Classic Sailing has a strong company ethos that we have remained true to since 1997. The fleet we now promote under the Classic Sailing banner all have their own individualistic skippers, distinctive style of sailing, and holidays but they share the following characteristics:
Classic Sailing are happy to potentially work with new or existing businesses, charities or skipper-owners. If you have an established charter or sail training vessel that offers ‘hands on’ sailing adventures, but just needs a top-up of individual bookings to maximize income then we can help. If you are relatively new to the traditional sailing world, creating a new business or kick starting an old one then we can help a more limited number of start ups or fresh starts each year.
If you have a modern yacht, or prefer to treat your sailing guests as passengers, then you are welcome to ask us for advice but it is unlikely we would take you on as a ‘sailing partner’.
Our Sales Staff that are professional sailors that love what you do
Our office ashore is run by full time staff that all have management roles in the company and are still active commercial skippers, RYA Instructors or tall ship sailors. We understand where owners and sea staff are coming from if you want to talk about operational matters and we have an empathy with potential customers too as we have spent years on boats encouraging them to get a buzz out of traditional sailing.
We might prefer to be out sailing with blocks and tackles but we are also pretty geeky when it comes to using the latest technology and digital platforms to present your voyages to the widest possible audience.
We are pretty good at marketing too …. and we can prove it.
Classic Sailing has been helping other vessel owners to maximise incomes since 2003. We have worked with over 36 vessels to raise their profile and increase incomes and markets.
Classic Sailing main Facebook page has over 44,000 followers and 10,000 plus on Instagram
In non-covid-19 times we produce a weekly e-newsletter with an opening rate of nearly 30% which is incredibly high.
Each member of staff has a marketing area of expertise across all the e-commerce platforms. We use e-commerce and marketing professionals to keep us up to date with the latest global marketing trends.
We have a marketing plan with clear campaigns to try and be fair to all vessels in terms of marketing coverage.
We don’t use freelancers to do regular posts, adverts, and tweets. All our key social media platforms and web content is written and managed in house so we can react quickly to topical news and trending news stories and genuinely interact with the traditional sailing community we have helped create.
Reliable and Responsive Booking Agents
Classic Sailing produces shared booking availability monitors to avoid double bookings and enable us the confidence to clinch a booking without having to ring you up in the middle of a gybe to check availability.
Staff In our office are there Monday to Friday to take and process bookings all year round and advise customers. We are very well-travelled and between us, we have sailed on most of the fleet. We regularly try out our own holiday products and pull ropes with customers from Cornwall to Cuba.
The Traditional Sailing Travel Industry – We are In it together.
Youth Sail Training vessels have organisations that support them like ASTO in the UK. RYA sailing schools have the RYA speaking up for them. The traditional sailing travel industry no such lobby group but it does have Classic Sailing fighting its corner. We can’t do it on our own, but with all the vessel operators we work with there is strength in numbers to fight unfair legislation, share expertise and ideas, support each other in times of trouble. It is awfully lonely out there being responsible for a 100 year old historic sailing ship or being an owner-skipper coping with a stroppy customer or a broken-down engine. If Classic Sailing Staff can’t offer immediate assistance we have a huge network of contacts and other vessel operators who might be able to help or advise.
The beauty of being part of a group of vessel operators is we can spot marketing trends or economic issues that might do damage to your business and make plans to buck any downward trends.
Tell us about your vessel and the voyages you want us to promote
If your proposal looks good, one of us will generally come and meet you to gather more information and tell you more about us and how we work. Zoom is a good alternative if you are distant. This would be in the strictest confidence. Classic Sailing Marketing can and does make a significant difference to the income of vessels we decide to work with. You have come to the right place for marketing but we will only take on vessels that are not going to significantly harm the income prospects of our existing sailing partners. Classic Sailing has worked for over 1996 to increase the overall audience for traditional sailing holidays for the benefit of all in our fleet.
A Provisional Decision from Us
To come to our decision we will do a SWOT analysis of your proposal to see if it fits our Business Model and whether we can make a significant difference to your income levels/viability. If there is a big overlap with other vessels in the fleet we may need to talk to them first. The full staff team here will make the decision, and explain whether we intend to proceed, postpone, or turn down working with you. No decision is written in stone and we will try and explain the ‘not now’ decisions. If we are able to add you to the fleet in the near future we will propose a timetable to ‘going live on the website’ with your voyages, subject to a mutual agreement to a contract of services.
A familiarisation sail by one of our sales staff (all experienced sailors) serves many purposes for us, from checking your operating procedures are safe and match industry norms, to talking to skippers and crew about your style of sailing and the sort of guests that will love your vessel. We can also take high-resolution photos and videos and talk through future sailing programmes.
This may not be practical for a variety of reasons but in the long term it is something we always try to achieve as soon as possible.
Agreement negotiation and working arrangements to take bookings etc
The customer terms and conditions will be your terms and conditions. Between Classic Sailing and your company or charity, we need a business to business agreement that covers everything else. Basically, we take a commission for our marketing and booking services plus a small subscription to be on our website.
When Classic Sailing receives a booking the following happens automatically –
The customer is sent an acknowledgment of the booking and introduction to you as the vessel owner/operator to explain that you will be dealing with the customer directly. We like to inform the customer in a friendly way so that they begin to know you and who is likely to be dealing with their booking.
We pass all the details to you to capture the booking and process payments.
Classic Sailing also receives a copy of the booking.
When you confirm the voyage to the customer as they have paid either a deposit or in full you send us a copy and we invoice you for our commission due on the 14th of the following month.
We have to be GDPR compliant in the way we pass on customer booking details to you. Our prices have to match your prices. We do need access to good images and permission to re-use some of your stories and social media posts.
Once we have a signed agreement that covers details like this we can start adding your vessel and voyages to our website and start finding customers for you.
Classic Sailing offers a highly respected booking service for tall ships and traditional vessels sailing throughout the world.
Let us know what you are offering and we will be happy to give you an answer as soon as practical.