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Corporate Event Ideas and Options

With Luxury yacht charters, once you have decided to charter your vessel, she is yours to use as you wish for the day, in consultation with your skipper. That is of course the beauty of chartering your own vessel.

However making the most of your day means considering what you want out of the day; what type of activity appeals most and how much time you plan to spend at points along your chosen route.

In addition we have provided some sample itineraries as an indication of the best way to put your itinerary together.

What factors might influence the planning of your day

What kind of weather is likely on the day of your charter?

Whilst perfect weather can never be guaranteed, the degree to which fine, hot, sunny weather is likely can influence your planning. Whilst in the height of summer good weather might be almost certain, in the spring or the autumn it may be best to assume a pleasant but not overly hot day. (Should the weather deteriorate on the day, your itinerary can always be re-planned on the spot with your skipper of course).

In general if hot weather is fairly certain, you may want to plan for a greater proportion of your time to be spent at anchor in one of the bays along the Solent, relaxing on board, sipping drinks on the fly-bridge, lounging and sunbathing on the sun-beds aboard the yacht, listening to the lapping of the water or swimming idly from the stern. Conversely if hot weather is unlikely then a greater proportion of your time may be spent ashore, walking around the villages and ports of the area. If inclement weather is likely then the best course might be to spend a greater proportion of your time ashore in a local restaurant or pub, sailing when the weather allows.

Decide then, more time lazing aboard or more time moored in a harbour and time ashore?

Have the members of your party had much experience of sailing and are they seemingly good sailors?

If all aboard are used to sailing and if your guests have indicated they are not troubled by the motion of the vessel, then your day might include more time spent in open waters, and the likelihood of some choppy water should not deter your plans. If, however, several of them are trying sailing for the first time, or are nervous of choppy conditions it may be best to keep to sheltered waters along Southampton Water or the Solent. Planning your itinerary so that all your guests are comfortable with the likely conditions is a key factor in putting a successful day together.

Will the majority of your guests want to spend a lot of time sailing, as opposed to lazing at anchor or moored in a harbour with time to explore?

Many people enjoy the exhilaration of cruising; being on the move, the breeze in their hair, watching the wake thrown out behind the vessel as she cuts through the water, But others enjoy this pure pleasure for only a short time and prefer to use the yacht as a means of transport to reach a picturesque harbour, or as a home fro the day on which to lounge and sunbathe. Planning the right amount of time on the move and balancing it with enough time anchored or moored up can be the key to getting your day just right.

Will your guests want to spend time in a bustling lively atmosphere or use the day to spend time away from the crowds at anchor in a quiet bay or river?

Wandering through the bustle and buzz of some of the major towns and ports of the Solent area may appeal to your guest s. Or they may be envisaging a day away from the crowds, your day spent in the peaceful quiet of a secluded bay or river. Plan this aspect carefully and they will remember the day as fulfilling their own fantasies.

Finally, to sum up, is this going to be a day of trying to pack in a lot; or a day of indolent ease passed at a slow pace with little or no rushing about?

The commonest mistake our guests make when planning their day is to try to pack in too much, so the timetable seems to control the day. The temptation to visit three different harbours, fit in a quick swim-stop, sail quickly up a river and then and sail around as much of the Solent area as possible can lead to a rushed and overly hectic day. The less you try to fit in, the more your guests will relax and go with the flow, feeling that a leisurely day of luxury has passed at a lazy pace, allowing relaxation to be the key to the day.

What should we include in our day?

The charter cost will include the yacht, and her crew, with coffee or tea and pastries on arrival at the yacht. What else you want us to provide depends on your wishes.

Should you plan a simple informal day then the above might be all you require from us.

Sooner or later, however, your guests are going to want lunch. Guests prefer to eat ashore as it provides a focus for a visit to one of your harbour stays. You may prefer to let people buy their own lunch, at either a pub or a good restaurant – your skipper can advise you on the choices available. Or you may prefer to include their lunch on the day; you can either by settle the bill yourself or alternatively you can ask us to pre-book a particular restaurant, agree a menu with you and take care of the payment for you, settling the cost with you as part of your charter cost.

