When it comes to vacations, cruises are a great way to travel, explore, and see multiple cities. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of sailing up a riviera or taking a cruise around beautiful islands far off the mainland? For those who want a more intimate trip though, one with far less tourists and a captain who truly knows the waters, Nowboat is a new global service to consider that connects travelers to captains who want to offer up their fleets and adventures, kind of like a Hotels.com of boats and cruises. All listings are personally vetted by Nowboat so you can choose your adventures without worry, and they’re available in over 50 countries. If you’re considering giving up a few paid vacation days to sail around the word, read on to see which trips Nowboat founder Giovanni Alessi personally recommends, as well the 6 essential accessories he packs himself.
1. 1 Day Private Charter in Hong Kong
This is a private charter in Hong Kong, where the captain, Eric, will customize an itinerary for the adventure you’re looking for. From snorkeling and wakeboarding, to relaxation and great food, Eric will suggest destinations like the magical Wildest Beach, quintessential Long Ke Beach, clear and clean Silvermine Bay Beach, and the modern Macau Lights for a personalized East-meets-West experience. I’ve had the pleasure of joining Eric on the Numarine many times; it really is an exciting and incredible yacht, and one of the best ways to experience our beloved Hong Kong, where I call home.
2. Bike & Boat on board of Ave Maria in Lombardy, Italy
Italy, the country where I come from, hosts a different kind of water adventure: bike and boat. On this trip, each guest is given a bike to get around during the day, on land, and the boat serves as a sort of floating hotel for meals, accommodation, and to give the option of a lazy day on board. Cruising on rivers and having the opportunity to discover this region’s heritage on two wheels make this a unique adventure. If you are a bike rider and you would love to explore the beautiful secrets of Italy, you are in the right place!
3. 14 Days in the Antarctic Circle in Argentina
Who said that oceans are impressive only in warm temperatures? I haven’t yet been lucky enough to explore our poles, but the day I’ll be able to do so, and I’ll do it on a cruise like this and hope to be able to hug a penguin! This special once-a-year voyage leaves from Ushuaia, Argentina and focuses on the Gerlache Strait area, where towering mountains, gigantic glaciers, and blue icebergs set the scene for encounters with penguins and marine mammals. The trip also include a free photography program with experts to help you capture the other-worldly sites you’ll see.
4. Ferretti 94 in Florida, USA
In my opinion, Florida is not Florida if you don’t see it from the sea. Cruising around the beautiful Miami waters are a great way to experience the city at its fullest. This mega-yacht has 4 extremely spacious staterooms, 5 bathrooms, a particularly lofty flybridge with a Jacuzzi, and a large aft deck. It’s great for a group who loves relaxation or revelry and will tour around breathtaking islands including Millionaires Row – featuring the expensive villas of the rich and famous – Star Island, Hibiscus Island, Fisher Island, Downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay, Nixon Sand Bar, and more.
5. 8 Days Christmas Special Expedition Cruise in Galapagos, Ecuador
For another once-a-year special expedition, my pick is this 8-day Christmas cruise in the Galapagos Islands because, well, it’s in a word: paradise. Galapagos National Park is THE place to go in order to feel close to wildlife and nature. Aboard this modern Italian yacht, visitors will follow in the steps of Charles Darwin who voyaged here to study the vast number of unique indigenous species and pave the way for his formulation of this theory of evolution by natural selection, changing the way we look at nature and the world forever. If you’re in search of an adventure that will touch your heart and soul and leave you with experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life, this is definitely it.
6. An agenda
…to jot down ideas, thoughts and things that inspire me. I also stick museum and plane tickets on the blank pages. Most importantly, this is where I keep the running, and often very long, lists of things I have to do every day – I’d be lost without it. I like Muji’s stationery because objects have to be partners with their owner, not stealing the scene. I don’t like objects that are over designed at all. Through Muji’s simple, effective designs they leave room to add my own personality.
7. A swimsuit
It’s always difficult to determine the best ethical options, even among the so called ethical brands. Maybe they address materials issues but not employment issues, maybe they seem sustainable but from a profit perspective they aren’t really virtuous. One thing I think we can all agree on is we have to start from somewhere and I love these 100% recycled and recyclable polyester swimsuits!
8. Bendable Sunglasses
My friend recently launched this brand of bendable sunglasses – you can wrap them around your arm or backpack. I’ve been traveling and kiting with them for quite a while now, you can make your own glasses by choosing temples and lenses and combining them.
9. A Stainless Steel Bottle
You know they predicted by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean? Hence the importance of traveling with and drinking out of a non-plastic bottle, one that I can reuse over and over again.
10. Binchotan Charcoal
At home, where tap water is safe to drink, I purify it with binchotan charcoal, something the Japanese have been doing for centuries and the rest of the world is hopefully catching on it.
11. Revl Camera
It’s perfect for action footage and allows for a lot of quick editing of the videos thanks to its stabilizer. I find it technically way more interesting than the other cameras that are around. I recently met the founder of the company, Eric Sanchez Curti, at the Ocean Gala in San Francisco and was absolutely blown away.
Life begins at 20 knots. Visit nowboat.com to book your next sailing adventure.