Intercon, Dubrovnik’s travel and maritime agency has become the part of Mediterranean Yacht Agents’ network. Kristian Vrbanić, who represents Mediterranean Yacht Agents for Croatia has recently returned from the world famous Mediterranean & Adriatic Yachting Fair.
Q:Kristian, could you tell us your first impressions?
A:Well, I was surprised how little the area of the Adriatic is explored and therefore marketed among the yacht charter companies.
Q:Why do you think that is the case and do you believe that this trend will change in the near future?
A:I believe that I can answer this second question. The world of the yacht charter is changing dramatically with the emergence of Porto Montenegro. May is the month of Cannes Film Festival and this is the time when Monaco shines. The mega yachts are emerging and after the festival are cruising towards Sicily. This is the crossroad, where they turn towards Turkey and Greece or they enter the Adriatic at Porto Montenegro. Porto Montenegro is an appealing option as it offers tax free fuel and on the top of this Montenegro offers charter free contract if the passengers board then and there. This is where their Adriatic Yacht charter begins.
Q:And where does it take it from here?
A:From Porto Montenegro, they enter Croatia, Dubrovnik, Korcula, Vis, Hvar Split for a 10 day charter of they may continue all the way to Venice, for a fortnight charter exploring the beauty of Croatia’s 1000 islands.
Q:How about Turkey and Greece or Malta?
A:Unfortunately, it seems to me that due to the political situation, there will be less traffic in these waters.
Please visit interon.hr for more info on your Adriatic yacht agent.
Puerto Benus and Portofino, the first one near Marbella, the second one near Genova have been the playground of the rich and famous in the yachting world. Add the dosage of St Tropez and Sicily and the circuit of the yachting world for the rich and famous is closed. Srđ Portolan, a member of the Adriatic Yacht Services executive board explains that after the yachting season finishes around St Kitts and St Lucia and when another one starts in the Mediterranean basin, the Adriatic sea comes at the bottom end. Srdj Portolan, Darijan Portolan and Kristian Vrbanic, all three members of the Adriatic Yacht Services were shocked to realize when they went on their French Riviera business trip back in 2013 that the vast majority of the captains take the Italian coast route to Venice and back. Srđ tells us that lack of marinas and in particular the lack of super marinas for mega yachts prevented the captains to use Croatian coast on their way to Rovinj and making that last bit of trajectory journey to Venice.
Portolan stressed that captains are unsure of what to expect in Croatia, Srđ continues to tell us that he utterly understands their concerns. Srđ Portolan is among those who believes that one of Croatia’s most profitable state companies ACI Marinas, needs to privatize even larger slice of the share capital.
Furthermore, Srdj believes that such measure would lead to the construction of mega yacht marina something Portolan and Co witnessed on their visit to French Riviera’s Billionaire Docks. Srđ Portolan states that the state’s involvement into promotion of Croatia as Europe’s next must visit yachting destination would play a primordial role in steering the captains’ attention towards Croatian marinas.
Not everything is black as it seems to be as the Adriatic sea marina sector is growing rapidly. Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro is a typical example of the theory “ When there is a will, there is a way” In true adage of an ex-soldier Srdj Portolan concludes “Who dares wins”. Remains to be seen whether something like Porto Ragusino is on the horizon that in the eyes of many would turn Dubrovnik into new Monte Carlo. Watch out this space!
It’s sailing time in Croatia and Dubrovnik marina in Komolac is like a beehive, it is full of enthusiastic sportsmen who are getting ready to sail from Dubrovnik to Hvar, or perhaps from Dubrovnik to Korcula. I always admired those zesty people, as a matter of fact I love Dubrovnik marina, my friend Kristian Vrbanic, yes that famous Dubrovnik Luxury Travel guru, is a regular. He is not a sailor so to speak but people love talking to him when they meet him up once they rented a boat from Dubrovnik to Elaphiti islands or when they rent a yacht for a luxury cruise from Dubrovnik to Hvar that would include visits to Elaphiti islands, Korcula, Hvar, Pakleni islands, Vis.
On this occasion I happen to be with Kristian when a group of enthusiastic sailing Americans who rented a catamaran from Adriatic Yacht Services, Dubrovnik Luxury Travel’s sister company, decided on the spur of the moment to go on a tour from Dubrovnik to Montenegro. There were six of them and before you knew it Darijan was in front of marina reception with luxury Mercedes van. So unexpectedly I ended up on a tour setting from Dubrovnik to Kotor.
