Have 30 Friends Chartering A Super Yacht In Croatia This | phillipspacc

Have 30 Friends? Chartering A Super Yacht In Croatia This Summer Is Possible


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Hear me out. I also used to think chartering a super yacht was something reserved for the ultra-rich and famous, and not something I would ever experience myself.

Most of us have seen Below Deck and imagined ourselves on a super yacht with our friends or family, sailing around gorgeous Mediterranean islands, eating fresh seafood with truffles and drinking fine wines. But then reality hits us that we probably don’t have an extra $20 million sitting in the bank to buy a 50-meter yacht.

However, there is a solution. One that doesn’t require much more money than you would spend on a 4-star All-Inclusive resort in Cancun for example. And I’m going to show you how to get it.

Croatia super yacht

I recently got the chance to spend a week on a super yacht in Croatia, and I’m here to tell you all the juicy details.

Pricing (which is surprisingly lower than I thought), the perks that are included, exactly how to book it yourself, and why Croatia has recently become the hottest sailing destination.

While of course time on a super yacht is going to cost more than a Carnival cruise, I’m happy to report this bucket-list experience is within reach for many travelers, even easier if you have a group to travel with, and it will surely stand out from any vacation you’ve had before.

Let’s dive in.

yacht in croatia Goolets

Goolets – A charter company that offers luxury for less

I recently sailed with a European yacht company called Goolets, aboard their yacht called ‘Cristal’ throughout stunning Croatia.

Goolets is different than your average stuffy yacht charter company. They’re making a name for themselves in the yachting world because they make charting more affordable without skimping on the luxury. Where traditionally, it’s difficult to find a luxury yacht charter for under $250k a week, Goolets is offering charters for much less, but keeping the experience high-end.

This is what originally piqued my interest, their ability to compete in the market and offer a prime yacht experience for less, and of course, then I saw how extravagant Cristal really was.

I stepped aboard the Cristal in the middle of the enchanting city of Split, Croatia, which is an experience in itself, and immediately fell in love with how different the yacht world is compared to other types of vacations.

appetizers aboard Goolets 'Cristal' yacht as we boarded

The Experience – What Sailing on a Yacht is Actually Like

I’m no stranger to traveling, I’ve been doing it full-time for the last 8 years, so when I say I am impressed by something, it’s a genuine declaration. I think anyone in the world would say they were superbly impressed by a week on a super yacht, but I’m going to tell you why.

The one-on-one service, the attention to detail, and the small intimate environment make it unbeatable in terms of memorable experiences. I was on the ship with 25 other people, which still felt social and fun, but extremely private at the same time. Everyone had their own space and freedom but was easy to connect when we wanted to.

The service on a super yacht is unlike anything you can find at a hotel, resort, or on a cruise. The staff has a psychic-like ability to predict what you need, when you need it.

To be honest, the service is so unparalleled, it kind of ruins you for other types of travel. Just imagine a team of staff that is excited about meeting your every need and executes everything from a simple drink to a towel refresh, to a gourmet meal with ease.

Here’s what I did on a typical day:

A day in the life of super-yachting

8:00 am – wake up to the light sound of the motor as we get ready to set sail from port and onto the Adriatic

breakfast on yacht

8:30 am– Having breakfast upstairs while leaving city port, watching the cityscape and the coastal scenery.

10:00 am – Taking a coffee and a book on the sundeck as we’re cruising through open waters

coffee on bow deck yacht

1:00 pm – Lunch is served in the lounge, Tuna tartar, roasted sea bass with veggies, and lavender panna cotta to finish.

2:00 pm – We’ve set anchor in a crystal clear bay, time to go down the mega-slide, have a swim and get on the jet-skis.

swimming off the side of the yacht in Hvar Croatia

4:00 pm – We’ve anchored in a quaint and charming Croatian island town. Taking the next few hours to walk around, try some local snacks, do some shopping, take some photos, and enjoy the quiet vibe.

6:00 pm – Cocktail hour on the bow deck with champagne, appetizers and martinis, watching the sunset, spending time with friends on board.

walking around Vis Croatia

8:00 pm – 3-course dinner in the lounge of seafood salad, black truffle and caviar pasta, finishing with pistachio cannoli.

10:00 pm – Dance party on the sundeck with cocktails, followed by a dip in the hot tub.

sunset in vis croatia

Now, I know you came here for the nitty-gritty, so let’s talk numbers…

The Pricing – Chartering A Super Yacht In Croatia Is More Affordable Than You Think

When I say affordable, I mean it, but there is a caveat to having some friends, family, or a small group join you.

