Bareboat yacht charters in Greece

When you charter a bareboat – a yacht without a hired captain or skipper, which also applies to flotilla sailingyou yourself will act as the skipper and be responsible for both your crew members and your yacht /catamaran.

Since January 2010 the law is more strictly enforced, and the harbour authorities / port police will require at least one International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Bareboat charters (pix)

A national equivalent to the ICC is no longer accepted because national licenses can be converted to ICC – although the RYA certificates are generally recognized. Rarely, a charter company will ask for a second license from one of your crew.
Fortunately, this is not an official requirement, but it is advised to have someone on board with you with the level of “competent crew”. This is also the reason why it is not possibly to rent a bareboat yacht solo: there is a 2 person minimum.

Licenses issued outside Europe such as the American ASA 104 are not accepted any more, yet it is easy to convert an ASA 104 (or higher) certificate into an ICC.

The port police doesn't recognize any paper from a sailing school, a yacht club or any sailing organization, except when it is RYA accredited.
Also note that the various “bareboat licenses” that are issued by (often larger and world-wide operating) yacht charter companies are no longer acknowledged.

Finally, it is no longer possible to sign a contract stating that you are experienced and knowledgeable enough to skipper the yacht.

Kefalonia yacht charters Argostoli.
Sailing bareboat on a charter yacht from Chios to Myconos & Delos. Hi-res image

Bareboat certificates

The level of the British RYA practical day skipper is sufficient, yet an International Certificate of Competence from the RYA is always recommended!

Bareboats Greece (pix)

Likewise the level of the American US Sailing bareboat cruising or ASA bareboat chartering (104) are high enough, but again, converting these into an ICC – or International Proficiency in their lingo – is always recommended;

For Australians, an ICC can be more complicated to obtain.

Same for Canadians → please read background CAN + UN resolution 40, adding an ICC via Intermediate Cruising Standard, ICC via RYA, IYT worldwide ICC.


The sea god Oceanus was believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of an enormous river encircling the world, see… →

Note, that sometimes the Mediterranean port authorities still require two of these sailing licenses – also one for a crew member – but this second license should just be on the level of competent crew or up. If this happens in Greece, one of your crewman can simply sign a form stating that he or she is at competent crew level, even when she/he hasn't got any certification.

Reliable bareboat yacht charter companies will always cover for you in case of an accident.

Please, be aware that bareboat chartering in the Cyclades and Dodecanese can be much more demanding than the Argolic & Saronic Gulf and the Ionian Sea.
Especially the southern Aegean (Paros, Naxos, Amorgos, Melos, Ios island, Santorini, Astypalea) and also Andros, Tinos and Samos areas are rather notorious for their windswept character and even more so when the   Meltemi wreaks havoc.

Have a look at my navigation course and my anchoring & Mediterranean mooring course before considering to sail Greece without a hired skipper.  

Read more articles in my yachting guide.