Vacations

Tonga Flotilla

The Kingdom of Tonga

Picture the romance and beauty of the South Pacific combined with the relaxed sailing conditions of the British Virgin Islands. It exists here, in a sailors' paradise like no other -- the idyllic island Kingdom of Tonga. It's a brilliant blue expanse where 170 islands glitter to create a cruising ground with line-of-sight sailing, spectacular snorkeling and soft, unspoiled beaches. These secluded islands are home to the most gentle and welcoming people on earth, a peaceful world known only to the world's most fortunate sailors.

"The Friendly Islands"

This was the honorary title offered by Captain Cook in 1777, and today's visitors are quick to agree. The warm welcome of these enchanting people is matched only by the appeal of the effortless cruising. Tongan feasts are famous throughout the Pacific, featuring up to 30 dishes and a torchlit celebration of dancing and singing. Once aboard your yacht, the welcome continues out at sea, thanks to predictable trade winds, crystal-clear waters and more than 50 anchorages all within an easy day's sail. Just below the surface of these perpetually calm waters, you'll find a colorful realm which invites you to don mask, snorkel and fins for the experience of a lifetime.

Hear the Songs of the Whales

Leaving Neiafu Harbour, sail a scenic and sheltered course west to Nuapapapu and Mariners Cave. The cave's entrance is underwater through an arch, a dive no more challenging than a swim under your keel. Head south to Vaka'eitu and stop at the coral reef gardens to snorkel over the impossibly brilliant corals. On the island of Euakafa you'll discover the mystery of ancient tombs. A trip to Pangaimotu is highlighted by an authentic Polynesian feast on Hinakawe'a Beach. Sail southwest to Euaiki and wait for low tide and the finest shelling in the South Pacific. Sail north to Kapa's Port Maurelle for a dinghy trip to Swallows Cave, where swift birds dart through an opening at the top. Offshore, the deeper waters are a breeding refuge for humpback whales between July and November. The whales repeat complex phrases and themes, creating songs that will echo in your memory for a lifetime.

OCSC’s Flotillas

If you haven’t been on a flotilla before, here’s how it works. OCSC reserves several boats for the location and holds a series of planning parties to explain the details and answer questions from anyone who is interested. Some members choose to reserve a whole boat with their friends and family; some hook up with other singles or couples to form their own boat; a third option is to charter a cabin on a boat skippered by an OCSC Instructor. These planning meetings are the best way to decide which option works best for you. We suggest that you use them to meet potential shipmates, other skippers, and the OCSC personnel who will be leading the flotilla.

Flotilla charters are ideal for first-time skippers since OCSC helps in cruise planning, introduces individuals to others interested in sharing a yacht, and sends an experienced ‘group leader’ along. The security in this type of ‘buddy-boating’ is one reason for flotilla-style chartering, but the ease of participation, sailing with lots of friends made at the planning parties and multi-boat get-togethers in the evenings make any charter that much more enjoyable.

How to Get Involved

There are three ways to get involved. You can charter your own yacht, let us help you hook up with other members and sailors, or book a cabin on an OCSC Flotilla Leader’s yacht.

  • Option 1: With a small deposit (appx. 15%), you may reserve a boat with your friends or family, or reserve a boat and let us help you find crewmates. 
  • Option 2: If you want to go but need to hook up with others on the flotilla, we will help you meet some other sailors to join a boat or set up a crew.
  • Option 3: If you like the idea of learning more while you relax, consider reserving a cabin on one of the OCSC Flotilla Leader yachts. All OCSC flotilla leaders are qualified sailing instructor with years of cruising experience. They make wonderful skippers, and are perfectly willing to make the experience for you as educational as you like. In addition to your share of the charter, you have only an additional skipper fee to pay: $450 per person, double occupancy, or $900 per cabin. If you come as a single, we will work to help you find a cabin mate or you can pay for a full cabin for privacy.
Giving Back to the fragile environment we cherish

Since it’s founding, OCSC has been committed to environmental protection. We have always felt that especially since our business is built on enjoying nature, we are compelled to support organizations that work as guardians for all of us. Part of our approach has been to focus our efforts and appreciation on areas that we are privileged to visit on our bareboat flotillas.

To help this end your participation in our flotilla includes an additional contribution of $50 per person. The funds we collect are donated to an environmental protection initiative in the region we visit.

Cost of adventures and flotillas vary depending on factors like attendence, the number of people in your crew, and size of your yacht. Please inquire for trip rates and pricing.

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