With a coastline lining the Adriatic Sea, Croatia’s waters lie within a sheltered and semi-enclosed basin in one of the most isolated parts of the Mediterranean sea. There’s also over 1,000 islands to explore, making Croatia one of the best destinations for a sailing vacation.
While the French Riviera is often the preferred location as a yachting destination, the saturated waters mean tourists will struggle to beat the crowds, yet Croatia’s unspoiled coastline and charming bays closely resemble that of the Riviera back in time in the 50’s and 60’s.
Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know on going on a catamaran charter in Croatia.
Why a Catamaran Vacation?
While traditional sailboats can be notoriously difficult to handle with their one hull, a catamaran is balanced across two even hulls, making it a much easier sailboat to navigate in smooth waters. Not only is the catamaran a safer option for less experienced sailors, but they also traditionally offer much more space on deck than your average sailboat, with a small catamaran having at least two double cabins and plenty of room up top for enjoying the sun and sea.
While many people believe a yachting vacation is off the cards due to cost, providers like here offer some surprisingly affordable catamaran charters, with options to suit all budgets and ability levels. Some of the options for a catamaran charter include:
A crewed catamaran charter: If you can afford to splurge a little on your vacation, a crewed catamaran comes with all the staff you need for your party to be able to sit back and relax the whole time. While the captain will take care of everything from navigation to shipboard duties, there will also be a crew to handle the cooking and cleaning too.
A skippered catamaran charter: If you’re happy to put in a little bit of work too, a skippered catamaran charter could be a more budget friendly option and will also give you more independence onboard your catamaran. The skipper will handle navigation and provisions, as well as teaching you how to handle the catamaran for yourself, while your party will be expected to take on shipboard duties like raising the sales.
A Bareboat catamaran charter: A bareboat charter is suitable for those with solid sailing experience, who feel comfortable taking the helm by themselves. It should be noted that those opting for this option will likely need to prove their competence onboard with proof of a sailing license. In addition, you’ll need to be experienced at navigating unfamiliar waters in order to ensure you can keep your party safe.
A by the cabin catamaran charter: If your party is small and your budget is tight, a by the cabin charter is the best option for a catamaran vacation. A by the cabin charter means you’ll hire a cabin onboard a shared catamaran with a group of other people. One of the benefits of doing it this way is that you’ll benefit from a full crew to take care of you onboard so you can kick back and put your feet up.
When is the Best Time to Visit Croatia?
The yacht charter season in Croatia is slightly shorter than more westernly European countries, beginning in May and ending in October. The best times to go are usually between June and August when the sea is at its warmest and temperatures are around 26-27 degrees celsius as any time before or after this can get a little chilly. If traveling in August, you may be able to find some attractive last-minute deals for the end of the season.
One thing to be aware of is that any end of season deals advertised for after August may leave you feeling like you’ve mis-sold a trip as many shops, cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions begin to close shop for the winter by this time.
Tips for Your First Catamaran Charter
A catamaran vacation is a little different to your standard vacation in a hotel, so there’s some things to be aware of before you travel.
- Make sure you purchase adequate insurance – Even if you’ve chosen the fully crewed catamaran charter option, accidents can still happen so it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. A good travel insurance policy should cover for travel mishaps, personal possession loss, and most importantly, emergency medical and dental cover.
- Pack lightly – Remember that while a catamaran is roomier than your average sailboat, you still won’t have as much room to store your personal possessions as if you were in a hotel room. For this type of vacation, it’s best to pack light and only take the essentials.
- Leave the fancy stuff at home – Never travel without those Jimmy Choos or your latest handbag collection? Think again if you’re going on a catamaran vacation. While you’ll mostly be at sea anyway, you should also be prepared for things to get a little salty out on the open sea.
Overall, Croatia is one of the best destinations you can choose for a catamaran vacation. With crystal blue seas that you can snorkel and paddleboard in, enchanting cities and towns dotted along the coastline for you to visit, and mesmerizing secluded bays that can only be explored by boat, it’s sure to be an unforgettable adventure.