There are virtually numerous places in Croatia that you can visit, especially along the country’s mainland coastline. You will find that there is no better place to be for your holidays than by the seas and coastline of Croatia. To plan your trip to Croatia early, you need to know the best cruise seasons in Croatia. These seasons run from the mid of April to mid-October.

Discovery cruises

Discovery cruises are the best way to spend your holidays in Croatia. With relevant data by your side, you can be sure to have the time of your life in with the discovery cruises. Many history-based cruise experts like the Voyages of Antiquity have taken to exploring Croatia many times over in its Mediterranean itineraries. The Voyages of Antiquity also run from Venice to Istanbul and also Athens to Venice.

Another quality discovery cruiser in Croatia is the Travel Dynamics International, which has small ships that are used to carry hundreds of passengers on its Adriatic adventures.

Luxury Cruises

You do need to hold back any fun and comfort that you can experience on the luxury cruises in Croatia; if you can afford it, then go for it. The 21st century has seen to it that you enjoy relaxed luxury travels in the Croatian seas with high-end cruising that will blow your mind.

There are various cities along the coastal regions of the country like Dubrovnik where the SeaDream’s Croatia usually stops. There are also the islands of Korcula, the photogenic Rovinj, the historic Hvar, and also the serene and green Rab. If you are looking to have more classic cruise experience, then you can wait for the Regent Seven Seas, which usually visit the coastline of Croatia on some of its journeys.

Sailing cruises

There is nothing quite beautiful like the romance that is coupled with the excitement of gliding in the Adriatic Sea and being driven only by the wind. You may even take a look around trying to determine which cruisers are the best when it comes to enjoying the best Croatian sailing cruises, and there is one answer that will always pop into the local’s minds, the Star Clippers. The Star Clippers are among the largest fully-rigged sailing ships to roam the seas of Croatia with room for more than 227 passengers. This is a cruiser that you will want to have a ride on.

The Star Clippers makes its stop at Dubrovnik, Hvar, and also Rovinj.

Super-ship cruises

Most of the largest cruise liners tend to make stops along the Croatian coastline, usually Split and Dubrovnik. You will notice the Royal Caribbean which is a more relaxed and modest cruiser and can carry up to 1,800 passengers at a time which seems pretty remarkable.

Local cruises

There are also the many local cruisers that usually make many regular tours on the islands and coastal areas of Croatia. The diminished profiles of these local boats allow them to dock at some of the smaller parts that, the bigger cruisers only dream of, and this gives them an edge when it comes to nipping the few customers who want to visit these coastal regions with smaller ports.

Karatina Line is one of the most common and most trust of these local boats which offers weeklong journeys from Dubrovnik to Split. The Karatina Line cruiser can carry between 20 and 40 passengers at a time, which is not bad for a local cruiser.

You will also notice the small Croatian Gulets along the coastal region. These local boats are motorized and can hold between 8 and 20 passengers, and they usually have very flexible itineraries which are also a bonus.

Day cruises

Okay, so maybe you are traveling somewhere and happen to pass by Croatia for a short period, then the best thing you can do is check out the day cruises. The day cruises are mostly available in Croatia’s large ports like Dubrovnik and Split where you will find cruise ships and boats that offer day tours along the Croatian coastline and even the local coastal islands and towns. Here, the added advantage is that you can make your bookings on arrival in the harbor usually before 9 a.m. You can also make your bookings in advance if you feel like it through the clearinghouses like, for example, Viator. In most of these tours, you will be offered a tasty lunch, which usually includes just-caught fish and anything else that you may prefer. These day cruises usually return to the harbors by 6 p.m.

Tips to look into when boating in Croatia

There are many amazing features in Croatia that you will want to visit for the experience part of it. The open sea, refreshing breeze, beautiful beaches, uninhabited islands, and lonely beaches make Croatia the ideal place to visit to have the time of your life and forget about the pressures and stresses of life. Boat-riding sounds like a must-do experience, especially if you have never had the opportunity to do so. If you fall among the lucky few people who own boats and want to sail the Croatian coastline, then feel free to do so. However, there are a couple of things that you need to consider before you take out on that boating trip in the Croatian sea.

Lawfully sailing

From the time Croatia became a member of the EU, you will realize that the laws that were once very strict on the citizens traveling to Croatia while trailing boats have been relaxed. And now you can easily trail your boat on your vehicle without being bothered too much about it by the law enforcers, especially if you are also an EU citizen.

After you have entered the Croatian land, you should expect a couple of stops and standard procedures and checks along your way by the passport control. You also need to know that since the country became a member of the EU, the former custom laws no longer apply and so, any EU citizen that visits the country has the same right to bring his/her boat into the country and use it as he/she likes.

After you have reached your destination with your boat trailing behind your vehicle, you need to take a trip to the nearest Harbormaster’s office that you can find and get the appropriate permits to sail the Croatian waters legally. There is a certain amount of fees that you have to pay for, like the navigation and pollution prevention fees, before you can legally sail the Croatian waters.

