It’s rare to meet someone with as much passion for her job as Sasha King, founder and managing director of High Point Yachting – but if you got to sail the world for work, you’d probably be as passionate as Sasha too. Croatian born she started the company, which charters luxury crewed yachts for guests in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and French Polynesia, over 20 years, after spending her childhood sailing the Adriatic – and wanting to recreate the magical moments she experienced for others.
“I lived in Croatia until my late 20s and most summers I spent sailing around the Adriatic with my friends. These were truly special holidays and among the most beautiful moments in my life,” King tells me during our first dinner on board San Limi, a luxury 32-meter yacht, which is currently moored in Split and will be our home for the next 5 days as we sail around the Croatian islands. Over a dinner of seafood risotto and Croatian wines, she also goes on to explain: “Essentially I wanted to help other people enjoy the great holidays I had when I was younger – these holidays can be a transformative experience; they certainly changed my life.”
The next day, as we sail from Split to Vis, our first island to explore, King tells me more about how yachting has changed over the last 20 years: “There are some incredibly sophisticated yachts out there with the technology to match. But a boat doesn’t have to be over a certain size to offer an incredible experience. We work with a 59ft catamaran that has an outdoor cinema screen for watching movies under the stars; a lot can be done with a good imagination.
“We regularly travel around the world, always looking out for something new. At the boat shows we talk to the crews, exchange ideas, and pass them on to the boats we work with in other destinations. It is in everyone’s interest that the industry progresses everywhere.”
Jumping off the boat in Vis to explore the island you can see why customers love the ease of chartering a yacht, and with Covid complications over the last few years, even more so. “Clients who braved the complications of flying and travelling chartered for a longer period than they used to before, while local teams in most places did an excellent job in helping with the protocols,” explains King.
“People were longing for holidays; we found that most of our clients were either repeat clients or recommendations. It felt as if, although people wanted to travel, they were not necessarily looking to explore new places, but went for what they trusted and knew well.”
Chartering a yacht with High Point Yachting doesn’t stop there – as they’ll also make it a unique experience for you, including tours, onboard experiences, and dinners with locals – as we did in Smrka Bay, on the island of Brac. Home to the Tomas family – they cooked us a private lunch of homegrown foods and wines, as we admired the crystal blue waters.
Travelling by yacht won’t just make you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie but will also give you a place to privately enjoy time with friends or family says King: “The privacy of yachts provides a great platform for spending quality time with your nearest and dearest – offering complete relaxation at the same time. While it’s the job of the crew to make sure the guests get the best out of the experience – they’re the perfect guides, as they know so much about the areas, while the chefs are of MasterChef quality; I’ve come across so many of them who are just superb.”
As we travel to our next destination and the team on board San Limi set up the sails on the hybrid yacht – showcasing its possibilities, King tells me there is no typical client of High Point Yachting, as they come from all over the world, varying between groups of friends, families, and colleagues.
“We also organise corporate charters and sailing events and regattas, but a large majority of our charters are family charters and those are always very special. We have young families, multigenerational charters, special events for family charters and even reunions.
“A yachting holiday is ideal for families, regardless of age or interests as there’s always something for everyone and most of the time in the same place. Being on the sea, on a beautiful yacht, surrounded by gorgeous scenery and excellent service, is the perfect way to relax, in a way you can’t always do in the familiar environment of a house or a hotel,” King adds.
Sustainability is also a big focus for King and her team too – with San Limi leading the way, as it produces its own water and electricity with the use of onboard technology. “Each guest who steps on board is also handed a complimentary San Limi glass water bottle to coincide with its ongoing goal to maintain a minimum amount of plastic used on board. And with paper straws, environmentally sourced food and drink and eco-cleaning materials and toiletries used throughout – she’s one of our leading conscious charter options.”
As we make our way back to Split airport, sadly ending our trip, King adds why her customers love chartering their yachts every year: “They’re like floating villas with ever-changing scenery, the calming sound of the sea and marine life, and glorious sunrises and sunsets. It really does have a great impact on people and their moods. Those are good quality family times and wonderful bonding moments.”
For more information on High Point Yachting visit: www.highpointyachting.com
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