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I love the Whitsundays

The rise of the Aussie Dollar...

Boathaven Resort - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Well the Aussie Dollar is skyrocketing against the greenback, which seems impressive but not necessarily a good thing for the tourism industry.

For Australians, it makes overseas travel way more attractive, and as we have always been an exploring group of people, and this is causing a BOOM in international holiday bookings departing Australia.
For international visitors coming to OZ it makes Australia less attractrive as it is not the "deal" it used to be when the Aussie Dollar hovered around the .70 cent mark.

The backpacker market is feeling this as well, combined with the higher aussie dollar and the state of th UK economy, there is a sharp decrease in backpackers traveling to our region.

So as a hotelier you wonder if Aussies are going overseas and the international market is staying at home, who the heck is going to stay with us?

Well I am very happy that we are in a unique and amazing part of the world called the Whitsundays. Even though tourism will take a hit, and has taken a huge hit with the GFC in the last 24 months, the Whitsundays has stayed above other regions due to the fact that it is a truly beautiful and magical destination, and regardless of the state of the nation, the Whitsundays and it's islands will always draw visitors.  People are looking for something unique, value for money, and great service. The Whitsunday region generally covers all those request.
And since there are less travellers and more resorts, there are some really good deals to stay in the region and even the tour companies are offering specials during certain times of the year so the whole package becomes very well priced and definitly value for money.

So we say AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE...Oi, Oi, Oi  ...and before you decide to go overseas calculate the cost of the flights, the passports, and everything else you need to go to a different country and you may just find the best deal is in your back yard.
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Sailing - Bareboat Vs. Charter

Boathaven Resort - Friday, July 30, 2010
We get a lot of people that choose to stay at Boathaven Spa Resort pre and post sailing tours. so we get a lot of feedback about their experiences. Sailing in the Whitsundays is one of the most amazing things you could do in your life as it is the perfect backdrop for a sailing adventure.  We have calm seas due to the islands and reef system breaking the waves, beautiful scenery, plenty of safe inlets  to moor overnight, and Australian icons such as Whitehaven Beach to visit. So the question should not be "should I go sailing in the Whitsundays" as the answer is a profound yes. The question should be "should I sail myself (bareboat) or go on a crewed sailing adventure".  The answer to that depends on many things.

Bareboat Sailing - there are many options in the Whitsundays to choose from if you want to go sailing on your own with just your friends and family. There are privately owned yachts and small and large companies that have many yachts to choose from. Whitsunday Rent a Yacht and Cumberland Yacht Charters are two very popular mainland bareboat companies and we also have Sunsail based on Hamilton Island.
You do not need to be an experienced sailor to hire a bareboat but I believe to enjoy yourself you should have the basic skills. The Whitsunday region is a relatively safe place to sail as it is quite protected but I believe it's much better and more relaxing for everyone if someone on board has sailed before and has experience. The positives of bareboat sailing is the freedom it allows you to choose what you want to do, what you want to eat, where you want to go, and who you want to hang out with. Most of the boats are kept in excellent condition and have maintenance that can help you if you have any problems during your journey. The negatives would be for some that it is a hands on holiday. It's like camping but on the water in a luxurious environment. You prepare all your own meals, you need to be able to sail the vessel to the correct locations, you clean up after yourself, and your responsible for the yacht at all times. You have to provide your own provisions and if you forget something it's not convenient to restock. Cost wise it is much more expensive than shared crewed sailing but then you don't have the freedoms with the shared crew sailing that you get with bareboat sailing. Most charters are a minimum of 5 days so there is few options for short getaways.

Crewed sailing
- when I refer to crewed sailing I mean shared cabin crewed sailing. You can hire a skipper on a bareboat charter and that is not what we are referring to here. Crewed sailing offers an amazing abundance of styles of tours and types of yachts to choose from. You can have trips from 2 day/1 night all the way to 6 day/ 6 night journeys. There are boats that cater to the adventure sailor, backpacker, luxury with private cabins and bathrooms, divers, and a mix of others. There is a few good crewed sailing companies that depart from the mainland. Prosail - Maxi Yachts caters to the backpacker and adventure market, Explore Whitsundays - has a mix of and yachts with private cabins and Maxi's, or companies that have boats like Whitsunday Magic or Pacific Sunrise which specialize in couples and offer more luxurious surroundings. The positives about crewed sailing is that you can sit back relax and enjoy the scenery or get involved in the sailing if you wish. All your meals are prepared for you and there are crew that can take care of your needs and do most of the cleaning up. It is much less expensive than bareboat because you are only renting a cabin and not the entire boat and you do not have to purchase provisions.The negatives to some may be the lack of privacy, structured itineraries, and food options. (however I have been on a few of the shared charter boats and the food was fabulous on all of them) The biggest negative I believe is that you can't choose who else books the tour. So it's luck of the draw regarding what type of people you may end up spending the next few days  with.

There are a few things you need to consider before going on an overnight sailing adventure around the Whitsunday Islands. Both options are great but some will suit you better than others. The most important piece of advice I can offer you is to stay away from the dodgy operators. If something looks really cheap there is a reason for it. Stick with the bigger operators for the bareboats and make sure your crewed charter boat has the WCBIA logo and tick of approval.

Enjoy your sailing adventure!
Boathaven Spa Resort

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