Sailing the Mediterranean is Cheaper Than You Think (2023 Cost)

Written by Desiree Vilar in Cost of Sailing

Surprisingly, you could explore the stunning Mediterranean coastline, crystal-clear waters, and charming towns and villages on even the smallest budget. If you're planning to go on an adventure in the Med, let me help you break down the current costs of sailing the Mediterranean.

Expect to pay around €1,500–€3,000 per week for a mid-sized sailboat. Fuel and provision costs are around €200–€500 and €300–€500 per week, respectively. Docking fees are at least €50–€100 per night, while insurance fees range between €500–€1,000 per year.

Other significant costs to consider are maintenance and repair costs, which are roughly 10% of the boat's value, and budget for extra activities or excursions, which can be around €50–€100 per person. Let's look at what we can do to save on these costs.


  • Renting (chartering) is cheaper for short trips.
  • Docking and mooring costs are significantly higher during peak season.
  • Anchoring is free, but there are regulations, so be sure to check those out.

Breaking Down the Costs of Sailing the Mediterranean in 2023

Below is a table showing a breakdown of the most significant expenses when sailing the Mediterranean:

Expenses Estimated Cost Range
Boat Rental €1,500-€3,000 per week (mid-sized sailboat)
€30,000+ per week (small yacht)
Fuel Costs €200-€500 per week
Provisions €300-€500 per week (for 2-4 people)
Marina Fees and Moorings €50-€100 per night (mid-sized sailboat)
Insurance (1-2% of boat's value) €500-€1,000 per year
Maintenance and Repairs (10% of boat value) €2,000 per year (based on the estimated value of a mid-sized boat which is around €20,000 )
Excursions €50-€100 per person per excursion

The initial boat purchase is one of the biggest expenses

Boat prices can fluctuate significantly based on the vessel's size, age, and overall condition. A brand-new yacht can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, while a used sailboat can be purchased for much less.

If you're on a budget, perhaps consider purchasing a used boat that's in good condition. You can save a lot of money by purchasing a boat that's a few years old, but still in great shape. However, you might need to factor in the cost of any upgrades or repairs that may be necessary.

Now, if you don't want to buy a boat, you can always rent or charter it. On average, a mid-sized sailboat costs around €1,500-€3,000 per week to charter. Smaller yachts can cost upwards of €30,000 per weekly rental, while larger, more luxurious yachts can be chartered for more than €100,000 for weekly rental to up to more than €1,000,0000 for a monthly rent.

Planning to sail using a sailboat? Here's the right size sailboat perfect for the Mediterranean waters.

Fuel is another significant expense

If you're sailing your own vessel, you'll need to budget for fuel costs. You can expect to spend around €200-€500 per week on fuel. Fuel consumption is measured based on Gallons Per Hour (GPH).

For mid-sized sailboats, the fuel consumption runs on an average of 0.9 - 2 GPH.

To save on fuel costs, try to plan your route around the prevailing winds and currents. When you're not actively sailing, you could turn off the engine to save on fuel.

Ideally, you could also try to maintain a moderate speed to avoid burning too much fuel. Perhaps you can also consider filling up at ports that offer competitive prices and avoid filling up at marinas, which can be more expensive.

You need a provision budget

As a rough estimate, you can expect to spend around €300-€500 per week on provisions for a crew of 2-4 people. This should cover basic provisions such as bread, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and some meat or fish, as well as water.

If you plan to eat out occasionally, consider budgeting an additional €100-€200 per week for meals at restaurants or cafes. While some meals may be included in your cruise fare, others may not be.

When dining at restaurants on shore, keep in mind that prices can vary greatly based on location. For example, a meal in a touristy area of Italy can cost significantly more than a meal in a less popular area.

Budget for maintenance and repairs

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to budget around 10% of the boat's value per year for maintenance and repairs. If you have a mid-sized sailboat that is worth €20,000, you can expect to budget around €2,000 per year for maintenance and repairs.

