If you've travelled to Corfu with Contiki, there's one adventure (and you guy) you definitely won't be forgetting anytime soon - George's boat.
Offering one of the most memorable, idyllic and fun-filled Greek island hopping experiences, we got chatting to the man behind the magic to get the inside scoop on how he got into working with Contiki. Here's what George had to say...
Q. Tell us a little background about you, and how George’s boat came to be…
I started very young, in my mid teenage years working with my Uncle Giannis. My uncle used to work for Contiki, but at the time I was just a boat mechanic with a lot of confidence and a loud mouth. I brought my first boat ‘Odygitria’ in the 1970’s and did small excursions for Club Med. When my uncle retired, Contiki contacted me through word of mouth and that’s how I got the role – George’s Boat; my name’s George and I have a boat.
Q. How long have you been working with Contiki?
Since 1976, we’re here for a good time not a long time but I’m still going! 4 decades down already, and it only feels like yesterday we started out together. I’ve kept the 70’s and 80’s memories under lock and key.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your team, how many people work on the boat?
Since 1976 I’ve only ever had 10 staff! Myself and either my cousins Dimitri and Stavros, my daughters godfather Mixalis, or my son Nikos, as well as great friends, all of whom have been fantastic – first hand sailors and trusted companions. Currently Andreas has been working with me for the past 7 years- he went from not understanding a single word of English to now being a Greek to English translator.
Q. What do you enjoy most about working with Contiki and our travellers?
The diversity of the people on each of our tours! I know the words to nearly all of the national anthems in the world by now. I enjoy making people laugh and everyone on the boat is having a fantastic time! If my tour is happy, I am ecstatic. The Contiki reps have been my extended family. I enjoy spending time with my Contiki family; even if they are all over the world, we keep in touch. OPA!
Q. What’s the most unique thing about your job?
Being asked for my tzatziki recipe, and the way I cook up my fries all nice and spicy. I never go hungry on my job. We all eat well! Olives are good for your life.
Q. Have you got any fun facts about Corfu and George’s boat?
Do you know why the Greek flag is blue and white with a cross? Blue symbolises blue seas and blue skies, white symbolises our spirit/courage/love and the cross is because we are Christian Orthodox. Blue seas, blue skies, the greenest island in the Ionian with a rich history along with the hospitality of the Corfiots are a recipe for an unforgettable experience. I do about 32 trips and go through 500kg of tzatziki per month! I’d say by far the best way to experience the island is by sea. Don’t forget the suncream and enjoy the cruise!