Yacht & Company Profiles
M/Y Starfire: Seven-Day Charter From Palermo to Catania
We invite you to spend seven days of luxurious relaxation aboard the magnificent Starfire
Feb. 5, 2006 12:00 PM
We invite you to spend seven days of luxurious relaxation aboard the magnificent Starfire. From the historic bay of Palermo, we will leisurely explore the enchantment of Sicily’s dramatic northern coastline. We will sail on to experience more remote Mediterranean islands, such as Ustica, Lipari, and Stromboli, as we make our way to the northeastern coast of Sicily, visiting the chic destinations of Portorosa, Taormino, and Messina.
Keep in mind that itineraries are only guidelines, and they are not etched in stone! The following outline for your journey is subject to change, as we are dependant on favorable winds and seas. However, we know the area very well and will have a contingency plan!
Our Starfire crew will ensure you see all the highlights while offering the ultimate in personal service and guest care. Welcome aboard!
Day 1: Pick-up Palermo
On arrival at the Palermo airport, a host from the Starfire crew warmly welcomes you to Sicily’s capital city – also the largest city on the island –stupendously located in its own wide bay underneath the limestone bulk of Monte Pellegrino. Within minutes you will be on board the M/Y Starfire, moored in the Port of Palermo.
After your journey there will be time to relax, explore your surroundings, and meet the entire Starfire crew before perhaps heading ashore to explore some of Sicily’s legendary sites.
If you care to head ashore, visit the ornate Piazza Bellini, the cathedral, and the Arab-Norman Palantine Chapel in the Royal Palace. A trip up to Monreale allows for a panoramic view of the Conca d’Oro (the golden shell) – the beautiful valley beyond Palermo with a spectacular and evocative landscape.
This evening, dine on board under the stars and enjoy the view, or head ashore to dine at one of Palermo’s many fine restaurants.
Day 2: Ustica
The next morning your crew will serve breakfast alfresco as your Skipper sets sail for a short, three-hour hop to the tiny volcanic island of Ustica – measuring just 3.3 square miles. We can spend the day exploring this oasis of peace and tranquility.
Unspoiled by tourism, Ustica’s magnificent seabeds are protected as a natural marine reserve, capturing an abundance of life in its clear, turquoise waters. It is not surprising that the area around Ustica is a paradise for scuba divers and snokellers.
Starfire will sail casually around the island visiting the numerous grottos along the coast. We will also spend time at anchor near Ustica, allowing you to relax on the sundeck or participate in what will surely be some unbelievable scuba diving.
Gaze out at the small town perched above the harbor. Along with little restaurants and cafes, Ustica also houses an underwater archaeological museum.
Some of the highlights on the scuba diving list are the delicate fan-like red gorgonias and the rainbow-colored sponges which can be found at Grotta dei Gamberi (a depth of approximately 42m) and at Secca di Colombara (a depth of approximately 40m). At Punta Gavazzi (a depth of 9 and 17m) many archaeological artifacts can be admired and photographed.
This evening, Starfire will head out for an overnight run to Lipari and the Aeolian Islands.
Day 3: The Aeolian Islands (The Lipari Group of Islands)
You will awake this morning to find we have traveled on from Ustica and are now further tucked between the toe of Italy’s boot and Sicily.
Welcome to the Aeolian Islands. Today, we cruise these blue waters of Sicily’s northeastern coast, dotted with islands that vary in character and landscape. From lunar-like Vulcano, to the quiet beaches of Salina (of “Il Postino” film fame) to the lush, cliff-top meadows of Lipari, the Aeolian Islands will fascinate us with their diverse and unusual topography.
We will first sail past Filicudi and Alicudi, which will surprise you with their enchanting sea.
We may also sail on to Panarea, the smallest island of the archipelago, which can offer you a relaxing mud bath if you choose, thanks to its natural springs.
The diving center “La Gorgonia” is on the island of Lipari, and they offer dive expeditions to such famous Aeolian Island dive spots as:
- Punta Castagna: A dive in unreal scenery, a platform at 10 meters, completely covered with white pumice that originates from the pumice mines above, and reminds us of a snow-covered roof-top in a skiing resort.
- Capo Grosso: A dive down a beautiful perfectly vertical rock face, which from the surface, stops on the sandy bottom at 50 meters.
- Scoglio Quaglietto: This is one of the nicest dives that the island of Vulcano has to offer. From the walls of the rock, to the inside of the grotto where there is a statue of the Madonna and a large quantity of shrimp.
- Le Formiche: This is an extremely varied dive site, where you can enjoy snorkeling as well as diving.
- Capo Grillo: This dive takes place alongside an impressive volcano slope that reaches great depths. The site is very interesting for photographers, offering them an infinite number of fantastic colorful macro opportunities.
- Secca del Bagno: The Secca del Bagno in without doubt one of the most interesting dive sites in the Eolian Archipelago, and is not very easy to find. It is not an easy dive. It consists of three submerged points, the highest of which is at a depth of 22 mt. The walls are very colorful.
- Pietra Menalda: This is one of the splendid rocks found on the southern side of Lipari, and offers divers a special naturalistic site. The most interesting dive is to circumnavigate the rock at a depth of between 18 and 40 mt.