It was rather a pleasant 45 minutes drive through Konavle wine region. Having passed through Montenegrin border, there was a gasp as Americans looked amazed. Somehow, everyone had this image of Montenegro as a distant kingdom of Monrovia. The first town that we passed by en route was Herceg Novi. It was founded by Stjepan Herceg, a Bosnian medieval king and for some reason in its stormy past it was ruled by Spanish kings, reminder of which is an imposing fortress Spagnola.The magic of Montenegro really commenced once we entered Boka Bay. This is where a 33 km drive started along the most beautiful fiord in the Mediterranean. Our American friends looked in amazement as we were passing through the contrast of mountains and sea.
A visit to Perast museum was a touching story of Boka Bay families merchant navy tradition whose father and sons were that famous that they even helped Russian tsar Peter the Great to establish its glorious fleet. One American lady from Hawaii was surprised to learn that the houses with the bricked windows were there with a purpose. If a father or son, sea captain did not return from their “voyage” as a sign of mourning their females would brick the windows as a sign of mourning. Dubrovnik Luxury Travel Kristian threw in a rent a boat ride to a nearby Lady of the Rocks islet, man made, where young married couple would pay a pilgrimage to the Lady of the Rocks, offering a gift in silver so that she looks after their marriage, a tradition which has survived up to this date.
Kotor in its own right is a cozy but much more unspoilt version of Dubrovnik with St Triphun’s cathedral occupying the centre piece of the main square. A visit to Kotor was meant to be the end of our journey but Dubrovnik Luxury Travel Kristian took us to show us St Stephen’s Amman resort. En route to St Stephen’s we passed Milocer and interestingly I glanced through the pine and cypress trees to spot two beaches divided by the villa. I was told that one of the Montenegrin kings loved his wife so much that he made her a beach where she could swim naked far away from the prying eyes of the general public. Things we do for love. Transfer from Kotor to Dubrovnik was indeed a sleepy experience as our impressed American friends were exhausted.
Rixos brand of luxury hotels is one of the fastest growing luxury accommodation brands in the world with plans to open 20 luxury hotels and villas worldwide by the year 2020. It already has 12 luxury hotels and villas in Turkey and it has recently opened premium luxury concept in its flagship hotels, Rixos premium Belek and Rixos premium Bodrum.
Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is one of the pioneering hotels of Dubrovnik tourism. One of the first hotels in five star category built in the late 60’s it was pride and joy of Dubrovnik luxury accommodation and it was a well known congress centre, in fact it was the favourite conference centre together with five star luxury hotel Croatia in Cavtat. Both luxury hotels are specific in its own right.
Cavtat is a picturesque village in Konavli region of Dubrovnik and it is worth a visit for its authentic Croatian mode of living whilst Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is ideally located, only 15 minutes walking distance from the Old city centre. However, Dubrovnik at war period reduced this pride of Dubrovnik luxury tourism to rubble and Libertas Dubrovnik was acquired by the Rixos group headed by charismatic and well respected Turkish businessman Fettah Tamince. Rixos group was loyal to the previous architectural concept which was in place and they implemented this concept having previously updated the hotel’s look to modern retro luxury accommodation.
It was indeed Mr.Tamince who turned to Dubrovnik Luxury Travel to secure his stay in Dubrovnik as he was hosting a formal opening ceremony for the hotel with more than 500 top VIP attendees.
So, when it comes to organizing logistics for top businessman, world leaders and actors, you mention the name of Kristian Vrbanic, even the president of Croatia will recognize this name. Who would not as this Dubrovnik Luxury Travel operations manager is a king in the Dubrovnik luxury market organisation world. Top Turkish politicians, businessmen, diplomats together with Saudi, Russian and European elite attended the official opening ceremony back in 2007. Kristian organized their smooth passage through the Dubrovnik airport. It was the first time that a fleet of luxury premium cars was allowed on the tarmac of Dubrovnik airport runaway thanks to Kristian’s organisation skills. He coordinated their arrival with Dubrovnik Luxury travel security team and Mr Tamince was more than happy. Job well done Mr Vrbanic.