There is no better way to unwind than floating on water, just being by water or connecting with it in some way. This has been known for millennia and more recently with devices such as flotation tanks.

There is something about the calm of water beneath and around you that lets the issues of the day literally float away. It has a multitude of benefits, both mental and physical. So, okay, having established the principle what can we do? One thing you can get into is Experiential Yachting. What? What’s that? Glad you asked. Let’s ask Maria Alekseenko who lives and works on the Riviera, Monaco to be exact, and knows a thing or two about the subject as she is the founder of Yachting Therapy & Experiential Yachting.

Hello Maria! How did you come up with the idea for Yachting Therapy?

Maria AlekseenkoI was always fascinated by the sea. I am an entrepreneur who came to Europe more than eighteen years ago with one way ticket, a few euros in my pocket and a pile of ambition. It was not easy, but somehow the sea and water activities guided me in the right direction. I learned to swim very late, I was over thirty, and so conscious about it that it established in me a very strong and delicate relationship with the water and the sea. It was not just about fun, fitness or wellness, but about emotional and physical equilibrium which became the base to balance all other aspects of life.

When someone close became ill I suggested that they spend some time on a yacht to see if being at sea would help through this stressful time. It did! Being a professional charter broker and with the support from medical professionals I started to design some courses based on the sea to work on physical (cellular, electromagnetic fields) and mental levels. A few months spent at sea on a yacht helped to conceptualise the practices and design and author a methodology which helps to activate natural survival instincts and help with health issues. This is how Yachting Therapy was ‘born’.

When and why did you start Experiential Yachting?

I entered the yachting industry 12 years ago as a business developer for the Russian market for a company in Antibes. I did my first yacht charters for the clients and friends. Later I opened my own company in Monaco, Maria Yachting, continuing collaboration with other brokers and shipyards. As a passionate adventurer, I was one of the first yacht charter brokers who has organised unique yacht charters in different destinations around the world, including Northern Norway, Madeira, Alaska, Antarctica and even Tanzania. Being lucky enough to know yachting from both sides: as a professional and as a client, I formed a deep knowledge and understanding of the needs and expectations of everyone involved. The company was renamed Experiential Yachting. The aim was to shift the perception of yachting from product orientated to experience orientated by ‘enriching’ yachting with a deeper purpose and providing exceptional experiences which in turn make a positive permanent differences to people’s lives.

Yachting Therapy

What is your goal for Yachting Therapy?

Yachting Therapy aims to make yachting a part of the ‘Ocean and Human Health’ sector. This sector promotes yachting not just as leisure or exploration oriented activity, but as an activity which reveals human potential through being connected with the sea.

In past few years I have spent a total of four months at sea. My main goal was to conceptualise and create a program. I am extremely proud of the final result. I have been running these trips for over two years now, working closely with the yacht owners and yacht charters, and we constantly receive wonderful feedback, which inspires me to continuously update and refine the program. Our lovely principality of Monaco has such a strong affinity with the seas and oceans. It makes total sense that we are based here.

Well, there you have it. The target is clearly your well being by positively connecting to the biggest thing we have on earth – our watery paradise, our seas and oceans! What better place to discover the benefits of being by and on the water than our own Mediterranean and, especially, our beautiful corner of it, the Riviera.

Yachting Therapy

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Olga Barrale
+33 (0) 6 40 61 68 99

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All photos courtesy Yachting Therapy

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