The good to know’s

You need to know all the appropriate details about sailing in the Croatian waters before you take a boat and start to sail. Numerous rules and regulations govern the way the Croatian waters are sailed. Stuff like having the Harbormaster’s contact details and the emergency numbers are a must-have for any person wishing to sail the Croatian waters.

Plain sailing

The Zaton Holiday Resort is one of the most luxurious hotels along the coastlines of Croatia that allows you to dock your boats along its small and medium-sized harbors.

Croatian coast

The Croatian coast has one of the most beautiful sceneries; the high Dinaric Alps mountains with its cliffs are close enough for you to peek at with close inshore depths that vary considerably. You will also notice the numerous national parks along the coastline of Croatia. They are; River Krka, Islands of Brijuni, Island Kornati, Island Mljet, and the Harbor Telašćica.

The Adriatic main winds

  • The maestral – this wind usually comes from the northwesterly point of Croatia with a force of up to 5. It can cause very rough seas. It usually starts early in the mornings and dies down late in the afternoons.
  • Burin blows opposite of maestral. It blows at night and is usually strongest before dawn.
  • Bora is a northeasterly wind that appears mostly in the high-pressure periods and blows from the mainland to the sea.
  • Jugo is a humid southeasterly wind that will blow from mid-October to the end-January periods.
  • Nevera is a westerly wind that is mostly accompanied by bad weather and mostly blows during the summer periods.

You will also notice the other winds like;

  • Levant;
  • Lebić and;

Tidal streams and currents

Most of the Adriatic winds circulate anti-clockwise and with much variability. The Mediterranean tidal wave can last for up to 12 hours and produce tides with heights of between 25 cm and 80 cm.

Entering Croatia

If you are entering Croatia by sea on a boat, then you will experience the shortest time possible before you come across the nearest harbors that are open for any international traffic.

If you opt to use the mainland to enter Croatia, then you need first to have the marina that is trailing behind you certified and licensed to be fit to sail by the harbormasters located near the Croatian coastline.

Border crossings

There are two types of border crossings in Croatia;

The permanent maritime border crossings which include cities like Dubrovnik, Split, Ubli, Vela, Luka, etc.

The seasonal maritime border crossings which are always opened as from 1st April to 31st October. Examples include Hvar, Cavtat, Sali, etc.

Required documentation

You will be required to have with you, at all times, relevant evidence that proves that you are legally competent and can handle a boat according to the Croatian state regulations about boat handling and usage.

If you intend to sail in Croatia, then you must have with you the following documentation at all times;

  • Vignette;
  • Certified in seaworthiness;
  • Certified passenger and crew list;
  • Proof that you are competent and can handle using the boat;
  • Certified list of all the persons on board;
  • Third party insurance policy documentation
  • Ownership certificate of the vessel

Regattas participant info

If you intend to participate in any boat sporting activities in Croatia, then it is not a requirement that you must possess a vignette provided that the sports organizer provides all the necessary documentation to the Harbormaster’s office five days before the competition begins. The sports organizer is also required to submit a list of all the participants that will be staying aboard during the competition period. It is a requirement that any and all sports competitions need to be approved and signed off by the Croatian Sailing Federation before any sporting activities begin to take place.

Vignette fees

You will have to part with some funds for you to obtain a vignette in the Republic of Croatia. To obtain a vignette, you will have to pay the following fees first;

  • Navigation security fee;
  • Administrative tax;
  • Maritime info charts fee;
  • Security navigation facility fees.

Registration of all the persons on board

It is the responsibility of the boat owner to disclose a list of all the persons that will be on board the boat when purchasing a vignette. You will always be required to ensure that the number of persons on board the vessel at any particular time is not more than twice the overall numbers that is in the list provided to the Harbormaster while buying a vignette.

Flat rate tourist tax

If you are a vessel owner in the Croatian Adriatic, then it is a requirement that you pay the official tourist tax flat rate. This is usually somewhere around 400.00 Kuna.

The flat rate is usually paid once a year, and it is meant to cover all the stays of the owner as well as his/her guests in the marina independent of time of the stay.

Entering a vessel in the boat registers of Croatia

It is a Croatian law that all boats that exceed 2.5 m long with an engine power of more than 5 KW need to be registered and booked.

Any vessel that is also wholly or partly owned by any non-Croatian citizen should also be booked and registered.

Maritime traffic info

The Harbormaster’s offices are the main centers of all information relating to maritime vessels and registration as well as handling of any fees incurred by any and all of the vessels in the Croatian waters.

Harbor regulations

It is vital that you obey all the harbor codes and regulations in the Croatian harbors, especially if you are a foreigner or a visitor. You must always have the proper documentation that will prove that you are visiting the country legally.