We interview Patricia Soriano, the yacht charter company’s ECCYACHT manager. Canary and Balearic Islands.
“There was nothing similar to what we offered”
How did your fleet start?
We started in 1994 with a 30 feet boat and were successful renting it, so we went on adding new boats until today, when we own 24 boats in our base in Canarias. My husband, Ángel, was rised up in a family of sailors and so has been sailing since he was six years old. His passion for sailing made him quit his job and go for this project. I had studied to be a lawyer, but I joined him the moment he decided to run this business.
The first boat we had was in Tenerife, where having a yacht charter business was a completely new idea. Here people had seen the tourist routes to the south of the island, the ones made for the “guiris” (this is how the locals in Canarias call foreigners) and offering whale watching; but there was nothing similar to what we offered.
Our first clients were an austrian couple who got in touch with us in a nautical fair in Düsseldorf, Germany where we went to promote ECCYACHT.
What types of yachts do you have? Any preferences?
We own yachts of different length: starting from an Oceanis 323, ideal for a couple, to a SO 54, perfect for big crews of up to 13 passengers. My favorite one is called Pressioso (people from Canary Islands don´t pronounce the “c”, that’s why the name is so sonorous!). We officially opened our base in Palma de Mallorca with this boat. The moment we got it was wonderful: we took lots of pictures of it, fully equipped it with the smallest details… It’s an Oceanis 393 and our first boat that, once bought in Barcelona, didn’t come to Tenerife. This is why I love it so much.
Could you recommend us any route?
I would start the route in our base on the south of the island and would then cross the channel in the direction of La Gomera, as this crossing offers an opportunity to see dolphins, pilot whales, turtles… If the weather is good, I would sail to La Palma and Isla Bonita. Another good alternative is to depart from our north base in the capital, Santa Cruz, and sail to Puerto Mogán in Gran Canaria and to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote islands.
What beach wouldn’t you miss?
Fuerteventura, without a doubt: it’s very well known, as its coasts are all natural beaches; also, the Papagayo beach in Lanzarote… In my opnion, it’s also a must to visit the beaches in the north of Tenerife as they’re composed of black volcanic sand. Without seeing them you can’t imagine how eye-catching they are.
What about food and good eating?
If you want to enjoy a delicious fresh fish in a sailors’ village, then I suggest to visit San Andrés, located just few kilometres from Santa Cruz. The north of the island offers a wonderful option to have delicious meals too: the “papas” with “mojo” and the “vieja” (our typical fish) can’t be missed.
There are more yacht charter companies. What makes ECCYACHT unique?
We are a pioneer company in Canarias, we have a great fleet, our own sailmaker (we can fix sails immediately if necessary), a nautic shop, contacts all around the island (which is something you will appreciate greatly in case you are in crisis in the middle of the sea)… We offer everything that a client may require and need from us.
If you had all the time and money in the world, where would you go sailing?
If I feel like disconnecting, I usually go to La Graciosa, a very little island, located to the north of Lanzarote, where there is no asphalt, streets are made of sand, there are no shops or anything at all, just beaches and absolute tranquility; so, even if I had all the money I could wish in my life, I would choose this destination.
Why is it worth it to rent a charter yacht?
Because you’re not tied to a concrete place: if I like this cove, I stay; if I like that other port, I plan my route and go there… It’s an absolute freedom: you carry both your house and your car with you! I can buy nice things and make stops there were the wind brings me… It puts one’s five senses into the test!
“They sometimes write an e-mail to us saying they’ll be back.”
Describe the perfect plan for a charter week.
We recommend the Baleares for those who have little children, particularly Mallorca. There you can feel calm and don’t have a fear that kids can feel dizzy. A week in Mallorca will be a wonderful choice as it has lots of attractions to offer to its visitors. Instead, for a group of young people, for instance, a group of Germans who want to sail, then I suggest the Canary Islands with a plenty of sailing routes to choose. This option is great for people who can spend 8 hours just sailing.
Which part of the charter process do you like best?
The best part is when they come back on Fridays. After having been speaking with them for months, you finally meet them. It’s nice. So when they come back and tell me how they’ve liked their trip, my self-esteem grows. I always ask them: “How was it? Did you enjoy?”. After that they sometimes write an e-mail to us saying they’ll be back.
What would you say to someone who has never sailed before?
I’ll tell everyone to try it! Mallorca is the best place to choose in these cases – at least for a week! Also the Canary Islands for a day or two… I’ve actually never heard anyone getting out of a yacht saying “this is not for me”. Sailing is amazing.
Why do you like to sail?
Why do I like sailing? Because of the amazing feeling of freedom it gives: I can go wherever I want, there is no traffic, no one bothers me. I can drop the anchor on a bay and stay there over night… One’s five senses are definitely put to test.
If you would like to experience the amazing feeling of freedom and try chartering a sailing yacht, click here for more information on how to do it and to get the best rates in the market.