*** The following review is a complete fabrication which I made up when we were working with Sailing.HR trying to boost numbers on their “Yacht Week” cruises. The company received a lot of bad PR for having such low numbers on their cruises and for being poorly organized, and they asked us for help in trying to turn this around (I work for a marketing company). After months of not replying to my emails and unpaid bills they finally told us they were stopping work with us and were not going to pay us for thousands of Euros worth of work we had been doing for several of their websites.
I would not trust the people from this company and highly recommend going with the real Yacht Week if you want to go on a fun party cruise with lots of people. I researched the industry extensively during the time I was working with Sailing HR, and if I were to go for a party cruise in the Mediterranean, this is who I would go with. ***
The story below is completely false, and not even written by a girl.
I’ve been meaning to write a review about our Croatian party sailing adventure for some time now. I’ve just haven’t made the time to sit down to write over the months since our adventure, because I know there is just going to be so much for me to say and this is going to be such an epically long post!
In July this year, 3 friends and I decided to escape the Aussie winter and go island hopping around the Adriatic Sea. Numerous companies offer these party sailing trips where you sail around and explore all day and party all night. Three year previously one of my school friends from down in Melbourne went on one of these yacht week parties and I remember her telling me it was one of the best weeks of her life! She wasn’t able to remember which company they booked through (as a guy she was seeing at the time organized it for them) and since she was no longer in contact with him she wasn’t able to give us a recommendation on who to sail with.
I took to the Internet to search through the tens of companies that offer yacht week parties around the islands of Croatia. After reading reviews I eventually narrowed my search down to two of the biggest operators, whose parties and service seemed to have the best reputation and whose promo videos got me really excited about our coming holiday. One company called The Yacht Week offer party sailing trips all around Europe and one was a smaller Croatian company called Sailing.HR.
While we found mostly glowing reviews online for both companies (and a few not so glowing reviews), we eventually decided to go with Sailing.hr. They seemed to have a slightly better track record according to online reviews, and having Croatian staff with better local knowledge of the area was another benefit. Ultimately though our decision came down to pricing.
The cost for us to go with The Yacht Week was over €1000 each! That is the equivalent of just over $1500. A similar ticket with Sailing.hr was LESS THAN HALF of that, costing us only €470 for the week on the yacht (about $700). For a saving of $800 we figured it was well worth giving the smaller operator a chance. Besides their promotional videos made the experience look amazing, and I really couldn’t imagine a week yachting around the beautiful islands of Croatia and partying with my friends not being awesome.
So my 3 friends: Emma, Natalie and Beth and I packed our things and headed off on a brief tour of Asia (to break up the long flight) before arriving at Split airport in Croatia.
Split is a beautiful, old city with so much history! The first thing I remember after getting out of the 30 minute taxi ride from the airport was how picture perfect the buildings by the harbour and the waters of the Adriatic all looked. Something else that surprised me too was the cost of the taxi from the airport. We paid 270 Kuna for the 35-minute journey, equivalent to about $50 Australian dollars. This wasn’t a problem for us as there were four of us to split the fare, but you might want to consider taking a bus or some other form of public transport if you are arriving alone. I guess after spending a few nights in Thailand everywhere seems expensive!
We met with our skipper Damir and set ourselves up on our home for the next week. We had several other people on the boat with us, two guys from the UK, a guy from France and a couple from the USA. Everybody was in such a good mood and so excited about the adventures of the week to come. We cracked open a few bottles of champagne we had brought with us and shared with around and instantly made new friends with everybody.
Damir was great. He grew up locally so he knew so much about the history of Split and the Adriatic region. We learned so much from him on our week with Sailing.hr, we even learned to speak enough Croatian to hold a (very) basic conversation and order some types of food and drinks on our stops back to dry land! Learning interesting facts about Croatia and learning a bit of the language made us feel like we were doing something a little bit cultural and educational while on our yacht week adventure, but overall the whole trip was almost purely hedonistic and that’s exactly what we expected!
The whole week is a lot of fun. On most days we would wake up late, to find we had already started sailing to a new spot. We’d usually pull up anchor somewhere picturesque for lunch and a swim in the early afternoon with some of the other boats and then head to a new destination for an evening meal and some partying.