Your guest will want to sip a drink or two during the day. You may choose to bring your own alcohol and leave it with the hostess (on the Squadron) or the skipper (on the Superhawk) who will serve drinks as required. Or you can ask us to provide drinks, to an agreed amount and pre-pay this as part of your charter cost.

Once you have booked your day of luxury, we can tailor the food and drink arrangements to suit your preference.

Places to visit in and around the Solent area

Our look at the points of interest that you may want to include in your day will take up down Southampton water, west along the north shore of the Solent until the western end of the Isle of Wight and then back along the coast of the Isle Of Wight to Cowes at the Eastern end of the Solent, From there we look at the Eastern side oft the Isle of Wight, across to Portsmouth harbour and east to Chichester Harbour. All the places mentioned are within about a one to two hour sail from Southampton.

A map to hand will enhance the planning of this aspect of your day.

The Hamble

The home of yachting, the Hamble is worth a visit, to see the bustle of the yachting world. Hundreds of yachts lie at anchor along the river, and Hamble village itself is worth a wander with its many pubs and restaurants. The Hamble is worth a visit if you do not want to sail very far, or the weather is inclement and your guest s not used to sailing.

Beaulieu River

At the Eastern end of the Solent lies the entrance to the Beaulieu River. The winding channel leads into a waterway, with views across the Solent to the Isle Of Wight and plentiful buoys offering the chance to tie up and spend a lazy hour or two sunbathing or swimming. Further upriver is Bucklers Hard, a small village worth exploring for an hour or so. It is possible to tie up here and walk into the village of Beaulieu , a picturesque village with several places to eat or drink.

Lymington

Making our way up the winding channel that leads to the port of Lymington, passing two Marinas will bring us to Town Quay. As space is restricted at the Quay, however we usually tie up at one of the Marinas and make our way on foot for ten minutes into town. Away from the river, usually lined with yachts, the streets of the old town of Lymington offer the chance to shop, eat at several excellent restaurants or take a drink at one of a number of pubs, one of which is right on Town Quay.. The town is a gateway to the New Forest but is worth an exploratory ramble in its own right.

Hurst Castle and the Needles

Hurst Castle guards the western end of the Solent. We cannot land here, but sailing past the Castle brings us out into more open water and on our port side after a few minutes sail are the Needles, the dramatic rock outcrops that are a feature of the western end of the Isle of Wight. We can spend a little while cruising to the west and south of the Needles, with the chance for some close-up views of these dramatic rocky outcrops.

Alum Bay

Immediately to the East of the Needles is Alum Bay. An ideal place to anchor, the bay offers the chance to swim from the yacht, or just to lounge on deck against a backdrop of the towering cliffs which line the bay. Landing is possible, using the vessel's tender, but a steep climb awaits those who decide to venture ashore.

Yarmouth

Yarmouth is arguably the most picturesque harbour on the Isle of Wight. The streets of this small seaport offer a selection of pubs and restaurants perfect or a lunch time visit. The harbour at Yarmouth is quite small and can be swiftly filled with craft, so we may tie up within the port itself, or pick up a buoy just outside the harbour entrance and use the yacht tender or a water taxi to go ashore. In the height of summer Yarmouth is always a busy and bustling stopover that has lost none of its charm despite its popularity.

Newtown Bay

To the east of Yarmouth is the narrow entrance to Newtown Bay. Once inside the Bay we can anchor in the shallows and swim from the yacht, take the tender to the shore for a wander, or watch the prolific bird-life of this protected area. A longer stay here will allow time for a walk inland to Shalfleet and an excellent pub offering a leisurely lunch. Our Squadron will most probably anchor outside the Bay at most states of the tide, using the tender to explore the bay, but our Superhawk can anchor or pick up a buoy in the bay itself, the prelude to a lazy afternoon.

