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5 amazing boat trips to take with friends

Satori

For a truly restorative experience, take to the high seas and enjoy the freedom of these nautical adventures. By CATHERINE FAIRWEATHER

Lifestyle
GREEK ODYSSEY
Take the Odyssey around Cephalonia’s coves, discover turtles around the reef or simply sunbathe on deck

ODYSSEY Peligoni Club, Greece

The Peligoni Club, founded by yachties, started life as a watersports center 30 years ago. Now, under the glamorous Peligoni umbrella, it is also a famously chic and relaxed villa-rental company, a chilled-out music festival (book The House Party in September), a club and social network, an unofficial kids’ and teenage summer camp, and an adventure outfitter. As ever, the sea remains at the heart and soul of the place, with everything taking place in, around and on the milky turquoise waters of the Ionian Mediterranean. The best way to explore is on The Peligoni Club’s beautiful, bespoke, 55ft wooden Cacique-style yacht, Odyssey; built in the Peloponnese in the early ’70s, it’s a sun- and sea-battered pirate ship, immaculately kitted out in simple yet chic and authentic island aesthetic. With a crew of two, it’s perfect for day trips to neighboring Cephalonia, where the beaches are whiter than Colgate, or for expeditions to scout for turtles in Keri, dropping anchor at adrenaline-inducing dive-rocks. Come afternoon, when the Meltemi winds invariably whip up, the sails are raised and it’s an exhilarating skim across the straits back to base camp. Or fall asleep afloat, making your bed on deck under balmy Mediterranean midnight skies. peligoni.com

WHAT TO PACK

4 items

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WELL EQUIPPED
A Michelin-starred chef, spa facilities and a range of water sports are available onboard the Satori

SATORI Italy and France

The genoa is hoisted, catching the wind to form a soaring parabola, and the Satori sets sail – silent as a painted ship upon a painted ocean, her lines sleek like a 1920s schooner, contoured entirely from mahogany. Exquisitely elegant and spacious, with all the comforts of a superyacht and with the facilities of a hotel (the legendary Borgo Santo Pietro in Tuscany is her big sister), this is a sailing yacht like no other. Privacy is key, from the two wheel-houses – placed so the captain can neither see nor overhear guests – to separate entrances for the crew and an outside dining area set midship to shield guests from prying eyes in harbor. The food on board is one of Satori’s joys, with Tuscan wines from the yacht’s own cellar. When not sailing, there is a panoply of toys to be enjoyed – from 007-style seabobs and competition jet skis to kayaks and waterskis. And after dinner – followed, perhaps, by a movie at the open-air cinema – there are five spacious en-suite cabins to retire to (with marble bathrooms and powerful showers, along with a ground-breaking new line of skin products, Seed to Skin). satoriyacht.com Teresa Levonian Cole

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NORTH STARS
Formerly a Norwegian research boat, M/V Kinfish now takes passengers exploring through the incredible Svalbard archipelago

M/V KINFISH Svalbard Archipelago

The heart of the vintage icebreaker MV Kinfish is the bridge, where binoculars and rugs are to hand for polar-bear spotting. Sometimes they are no bigger than a pixelated smudge on the white horizon, and sometimes they take your breath away, as you heave out of your berth at the ludicrous hour of 3am (and the sun is still up) to see a mother strolling casually by with her cub, or a young adult playing with a ball of seaweed off an ice float. This is a comfortable and intimate ship with incredible crew and food, cruising through the fast ice and metallic seas of the Arctic around the Svalbard archipelago from late spring to late summer. Cruises of just over a week offer guests a unique and unforgettable perspective on this most compelling and fragile of landscapes and its indigenous wildlife – polar bear, reindeer, seal, walrus and vast colonies of birds. naturalworldsafaris.com

WHAT TO PACK

3 items

SAIL LANKA Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s last frontier is the Jaffna Peninsula, best accessed by boat. The shimmering, flat watery expanses are punctuated by the statuesque verticals of palmyra palms, Hindu temples and fishing posts. Fishermen wade waist-deep, throwing their circular nets above their heads like lassos. Beyond the fascinating melting-pot city of Jaffna itself and its restless lagoons extends a string of often-uninhabited islands, frozen in time; mysterious coral outcrops and outposts only accessible by ferry boat or, more likely, private yacht charter. Sail Lanka, better known for its day-tripping cruises around Galle and the south coast, charters generously decked catamarans large enough for eight and nimble enough to moor up against deserted beaches to explore the islands. Hire a tuk-tuk to uncover roadside shacks selling lobster – back on board, your chef will turn them into the best curry you’ve ever eaten. Book through experiencetravelgroup.com

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SET SAIL
Discover Sri Lanka’s stunning coastline and pristine beaches aboard one of Sail Lanka’s luxury yachts
INTO THE BLUE
Take to the water in a kayak or skiff to experience a rarely-seen side of the Rio San Juan in Nicaragua

LUNA DEL RIO El Castillo, Nicaragua

The only way to get to the charming El Castillo – a forgotten 17th-century outpost on the mighty Rio San Juan of Nicaragua – is by boat on the main artery connecting the Caribbean’s Mosquito Coast to Lake Nicaragua. A skiff or kayak rented harborside is also the only way to access one of the biggest protected lowland rainforests in the southern hemisphere, the Indio Maíz. To kayak or picnic up the Río Bartola, a tributary bordering the Indio Maíz, for the day; to float on your back with the current, watching green parrots flit between the dangling lianas, howler monkeys screeching overhead, is something that stays with you long after you shake the sound of river from your brain. You stop for beers and beans downstream, in a hammock-garlanded river staging post, proving that often the simplest pleasures feel like the truest luxury. reallatinamerica.com

WHAT TO PACK

4 items