How does vacationing on a private super yacht, casually sailing through crystal blue waters of Croatia, being spoiled by attentive staff, with gourmet food and drinks included, for around $3900 a week sound?

That is how much a week-long luxury vacation is aboard the Cristal when all of her cabins are occupied.

paddleboarding beside a yacht in Croatia

Per person breakdown:

  • 3900 euros
  • 1 week
  • Gourmet breakfast, lunch, dinner included
  • All-inclusive drink package

This is based on the yacht having all 15 cabins booked, roughly 30 guests, as the price per week starts at 90k. Traveling as a group significantly reduces the cost per person, making this luxurious experience surprisingly affordable.

While you might be thinking “Okay, I can’t even wrangle my immediate family together for Christmas dinner, let alone a vacation in Europe”, here are some other ideas where getting a group of 20-30 people together for a trip is perfect:

  • Hosting a retreat or a workshop
  • Having your wedding aboard
  • Milestone birthdays, anniversaries, or other celebrations
  • Family or school reunions
  • Corporate Incentives
  • Groups, clubs, or teams you belong to
  • And of course, friends and family will make the most memorable vacation

The price changes based on occupancy, so for example if you have 10 people, it’s roughly $10k each, or 20 people around $4800 each.

octopus dish

Compare This To An All-Inclusive Vacation

To put this into perspective for you, here is a great example of a different kind of vacation you could take for the same amount of money, even if you only had 15-20 people on the yacht.

As I write this, I just returned from an All-Inclusive trip to Cancun, so I have my recent hotel bill to compare.

While an All-Inclusive resort in Cancun and a super yacht in Croatia are extremely different, it’s very important to note how similar they are in price.

I stayed at the Andaz, a 5-star resort tucked away in a gated community near Cancun called Mayacoba.
1 week here in an ocean view room is $4400 per person during shoulder season, coming in at the same for the Croatia super yacht experience with 20-30 passengers.

However, the value inclusions are strikingly different.

While I have nothing bad to say about the Andaz, the level of service and the level of experience are intensely contrasting.

At the Andaz, there is no personalized service; it’s just a normal, white-washed rectangle room in a spread-out compound with no real charm. The property itself, while good-looking, isn’t jaw-dropping by any means. And, well, it’s no yacht!

Yes, the Andaz doesn’t need you to gather 10 other couples for that pricing, but if you’re going down as a group for a wedding, to me the yacht trip makes way more sense.

man in the ocean in croatia

What About Compared To A Cruise?

If we compare a super yacht experience to a luxury cruise experience, there are definitely more similarities, but also notable differences.

To compare apples to apples, I’ll have to compare to a luxury line, smaller ship vibe.

We are talking gourmet food, nice cabins, and no buffets in sight. (Sorry Carnival, you cannot be not included in this comparison)

A week sailing around the Med on a luxury liner with 200-2000 other guests will set you back $4500-$1200 per person. While some of the benefits, like sailing into different ports, beautiful sea views, and the gourmet food might be the same as the yacht experience, here is where they differ: the personalized service. Even on one of the highest-end cruise liners, the staff have too many other guests to attend to, changing the level of personalized service you receive.

Cristal Yacht from Split Croatia at sunset in port

Luxury Liner compared to Yacht Charter

Pros for Luxury Liner

  • More onboard amenities and services, like shows, lectures, or large pools
  • More options for having daily variety in dining

Pros for Yacht Charter

  • In most cases, the cost is lower on a yacht charter, with Goolets at least.
  • More one-on-one attention and service.
  • The other guests will be people you know.
  • A yacht can enter more diverse ports, even ones in the middle of town (like in Split for example) where a cruise liner usually has to park far away.
  • More customization of the trip, itinerary, menu, and schedule.
  • More private and exclusive.
  • On-demand access to water toys and equipment.
  • The clout of charting a yacht, plain and simple.

The yacht charter still takes the cake for pricing, exclusivity, customization, and overall experience.

cristal yacht lounge

What’s Included For $90k A Week?

Okay, you’ve got a bunch of excited friends and you’re ready to book the charter, but what is actually included for the 90k rental?