Cowes

Lying on both sides of the River Medina, Cowes is of course, along with the Hamble River, the centre of the yachting world on the south coast. Although quite crowded in the height of summer, or whenever a yachting event is taking place, the town has lost little of its charm and a wander through the centre of town reveals a number of pubs, restaurants and shops, many of which are devoted to the world of sailing. Cowes is an ideal stopover for a leisurely lunch, perhaps at the Yacht club overlooking the Solent. We can berth on the bustling Western side of the river, or the quieter eastern shore, or just cruise upriver for a while, watching life on the river before heading elsewhere.

Osborne Bay

A short sail to the east of Cowes is Osborne Bay. Whilst not so obviously an indented, cliff-lined bay as is Alum Bay to the west, Osborne Bay is easily reached as part of a shorter cruise, and, lying adjacent to an area where many a yacht race takes place in the season, can provide spectacular views of sailing at its finest. Above the bay lies Osborne House, below lies a beach which can be reached in minutes by tender. A chance here to swim from the stern of your yacht or laze on deck and watch the world go by.

Seaview

A small, and relatively quiet, town to the east of Ryde at the eastern end of the Isle of Wight, and overlooking the waters and the Forts south of Portsmouth, Seaview has no port. However a stop here is possible by picking up one of the buoys just off-shore, and going ashore using the local water-taxis. Lunch at one of the seafront restaurants allows time to drink in the views across to the mainland,

Bembridge

On the eastern shore of the Isle of Wight lies the small port of Bembridge. The approach to Bembridge by sea is via a narrow and twisting channel, with entry restricted at some stages of the tide. Once inside the harbour bar and tied up at the pontoon there is the option of a walk to a beachfront restaurant with views across the water to Portsmouth, or for the more ambitious a longer walk up to the village of Bembridge itself. There are several pubs and restaurants, but the lengthy walk or the need to take a taxi the few miles into town mean a lengthy stay is advisable to make the most of the area around the port. Our Superhawk can take you into the waters of Bembridge.

Chichester Harbour

Heading across to the mainland from the eastern shores of the Isle of Wight, and passing the entrance to Langstone Harbour brings us to the most easterly area of interest before Selsey Bill. Chichester Harbour is a vast expanse of water popular with sailing craft throughout the summer months. The Western arm of the harbour, leading up to Emsworth is ahead as we cross the harbour bar, whilst bearing to starboard will lead via a marked channel to the village of Itchenor and on to Chichester Marina. For many visitors, however, the prospect of anchoring in the shallows immediately to the east of the harbour entrance is the big draw. A lazy afternoon can be spent here, swimming in the shallows, heading for the beach, or just lazing on the deck of your yacht drinking in the sun and the scenery.

Portsmouth

The largest town in the Solent area, apart from Southampton, Portsmouth is a large bustling port. Indeed the main marked channel leading into Portsmouth harbour is deceptive, as once inside the entrance there are choices to be made. On the western shore are two marinas at Gosport; tying up here allows an exploration of this maritime centre, with several pubs and restaurants to choose from. Across the water, on the eastern shore is Portsmouth itself with the shops and restaurants of Gunwharf Quay, the stylish new waterside complex; ideal for a little retail therapy. Continuing past the naval installations of this major Royal Navy port it is possible to follow the marked channel and sail up as far as Port Solent, where the marina is lined with a choice of restaurants and shops that make for a long lazy lunch-stop.

From Southampton water, east along the Solent to the Needles, then west along the shore of the Isle Of Wight, sweeping eastwards to Chichester Harbour before circling back to Portsmouth harbour and then back to Southampton. This is the cruising area we know best and, depending on your interests and wishes there are a number of different itineraries for your consideration.

Should you wish to sail further east, towards Brighton, or further west, towards Poole and Weymouth there are many more choices to be made, but for a day charter from Southampton the above are perhaps the key ingredients of a leisurely and luxurious day afloat.

 

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