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 ChartersProvincetown, MA
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. Want to extend your stay in Cape Cod? Check in at the Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s, a collection of four historic buildings surrounding a lovely courtyard. Enjoy the dog-friendly beaches at Herring Cove and Race Point Beach, and don’t miss the nearby Pilgrim Bark Park, a uniquely designed off-leash play area.
Sunrise and sunset cruises are $45 per person and charters begin at $325. Fido can join you and up to six friends on any tour for no extra fee. Dogs must be leashed and wearing a life jacket, which are supplied on deck.
St. Augustine Eco ToursSaint Augustine, FL
St. Augustine Eco Tours offers dog-friendly sailing trips on a 27-foot catamaran. The two-hour tour takes you through a beautiful estuary while your captain teaches you about the turtles, dolphins, manatees and seabirds native to the area. You can get a hands-on education about sailing, too. 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 below. Make a weekend of it with a stay at Bayfront Marin House, located just a block away from the dock. All guest rooms have a private entrance so you and Fido can sneak out for a bathroom break whatever the hour.
St. Augustine Eco Tours is located at 111 Avenida Menendez in St. Augustine, FL. Rates per person start at $50 for adults, $35 for kids ages 3-12, and $15 for infants under 2. Fido sails for free. Private tours for up to six guests and their furry friends are also available for $275.
Charleston Schooner PrideCharleston, SC
Charleston Schooner Pride is an 84-foot classic tall ship docked in Charleston, a historic coastal city whose grand and colorful houses are best seen from the water. Take a day trip or sunset sail with your pooch and exchange the crowded streets for the peaceful waters of Charleston Harbor. Hopefully you both will make some dolphin pals in the water and spot pelicans and gulls soaring above you. Get your paws on the sails as you raise and trim them with the crew. The freedom of the journey is what sets this cruise apart. There’s no set course and every voyage is unique. Most trips pass by Patriot’s Point, Fort Sumter and the Cooper River Bridge. After a few hours with the sea air blowing in your face, you’ll want a pet-friendly room to put your feet up and relax. Wentworth Mansion in Charleston’s charming historic district welcomes dogs and their owners with open arms. Garden rooms are reserved for guests with pets and provide access to the courtyard and lawn.
Charleston Schooner Pride is docked at Aquarium Wharf in Charleston, SC. Rates start at $36 per person, and dogs up to 25 lbs are welcome for no additional fee. Larger dogs can jump aboard the Charleston Water Taxi for a tour of the Charleston coast instead. It’s not quite sailing, but it’s still on the water.
Hamble Point Yacht ChartersSouthampton, GB
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.
Hamble Point Yacht Charters is located in Hamble Point Marina in Southampton, U.K. Rates start at £460 for a single day bareboat charter. There’s an additional fee for a skippered charter. Dogs sail for free.
Downeast Windjammer Cruise LinesBar Harbor, ME
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, ME 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.
Downeast Windjammer Cruise Lines is located at 1 Newport Drive in Bar Harbor, ME. Rates start at $42 per person, and Fido sails for free. Check with the captain before bringing your dog on board.
Blue Water SailingAthens, GR
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.
Blue Water Sailing is located in Athens, Greece. Contact them directly for pickup details. 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.
Hawaii Sailing AdventuresKapaa, HI
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.
Hawaii Sailing Charters is located at 5916 Kaapuni Road in Kapaa, HI. Charter fees vary depending on the duration of your trip. Fido sails for free.