're hearing Bonifacio down south is a top spot, but what about the rest of it? Can anyone steer us towards any other online cruising info?

- Health insurance. Anyone found a good way into this issue? Are we better sourcing it from back here in Oz or finding a company over there? Appreciate any first-hand reports on this one.

- Accessing cash. Anyone got a relatively pain-free/bank-charges-free way of accessing cash from an Aussie account while over there?

- Anyone come across a good translation app that can get us out of a language-barrier-type moment in a hurry?

- And then there's the jolly old we-need-six-months-in-the-Schengen-area visa issue. I've just read the couple of threads here about it and my heads going round in circles. Crew is mostly Aussies with a couple of our UK friends choppering in. We might just fly to UK for a day, or just ignore the three month thing and cop a spanking on the way out. Real life experience here, anyone?


Thanks all for your thoughts, cheers
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:17   #2
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

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Originally Posted by ocean_groover View Post
Hi all,

We're bringing a yacht to the Med this year to compete in some classic yacht regattas. The yacht arrives in Genoa by ship; we race in Italy, Spain including Balearics, and France, then back on the ship in Italy again. We'll be there six months. Unless we like it so much we decide to stay.

Few questions we have, maybe you can help.

- sim cards for phones. Who's a good mob to go with that gives decent coverage from Italy across to Spain? Need a pay as you go type program rather than a long term contract.

- Best cruising guides for this part of the Med? We'll have time between regattas for pottering. Looks like late june/early july we'll be able to visit Corsica and we're hearing Bonifacio down south is a top spot, but what about the rest of it? Can anyone steer us towards any other online cruising info?

- Health insurance. Anyone found a good way into this issue? Are we better sourcing it from back here in Oz or finding a company over there? Appreciate any first-hand reports on this one.

- Accessing cash. Anyone got a relatively pain-free/bank-charges-free way of accessing cash from an Aussie account while over there?

- Anyone come across a good translation app that can get us out of a language-barrier-type moment in a hurry?

- And then there's the jolly old we-need-six-months-in-the-Schengen-area visa issue. I've just read the couple of threads here about it and my heads going round in circles. Crew is mostly Aussies with a couple of our UK friends choppering in. We might just fly to UK for a day, or just ignore the three month thing and cop a spanking on the way out. Real life experience here, anyone?


Thanks all for your thoughts, cheers
Good questions

Be aware that Australians seem to have certain privileges in Spain , visas.. you should clarify this

The classic gang is a special breed. You must inquire with this gang concerning the best way to plan your cruise and regatta schedules

As a yacht captain I’ve always used AXA ppp healthcare in Europe

Pay as you go tel chips are wildly available , they all seem to have defects when roaming
Several companies are offering specialized SIM cards for seaman

https://e3s.com/new-e3-mediterranean-data-roaming-sim-covering-40-countries/



I have a permanent contract so I can’t comment on these chips
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:22   #3
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

Hi ocean_groover
I use “Orange holiday prepaid”, €20 for 2 weeks calls and 5gb data, easy online recharge. It might not be the best but it works for all of Europe and it suits me. I use my Qantas card everywhere. I religiously follow the 3 month rule but am considering a “visa D” on the advice of an immigration officer on my last visit. Australians are eligible.
“Reverso” is a good translating app.
Hope you do well with the racing.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:42   #4
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

And something to consider

When you use your credit card on the internet in Europe , before the transaction can be completed you receive a text message with confirmation code

This can be an insurmountable problem if you don’t have a local phone number and have updated your card details with this number
Ask your bank
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:58   #5
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

I am working through these very issues, but coming from the US. I will be over for about 6 months this summer and will be going with Google FI. Not sure if it is available in AUS. Your phone will work in both US and EUR so no new number.

If you can set up a Charles Schwab account, they have refund you any ATM fees and no FX fees. Check on Shengen rules, you can only be in a Shengen country 90 days out of any 180 day period. Croatia is currently not in Shengen, but will be after this year from what I hear.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:14   #6
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

For local piloting look for books by Rod Heikell.
You may want to enter Imray site (google it) and find books from different sources for areas that are not covered by R.H (if his books covers the area you want, he is your 1st choice)
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:16   #7
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

In Italy buy a SIM from Iliad. For 8EU you get 12GB data and unlimited call + 4GB anywhere roaming in EU.

I found 'Transferwise' the very best, cheapest, easiest way to move money around the world.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:17   #8
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

As to cash, I found that drawing cash from an ATM using international credit card is the simplest. On the other hand, as you plan to pass most of your time in the EC, you may consider bringing basic amount of € with you.
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Old 07-02-2020, 14:12   #9
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

Hey thanks all, that's great info cheers
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Old 07-02-2020, 14:43   #10
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

In OG,
1. Buy a prepaid SIM from Vodaphone in Italy or Spain. I Have Never Heart of A Special SIM for seaman ? Several years the offers will change. Ist can be a one Month or 2 Month validity with various GB‘s. Italy is More expensive than france or Spain.
2. Health insurance will be difficult to Boating LocalLy for a couple of months. So organize ist from your base in AUS.
3. 90 days Visa for yourself or AUS Crew. I am not surfe, but anyhow you Must also leave the EU for also 1 Night and come back. But the total period is restricted. Look in the CF for More specific Information. For the vessel no Problem. This May stay for 18 months in the EU with a so called Transit log. Obtain is at customs at Arrival in Italy. Have ist Stamped in all Main ports. After 18 months the vessel have to Go out of the EU with the vessel. F.i. Morocco, Tunesia May be also Gibraltar. Only for minimal 1 Night. Then Return to the EU and obtain another new issued Transit log.
4. Credit Card. That depends on your Credit Card conditions with your own local Bank. Opening a Bank Account without having a local Adress in the EU und will be very difficult or impossible.
5. Pilots: as indicated Chose harbour Books from Rod Heikell, Ports in Italy Boy LAMMA, or Pilot Book and Ports from IMRAY- often nearly identical to Heikell. The Heikell Books are very Heavy though and impractical to handle. Also in all bigger Ports and Marinas you can Bus various Pilot Books of your Choice.

