Orient Charters
Answers to frequently asked questions


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Is it safe to travel in Asia?
At the time of writing, although there may be travel advisories issued by various governements they normally relate to major resorts and do not apply to small and remote islands. We are not aware of any current political or religious disturbances in the area which would cause a problem. No where is 100% safe anymore but the main targets are always going to be places with a high density of people. As we specialise in finding quiet and remote places we tend to spend most of our time well out of the way of any potential trouble spots. Some parts of southern Thailand close to the border with Malasia should be avoided.

You should of course take the same precautions against theft etc that you would take at home or anywhere else. I have no hesitation in recommending the area as a holiday destination but do check when booking.

What is the weather like?
The normal weather between November and April (the dry season) is perfect for sailing with clear skies, calm sea conditions and light to moderate breezes. From April (the rainy season starts) to July the wind can be more fickle, more cloudy, and there are often rain squalls sometimes with wind. From August to October the rain gets more frequent and can sometimes last or several days.

What will I have to do on board?
The RYA courses obviously require active involvement. If you are cruising or chartering you are free to choose your own level of participation although we encourage our guests to take part and enjoy the thrills of sailing. If you want to do an ocean passage we would expect you to participate in the sailing and watch system. If you just want to relax and have a holiday please let us know when booking.

How do I know that the yacht is safe?
Meniscus has been surveyed on behalf of the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and is registered as a commercial vessel with the Marine Safety Agency for unlimited offshore passage making. She is also recognised as an RYA Sail Training Vessel and carries all the required safety equipment on board as well as complying with stringent stability and safety requirements. Meniscus has also been fitted with sophisticated electronic systems to help improve safety.

What do I need to bring with me?
Here are a few things you might want to bring:-

  • Meniscus is a bare foot boat but if you want to wear shoes they must be clean white soled and only for wearing on deck
  • sailing gloves for tender hands
  • light waterproofs for normal trips - check if warm clothing is needed if joining for a potentially cold passage
  • sunscreen/block
  • sun glasses
  • sun hat
  • swimming costume
  • beach towel
  • your favourite cassettes or CD’s
  • small personal medical kit: painkillers, sea sickness, stomach, antiseptic, plasters, etc.
    anti malarial's if appropriate
  • mosquito repellant - but please bring creams and not the highly flammable jungle formula sprays
  • note pad and pencil if doing a course
What is included in the price?
All meals taken on board Meniscus (full board is available unless you choose to eat ashore).
  • General sailing instruction and involvement in the day to day sailing and other activities aboard Meniscus.
  • RYA practical courses and certificates as appropriate (if requested).
  • Use of snorkeling and fishing equipment. (Divers need to be qualified and arrange their own insurance.)
  • Use of bed linen and towels (but please bring a beach towel).
  • Use of wet weather clothing if required.
  • Use of safety equipment as appropriate. Meniscus is equipped to DoT requirements for category "0" - unlimited passage making.

What do I need to arrange?

  • Return travel arrangements at the beginning and end of your holiday plus any visas required.
  • Any necessary vaccinations/medication e.g. malaria tablets in some parts of the world.
  • Spending money for drinks onboard and ashore, excursions ashore, restaurant meals, souvenirs, local taxes etc.
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Transfers to and from airport

Do I need to Worry about Malaria?
Malaria is not normally a problem in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Mergui, Andaman. Please request more information if booking for destinations in Borneo or Indonesia.