Before Your Private Charter

So… you’ve chartered a private sailing yacht or gulet, what now?

First things first, please get proper yacht charter travel insurance (don’t just use your regular insurance and assume it will cover you whilst at sea on a privately chartered boat). Private boat charters often aren’t included in the free credit card travel insurance, so please don’t rely on that for your holiday. Accidents and storms can happen when you’re on your holiday, or even the week before you arrive, and in the event that the ship is damaged  beyond repair in time for or during your charter, your travel insurance should opt to pay for a replacement boat if one can be found so that your holiday can continue on as seamlessly as possible and they can deal with the financial details on your behalf later. If a replacement cannot be found, then hotels and transfers will likely be necessary, so your travel insurance should pay for that as well on the spot and claim on your behalf later to any liable parties. Please check with your insurance company that charter is covered (for everyone in your party). We cannot control the weather; accidents or storm damage can sometimes happen and you need to be prepared for any eventuality. We sincerely hope it’s not required, but in case you need it, good coverage travel insurance should be in place. It is your responsibility to ensure you are covered. Please organise this before you go, make sure you get in writing from your insurance company exactly what is covered for private charters and what’s not and send us your travel insurance details before you go so that we can help you as much as we can if there’s a problem while you’re away. Thank you.

Private charter insurance varies, but we suggest you start with a policy something like this one with TopSail Yachtsman’s Travel Insurance (single voyage option).  You can buy insurance anywhere, just please ensure that you get Private Charter Insurance,  not just regular basic travel insurance and assume it will cover you at sea. We cannot stress this highly enough.

Here’s some extra info: https://www.comparetravelinsurance.com.au/travel-insurance-tips/sailing-travel-insurance

Private charter insurance should cover you for:

Cancellation (either by you or by the supplier)
Missed connections delaying you on your way to your charter
Medical and repatriation
Search and Rescue
Baggage and personal belongings
Personal Accident
Optional Yacht Charter Excess Waiver cover  (if you cause damage to the boat, you will need to pay for that damage)

After your insurance is sorted, then you can sit back, relax and plan your holiday knowing everything is taken care of.

We will ask you to fill in a Passenger Form and a Preference List (food, drinks, watersports etc) well before you go. You will need to provide all this information well in advance so your crew can get everything organised in time for your charter.

All visitors to Croatia are required to register their stay, whether they require an entrance visa or not. We can now do this by Internet in advance of your cruise, which will save a lot of time when you board – in other words, once you board your vacation can begin straight away! In order that we can register your stay in advance we need the full names, dates of birth (in dd/mm/year format), nationalities and passport numbers (we don’t need issue or expiry dates) of all the guests in your group. Please supply this information when requested. Thanks.

What happens when we arrive in Croatia to join our ship?

What do we do when we get on board?

The crew should show you to your rooms and help you with your luggage. They should show you how to use the facilities in the bathrooms and show you where you can store your personal belongings in your cabin and your suitcases elsewhere if they don’t fit.

Safety on board: They should also give you a safety demonstration and show you where the life jackets are kept and tell you what to do in case of an emergency situation on board. We know you’re excited and want to get on with your holiday, but these things are necessary for your safety during your holiday. Please be patient.

What food is included on gulet charter: Check with the crew exactly what meals are included with your half-board option. Breakfast and lunch are usually included, and occasionally you can swap a lunch for a dinner instead, but you need to let the crew know at least the day before you want to swap. The crew cannot be expected to provide full meals at a moment’s notice. Still water, tea and coffee only are included with the basic half-board food option. Other drinks (such as soft drinks, beer, wine etc) are not included unless specified and you have chosen an additional cost drinks upgrade at the beginning of your charter. These options will be sent to you with your quote. If you do not want to pay for drinks as you go, please choose an option with drinks included.

What drinks are included on gulet charter: On your arrival, get the crew to show you the drinks list with prices on the bar if you are doing a ‘pay as you go’ option with drinks so that you know how much everything costs upfront. We recommend half-board is included with drinks for a fixed cost at the beginning to save you worrying about tallying everything up at the end, but it is up to you what you decide with them on the day. We are not involved in this process, so please ensure you keep receipts and get everything in writing. Drinks package prices (and inclusions) vary from gulet to gulet, so please get it in writing the moment you board exactly what is included, so that there are no surprises at the end of the week. Most drinks packages only include domestic alcohol and soft drinks, not imported (such as champagne, liquers and named international brand drinks). We will send you the food options when you first book, but it is up to you on the day you board in Croatia to ensure that you are getting the best option to suit your group. If you choose a drinks package, you cannot then retrospectively change your mind to do ‘pay as you go’ at the end of the week if you think you haven’t drunk enough to make it up to the package price.

