The Kraken Story
Born from the desire to find sailing experiences that were more than the usual taverna hopping summer holidays, Kraken Travel was founded by CEO Henry Burkitt in 2017.
“Kraken was started as a reaction to all the boring sailing out there. The world is two thirds water and yet most people’s idea of sailing is pottering around the Med or staying within a few miles of Cowes. There is so much more out there and so much to explore.
Kraken’s objectives are to sustainably promote sailing in pristine environments for everyone. We don’t believe in barriers, whether that means ability, financial or physical, and we believe that we are under an obligation to leave the world in a better state than when we found it.”
Stuck in a legal job, Henry wanted to do something more meaningful in an industry that he cared about, so he quit his day job and went to work as a seasonal Skipper in Greece: “It was great for getting a tan but I kept thinking that there must be more out there. I got so bored of doing the same thing every day, bobbing around from taverna to taverna. I didn’t know anything about the exploration side then, so as soon as I got back I started searching for adventures.”
Henry found the perfect adventure in Norway, and set sail to the Traena music festival, “It was absolutely amazing and all very immersive. The whole trip was naturally very green and environmentally friendly, which really spoke to me.” From here, he found, chartered and skippered the 100ft expedition yacht ‘Prolific’, and spent five weeks in Svalbard conducting marine mammal research.
I wanted a focus on sustainability and the environment and I wanted to make sailing accessible
Throughout his adventures, it occurred to Henry that without a full boat on these trips, the operators lose a lot of money, “I wanted to be involved somehow but I didn’t want to be a tour operator. I wanted to start a family and settle down, but I felt really strongly about setting something up for the adventurers out there who wanted something different. I wanted a focus on sustainability and the environment and I wanted to make sailing accessible, to remove the perception that it was just a rich, white man’s sport.”
The second company Henry spoke to was the Jubilee Sailing Trust, an incredible company, truly committed to making sailing accessible to all: “My mum had had a stroke, which left her in a wheelchair due to right side paralysis. We were able to set sail with the JST, and mum was in the crow’s nest on the main mast within no time. This company was changing perceptions, removing all the barriers and making sailing overtly accessible. Not only that, but each trip was a real adventure.”
“Collating these trips, and other adventures, into one place became the obvious next step for me. A place and a brand like this would provide a huge opportunity to pioneer and push for these incredible adventures without barriers. With a focus on inclusivity, equality and sustainability, we are not here for a fast buck. It means a lot more to us.”