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On average, France's 207,000 pleasure yachts spend 97.8% of their time docked in harbors. Meanwhile, passengers around the world are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint when traveling. Sailcoop aims to connect those underused boats with people looking for alternatives to air travel. The French platform, which just launched, is planning to create a network of fixed routes both within Europe and across oceans.
Sailcoop aims to democratize sailing and isn't targeting a wealthy elite — estimated prices will be EUR 50–120 per travel day on fixed lines within France and Europe. A trip to the British Isles will take 5 to 10 hours, and a crossing to Corsica 24 to 36 hours. Yachts on these shorter routes will leave daily or weekly, depending on demand.
Sailcoop also plans to offer longer trips to New York, Martinique and Rio de Janeiro, with 15 to 40 boats traveling as a fleet and departing twice a year. Booking for both Corsica and the Americas will open this autumn.
Concerns about the climate crisis are leading consumers to consider low-emission alternatives to air travel. The focus is often on trains, like the 'hotels on rails' sleeper trains we covered in July. But in some cases — and if passengers are willing and able to spend more time en route — wind-powered sailboats could be a viable alternative and one of the greenest ways to travel. From flygskam to nautical pride...?