What food and drinks are included with bareboat or skippered yacht charter (not a gulet): sailing yachts such as single hull, motor yachts and catamarans are usually chartered bareboat charter, so no food or drinks are included in the price. You can ask the charter company to provision the ship for you and they will charge a fee for this service, or you can arrange your own provisions either upon arrival or prior to arrival with an online provisioning service. If you have hired a skipper or skipper and a hostess, you must also pay for their food.

Watersports equipment: Some of the included equipment will not be visible to you as it will be tucked out of the way so that you can walk around on deck as safely as possible. If the crew forget to mention to you where it is, then please do not hesitate to ask them. Not everything will be in plain sight. Kayaks and paddle boards (if offered) might be out of sight in the hold or somewhere.

Fuelled watersports equipment: Fuelled watersports such as jet-skis, water-skiing, donut rides all need fuel and maintenance of equipment. Please let us know in advance if you want to be using any fuelled watersports equipment on your charter. If you want the crew to organise something else for you, they probably can, but they need time to do so. Last minute bookings for anything extra in high season in particular can be a problem, and repairs to any last minute problems with outboard engines can take a few days to get fixed in the busy period. Mechanical issues happen, nothing is perfect. Please understand that most things that are used on the water can have issues with their workings and sometimes need maintenance while customers are on board. The crew try to minimise this of course, but clients need reasonable expectations where replacements are involved or issues arise from unexpected inclement weather damage or similar. You must have a boat licence to drive a jet-ski in Croatia!

Port taxes / marina fees: Port taxes and marina fees will be paid locally by you in Croatia, because these are dependent upon the itinerary that you choose after discussion with the captain and the crew upon arrival. It is up to you to ensure you ask how much each port is and how much that marina fees are for the agreed upon route before you set sail. Please get it in writing to avoid any surprises or confusion.

What do we do if there is a problem on arrival or during the week? Please text or email the emergency contact for Discover Croatia with every detail of the exact problem. Please include photos or videos if at all possible with a description of what is happening. Please also contact your travel insurance company to give them the details and authorise us to liaise with them on your behalf, so that we can help you as best we can.

What do we do if the transfer driver doesn’t show up? Please call or text the emergency contact number listed for your transfer, or the emergency contact number on your Voucher. We usually try to include a mobile number so that you can send a text. Most operators can read and write English well, even if they have a little trouble speaking the language, so sometimes a text is your best option and getting things in writing can make it easier. If you still cannot resolve the issue within 30 minutes, please ask your hotel reception to call a taxi or go to the airport taxi rank. Please get a written receipt from the taxi if you wish to claim a refund for a pre-paid transfer. Thank you.

Tipping: Tipping is not obligatory, but it is the customary way to show appreciation to your Captain and the crew for their care and hard work during your charter. A guide of around 30-50 euros per crew member per passenger is recommended, but of course it’s up to you if you’d like to tip more

Tipping example: e.g. for 3 crew, x 8 passengers = 3 x 30 x 8 = 720 euros per week OR = 3 x 50 x 8 = 1200 euros per week.

Local payments: Local payments for food and drinks packages should be made to the Captain in cash (euros or kuna equivalent) when you arrive for your half-board (minimum obligatory payment) and drinks packages (if you have chosen a drinks package). If you are ‘paying as you go’ for drinks, then you can pay as you go each day or pay at the end of the week (depending on the Captain’s decision).

Port taxes / marina fees / fuel expenses / other expenses must be paid in cash as you go. Get receipts!

Your responsibilities whilst on-board for all local payments: Get a written receipt from the Captain for all cash payments made directly to them. If you cannot find a piece of paper, ask the Captain to email you and you can check your email when wi-fi is available on land if you don’t have roaming. If you are doing ‘pay as you go drinks’, please don’t leave it until the end of the cruise to find out your running total. You will almost always be surprised at how many more drinks are listed than you remember, even non-alcoholic, because all of your friends and family are also ordering drinks while you’re likely not watching. So please be reasonable and either keep a tally yourself or respect the tally that the crew have for you. 