Good luck and enjoy
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Old 07-02-2020, 14:47   #11
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

The Schengen visa is a short stay visa and takes the form of a sticker affixed to the travel document. The definition of “short stay” is a stay of "90 days in any 180 days period". This means that the total duration of stay is of maximum 90 days, in any period of 180 days.

If you desire to stay for more than 90 days in any 180 day period of time you need to pursue non-short stay visas. Get on to doing that NOW, else you are going to be time limited. You likely will need multiple visas if you are transiting several countries. Seek professional guidance. Talk to your Consulate Generals in the countries you are planning to enter.

The UK is presently in a transition state of its Brexiting, I am not sure that going to UK to wait for your 180 day period to reset will suffice.

Be sure to follow the Schengen stay rules, else if you get caught which is quite likely you will find it very hard to ever return. You and your mates will be on the Naughty List and will have to pursue visas and can be deported and also fined.

As to Aussie language translators apps, I have yet to find one that will recognize or translate Australian Speech to say English language or American / Yankee. Perchance do any of your mates, speak English, perhaps they could be your go to translator when you get to Europe.
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Old 07-02-2020, 15:00   #12
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

Make sure each of your Aussie Passports have adequate time before their expiration.

They need to have at least 6 months validity after your first day of entry into a Schengen country. Best if all of your passports have say at least a year before expiration so as for this to not become an issue.

Get new passports far ahead of time so that you can pursue longer stay visas with each of the countries that you need. Again start that process now. You will not get a longer stay visa if your passport is expiring within the time of visa you are requesting.
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Old 07-02-2020, 15:33   #13
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

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I found 'Transferwise' the very best, cheapest, easiest way to move money around the world.
I'd agree that TrasferWise are very good if you have a foreign bank account you can transfer into. Have you found a way of receiving cash without a recipient account?

For areas where i have no bank account i just pay for everything i can with a Travel Debit Card (no fees) and use the same card to withdraw cash where it's the only option. No Commonwealth Bank fees and minimal issuing ATM fees. Just check which local ATMs can issue the most per withdrawl to minimize the fees as a % of the amount you received. You may also have to have your bank increase your daily withdrawl limit.

Note that Debit Card FX rates are Retail vs Institutional for TrasnsferWise so TW is much cheaper if you can make use of it esp for any major purchases.
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Old 07-02-2020, 16:02   #14
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

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Originally Posted by ocean_groover View Post
Hi all,

We're bringing a yacht to the Med this year to compete in some classic yacht regattas. The yacht arrives in Genoa by ship; we race in Italy, Spain including Balearics, and France, then back on the ship in Italy again. We'll be there six months. Unless we like it so much we decide to stay.

Few questions we have, maybe you can help.


- And then there's the jolly old we-need-six-months-in-the-Schengen-area visa issue. I've just read the couple of threads here about it and my heads going round in circles. Crew is mostly Aussies with a couple of our UK friends choppering in. We might just fly to UK for a day, or just ignore the three month thing and cop a spanking on the way out. Real life experience here, anyone?


Thanks all for your thoughts, cheers
If you intend to stay more than 90 cumulative days in any 180 day period within the entire territory that consists of all the Schengen countries, you are going to need to get long stay visa for each of the countries you intend to enter in the Schengen.

You have indicated that your travel is six months; you will only be able to stay for a total of 90 days. Then you have to leave and can't return within the 180 day period. Staying 90 days and then bouncing out for day say to the UK and then returning does not restart a new 180 day period. You will have had to wait to the end of the six month period and then you can reenter on a short stay visa.

Pursue long stay visas and hope the relevant countries will issue you one, else plan for just 90 days and depart and comeback 3 months later.

Also be sure to check out when you depart each country aboard your ship before proceeding to sail to your next country. Check in to immigration and check out of immigration. Cruisers sometimes forget to check out and guess what the clock doesn't stop ticking on the Schengen 90 day limit so when they try to reenter their entry can be denied.

You likely will need to have purchased your return flight tickets upon entry so as to show your departure date in order to get the short stay or the long stay visa.

They are glad to see you come but want to know you will go.
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Old 07-02-2020, 18:52   #15
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Re: Aussies bringing yacht to Med needing advice/local knowledge

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I'd agree that TrasferWise are very good if you have a foreign bank account you can transfer into. Have you found a way of receiving cash without a recipient account?
True, earlier on, you needed to transfer into an a/c with an IBAN (friend/family/retailer), but now they issue a Platinum Debit Mastercard that you can use for payments and withdrawals and the rates are MUCH cheaper than any bank.
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