You’ll get:

  • Goolets concierge and planner (to help you plan and customize your trip)
  • The yacht rental with 15 cabins, sleeping 30 (for the Cristal ship, their other yachts have different configurations)
  • 4 hours of cruising fuel per day
  • 11 crew members to take care of your every need, including housekeeping, bartending, cooking, serving, laundry, and really everything else under the sun.
  • Unlimited use of the A/C
  • Wi-Fi on board so you are always connected
  • VAT/TAX on the rental

On top of the rental, there are food and drinks packages for you to add on and customize as well.

  • HALF BOARD (breakfast, lunch): 450 €/person/week
  • ADVANCED HALF BOARD (breakfast, lunch, and 3x dinner): 500 €/person/week
  • FULL BOARD (breakfast, lunch, and dinner): 650 €/person/week
gormet food on yacht

So how we came to our $3900 per person per week price was:

The yacht rental with 30 people in May + plus full board meal plan + domestic drink package = $3900

You’ll also need to account for port/tourism taxes and tips.

cocktail on yacht in croatia

The Spaces and The Vibe

This was my first time spending more than a few hours on a yacht, so I had a lot of questions. What are the rooms like? Is there a lot of movement? What are the amenities like? Are there places to work?

(Okay maybe that last question just applies to me, but with more people remote working than ever before, you never know!)

Cabins: The cabins are surprisingly spacious for the size of a yacht and how many passengers she fits. They were remodeled recently to be ultra-modern in color and vibe and have everything you need. The en-suite bathrooms are also bright with great lighting for makeup and showers larger than I had expected.

cabins on cristal

Outdoor Space: There are many decks to relax on, both in and out of the shade, front and back of the ship.

On the top sun deck, there is also a hot tub which is perfect for after dark or on cooler days. The outdoor spaces are a mix of couches, chaise loungers, bar with stools, and tables with chairs.

There is pretty much a space for everyone and every kind of activity.

hot tub on cristal yacht

Indoor space: We had most meals served inside the lounge area, a space with proper dining tables, couches, and another bar. This area is super modern, and luxurious, and a nice break to get out of the sun.

There are massive windows beside the dining tables, so you won’t miss a thing going on outside.

Goolets has also just installed a cinema room in the Cristal for the 2024 sailing season, perfect for dealing with bad weather.

indoor dining on cristal

Vibe: We luckily didn’t deal with any bad weather during our charter, so there were no rough waters or crazy movements to deal with, just a light rocking while we were cruising though open waters.

Everything was extremely relaxed and pleasant.

Croatia: The Premier Yacht Charter Destination of 2024

Why Croatia?

I have been a raving fan of Croatia for years. From their digital nomad visa that allows remote workers to live and work for extended periods of time, to their insanely good food that rivals Italy’s (hello truffles and olive oil), to their jaw-dropping beaches, historical cities, and vibrant culture – Croatia has it all.

Croatia was the most popular sailing destination in the world in 2022, and came in 2nd place for 2023, with over 38% of the worldwide yacht charter bookings, so it’s no wonder Goolets has positioned itself in the perfect market.

Croatia is cheaper than Italy, it’s arguably more beautiful than Greece, and it’s safer than many other Mediterranean sailing ports.

Town of Dubrovnik heritage harbor view from above, Dalmatia region of Croatia

With over 1000 islands, you can easily pull your yacht right up to many different cities and towns, including:

  • Split (where I happened to set sail from)
  • Dubrovnik
  • Rovinj
  • Korčula
  • Vis
  • Mali Lošinj
  • Stari Grad
  • Trogir
  • Šibenik
  • Cavtat
  • Pucisca
  • Vrboska

Even if you don’t end up gathering 30 of your closest pals and chartering a super yacht anytime soon, you do need to add Croatia to your bucket list.

Quaint Marina In Cavtat, A Small Adriatic Village In The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Of Croatia, South Eastern Europe

How To Book

It’s super easy and they help you the entire way through. Goolets has yachts all over the Med and is expanding into more destinations as we speak.

They have yachts for all sizes of groups and budgets. While the one I had the delight of sailing on, The Cristal starts at $90k per week, they also have yachts running from just $36k per week. For group sizes, they can accommodate as little as 2 people, all the way up to 36 guests.

Thankfully they are super transparent and have all their prices listed for each yacht on their website, so you can start researching and planning more easily.

Hvar Town In The Island Of Hvar, Croatia, Seen From Atop The Fortress, Adriatic Sea

Travel Off Path was a guest of Goolets who helped with the creation of this article by hosting our accommodation and attractions. Our opinions, recommendations, and suggestions remain our own.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.