You will be asked to fill in this Local Payments Declaration before your charter can be finalised: https://www.discovercroatia.com.au/before-your-private-charter/gulet-charter-local-payments-declaration-form/

 

Croatia Sailing Charter Local Payment Costs Guideline:

Most yacht and gulet charters are for 7 nights Saturday to Saturday. The price shown (and paid through us) is usually for the cost of the charter only. Inclusions differ for yachts and gulets. The main difference is that gulets are always rented out with a crew cost already included in the charter price, and half-board is the minimum food option (and it’s obligatory). Gulets are traditional wooden sailing yachts similar to Turkish yachts, with plenty of room on board for entire families and much larger cabins than most sailboats. Sailboats such as single hull, catamaran and motor yachts can be bareboat chartered by those with a licence, so half-board and crew costs are not obligatory.

General type of inclusions for GULETS (this is an average, specifics will be given for each gulet when we send you a customized quote): 

The gulet charter price includes:
Charter of gulet on a 7 night, 8 day basis, including VAT
Crew and fuel for 3 to 4 hours cruise per day
Bed linens and towels for showering

Note: Air-conditioning running time is 4 hours per day out of ports (ie: when running on a generator, not plugged into the electricity at port). It all depends on the gulet and it is determined on an individual offer or contract. When the gulets are anchored in bays the air-conditioning runs on a generator and the generator can be a bit noisy. It’s just the nature of this type of air-conditioning.

The charter price does not include these extra costs. These costs are paid locally in cash in Croatia directly by the hirer upon arrival (you can pay in Euros or Kuna):
* Half board (breakfast and lunch) is obligatory on all gulets (from €250-€600 per person per week depending on the gulet and food and drinks choices)
* Port and harbour taxes, fuel for generators and entrance fees to national parks (from €350–€1,000 per week total – it depends on the itinerary you have).
* Beverages. You are not allowed to bring drinks on board. You can buy drinks from the gulet’s bar at reasonable prices. The bar prices will be listed on the bar. If you cannot see the prices, please ASK THE CREW to show you where they are.
* Transfers from the gulet to the airport and back (we can provide this for you if you wish)
* Tips for the Crew (see above)

  • Half board – obligatory minimum food option (breakfast, lunch). Prices from €250 to €400 per person per week, depending on the gulet and the client’s wishes
  • Full board – dinner is an optional extra (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Prices from €330 to €700 per person per week, depending on the gulet and the client’s wishes.

Approximate costs for gulets (**per week in Euros for crewed charter without food, drinks, port fees):

Example of LOCAL PAYMENTS for Gulet Charter 10pax
EUR    ROE $ AUD
Port taxes 600-1000 euros /week (approximate)  – obligatory €         1,000 0.61 $     1,639
Half board 270 eur per person/week (approximate) – obligatory  €        2,700 0.61 $    4,426
Visitor’s tax 1eur/pp/day – obligatory  €              70 0.61 $         114
Approximate TOTAL MINIMUM COST of LOCAL PAYMENTS TO BE PAID IN CASH ON BOARD THE GULET (obligatory)
 €         3,770 0.61 $     6,179

 

Approximate costs for yachts (**per week in Euros for bareboat charter without food, drinks, crew, port fees):

Example of LOCAL PAYMENTS for Yacht Charter 8pax
 EUR     ROE  $ AUD
Port taxes 600 euros /week (approximate)  – obligatory  €         600 0.61  $         983
Visitor’s tax 1eur/pp/day – obligatory (8pax)  €           56 0.61  $           91
Approximate TOTAL COST LOCAL PAYMENTS TO BE PAID IN CASH ON BOARD THE YACHT (obligatory)
€          656 0.61 $        1,074
Skipper hire and provisioning costs are optional, so we have not included them here

Crewed Charter options for sailing yachts (not gulets):

Catamarans and single-hull sailing yachts and motor yachts: All yachts can be hired either bareboat charter (you crew) or you can hire a skipper and/or extra crew. Generally the skipper is around 700-1000 euros per week, and the extra crew is 600-900 euros per person per week. You need to book crew and any provisioning you require well in advance.

Food for yachts is purchased by the clients upon arrival, or you can ask for the boat to be provisioned at  with items of your choice at your expense. Port taxes are paid as you go, and all marina fees and port taxes are payable locally in Croatia. These can be up to 600 euros per week depending on ports visited (large ports such as Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik are more expensive than smaller ports such as Zaton, Korcula, Trogir etc).

