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Yachting, Sailing and Boating in Europe this Summer

What’s the difference between yachting, sailing, boating and cruising? Find out here, then, hit the high seas this summer in Europe in a gorgeous yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, or as cool as George Clooney in a power boat in Venice, or on a cruise that takes you slowly down one of Europe’s long dreamy rivers. What’s your favourite boating experience? Tell us in the comments section below.

Photo By: Abaconda Management

What is the Difference Between Yachting, Sailing, Boating and Cruising?


Photo By: M.Kemal

Boating is the overarching term used for both wind and power boating, so the term could be referring to yachting or sailing, or of course power boats! Sailing predominantly uses wind in the boat’s sails to power it forward, while yachts and other boats (like power boats or cruise ships) use mechanical engines or other technology like steam power to propel forward. The term boating is also usually used for smaller boats like motor boats, as opposed to big ships, cruise-liners or super yachts. There are both sailing yachts and motor yachts, and the words yachting, sailing and boating are largely interchangeable…although the term yachting is a little bit more ‘snobby’ then say sailing or boating. Motorboats can come in all kinds and price ranges too, just like yachts can look more like sail boats or more like cruise ships if they’re the super expensive “super yacht” variety. If you want to go sailing or motor boating you might get to do some of the work like manoeuvring the sales, or steering the power boat. But with cruise boats or super yachts the boat will have a captain and crew who will do all the work, and you can just sit back and relax.

How Can I Go Boating in Europe?

Your location – and your budget – will largely determine what kind of boat you use. Check out some of the options below for where you can go boating in Europe this summer, based on location.

(motor boating, sailing, yachting, boating, cruising, super yacht, boat tours, cruise liner)

Venice, Italy: Aside from romanic gondolas, Venice’s streets are made of water (aka canals) and are known for power boating, not just gondola rides. Just check out this incredible paparazzi video of George Clooney’s wedding to see what we mean. Venice is definitely one of the best boating destinations in Europe.

Mediterranean Sea, Southern Europe: The Mediterranean Sea is perfect for sailing, super yachts, large leisure cruises and even power boating between islands. We recommend boating around the Kornati archipelago of Croatia, zipping between the Greek islands, cruising around the French riviera like a famous person, or zooming over water between Ibiza and Mallorca….to name just a few options!

Danube River, Central Europe: One of the popular spots to take a boat cruise is along the Danube river from Budapest to Vienna via Bratislava.

Lake Balaton, Hungary: Hungary’s Lake Balaton is a very popular spot for sailing and is even home to the Kékszalag Round the Lake Balaton Competition.

super yacht

Photo By: Dennis Jarvis

Lake Constance: Lake Constance has borders with Germany, Austria and Switzerland and it’s great for sailing, motor boating and wind surfing. There are even courses for beginners.

Lake Garda: Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and also a bit of sailing mecca of the region. Like Lake Constance, Lake Garda also offers sailing and wind surfing hire, lessons and clubs where you can meet others and hit the water. The conditions are great in summer and the views are stunning!

Zegrze, Poland: Not far from Warsaw, Zegrze is another terrific lake for sailing with sailing clubs you can rent equipment from.

Harlingen, Netherlands: This is a famous seaport in the Netherlands – a country for whom sailing was supremely important in its history. Sailing and boating of all kinds is very popular here, and it’s even home to a Tall Ships even (the next is in 2018), for those old fashioned ships from the 18th century that discovered the world.

Other articles on travel destinations by the water and water sports adventure travel ideas:

A Short History of PUP

Where to Scuba Dive with Big Animals 

The Best Scuba Diving Specialities

How to Get Your Scuba Diving License 

What is White Water Rafting

Where to Go Sea Kayaking this Summer

All About Fishing!

The World’s Best Seas

A Short History of Canoeing and Kayaking

A Short History of Deep Diving

Lovely Spots to Horse Ride on a Beach

The World’s Biggest Waterfalls

Best Beaches for Water Sports

Most Adventurous Water Parks for Young and Old

Prime Wind Surfing Destinations

Great Lakes for Water Sports

Beautiful and Giant Rivers to Cruise Down

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