AEGEAN CARGO SAILING
Locally Made Products
From Greek Islands
Locally Made Products
From Greek Islands
SAIL MED promotes wind energy innovations in clean shipping. We also aim to enhance local economic developments, small-scale farming, food security, health, and education. We also offer weekly sailing adventures for eco-minded travelers that want to be part of our crew. SAIL MED is based on the need to eliminate pollution from fuel for maritime transport. It is part of the international SAIL TRANSPORT NETWORK program organized by the non-profit organization GLOBAL VILLAGE.
Ply Ancient Trade Routes with Aegean Cargo Sailing
Aegean Cargo Sailing is the project of the non-profit SAILMED.org that harnesses the wind to sail amongst islands transporting local products in the Aegean and the Mediterranean. In doing so, we are reviving a millennia-old, traditional network of commercial sea-routes, first used by the Phoenicians, the Minoans, the ancient Greeks and more recently by the merchant ship owners “karavokirides” who connected the whole Mediterranean sea. Our mission is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our marine environment and to promote fair, ecological trade.
Following the experience of the international Sailtransportnetwork.org, of which Aegean Cargo Sailing is the brainchild, we are opening paying experience sailing tourism positions in our crew for those who want to travel by sail through history and live the Greek maritime traditions.
About the travel experience
During the voyage, guests will approach unique Aegean islands, travelling back in time, using the power of the wind and plying nearly-forgotten routes, engaging local farms and craftsmen who need to trade their goods within the Aegean.
And, just as unique will be the opportunity to learn and practice how to handle the vessel, lower sails, weigh anchor, and navigate in day time and under the stars, alongside practiced mariners who are there to engage and teach you.
Upon making land, there will be further opportunity to experience the local culture –by loading, unloading and completing deliveries to those who live and work on the island, to taste and inquire as to how local products are made. Additionally, there will be organised time, two days on most islands, to explore the fantastic Aegean biodiversity, visit archaeological sites, walk on ancient trails and experience authentic Greek hospitality, far away from mass-produced commercial tourism.
All on-shore excursions will be guided and all meals will be locally prepared and cooked with organic ingredients. On-board supplies will be locally sourced as well.
Making a difference
As much as you will enjoy this unique learning-by-doing experience, you will also make an important difference to others. This project will support entrepreneurs and local farmers and craftsmen, who often deliver tremendous custom-made value in relative obscurity, away from the postcard-curated mass-markets. Additionally, the goods that will travel by sail via Aegean Cargo Sailing will be largely (if not exclusively) organic. Finally, fossil fuels will not be used, making this zero-emission transport (other than as required by law for safe port approaches. We plan to convert to electric propulsion as time and available investment allows).
Upcoming journeys commence on 4 May 2019 and 6 July 2019, subject to moderate one to three day delays due to unfavorable weather.
Further points for your consideration include:
- sailing experience is not required;
- the journey is limited to no more than four passengers (in a vessel designed for a total of ten);
- products to be transported are honey, wine, olive oil, soap, dried fruits, aromatic plants, cheese, mastiha, fish (dried, cured, etc.), fruit jams, natural sponges and the like;
-The vessel is AVRORA, type GIB SEA 43 (more info) and other sailboats, used are equivalent.
- the voyage includes 18 islands divided in segments, passengers may participate in part or all of the voyage;
- travel insurance is highly recommended (with a preferred vendor offering a 10% discount available upon securing your berth with us).
Cost includes sailing, accommodation on board, meals on board and/or at the producers’ facilities, guided island tours, life jackets and bedding (no towels). Value added tax (24%) is not included, nor are transfers to/from the points of embarkation/disembarkation.
Why Shipping? The shipping industry is terribly outdated in its dirty emissions and scary dependency on fossil fuels. The world’s 90,000 oil-burning ships contribute to climate change, harm marine environments and kill at least 60,000 people a year from toxic emissions. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), CO2 emissions from maritime shipping are projected to increase by 50-250%, if business as usual continues.
The ancient Greek civilisation was highly dependent on sailing transport. In Greece, we aim to demonstrate that it is possible today to ply traditional and new sailing routes in the Aegean for exchanges between islands and ports of mainland Greece. For this purpose members and friends of SAIL MED in June 2017 have sailed on the leisure sailing boat PELAGO to Kea, Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Ikaria, Samos and return to Athens. In the islands, they chose typical products that could be the subject of future trade exchanges and provided symbolic samples to show to local stakeholders, pointing out that they were exclusively transported with wind power (except for port approaches). See our Aegean Cargo Sailing video.
In 2018 we repeated and expanded our voyage, sailing a bigger sponsored sailboat, the AVRORA, in May and June, northwards with the south winds through Kea, Andros, Skiros and the other Sporades islands, to the North Agean islands of Limnos and Lesvos. Then the north winds pushed us to Hios, Psara, Samos, Ikaria, Patmos to the northern Dodecanese and back to the Athens area via Amorgos, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Tinos, Syros and Kea.
If you are interested in participating to any part of our voyage as a volunteer please register in the appropriate section of our website.
For the glory of the Aegean Sea’s history of sailing – that for millennia connected continents for trade and cultural exchange – our crew hopes that practical, valuable skills will be on the rise for clean maritime transport, small-scale farming and healthy local products.