Dream tips like sailing around the Greek Islands or along the Amalfi Coast are only for the rich and famous, right? Not anymore.
What was once a luxury market is now accessible to many thanks to the “Airbnb of Boating” service: Antlos. The name is an ancient Greek word used in Homer’s Odyssey to describe the motion of the water as Ulysses’ ship sailed the seas. Now, the peer-to-peer service is giving you access to these waters in a way that was never before possible.
Before Antlos, if you wanted to charter a catamaran, sail boat, or yacht, you would have to go through a charter company that would book you on a boat in their fleet with a skipper or captain, all for a pretty hefty fee. Since this was previously just a luxury market, smaller and more affordable boats were harder to come by. More recently, some companies introduced catamarans and sail boats to tap into this market, but they still come with high booking fees through a charter company.
Enter Antlos. Instead of going through a charter company, the peer-to-peer service allows skippers and captains to directly list their boat on the site, and set a price per person per night, which includes the skipper and boat rental (and no, you don’t need to know how to sail or have any type of boating license). It’s important that you read the fine print on each listing as there are also possible additional fees like marina fees, fuel, full board (food for guests and crew), and tipping. Many listings will include a higher per person price option for additional staff like a hostess, chef, or babysitter—which is a nice option, but not a necessity.
Right now the service lists two boat types—sailboat or motorboat—in a variety of locations: Italy, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Many listings are deemed “all inclusive” and there are also options for day, weekend, and weeklong trips. You can also pick either your own boat, a private cabin, or a shared cabin.
While the payment system is very similar to Airbnb—you request to book directly on the site through the listing—Antlos actually lets you split the booking fee between your party (Airbnb, when are you going to get this feature?). And like Airbnb, you can also message and contact the skipper or captain directly before requesting to book.
Sound tempting? Check out antlos.com for yourself.
Disclaimer: I recommend contacting the skipper or captain directly before booking and making sure you are aware of all expenses, as the flat “per person” fee isn’t always going to be accurate if extra fees aren’t included.
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