Croatia is THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION when it comes to gulet cruises. Blue Cruise Croatia holidays are one of the most amazing ways to relax, enjoy, swim and explore amazing places. But it is not all bread and butter.
Here I will explain the biggest blue cruise Croatia problems and the solutions to this problems when it comes to gulet cruises.
Here we go!
Blue Cruise Croatia problem no.1 – 2 Different industries hitting each other in the face instead of working together!
Croatia has a long tradition and is probably the strongest “small ships” destination for cabin charter cruises in the World!
There are more than 200 ships similar to this now in Croatia! And they offer very good services and programs.
New ships like this are being built every year!
These ships are quite amazing. They have from 10 and up to 20 cabins and they on average can accommodate from 24 to 40 people (or more).
They are built and made in Croatia (in an amazing place called Krilo Jesenice). Did I use the word “amazing” too much?
Well, this place (Krilo) and ships are really nice. People in this business have a very long tradition (some of them older than 100 years) and they do not really do this business for the money – but it is their way of life! Maybe it sounds cheesy to say it but I have seen it and experienced it and it is 100% true.
If you wish to see the most places in Croatia in short time, be comfortable, for an affordable price – then I recommend you this type of cruise 100%.
And then the gulets started to arrive from Turkey….
Gulets are smaller vessels that can accommodate on average from 8 – 14 people.
They are mostly meant for private charter groups. They do not prefer to spend the nights in ports but on the anchor. And they tend to cost more (per person) as motor sailors.
Now here is a dare for you.
1) Buy a gulet.
2) Put on a Turkish flag.
3) Go to Krilo Jesenice on a quiet day and stay there for 1 hour (and while you are there talk very loud how much nicer gulets are then motor sailors)!
And let me know if you will survive 🙂
Okey, it is not so hard of course, but the truth is – gulet owners and motor sailor owners DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER!
Motor sailor owner would say: if I run your gulet over with my ship, I will take you apart easily!
Gulet owner wold says: your ships are for transport of animals and sand, not for demanding VIP guests.
And this is a big shame.
They are not really in any serious competition and if they would work together they would all make even more business together!
It is already around the corner! And it is called – YOUNG (MOTOR SAILOR AND GULET) OWNERS! More and more children from older motor sailor owners – are buying gulets now. And also some gulet owners are starting to build motor sailors in Croatia.
They are all more open minded and they see the vast possibilities the good connections can do for everyone.
Also, older people who are in this business for more than 50 years or more are seeing that there is really no problem there.
Motor sailors industry in Croatia is blooming! No recession there and they do not feel gulets are still a real threat to them.
So future for Croatia cruises looks very bright if you ask me for gulets and for motor sailors.
Blue Cruise Croatia problem no.2 – 40 gulets in Croatia and problems with bookings? How is this possible?
Several gulets in Croatia have problems with bookings! How is this possible and why is this a problem?
First of all, Turkey has more than 1.000 gulets for charter!
And they are lots of times better booked then gulets in Croatia.
Croatia has 40 gulets for charter. And several of them could be booked better!
The explanation will also disclose the real problem behind it.
15 years ago first gulets arrived in Croatia from Turkey.
Some of them were nice but some of them also had very bad quality!
And when you have bad quality, connected with poor services and high prices, it is a very good scenario for disaster!
Lots of years ago, this is how some people imagined a gulet owner in Croatia to be:
The plan was to buy cheap gulet. Sell it for crazy prices. Save money on services. And make LOADS OF MONEY in SHORTEST POSSIBLE PERIOD OF TIME!
And you know what. It worked!
For some time!
Until the bad name started to spread around and until the recession stroke.
Of course, not everybody was like that! Not even close! I think that 80% of people actually did very good business, gave great services and knew what they were doing.
But the other 20% that had no idea what they are doing, made a huge mess for the entire market!
How do I know? Well, we worked with several of them – unfortunately. We were young, there was not really lots of gulets to choose from, we believed people are okey and we got screwed. But we learned from it and moved on.
So Croatia got a bad REP and the bookings slowed down.
THE SOLUTION! IT CAME IN FORM OF THE RECESSION!
In Croatia if you know what you are doing and if you provide good services – you are fully booked! In most CASES!
The recession was a really good filter that cleaned the market.
Bad gulet owners went out of business. Good gulet owners made even better business.
In Croatia think twice before you book a gulet that is 50% off and is 100% sure why you received this deal.
Was it because of despair of a gulet owner who is in problems with banks? Then I would watch out if I were you.
Fortunately, this problem is not so big anymore.
Gulet owners know what they are doing. They provide amazing services. Food is great.
And also the problems with bookings are getting smaller and smaller.
So good times ahead when it comes to this also.
Blue Cruise Croatia problem no.3 – The ports do not support the high growth of vessels in Croatia?
We all know amazing Hvar Town!
Did you know the port is older than 200 years? (I could be a hundred years or more wrong, but the port is old – sorry I am not an expert on history).
The fact is the harbor is older. And this gives the place really incredible sight. It looks amazing. Taking a walk around Hvar old city center, visit the old fortress and checking the narrow streets – is super nice! In OFF SEASON!!
If you arrive in Hvar city in August or July, you will experience this:
1) 5 x “BERNIE ECCLESTONE” TYPE OF MEGA YACHTS!
2) Several “normal” super yachts taking the rest of the places in the harbor.
3) 5 to 7 motor sailors, taking the positions on the rest of the harbor.
Doesn”t sound too bad yes? Well, what if I tell you, that on each motor sailor, there are from 10 and up to 15 motor sailors more roped to each other!?!
This means around 80 ships moored in the harbor, while there is only “normal” place for 5 of them?!
Well, this is a bit of a problem. And if you also add around 3.500 sailing yachts that are sailing around in Croatia…this is becoming a bit of a problem.
THE SOLUTION! HARD TO SAY!
During the day you will not experience this heavy traffic as there are millions of bays where you can escape to. If you have at least remotely good captain, he will find you amazing space everywhere in Croatia where the crowds are not large.
But if you wish to go to ports in the evening and avoid this type of madness then you only have 1 solution: STAY AWAY!
This does not mean you should not go to Hvar and check it out. Of course not!
This only means you have to take a bit of different approach.
Stay on the anchor. Take a water taxi. Check it out. Enjoy. And then get the away from there, unless you wish to have crazy parties.
Croatia is really an amazing country. And gulets fit in perfectly.
People are making better and better business.
Services are on the highest possible scale.
People are starting to see the vast potential that is still in front of them.
And to be honest I think in gulet business (and cruise business in general in Croatia) they have absolutely nothing to worry about.
And I hope this means happy times for Goolets agency also 🙂
We are all doing our best.
Are you interested in Croatia?