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“just do it its awesome”
Review of Great Escape

Great Escape
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Opua
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Escape from ordinary and set sail with us. We have a fleet of well-maintained yachts and powerboats for Bareboat Charter, Flotilla Rallies and Learn to Sail courses. Our boats are suitable for two to six people; complete novices can be skippering their own boat in our beautiful Bay of Islands after once of our sailing courses, experienced sailors can cast off straight away. Learn to sail through our sailing school certified Yachting New Zealand instructors and gain Yachting New Zealand Keelboat Sailing qualifications.
Reviewed 13 March 2013

I have just returned from a 9 day yacht hire in the Bayof Islands .My partner and i chartered a 30ft Nolex which was just the perferct size for what we wanted.We chose Great EScape because they were competitive price wise, and were so easy to deal with and helpful..The boat was in good order and sailed beautifully.It was a centre board so we had great anchorages close to shore.There were good navigational maps on board so we really saw and loved most of the BAy of Islands
Darren the managing director was tops he and his business really impressed us.
He is very experineced in his field and has a great sense of humour to go with it.
We love the way he has a learn to sail programme on the smaller yachts for those new to sailing also.
He also met us after the sail in a bar in PAhia and bought us a drink which was a lovely way to end our holiday
Would totally recomend the type of holiday we just had with Great Escape Yachts lovely winds warm sea and plenty of sun and cheaper than a camper van!!

1  Thank Rosie h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatEscapeNorthland, Manager at Great Escape, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2013

Hi Rosie

Really glad you had a great time, it was so nice meeting you and Ian. Look forward to seeing you again.

Darren

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83 - 87 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2013

The location is easy to get too. The boat we hired- a 25ft nolex was in below average condition. For the price paid i expect the boat to be kept in a good use-able condition but there were things not working such as the tiller extension was non existence having being removed and one of the main winches was broken. Further examples were that the icebox did not have its chilling system working and the charts were rough and old. I expect these to all be on the owners check-sheet before they rehire it out, they should definitely be offering discounts on arrival for such poor/non existent equipment. It also wasnt in some respects decked out in a standard as to what i expect from a charter such as it did not have a self furling jib.
Perhaps the most off putting part of the trip was the attitude of the woman co-owner she did not make us feel welcome, which was in stark contrast to the man co-owner. We did not feel she treated us like customers should be.
Response time to communication from them was very good.
I suggest you thoroughly enquire of them the status of the facilities of the boat before you sign up

3  Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatEscapeNorthland, Owner at Great Escape, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2013

Hi There..

Very sorry you felt this way.
We have clearly stated on our website the equipment provided on the boats. the Noelex 25 are a great yacht that are simple and well priced.
They are not designed to have furling headsails and the sail area is so small that it is not warranted, these boats form the basis of our sailing school so beginners need to learn sail changing etc.. and are perfect for the budget conscious.
The next boat up and suited for more experienced sailors is the Noelex 30 and for an extra $80/day you get all the equipment you missed, I am sorry we didn't properly interpret your expectations and could have done better at matching you with a more suitable yacht.

There is no excuse for you being made to feel unwelcome at Great Escape ( the female co-owner is no longer involved).

I feel we offer great value, to sail one of the best sailing destinations in the world for $250/day.. not bad..
Regards
Darren (male co-owner)

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Reviewed 1 March 2012

My family hired the Catamaran from Great Escape in January for 4 days. It was very well fitted out, in great condition and had really good living and sleeping accomodation. It was a good bit cheaper than catamarans from other bigger charter companies and you can book by the day rather than a whole week.. and although perhaps not as new with less bathrooms than other cats, was perfect for us. Especially liked the freezer, fridge and fantasitc BBQ off the back and the large eating area. This is a family run business and they were extremely helpful, from booking right through to the end of the charter. Highly recommend. Bay of Islands is a great cruising spot for young families, plenty of islands to visit, sheltered water for swimming off the boat and lots of blue penguins and dolphins to spot..

1  Thank Shobo_111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatEscapeNorthland, Owner at Great Escape, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2014

Hello and so glad you enjoyed your experience with us, especially pleased you felt safe with us. I hope you continue your sailing and it would be nice to see you again..

Regards
Darren

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Reviewed 7 February 2012

We had a really fantastic time on a chartered sailingboat from this company. We sailed for 4 days (3 nights) in the bay of islands with a 25ft boat with a lifting keel. We got some great advise on which bays to ancor: most of the time we were the closesed boat to shore (with our keel lifted ofcourse). It was like having the whole island/beach to ourselves. We even saw dophins and a pinguin!
The boat was not new, but well maintained. Only the matresses/couchpillows were a tat worndown.
The couple who's exploiting this company is really friendly and helpfull, they do sailinglessons as well (if you are not an experienced sailor, you can take a course and then go off on a rented boat for a couple of days to practice what you have learned).
We had good value for money and recommend the Great Escape to anyone who likes sailing!

2  Thank MnMNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 February 2015
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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