The Social Cooperative Enterprise "Aegean Sails" (Istia Aigaiou Koinsep) manages the Aegean Cargo Sailing and SailMed initiatives. Our aim is to promote ecological products sailing transportation, combined with cultural tourism in the Aegean Sea.
To make a long story short...
Jan Lundberg, an ecologist, journalist and philhellene, helped to coordinate the sailing cargo revival in the Atlantic Ocean , founded Sail Transport Network and settled in Greece with the aim of bringing this idea and practice to Greece and the Mediterranean. In 2016 he met Loucas Gourtsoyannis, who has been living on a sailing boat in Greek waters for five years, and together they gradually carried out the two actions. Aegean Cargo Sailing is a Greek adaptation of ten years of experience in the Atlantic Ocean, where three traditional sailing vessels, two of which without engine, regularly cross the ocean transporting organic local products such as coffee, rum, cocoa, wine, salted fish, etc. Other traditional sailing boats travel from Norway to Portugal and intermediate ports transporting organic local products.
In 2017, the first experimental sailing cargo round of the Aegean took place with the privately owned sailing boat of Paris Gourtsoyannis PELAGO (31 ft / 9.5 m BALATON 31) linking 6 islands, where samples were received from producers of organic, local, unique products, and transported to many Greek islands and Athens, in order to demonstrate the possibility of developing sailing routes that, among other things, aim to create new trade links. The video, which was created for the action, was screened in the USA and was received with enthusiasm, while it was followed by the invitation to submit a proposal for funding programs. The same video was the reason for receiving a request to transfer 1 ton of Kalamata olive oil to Italy with final destination Zurich.
In March-April 2018, 1000 liters of olive oil were transported on PELAGO from Kalamata to Italy and thenceforward to Zurich ( by electric car from the port of Civitanova - www.sigasiga.ch ). Afterwards, we linked 18 Aegean islands with the AVRORA (GIB SEA 43, 13m) charter boat during which we held meetings with producers, traders, municipal authorities and maritime groups, who were informed about the project and expressed great interest. Several producers provided samples of their products, which were transported by boat to stores on other islands, partnerships were launched and the opening of the market between the islands was initiated. During this tour, the director videographer Costas Giannakis traveled with us, and shot a new video and a documentary film that was screened at many festivals, won two awards and was sold to a film exploitation company. The illness and death of the founder Jan Lundberg in October 2018 in Karavostamos, Ikaria, where he lived for the last two years, brought changes to the working group and the funding that until then was realized through donations from the USA and Canada. The working group is now headed by Loucas Gourtsoyannis.
In the spring of 2019, products of the Aegean (olive oil from Samos and the Peloponnese, wine from Ikaria, Chios mastic) were transported by PELAGO to La Spezia, Italy and Nice, France. In the summer, the tour of the Aegean was repeated with the AVRORA sailboat in 18 islands, During this voyage we met with over 50 producers, whose sample products were transported to 15 stores in the Aegean, while we sailed 13 commercial orders. At the same time, we established relations and collaborations with local professionals who promote alternative and thematic tourism on the islands. Also, two groups of journalists from abroad were invited and traveled by boat, covering the action of the project on 7 islands and publishing articles that are part of our advertising campaign.
The Social Cooperative Enterprise was officially established in July 2019 with the aim of expanding these activities in Greece and achieve financial autonomy. The creation of a new sustainable wind sailing transport in combination with ecological tourism has now begun and is being developed.
Join our crew and sail with us towards a more sustainable future!
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