[SPLIT, CROATIA] — I knew she would be big. I had no idea she’d be THIS big.
It was the pictures that got me first.
Our awesome travel agent Ginny had been sending me pics of boats all over. “We want something cool” I’d said, these are my best friends. “Can you find a Turkish gulet in Croatia?” I’d seen gulets in Greece, so much better than a typical sailboat. I liked how they’re all built around a big broad dining table straddling across the back, not everyone scrunched in a tight cockpit all the time.
There were only a few gulets in Croatia, she found: Awesome boat. Awesome boat. “But THIS one…” Ginny teased. “Oh.My.God.” I became That Guy, the one who talked 11 others to put their lives on hold and go do this. “We gotta do this!.” I was freaked out, the pressure of all these people coming all the way to Croatia because I promised them something grand.
We all met up in Split, coming from five cities, canceled flights, some clothesless from long lost luggage (more pressure); others, giddy. “Go the harbor at the hotel, the boat will be there, you will see it.” Seriously, no number or anything?
Our small army walked down the planks, dragging luggage and hats; turned the corner of the dock and…. there she was. Queen of the Adriatic. “Holy shit! That’s ours? For a week?!?”
We all met up in Split, coming from five cities, canceled flights, some clothesless from long lost luggage (more pressure); others, giddy. “Go the harbor at the hotel, the boat will be there, you will see it.” Seriously, no number or anything?Our small army walked down the planks, dragging luggage and hats; turned the corner of the dock and…. there she was. Queen of the Adriatic. “Holy shit! That’s ours? For a week?!?”
Sure, you may have backpacked there earlier and did The Route. Split. Hvar. Dubrovnik. Maybe you drank your ears and bikini tops off during the well-conceived juggernaut that is Yacht Week. But now it’s time to go back and experience Croatia in a whole new way.
This is what you need to do: Get your own boat.
Last July my best friends and I chartered a big sailboat to bump around the thousands of islands of Croatia. It was amazing. Bringing their college age kids along made it even more fun.
Not just a generic fiberglass sailboat or wide body cat. We had 12 of us (!) on this 100ft/33m (!) steel-hulled Turkish gulet. A hundred feet of fun.
There’s a reason why this one is called Queen of the Adriatic — purposefully and unusually here because of its unique wide-back design, spacious layout, gigantic living areas and a world away from a tight traditional sailboat.
Normally you find these beasts only in Turkey or Greece, but few in Croatia. Even has a crew of four, including a chef and masseuse; five bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.
Looks expensive, but when you have a bunch a people, not that much more than doing the hotel thing.
This was our route. Croatia is made up of thousands of islands. We left Split, needing to dock in Dubrovnik in one week’s time. That was our only itinerary, the rest was up to us. Free to poke around, or hang around, any island in between.
Queen of the Adriatic has six cabins. Four doubles and two triples, so there’s plenty of room for a lot of people. The triples are great for throwing in a bunch of kids, or a little extra room for couples. Each cabin has it’s own bathroom, head and showers. Pack light, you won’t need much. I spent almost four days in a swimsuit. Then you just shower up and boat into town and find somewhere cool to eat.
Last visited July 2015
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