[box] There’s a lot to do around Lake Balaton but undoubtedly one of the coolest, although not the cheapest experiences you can have, is sailing on the lake. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you’ve got a few options, travelo.hu writes. You can rent a sailing boat or motor yacht with friends and family, or you can join a no-fuss organized programme and enjoy a day on the lake.[/box]
If you choose the first, there are many charter companies offering their services. It is the best to secure a ship as soon as you can; most of the summer weekends are already booked.
This might be surprising but sailing is not like renting a car with a chauffeur. Even though you’re the one renting the ship, the skipper is still in charge. The reason for this is the safety of the passengers. There is a “healthy dictatorship” ruling on the deck, says Kálmán Bakóczy, owner and skipper of the ship Rosa. “The safety of the people and the ship is the most important. The skipper decides, for instance, when passengers can swim in the lake, or whether it is necessary to wear a life vest.” Of course, sailing is not merely a passive programme; the skipper can decide to let passengers take the helm if the weather conditions allow it, but this is not part of the service.
The choice of clothing will also differ from a regular holiday wear. Passengers have to wear so called “deck shoes”, which can be a pair of trainers with light soles that provide enough of a grip but do not stain the deck, says Kálmán Bakóczy. Wearing a long sleeved shirt and a hat is advised, together with sunscreen, since the sun is much stronger on the water and you can get a sunburn or a sunstroke much more easily. If the wind is cool on the shore, it is going to be even colder on the water.
If, by this point, you’re sufficiently curious about sailing, let’s see how much the experience costs. Every charter company charges for the ship, the skipper’s fee, cleaning, and you also have to leave a deposit. Choosing a weekday or an off-season date for sailing can save a lot of money.
To illustrate the price range you should expect, here are the costs of a fully equipped Bavaria 32 Cruiser at the E-yacht in Balatonfüred which can take up to 10 passengers. In the high season, the rental of the boat costs HUF 70,000 for a weekday and 90,000 for weekends and holidays. The boat is equipped with a TV, a fridge, a stove, and a hot shower. The skipper’s fee is 32,000, cleaning is 12,700, and they ask for a HUF 200,000 deposit. In the off-season, after August 28, the rental fee becomes 50,000 on weekdays and if you fill the ship’s capacity you can organize a September sailing trip at the cost of 10,000 per person.
If the conveniences are not necessary, the Sport Yacht Charter offers boats for 5 for 30,000. Cleaning costs an extra 6,000, fuel 5,000, and the skipper’s fee is 35,000.
However, if you just want a taste of sailing with none of the tedious organisation that holidays already involve, finding a programme which includes sailing is your best bet. Balaton Bike offers a 3-hour sunset tour for 30,000. For this price, you can bring up to 11 people on deck. Or if you’re around Zánka on the northern shore, the Tagyon Estate organises daylong sailing trips with food and wine tasting, swimming, and sunbathing on the lake, and a 3-course meal on the estate in the evening, for 25,000 per person.
Copy editor: bm