We all recall those vacation getaways to our favorite exotic destinations that triggered a special feeling of escapism.
Conversations start something like this: "Let's quit our jobs and make this our life!"
Well, Sandra Schmitt and her partner Sherman know that feeling well, and the couple is working hard to make it happen. They took sailing vacations in the Greek isles in back-to-back years. The trips were so rewarding that they decided to turn their passions into a business in an effort to share their love of free-spirited active travels with others.
"We fell in love with it. The feeling is so unmatchable from any other trip we've been on," Schmitt said. "So, we wanted to make it our business."
Sandra and Sherman, triathletes and all-around fitness and wellness fanatics, started Mar-A-Mar Travel, based in New York. The company begins its first season sailing the Greek Cyclades on a six- to eight-passenger 49-foot monohull Bavaria yacht. The company offers 10-day journeys with completely flexible schedules to suit the passengers onboard.
The cool thing is Mar-A-Mar's focus on wellness and active adventures. Trips are designed to accommodate people who want to hike, bike, snorkel, run, swim and just have fun among a group of like-minded travelers. You can even help the skipper manage the sails and ropes, and Mar-A-Mar has designs on providing onboard yoga sessions and other training options (triathlon, for example).
"Our trips have a lot of freedom built in," Schmitt said. "We want passengers to explore, have fun, be active."
She says passengers are free to go off on their own for the day in port, or Mar-A-Mar staff will put together a tour or excursion and join them. Meals are equally flexible.
A light breakfast is included daily, and passengers are encouraged to try local restaurants for lunch. For dinner onboard the boat, the passengers say what they would like, and the crew shop for a barbecue (everyone chips in for the cost).
"During 10-day cruise, you really start to work together as a team," Schmitt said. "You pull ropes together. You are a family."
Additional costs outside the cruise fare tally about $400 per person for a 10-day cruise, the company says. Mar-A-Mar cruises start at $1,985 per person. A referral deal gives a $50 discount for you when a friend books a trip. Also, if you bring a group onboard, six people can sail for the cost of five.
Biking, running, snorkeling. . . . Ahhh, this all sounds like an exciting way to explore the Greek Islands.
Check out Mar-A-Mar at www.maramartravel.com
Thanks for reading, and happy sailing!