Having a fleet of boats to travel really made the experience for us. There were about 35 other yachts with us on our yacht week, all up around 250 people to share the experience with. There were surprisingly quite a few other Australians and New Zealanders, but also lots of Americans and quite a few representatives from various countries around Europe and surprisingly South America too!
We were lucky during our yacht week to have perfect weather for the whole trip. I did read some reviews from people (for a number of Croatian sailing companies) who experienced storms and cold weather for their time on the water. I especially remember one review I saw on Tripadvisor from a German girl that went on a yacht week trip where it stormed for the entire week! That would have really dulled the experience for us, and I was a bit concerned about the possibility of something similar happening in the lead up to our trip. Croatia has a surprisingly high number of perfectly dry, sunny days each summer however, and we were fortunate to come at a perfect time.
The Sailing.hr Parties
Of course one of the biggest highlights of yacht week was the parties. Apart from having the opportunity to island hop around the Croat coast, that is the main reason we were all there! There was a new place to party every night. Sometimes we would have out own private parties on remote islands or harbours and sometimes we would party and clubs or bars in the towns near where we were anchored for the night.
One of the best parties of the week was the one held in Komiza with several other yacht week companies. While it was great getting to know the 250 or so people travelling with Sailing.hr, having more people to party with made things even better. During busier weeks Sailing.hr have up to 60 yachts travelling at once, so I imagine going on one of these weeks would be even crazier! That night at Aquarius Club was amazing and needless to say all of us girls were not feeling too great the next afternoon when we woke up in our cabin.
The Blue Cave at Bisevo Island
The Blue Cave is this incredible sea cave in a bay not too far away from the town of Komiza. Due to a small opening in the top of the cave when sunlight shines through during the middle of the day the whole place lights up with a stunning blue tinge. It was really incredible to see and made me wish I had brought a waterproof camera with me for the journey!
The cave seemed to be quite a popular tourist attraction and we were not the only people there to see it that day. I really feel bad for people who didn’t have sunshine or suffered through bad weather during their trip to Komiza, because this natural phenomenon is stunningly gorgeous and something you definitely want to see.
Stiniva Cove on Vis Island
This incredible bay and it’s crystal blue waters was another highlight of our trip. The area was absolutely packed with tourists when we stopped by, but it was definitely still worth seeing. The blue waters and white, pebbled beach are like something from a movie about an island paradise. We took lots of photos at the cove but the pictures do not really do not do the gorgeous bay justice. While there were many beautiful, natural wonders to see on our yacht week trip, this one definitely stands out in my mind as one of the most memorable.
Another area that I’d like to give an honourable mention to is Vinogradisce Bay, near Hvar. The waters here were like something from a dream; both the perfect colour and the perfect temperature. The area around the harbor was also picture perfect. We dined at a restaurant by the water called Toto’s and while not the cheapest, the seafood they were selling must have only just come off the boat, it was so fresh and incredibly flavourful.
I could keep going on and on about the week we had, and how great everything was. It would really be hard to have a bad time, weather permitting, on a Sailing.hr yacht week trip, and we certainly didn’t.
We’re all back in Australia now but we’ve made a ton of new friends, and we’ll always have the photos and the memories of our week of Sailing in Croatia.
Sailing.hr Review Conclusion
As it always is after a much needed and much revered holiday, we got back to the winter in Australia and immediately started planning out next trip back to Croatia. I don’t know if we’ll all be able to make it for yacht week 2015, but if we do I’d really like to do it in one of the weeks around Ultra Music Festival. Sailing.hr actually run a special service during the Ultra Festival where you can party at the Festival and stay on the Yachts, and then sail around for the rest of the week!
I’d love to do something like that next year, but it might not be until 2016 when I can get the time off work. Either way, yacht week this summer with Sailing.hr was one of the best weeks of our lives. All of my friends and everyone we were sailing with absolutely loved it. The staff were friendly, the sights were beautiful beyond words and the parties were epic. If you get the chance to go on yacht week in 2015 with Sailing.hr I would highly recommend it, in fact I’m jealous! Keep up to date with what’s going on at Sailing.hr via their Facebook page or Yacht Week Blog.
I can’t wait to get back to Croatia one summer soon, and if you like traveling, exploring, meeting new people and partying then I might even see you there!