Features: Amusement Parks and Charter Flotillas

By George Otto ~ June 1st, 2014. Filed under: Features.

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by Christine Carpentar

Summer in the South is filled with hot, sunny days, making water and sweet tea key ingredients for cool family plans. And the more, the better! Lucky for me, my dad’s dad instilled a fervent love of boating in our family, and we have many memories of summers spent together on the water. When we weren’t on the boat we’d pack up the car and head to amusement parks. Turkey legs, cotton candy, roller coasters, and favorite movie characters parading down the streets at theme parks beckon the young—or simply the young at heart.

Lucky for boat-loving, adventure-seeking, family-oriented folk, many amusement and water parks have coastal locations, which make for dynamic family cruising destinations. From north to south, set your course this summer toward these amusing parks and ports for a fun, unique vacation your entire family will never forget—or outgrow.

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by Chris Caswell

For some reason, flotilla charters seem to have a stigma attached to them, especially among experienced bareboat charter skippers. “I don’t want to be led through the islands like a string of rubber duckies,” says one sailor. “I want the freedom to run my own boat, sleep late when I want and stop for a snorkel,” says another. “Flotilla charters are just for beginners, and I don’t want to be slowed down,” says the last. Those are three common misunderstandings that have kept flotilla charters from being as popular with North American charterers as they are with Europeans, who embrace flotillas as a great vacation choice.

The very word, flotilla, seems vaguely military and can suggest images of a group of boats being herded along by a mother ship. Nothing could be further from the truth—in fact, many companies now label them “social charters” because that’s really a more accurate term. Here’s an interesting fact: social chartering in Europe is just as popular with experienced charterers as it is with first-timers. You’d think it would be the other way around, but many charterers with years of bareboating return from their first social charter asking, “Why didn’t we do this earlier?”

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