Eleven by Sea, Day I: Croatia Boat Charter

Heading out on our private Croatia boat charter with skipper Silvio at the helm.

Living the luxe life on a private Croatia boat charter.

With all eyes on Croatia for today’s World Cup final, there’s no better time to tell you all about my recent trip to this country I adore. Starting with the life of luxury, aboard a private Croatia boat charter.

Coastal Croatia is all about the sea—being on it and in it as often as possible.

I can’t get enough of the Adriatic’s azure blue hue, sparkling with sunlight. Each time I’ve left Croatia, the sea has stuck with me for months afterward. It fills my dreams with its gentle rhythm, calling me back. So when it came time to plan our group of eleven girlfriends’ 50th birthday extravaganza and everyone was game to book a private boat charter as part of our week-long getaway in Croatia, I couldn’t wait to plan our perfect day.

The Adriatic Sea's azure blue.

After some online research and several email exchanges back and forth, one company rose clearly to the top: Dubrovnik Boat Charter. Marijana, the main office contact, patiently answered my million or so questions and helped advise two full-day outings for our group. Yes, we quickly decided that a single day of yachting simply wouldn’t be enough. If we were going, we were going big!

Waiting for pickup at the dock in Mlini in my Lynt romper.

Ahoy There!

Part of our pampering plan was a pickup directly at the dock in Mlini, the picturesque seaside village where we stayed for the week. Which gave me a chance to strike a pose in my picture-perfect Lynt romper. Right on time, our motor yacht arrived, with captain Branka and skipper Silvio at the ready to escort our band of eleven beauties as we made waves along the Dalmatian coast.

Here come captain Branko and skipper Silvio.

Our first order of business: befriending the crew. Asking Silvio to pose with us surely broke the ice. He didn’t even flinch when we informed him that we were bringing our own captain—Captain Laura—aboard, too.

We asked Silvio to pose with us.

Silvio and our very own captain Laura.

Soon enough, we were sailing past the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik, bound for the Elaphite Islands: Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan.

Boating around the old city walls of Dubrovnik.

As we cruised the Adriatic, Silvio consulted us as to our itinerary for the day (the key benefit of a private Croatia boat charter: we could go anywhere we desired). Our wants were simple: maximize the time spent swimming in stunning, secluded spots; avoid tour groups and typical tourist traps; eat a delicious lunch; and laugh, laugh, laugh.

One of many secluded swim spots.

Water toys are included in the Croatia boat charter.

Silvio and Branko delivered. They motored away from other outings and instead found plenty of perfect blue coves where we could play. We snorkeled, swam, splashed, and sipped cold Ožujsko beer. Midday, we docked in the charming village of Lopud, where a table awaited us at Restauran Dubrovnik.

Pulling into the village of Lopud.

Strolling to lunch in Lopud.

Sea urchins drying on the stone wall in Lopud.

As Fresh as it Gets.

The fish platter was a work of art, with the waiters meticulously preparing plates of fresh catch for our hungry crew. The vegetarians had a treat as well: tasty grilled vegetables and stuffed tomatoes. And of course, more Ožujsko.

Waiters preparing fresh catch plates at Restauran Dubrovnik in Lopud.

Vegetarian special at Restauran Dubrovnik in Lopud.

Our group of 11 enjoying lunch in Lopud.

Lunch was impeccably timed. Not long after we sat down, a storm rolled through. From under our umbrella, we watched the drama unfold. The skies kindly cleared just as we were ready to get back aboard our yacht.

A storm rolled through at lunchtime.

A pirate boat in the storm. This is not our yacht.

Can you hear the waves?

Relaxation is an art, and I’d say we all mastered it that day.

Relaxation is an art.

Another swim spot.

After more swimming and snorkeling and laughing—and a round of espressos masterfully brewed by Silvio—we docked in another idyllic village: Suđurađ on the eastern shore of Šipan. We stretched our legs with a wander around an ancient castle, stopping to buy local olive oil and admire the views.

The village of Suđurađ on Šipan.

Local olive oil for sale.

The castle in Suđurađ.

Then—you guessed it—more swimming, more snorkeling, more laughter, more Ožujsko.

Time for more swimming.

Finally, it was time to return to our beloved Mlini. We said goodbye to Branko and Silvio, who seemed genuinely happy they’d welcome us back in two days for our second trip. Then we were off to enjoy dinner, delicious local wine, and dreams of the sea.

Back home to Mlini.

Looking to book a group or private Croatia boat charter?

Ready to plan your own day of luxury on the Adriatic Sea? Contact Dubrovnik Boat Charter (and tell them VRVE Mag sent you). They have boats that accommodate all size groups, and offer a variety of pre-planned and custom excursions. If you have enough people in your party, spoil yourselves with a private charter. The prices are very affordable (by U.S. standards), and booking two trips will save you 15% off the second day.

Disclosure: Dubrovnik Boat Charter allowed us an additional discount in exchange for this post. All opinions and recommendations within are my own. 

 


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