Winter in Tunisia, Italy, Malta or....? - SailNet Community

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Old 02-12-2008
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Winter in Tunisia, Italy, Malta or....?

We are currently in southern Spain and plan to cruise the Baleares, Corsica, Sardinia, the coast of Italy, Sicily and Tunisia this year. Next year (2009) our plan is to continue east to Greece and Turkey.

I am interested in any suggestions for the best place to spend next winter? We will live aboard part of the time, but want a place that is safe to leave the boat for up to 2 months.

Thanks for your ideas and suggestions.
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Hi Jim,

I'm on the same course--presently in Torrevieja, Spain--and look forward to reading your replies.

Spencer
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Old 02-12-2008
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That's a lot of territory that you plan to cover. There's so much to see along the way, would you consider a somewhat less ambitious itinerary?

My general suggestion would be to skip Tunisia on your eastbound leg and leave it for the return trip (assuming you are going to sail back westbound out of the Med to the Atlantic again). If you end your sailing season in Tunisia, you will still have a long slog to Greece next year. And it's hard to cover Greece and the Ionian coast of Turkey in one season -- so you'll want to be strategically pre-positioned when you begin that leg.

My suggestion would be to winter-over somewhere on mainland Italy or Croatia, or even Greece itself. If you winter-over on an island (like Elba, Sicily, Malta, etc) you will have a lot of additional travel logistics as you come and go from the boat. If that doesn't bother you, Elba and Malta are usually recommended. Elba probably isn't far enough along the itinerary, though.

If you stick to mainland southern europe, I'd suggest pushing through the Straits of Messina, rounding the heal of Italy and looking for a good spot in the Adriatic, in the vicinity of Brindisi or along the Dalmatian coast (Tomas, a SailNet member, lives thereabouts and might have a good suggestion for you), or even jump across from Italy to Greece.

The nice thing about Italy is that it's centrally located in southern europe, with easy access by train or auto to France, Germany, Switzerland, etc, if those countries are on your winter travel plans. On the downside, it's probably pricier than Croatia.

Send us a trip report, eh?
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John,

Thank you for the suggestions. We do have to visit Tunisia...we are a USA flagged vessel and need to leave the EU every 18 months to avoid paying VAT. But that could be just a stop over if we sailed around Sicily.

The Adriatic sounds interesting and you are right, we would be closer to Greece or Croatia.

Someone else suggested staying at Gaeta, Italy. That would make travel in Europe easier and cheaper.

Thanks again,
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Dear Spencer,

We will be watching for you!!

See you somewhere.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenaya View Post
We do have to visit Tunisia...we are a USA flagged vessel and need to leave the EU every 18 months to avoid paying VAT.
That is an aspect I have occasionally wondered about. Could you explain how this works? Does this apply to all boats regardless of age?

As for having to leave the E.U., I would have thought that any of the countries along the Dalmatian coast (east side of Adriatic) would meet the requirement? Or is the clock ticking and you need to get out sooner than that?

Again, when Tomas resurfaces, he would be a good resource.
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Old 02-12-2008
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US flagged vessels must get out of the EU every 18 months or be subject to VAT...regardless of age. Any non EU country will suffice. Of additional concern is the Schengen treaty which limits YOU...not the boat...to a stay of 90 days in ALL the 15 signatory Euro countries combined before you must leave for at least 90 days.
More info here on Jack Tylers' great website:
http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/Whoosh%20Main%20Page.htm
Go to left hand link "Cruising in Europe".
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Old 02-12-2008
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Tenaya, not to get off topic, I just want to congratulate you on joining the board and for producing a great blog site.
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Old 02-13-2008
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Thanks max-on!

John, Camaraderie is correct and Jack's site is the best information available. There is also a 60 page booklet for Americans cruising Europe available on the Cruising Club of America site. Yes, going to Croatia would also work, but I am not sure we will go that far this year. To avoid the VAT (about 20% of the boats value) it only takes leaving the EU, even for a couple of days. We have been checked a couple of times.

The 90 days in any of the schengen member countries out of every 180 days is the biggest concern of most American cruisers - since that would make it almost impossible to cruise Europe. Most cruisers ignore this issue and most countries do not enforce it on cruisers.

I did have the problem one time, in Portugal, when we were checking in with the police and customs and they found I was way over my 90 days. The officials all said this was a big problem and the head customs man took our passports and told us to come to his private office later. When we arrived he was sitting behind his big desk, coat and tie on, looking very serious. He told us to sit, opened the file he had on us, and asked "Where have you come from?" I started to answer, naming the same previous port that I had put on all the forms. Before I finished, he said, "I don't think so." which really worried me. Then he said, "I think you have come from the high seas....welcome to Portugal" and he stamped my passport with a new entry stamp, giving me another 90 days.

Jack Tyler always tells people - and I think correctly - that in general the Europeans are pretty reasonable on enforceing their regulations. I hope that stays true for us!
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Old 02-13-2008
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other options are western Turkey or Israel (a non EU member)
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