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Brisa Elegante: The Luxurious Sailing Experience in Quepos & Manuel Antonio

Have you seen a classical two-masted sailship cruising along the coast of Manuel Antonio, the sails spread in the wind? Or have you visited Marina Pez Vela, where a wooden sail cruiser dominates the view of the marina?

This is Brisa Elegante, the new landmark of Quepos and Manuel Antonio.

What kind of sailship is this?

Brisa Elegante was built in 2010 by the Fethiye Shipyard in Turkey. She is a Gulet, a type of sail cruiser known for its spacious and robust design. Shipbuilding in the south of Turkey has a long tradition. More than 2000 years ago, even the Phoenicians had their ships built in this region.

Gulet became popular in the 1930s in the Eastern Mediterranean, with growing popularity during the following decades. Today, Gulets are popular for day cruises and week charters in the Med, especially in Turkey, Greece, and Croatia.

But Brisa Elegante is special! Her hull is built from solid 3-inch mahogany planks, giving her a unique look and strength. She boasts a spacious foredeck, providing room for functions, weddings, and parties, and for your family and friends to enjoy a cruise on the Pacific Ocean.

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Brisa Elegante: The Journey

Brisa Elegante is the wooden sail cruiser in Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. She has become the landmark of the marina. It is an impressive sight when she enters the marina after sunset.

Hearing of Brisa Elegante’s heritage from Fethiye, Turkey, our guests regularly ask us how Brisa Elegante came to Costa Rica. Well, here is the whole story.

After her completion and initial operation in Turkey, she sailed from Fethiye from east to west through the Mediterranean and past Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. She crossed the Atlantic Ocean to St. Lucia in the Caribbean and sailed to her new home in St. Augustine FL, USA. This whole journey took her three months and has proven one thing—she is seaworthy!

In the Municipal Marina in St. Augustine, we took her over precisely one year ago, in April 2021. This was following a thorough one-week survey, crawling through the bilges, climbing on masts, and testing all systems. It was the highlight of the survey when she left her berth in the marina, sailing under the Bridge of Lions into the open bay for her sea trial. All systems worked, the bilge remained dry, and she moved confidently in the swell rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean. So, nothing stood in the way to take her over and plan her journey to Costa Rica.

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Brisa Elegante: Be Relaxed, Be Amazed, Be You

Brisa Elegante is a 100’ gulet, a traditional two-masted wooden sailing ship built on the southwestern coast of Turkey in the coastal towns of Bodrum, Fethiye, and Marmaris.

BE relaxed

Enjoy a cruise or an overnight charter on a Blue Cruise, also known as a Blue Voyage. This expression stands for a recreational cruise along the Mediterranean coast of Greece and Turkey. These cruises are typically a week-long trip aboard the local gulet schooners, where families and friends are relaxing on board, enjoying their company, food, wine, the warm water, clear sky, and the sun.

BE inspired

Why Blue Cruise? The color blue symbolizes both, the sky and the sea, and is associated with open spaces, independence, intuition, imagination, inspiration, and sensitivity. 

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Brisa Elegante: The Sail Cruiser in Marina Pez Vela

Fun Facts

Brisa Elegante has now been sailing in Quepos’ waters for some three months. Many of our readers have seen her cruising along the beach of Manuel Antonio, or lying at anchor in the bay off Playa Tulemar. Her silhouette with her solid hull, her two masts, and sleek bowsprit, together with the sails, are making her distinctive. She is a Gulet and built in Turkey in a traditional shipyard in Fethiye. Ships have been built there for more than 2000 years, so it is safe to say that the ship carpenters over there know their trade.

Did you know that Brisa Elegante is larger than Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria? With 100ft in length, Brisa Elegante exceeds Santa Maria by 40ft, and with a beam of 22ft, she is 4 ft wider than Santa Maria. Just imagine crossing an ocean to an unknown destination on a vessel of this size! One has to appreciate the courage and bravery of the sailors these days. By the way: if you find a new continent on your cruise with Brisa Elegante, please let us know. We will feature this in one of our future editions of Quepolandia.

Brisa Elegante has a good spirit who is protecting the vessel. Her name is Raquel, and you can find her under the bowsprit. She is the figurehead of our cruiser, and always observing our course and protecting us from harm and misfortune. Raquel is carved out of one solid piece of wood and a piece of art. Make sure you don’t miss her when sailing on Brisa Elegante.

The cruise on Brisa Elegante takes you along rocky island off Manuel Antonio and the National Park. Observe the birds sitting on the islands and escorting us on our cruise. Especially the Brown Boobies are very curious and fly around the bowsprit. Quite often, dolphins can be seen playing under the bowsprit. It seems that they are observing us on the vessel. When surfacing, they have fun spraying water at us through their blowhole. We are sure that we have seen them smiling at us!

A really cool thing is the water toys on board! Next to the snorkeling gear, there are stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, surfboards, and a floating mattress. Snorkel to the reefs nearby our anchor spot, and observe the thousands of colorful reef fishes, octopuses, and lobster. Test your skills on the paddleboard, it is more challenging than it appears. Float on the water mattress and enjoy a Mojito or two. These are the moments where you feel that you really are on vacation!

Contact us at info@sailcr.com
More information at SailCR.com

Brisa Elegante: The New Experience in Quepos-Manuel Antonio

Looking over Marina Pez Vela, the wooden sail cruiser Brisa Elegante dominates the view of the marina. She has become the new landmark of Quepos and Manuel Antonio.

Your cruise on Brisa Elegante starts from here and takes you out on the Pacific Ocean. 

So, how is sailing on Brisa Elegante?

After leaving the marina and setting the sails, the long pacific waves gently roll the cruiser. This feels a bit like sitting in a giant rocking chair on the front porch—with a gigantic view!

Watch the dolphins playing under the bowsprit and how they are chasing each other. Just relax and enjoy the sound of the wind in the sails and the water murmuring under the keel.
What are our guests saying?

Daniela from Switzerland is taking a deep breath, saying: “Now I really feel like being on vacation!”.

Anne-Marie from Canada is happy: “This is the single best experience I had during my stay in Costa Rica.”

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