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Yacht surfing: Don’t just look at the water — sleep on it


luxury yacht in Porto Cervo dock, Sardinia

luxury yacht in Porto Cervo dock, Sardinia

Today’s traveler is all about the experience, and many are looking for something beyond the old familiar hotel stay.

If that’s you, and your travel plans take you anywhere near a good-sized body of water, you’ve got a major alternative available to you.

Instead of sleeping ashore, you can rent a berth on a houseboat or even a yacht.

Who needs to sleep on a waterbed when you can sleep on the water itself?

Houseboat rentals have always been available on inland waterways across North America, from the Erie Canal and the Mississippi River to the California Delta.

If your vacation style is more urban, you could always rent a houseboat in Sausalito, just across the bay from San Francisco.

Then the couchsurfing concept came along and stood the travel industry on its head. Now, the idea has found its way to boat owners looking for a way to finance their floating lifestyles.

Airbnb, say hello to Boatbnb, and welcome aboard…in San Diego.

The company rents privately owned yachts in the Shelter Island anchorage as B&Bs. All the attractions of downtown San Diego, are minutes away by car or even walking.

The gorgeous views of the San Diego Bay and skyline are free.

The vessels range from sailing ships to cabin cruisers to catamarans. And some of them are available for charter. Your own private mini-cruise.

If you’d rather cruise than snooze, you can do that through sites like Boatsetter, which offers all the joys of recreational boating, without needing to own your own boat.

Floating B&Bs, land their landlocked counterparts, come in all sizes and all levels of comfort. But many come with fully equipped galley kitchens, bathrooms with showers, flat-screen TVs, you name it.

Whether houseboat, cruiser or yacht, or rivers, lakes or bays, you can find boat lodging all over the world, if you know where to look. And if you’re reading this blog, you already know where to look — the Web.

Just search terms like “houseboat rentals” or overnight yacht rentals” or “boat bnbs,” and add the destination of your choice, and check out the options that come up.

So if you’re looking to break the chain hotel habit, consider a stay where you’ll likely be greeted not merely with a welcome, but “Welcome aboard!”

Greg Gross is the Publisher/Sr. Editor of “I’m Black and I Travel!,” and the owner of the Trips by Greg travel agency, specializing in cultural and heritage travel worldwide.

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