Yacht charters in Abu Dhabi
You don't need to pay a small fortune to tour Abu Dhabi by boat Discuss this article
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As an island, Abu Dhabi has a host of boating and charter companies that will get you and your friends to various spots on the water. However, usually these services can cost a few hundred dirhams a head, which can be pretty pricey for a day trip. Addressing this issue is Antonio Neto, the founder of Capt. Tony’s charter company. We spoke to the sea-goer about his company and services.
When did you first realise or decide that becoming a captain of the seas was what you really wanted to do?
Having grown up in the beautiful town of Cascais on the west coast of Portugal the Atlantic Ocean has always been my ‘backyard’. Whether it was surfing, sailing or just swimming, the sea has always felt like familiar territory, so when I moved with my family to Abu Dhabi five years ago one of the first things we did was to buy a local fishing boat to start exploring the inshore waters that surround the archipelago of the capital. We fell in love with the place and all its natural wonders.
Can you describe your enterprise for us?
It started like this. Every time I took guests with me on the boat for the first time the reaction was always one of surprise and amazement. Nobody could believe how beautiful the coastline was and how rich an eco-system we have. So I decided to start Capt. Tony’s at Yas Marina to offer people the chance to start enjoying Abu Dhabi by sea, only we do it differently, because when it comes to boats people usually assume it is very expensive and exclusive, so we decided to make it inclusive and quite affordable. This way everyone can come aboard with us and have a fantastic experience. On top of that our tours and cruises are educational – our crew will always take the time to talk about the local culture and environment as we feel this adds to the overall experience.
What is your earliest memory of being on a boat?
My father was a captain in the Portuguese Navy and I remember as a young boy visiting his frigate in the port of Lisbon on his last day of service. I had always considered following in his footsteps but decided to become an architect instead.
How do you deal with people that are afraid of the water?
We take safety very seriously. Our crew has more than the required qualifications and will be able to deal with any issue, but our tours are low-risk as we do not venture offshore except for fishing and never have to face fierce seas. So even those who are not entirely comfortable at sea are sure to have a great time on board.
What’s your most memorable experience out on the water?
Luckily I have had many memorable experiences out on the water in Abu Dhabi. When we encounter dolphins it is always special. We usually turn off the engines and watch them swim past in silence, it always makes my day. Another memorable experience was helping my kids save a hawksbill turtle covered in barnacles. We removed every barnacle one by one, saved her life and set her free.
What do you think makes a good sea captain?
Whether it’s a large ship or a small boat, the helmsman is always in charge and responsible for the safety of the vessel and everybody on board. A good captain should know his boat well, plan his trip ahead, be able to assess the conditions around him and always be prepared for surprises. At Capt. Tony’s, the captains also need to be able to engage with the guests and be on constant lookout for dolphins.
To learn more about the different packages at Capt. Tony’s or make a reservation visit www.captaintonys.ae (02 650 7175).
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