Who’s a Good "Buoy?" 7 Sailing Trips to Take With Fido

Posted by Billy Francis

This article was updated in August 2020.

Sailing trips have an old-school charm that appeals to the explorer in all of us. The creak of the mast, snap of the sail in the wind and serenity of being at sea makes it an experience the whole family can enjoy. Fortunately, captains from the Old World and the New have begun to realize that our families include our beloved salty sea dogs! Cast off on these seven pet-friendly sailing tours that welcome Fido aboard.

Dog Gone Sailing Charters

Provincetown, MA
Ready for a day of sailing. Photo by Dog Gone Sailing Charters

Climb aboard the Moondance II with Captain Ro and her pup, Mini Mate. Sailing from the northernmost tip of Cape Cod, Dog Gone Sailing Charters’ most popular adventure is a two-hour voyage at sunrise or sunset to Long Point, the site of the original Provincetown settlement. If that doesn’t float your boat, join a 90-minute shrimping sail toward Truro or around the bay. Cruises are $45 per person and charters begin at $325. Fido can join you and up to six friends on any chartered tour for no extra fee. Dogs must be leashed and wearing a life jacket, which are supplied on deck.

There's no need to wave goodbye to the water when you finish sailing. Surfside Hotel and Suites has its own private beach that overlooks the ocean and an outdoor fire pit. While you're in the area, don’t miss a trip to Pilgrim Bark Park, a uniquely designed off-leash play area.

St. Augustine Eco Tours

St. Augustine, FL
Dogs overboard! Photo by Facebook.com/StAugustineEcoTours

St. Augustine Eco Tours offers dog-friendly sailing trips on a 27-foot catamaran. The two-hour tour takes you through a beautiful estuary teeming with local marine life including turtles, manatees and dolphins. Passengers are welcome to help work the sails if conditions are suitable. If you prefer to relax, the catamaran is equipped with a trampoline for lying atop the ocean waves. Rates per person start at $50 for adults, $35 for kids ages 3-12, and $15 for infants under 2. Pups sail for free. Private tours for up to six guests and their furry friends are also available for $275.

Sleep off a long day of paddling atSt Francis Inn. Four-legged guests receive treats, water, and bowls at check-in, and there is a pet relief area on the property.

Hamble Point Yacht Charters

Southampton, UK
Bring your canine companion along on a charter. Photo by Facebook.com/Hamblepointcharter

Located on the Solent, the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England, Hamble Point Yacht Charters is a pet-friendly option for those wanting to explore the varied cliffs and beaches of Britain’s coastline. They offer a range of yachts that vary in size and price. Experienced sailors can charter their own boat and steer it around the area with dogs on deck to help out. If you don’t want to take to the water alone, a skipper can be hired along with the ship rental. Your captain can oversee you as you sail, assign duties for all on board, or take care of the sailing while you sit back and relax with your dog. Rates start at £460 for a single day bareboat charter. There’s an additional fee for a skippered charter. Dogs sail for free.

Novotel Southampton is a nice base for your southern adventures in this historic port city.

Downeast Windjammer Cruise Lines

Bar Harbor, ME
Pro tip: don’t get your hair done before a Windjammer cruise. Photo by Facebook.com/DowneastWindjammer

Windjammers were used to carry cargo for long distances in the 19th and 20th centuries. These days, you and your pooch can climb aboard one and enjoy the sights of Bar Harbor on a journey with Downeast Windjammer Cruise Lines. You can work on your sailing skills or kick back and relax on one of the company’s four cruises. The Morning Sail lasts 90 minutes to two hours and offers lovely views of Acadia National Park from the sea; the Afternoon Sail is a little more fast-paced due to the windy weather; and the two Sunset Sails, the most popular cruises, often include live folk music from fiddlers and banjo players. Rates start at $42 per person, and Fido sails for free. Check with the captain before bringing your dog on board.

Drop Fido's anchor at the centrally located Anchorage Motel, which offers affordable lodgings just minutes from downtown Bar Harbor.

Blue Water Sailing

Athens, GR
You have to dress to impress on the high seas. Photo by Facebook.com/BlueWaterSailingAdventures

The warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea gently lap the shores of Greece, widely considered one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Blue Water Sailing is a family owned and operated company that offers skippered sailing charters from Athens. Their pet-friendly cruises include Sail & Trek, Honeymoon Sailing, Sightseeing, Archaeology, and Sail & Dive. Some cruises will take you on visits to islands and off-shore excursions like historic tours (in English) of local castles and landmarks. Be sure to keep eyes your trained on the crystal-clear waters for dolphins zipping by.

Rental rates including the skipper range from just over 1,000 EUR for one day to 15,620 EUR for three weeks during peak season. Only dogs that are small enough to be carried on and off the boat can join you on the tour. Fido can’t be left unattended on the ship. Nails should be clipped prior to departure and his general health should be sound.

When you're back on dry land, check in at Porto Evia Mare Boutique Hotel in Amarynthos. This pet-friendly property overlooks the Cretan waters.

Hawaii Sailing Adventures

Kapaa, HI
Hanging out at sea. Photo by Facebook.com/hawaiisailing

Explore the birthplace of surfing on a private catamaran or sailboat with your dog. Hawaii Sailing Adventures offers luxury boat and yacht charters that cruise around Maui, Kauai, Honolulu, the Big Island and other destinations in the Aloha State. Plan your own trip to white-sand beaches, surfing hotspots and tropical nirvanas with your leashed pooch; encounter marine life including dolphins, whales, turtles and manta rays; or sail all the way to Honolulu to rent a pet-friendly SUP with your pup at Ohana Surf Project. Charter fees vary depending on the duration of your trip. Canines sail for free.

Has Fido ever wanted to try his paw at the growing craze of living in a van? Kauai Van Life gives you the chance to explore Kapa'a and the surrounding areas in a tiny home on wheels.

Sail Door County

Sister Bay, WI
Three's company. Photo by @saildoorcounty

Located between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Sail Door County offers pet-friendly tours of historic lighthouses along the Wisconsin coastline and trips into the bay from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The two-hour excursions take you past islands and rocky shoals as you learn more about the local ecology, history of the region, and basics of sailing. Evening tours come with complimentary gorgeous sunset views. Up to 23 guests and their furry friends can set sail in the 18th century-inspired Edith M. Becker schooner, where sails are manually raised by the crew. You can also opt for the smaller Passage North trip, a classic sailboat ride for up to six two- and four-legged guests. Rates start at $49 for adults, and $39 for kids ages up to 12. Private charters for up to six guests and their pups are also available starting at $285. Dogs sail for free.

Anglers will love Starling Cottage. This cute spot has access to a creek and is just minutes from downtown.

The world’s your oyster when you embark on a sailing adventure with your best friend. Have you set sail with Fido? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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