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    Top 10 cruising and sailing holidays

    Best cruise holidayssailing holidays

    By Mark Hodson and David Wickers, Sunday Times Travel writers

    Tempted by a sailing holiday but not sure of your sheets from your shrouds, jibs from gybes, stems from sterns? Learn the ropes at a proper sailing school.

    Follow in the wake of Odysseus on a traditionally designed wooden wooden gulet along the wild southern shores of Turkey, or in Greece, Italy or Croatia.

    Cruising aboard a tall ship is like being cast in a period maritime drama – an adventure but one with all mod cons and comforts.

    Cruising is often the best way to experience life ashore. If you are bowled over by scenery, hop along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.

    Explore the Nile on a cruise, ‘running the gauntlet through eternity’ according to Kipling, stopping off at ancient sites that stand on the river’s banks.

    Flotilla sailing enables relatively inexperienced sailors to enjoy skippering their own yacht in the Med, hopping between islands and mainland ports of call, yet under the watchful eye of lead boat.

    Watch the French countryside slide by on a luxury barge cruise as you indulge in gourmet cuisine served on deck. The barges are intimate – sleeping between 4 and 20 people – and there is a wide range of destinations including Bordeaux, Gascony, Burgundy and the Canal du Midi. The price includes all meals, fine wines, shore excursions and an open bar.

    Set sail on the ultimate sailing adventure around the deserted islands of the Indonesian archipelago on board Tiger Blue, a 34-metre yacht. The crew can arrange diving, picnics on deserted beaches, a visit to see the Komodo dragons and a volcano hike.

    You could rent one of these canal boats or sailing boats that sleep between two and 12 people. Popular destinations include the Norfolk Broads, cruising the Thames and exploring the beautiful canal system in Wales. Check out the latest special offers.

    If you love nature, head to the Galapagos Islands where Darwin developed his theory of evolution. The best way to visit the islands – enjoying close-up encounters with seals, boobies and turtles – is on a cruise.

    If you enjoy messing around in boats, preferably in warm water just in case you take an unscripted dip, look for an all inclusive resort where watersports are on offer for no extra cost.

    Last updated: 14 August 2016

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