Algarve home to Portugal’s first “IYT-approved” nautical school

Algarve Cruising Center (ACC) has become the first nautical school in Portugal to be formally recognised by International Yacht Training (IYT).

Based in Olhão and Faro, the school offers sailing and motor yacht courses that are approved by the UK’s Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) and grant access to the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) which acts as an internationally recognised qualification to sail.

The recognition came following a partnership between ACC and the Association for the Study and Conservation of Oceans (AECO).

Ricardo Barradas, the owner of the school and also a trainer at the Clube Internacional da Marina de Vilamoura, says that ACC “could put the Algarve on the map as one the main destinations for advanced nautical training”.

He believes the school offers a “leap in the quality of training” that is usually offered in Portugal.

Barradas also revealed that 30 ICC certificates have been awarded to local residents thus far while there have also been clients from England, Spain and France as well as Russia, Netherlands and Canada.

If all goes well, the school also would like to start working with other entities such as the University of the Algarve.

“The Algarve region has significant potential for nautical activities and there are many products yet to be explored such as advanced courses and even scientific tourism, but we need to innovate and invest,” he said.