Gulets Offer a Sparkling Sailing Experience in Croatia

The Gulet Nevijana in port in Croatia. Goolets.net photo.
The Gulet Nevijana in port in Croatia. Goolets.net photo.

Why Charter a yacht in Croatia from Goolets? Why not!?

By Max Hartshorne
GoNOMAD Editor

Laura Orsini is a travel blogger who lives in Laguna Beach, California.  Earlier this year, she chartered a Gulet from Goolets.net to travel through beautiful Croatia.  Gulets are boats built in Croatia that are the perfect vessel for exploring the country's craggy coastline.

Enjoying breakfast aboard the gulet, contemplating an exciting day of sports and swimming in Croatia. Goolets photo.
Enjoying breakfast aboard the gulet, contemplating an exciting day of sports and swimming in Croatia. Goolets photo.

We sat down with Laura and asked her about the trip and to provide some advice for anyone who might also be interested in a Croatian yacht charter on one of these unique yachts.

When did you charter a yacht from Goolets?  Tell us about your trip and when it took place and where?

We chartered the yacht through Goolets and left for our week-long trip in mid-June 2018.  Our route was through coastal Croatia with the following itinerary: Split - Milna - Vis - Hvar - Vela Luka - Korčula - Sumartin - Milna - Split.

I had a wonderful time exploring Croatia by gulet!  Being aboard a gulet allowed us to see so much of the Croatian islands in just a week.  The water was just as turquoise as I had imagined and the Croatian towns we visited were filled with so much history and beauty.

We spent our days floating in the sea, paddle boarding around the islands and relaxing on the boat. And, of course, the Goolets team was wonderful to work with -- providing support throughout our vacation experience.

Laura Orsini, a California-based travel blogger who chartered a gulet with friends last year in Croatia.
Laura Orsini, a California-based travel blogger who chartered a gulet with friends last year in Croatia.

Tell us about the people who went with you on the cruise. How old and what relation to you?

On the cruise was myself (age 29), my boyfriend (age 30) and our friend (age 32).

Had you ever chartered a yacht before you did the trip with Goolets?

We have chartered day yachts but never a week-long gulet trip. This was our first!

What were you afraid of when you first considered taking the boat?  Were there things that you thought you would be afraid of that turned out not to be a problem?

The only thing that I was afraid of was the possibility of seasickness. Typically, I don't get seasick but I had also never spent a week on a gulet before so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Luckily, I felt fine the whole time! Croatia has wonderfully calm waters so we were pretty much smooth sailing the whole week.

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What Went Differently?

What is the main challenge is this type of vacation? Is there anything that went totally differently after you set sail that you didn’t expect?

Watersports are a big part of the experience on a chartered gulet.
Watersports are a big part of the experience on a chartered gulet.

Croatia is a popular destination and can become quite crowded in certain places -- one challenge was figuring out how to avoid the crowds.  Luckily, spending a week on a chartered gulet allows for flexibility in your itinerary. It was amazing being able to change course if we found a place was too crowded -- and this was how we found some of our favorite spots!

What advice would you have for a future traveler interested in chartering a Gulet?

Communicate your preferences to the Goolets team.  Would you like to see all the major 'hot spots' in your destination or would you rather seek the less 'discovered' places?  Would you prefer to spend your days swimming in the sea or on land exploring? Or both? Let the team know and they can make informed suggestions for your itinerary.

What did you bring with you that turned out to be completely unnecessary when you got to the boat?

I brought my own towel but didn't end up needing to use it because towels were provided.

What do you wish you had brought with you?

There wasn't really anything that I felt I should've packed but didn't.  We did purchase a pool float to use in the sea while on the cruise. Our crew blew it up for us and we tied it to the boat with a rope -- the ultimate way to relax!

Tell us about any storms or other hazards you faced during your yacht charter?

During our last day, it began to rain in the late afternoon -- as a result, we changed course and stopped in Milna for the night.  Although we had visited before, we were happy to stop by again and check out a different restaurant! Other than that, the weather was perfect.

Generally, how much of a sailor does someone have to be to feel comfortable taking a Goolets vessel out?

I have zero sailing experience and I felt completely comfortable the entire week.  While we didn't do any sailing, our crew was knowledgeable about all things boat related and we left it completely up to them!

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Did you have a captain on board who helped to navigate and take care of sailing?

The pretty Croatian coast. Laura Orsini photos.
The pretty Croatian coast. Laura Orsini photos.

Yes, we had a captain and a deckhand on board to navigate the boat and plan out the itinerary.  While the boat had sailing capabilities, we used the engine for the duration of the trip.

What other staff was aboard the boat during your trip?

Also on board with us was the chef, who prepared incredible meals daily, and the hostess who assisted the chef and helped with any requests from our group.

Now that you’ve done this once, where else would you like to go on a charter cruise?

Next up, I would love to visit Turkey!  I've heard incredible things about their coast and would love to spend a week exploring a country I've never visited before!

Tell us a few secret places that you and your friends discovered when you chartered the boat?

Each day we would try to find a secluded cove where we would spend the day swimming, paddle boarding and relaxing.  The clearest waters we found were on the island of Vis near an abandoned submarine base -- it was such a great day exploring.

Read Laura Orsini's blog The Republic of Rose, about her travels around the world.

Find out more about how you can charter a gulet in Croatia from Goolets.net.

Max Hartshorne

Max Hartshorne has been the editor and publisher of GoNOMAD Travel in South Deerfield Mass since 2002. He worked for newspapers and other sales positions for 23 years until he finally got what he wanted, and became the editor at GoNOMAD. He travels regularly, enjoys publishing new writers, and watching his grandchildren grow up.