This cost can cover routine maintenance tasks like oil changes, filter replacements, and general upkeep, as well as unexpected repairs that may arise. Since these costs can add up over time, try your best to follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule and keep your boat in good condition.

On the other hand, if you want to save, you can learn how to change the oil, replace filters, and fix minor electrical issues by yourself. When buying parts for your boat, you can shop around to find the best prices or find good deals online.

Knowing how to navigate and handle your boat can also help you avoid accidents and damage to your vessel, which can lessen the need for repairs and maintenance.

Want to know more about the average maintenance costs of sailboats, you can read more of it here.

When docking at various ports, you may be required to pay port fees. These fees can vary depending on the location and the size of your vessel. For example, in Malta, the fee for a 10-meter boat is around €20 per day, while a 20-meter boat can cost up to €70 per day. Be sure to research the port fees for each destination on your itinerary to budget accordingly.

Docking and mooring fees can add up

When you dock your boat in a marina or mooring, you will need to pay a fee. In general, mooring fees in the Mediterranean are higher than in other parts of the world.

If you're sailing on a mid-sized sailboat, you might need to allocate around €50-€100 per night for a mooring or berth in a marina. Some marinas may offer discounts for longer stays, so it's always a good idea to inquire about weekly or monthly rates.

Mooring and docking fees are also often affected by the size and type of the boat, as well as the seasonality. For example, mooring a small yacht during the off-season will only cost you around €55 per night, while mooring a larger yacht during the peak season will cost you around €140 or more per night. The peak sailing season in the Med runs from late May to early October.

Meanwhile, docking a catamaran on locations around the Med Sea can cost you an additional 50-60% on top of the base rates mentioned above.

If you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider anchoring in a bay or finding a free mooring buoy, which can save you a significant amount of money. However, you may need to keep in mind that anchoring in some areas may be prohibited or restricted, so try to do your research and follow local regulations.

Insurance coverage is essential

Mediterranean cruising can be considered relatively safe and low-risk, so insurance rates may be lower than in other areas. As a rough estimate, you can expect to pay around 1-2% of the value of your boat per year for insurance. Therefore, if your boat is valued at €50,000, you can expect to pay around €500-€1,000 per year for insurance.

This estimate is based on a basic level of coverage, such as liability insurance and damage caused by fire, theft, or weather-related incidents. If you require additional coverage, such as coverage for personal injury or equipment damage, your costs will be higher.

To know more about sailboat insurance costs, here's an article you can refer to.

Allocate extra budget for excursions and other activities

Many cruises offer optional excursions at each port of call. While these excursions can be a great way to experience the local culture and attractions, they can also add up quickly.

But as a general rule of thumb, you may want to budget around €50-€100 per person per excursion. This should cover basic activities such as sightseeing tours, museum visits, and local food and wine tastings.

If you plan to participate in more expensive activities such as water sports, scuba diving, or private boat tours, try to budget an additional €100-€200 per person per excursion.

You can also consider exploring on your own and creating your own excursions, such as hiking or biking tours, which can be a more cost-effective way to experience the local culture and scenery.

How to Make Your Budget Work

If you're on a tighter budget, don't worry - there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a sailing trip in the Mediterranean without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for making budget sailing work:

Rent a smaller boat

Instead of going for a large luxury boat, consider renting a smaller, more affordable boat. This will help keep costs down while still allowing you to explore the Mediterranean.

Cook your own meals

Instead of hiring a chef, consider cooking your own meals on board. This can be a fun and budget-friendly way to enjoy delicious meals during your trip.

Choose affordable destinations

Instead of visiting exclusive destinations, consider visiting more affordable destinations that are still beautiful and interesting. Here are some popular sailing locations in the Mediterranean and a few practical tips to keep in mind during your sail.

Join a group

If you're traveling solo or as a couple, you may want to consider joining a group sailing trip. It can help reduce individual costs by splitting expenses like food and fuel and taking advantage of group discounts on activities and services. Sharing equipment and knowledge with the group can also help save money and enhance the overall experience.

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