We meet Feride (manager of Okfa yachting) several years ago when she expressed her interest in Croatian gulets. Being an expert for gulets in Turkey she wanted to expand her market and we were glad to help.
Last year was the first time she visited this amazing country and checked lots of gulets and greeted several groups that arrived at gulets – and now she can give a very good opinion on Croatia. We always like to hear what experts in their field think about similar topics.
So here it is – a nice little interview about Feride and her thoughts on Croatia.
1) Feride, what are the TOP 3 MAIN DIFFERENCES you immediately noticed between Croatia and Turkey?
1. Location of the yacht ports;
In Turkey we have 3 main big yacht ports such are Göcek – Marmaris, and Bodrum.
They are separated from private sailing boat marinas and Liner marinas and in this 3 ports, you can find hundreds of gulets next to each other.
Whereas in Croatia; gulets can be seen even in private marinas like in Split. Gulets are lots of times also located in front of a historical castle wall or they can be hidden away in small secret ports with channels.
In Turkey, you can see 100 gulets in 2 hours. In Croatia, you need to be an “artist” to find 10 of them in a week.
2. Gulet crew; In Croatia, the crews I checked was more professional looking but they were a little bit timid – shy. Gulet crew in Turkey are mostly in plain clothes ( High-End Gulets are of course an exception ) but they are more companionable.
(note from Mitja: “This can vary A LOT also in Croatia. Dalmatian people are generally not very shy so it is important to know what are the group preferences”.
3. Limited Gulet portfolio in Croatia !!!!
Even though the “ages” of existing Gulets in Croatia is quite old they are very well maintained.
In Turkey, a wide range of newly built Gulets can be seen at all ports.
The difference in numbers is around 1.000 gulets in Turkey to around 40 in Croatia.
2) You had several groups that cruised with you before in Turkey and then they tried out Croatia. What were theirs most common comments?
We have a most coming saying in Turkey and I assume its the same all over the trade world ;
“Customer is always right “;
Their most common comments were about fantastic coastline and delicious sea food on board.
Croatia has more than 1.200 islands and an unlimited number of bays as well as lots of medieval towns – which means you can go out of the gulet to check a different place every single time.
Most of the time, clients were impressed by this.
3) Which places in Croatia impressed you the most?
Natural parks are stunning. (Kornati Islands, Krka Waterfalls, Paklenica, Mljet national park…)
Very good was also the close ranges from Airport to the yacht harbors.
The smaller charming towns were also very impressive.
4) What would you suggest to people who would like to go on a cruise to Croatia for the first time?
According to my personal taste, I would suggest; the departure from Trogir or Šibenik.
The cruise to Hvar, Korčula, Mljet and other Dalmatian islands is a great idea. If you are more of a “nature” fan – Kornati Islands are perfect.
Dubrovnik is a story on its own and I would suggest clients check this amazing place before the cruise (book a hotel for 2 or 3 nights, check the town and then go on a gulet.
This is perfect if you ask me.
Secondly, I would advise to people that even Croatia is now in EU they have to consider to change Euro to Kunas as lots of places still do not take Euro. All in all, I was very happy with the trip I took.
We now expanded our knowledge and are very comfortable offering gulets to our clients also.
Our fleet of Croatian Gulets is growing and we provide our clients with best possible support.
Our partnership with Goolets agency is also great and we will continue to send lots of groups to each other.
I hope you have enjoyed the interview with Mrs. Feride.