Gulets: All gulets are hired out with a full crew of skipper and 2 other crew members. The price of the gulet charter already includes the crew. Gulets have basic half-board as an extra cost (obligatory) or full-board (optional upgrade from half-board). You can also purchase drinks on board from the gulet’s bar, or you can upgrade on some gulets to include a drinks package with your half-board or full-board.

**Drinks prices are listed on the gulet’s bar. If you cannot find the drinks prices, then please ASK the staff before purchasing. Ensure you sign a receipt. Get everything in writing as we have no way of helping you if you have a dispute at the end of your charter about anything you have purchased or agreed to while on board if it’s not in writing.

Please send us an email at [email protected] or call us on 1300 660 189 if you have any queries. Thank you.

Suggested Croatia private gulet charter itineraries:

Most vessels are chartered on a weekly basis from Saturday to Saturday from April to October.

If you hire a crewed vessel, the skipper will very likely suggest a personalised itinerary once you’ve had a chance to meet and chat and they get to know what you like to do and where you want to go. There are hundreds of beautiful bays that are known only to the locals, and hiring a skipper will enable you to experience Croatia as the locals do.

Return charters: Basic charter prices listed are for return charters. 7 nights is not really long enough to get from Split to Dubrovnik and then back to Split (or vice versa) with any time to actually spend relaxing. Most of the days would be spent travelling at sea, rather than enjoying the beautiful Croatian islands, bays and beaches. So we suggest that if you want to visit both Split and Dubrovnik with a yacht charter, then you consider a one-way charter rather than return charter.

Example 7nt return Itinerary from Split: Split – Hvar – Vis – Korcula – Solta – Trogir – Split.

Example 7nt return Itinerary from Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik – Korcula – Mljet – Elafiti Islands – Dubrovnik

One-Way charters: One-way charter is possible on most vessels, but it must be booked in advance and is usually an extra cost.

Example 7nt Itinerary One-Way from Split to Dubrovnik (or vice versa): Split – Vis – Hvar – Korcula – Mljet – Dubrovnik.

Cruising areas – you can find some information on cruising areas here 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

All ship descriptions on our website are sent to us by the end suppliers and we are not liable for any discrepancy in the listed features or services. We are not the producers of the marketing materials. We don’t take the photos of ships used on our website, nor do we produce any brochures and our ship descriptions are those provided to us by the operator. We rely on the information provided to us by the end suppliers. Your contract is between you and the end supplier (the ship owner). By signing the contract between you and the ship owner/operator you acknowledge that we are acting as an agent only (on your behalf), and that we are not the end supplier. We cannot visit every cabin on every ship (there are literally thousands of ships in Croatia) to check every single feature before every departure, so you must make your own decision based on the ship owner’s marketing materials that they provide to you. Any claims you make will be against the ship owner, as Discover Croatia is not responsible for any advertising discrepancies. Please see our full Terms and Conditions here.

Any gulets under about 15,000 euros for the week (charter price only) are deemed to be at best ‘3 star’ accommodations. Cheap and cheerful, but none of the boats are in perfect condition. You must acknowledge this in writing before we book any gulet for you. We can only supply you with the offers and broker your payment, we do not accept responsibility for any maintenance issues, discrepancies in advertising or food and drinks issues. Any claim is between you and the gulet owner / operator as per your contract.

All departures on specific ships are subject to any unforeseen incidences occurring before your departure. If that ship cannot be provided due to accident, emergency repair or similar, then a similar ship will be provided if at all possible, but please understand that there are few spare ships as they are all being used for other cruises. We cannot guarantee any departure as the cruise companies themselves do not guarantee every single ship on every single departure as very, very occasionally there are issues that require repair or there’s been some ‘force majeure’ beyond their control. This is why we recommend you have proper travel insurance to cover you for all events.

CLAIMS:

Each ship has a log where clients and crew can make written complaints and this must be filled out before you leave if you have any problems whilst on board. Please ask for the log-book when you board and ask for their procedures in the event of a complaint.

Please take photos or videos of the cabins, crew or ship and send them to us if you have any issues on the boat. Without this evidence, there is little we can do to support you with any claims. Any claims of discrepancies between the advertising materials and the reality are between you and the owner/operator as per your written contract. We act as your agent only, and your claim assessment will be held in the jurisdiction in Croatia as noted on your contract. Please read your contract carefully and take written notes of any issues whilst on the boat and get the Captain to sign them as well before you disembark.