If you are planning to rent a yacht in Croatia, one of the first questions on your mind is probably, “Can I afford this? How much exactly does a Croatia boat charter costs?” Unfortunately, there really is no simple answer to this question. There are a number of factors which can all modify the cost, and you need to account for all of them when you are estimating your budget.
Factors which can impact the cost of your sailing holiday in Croatia include:
- The season during which you charter your yacht (on-season prices will always be higher than off-season prices, both for the boat and for other amenities).
- How many people will be travelling on a catamaran or a monohull.
- The type of sailboat you choose.
- The size and age of the boat.
- The distance you will be travelling—and when and where (all of which can impact the cost of fuel you end up using).
- Where you plan to anchor or dock for the night.
- Whether you will set sail on your own or you will hire a skipper or full crew.
- What your plans are as far as accommodations, activities, meals, etc.
It is essential to remember that not all of your costs will be included in your booking fee.
Included in your yacht booking fee are:
- Your accommodation on the boat
- Obligatory extra costs and services (final cleaning, transit log, and outboard engine) !NOTE: sometimes they are not included in the charter fee and they are due to be paid in marina base upon your arrival, but they are always clearly stated in our quotations and contracts
- The fee for any crew members you hire
What will it cost to book your yacht?Obviously you will find some variation from one charter company to the next, and the cost may also vary according to the date of your charter and how many people you will have onboard. But generally speaking, you can expect to pay somewhere between €500- €10,000 per person per week. Remember, a skippered boat will cost more than going bareboat. A full crew will, of course, be more expensive.
Not included in your yacht booking fee are:
- Tips for your crew members (which you will pay at the end of the week)
- The cost of food and beverages onboard (provisioning of food and drinks on the boat is not included in the booking fee, except with gullet boats and some luxury boats which come with an A.P.A (advanced provisioning allowance))
- Marina costs and anchoring fees
- The cost of fuel (you will probably not spend most of your time sailing, maybe only if the winds are really good that week, but, more often weather and sea conditions require turning on your boat’s engine)
- Any hotel costs you accrue (while you can sleep every night on the boat, you might choose to stay in a resort on land just for the experience)
- Additional food and beverage costs (you will almost certainly decide to eat at some restaurants while you are visiting Croatia)
- The cost for tours, parks, and other activities
It would be impossible to provide a single cost estimate for these added costs because they depend entirely on how you plan to spend your time and your money. Some people will run up a bar tab in the hundreds of Euros, while other people will scarcely tack on any additional food and beverage costs. You might have a lot of expensive excursions on your itinerary, or you might plan to do mostly free activities.
How to Keep Your Costs As Low As Possible
All of that said, how do you keep your expenses down so you can enjoy a sailing holiday in Croatia on a budget? Here are some suggestions.
1. Visit Croatia off-season.
Peak season for tourists in Croatia is July 1st-August 31st. Obviously the summer is a beautiful season to explore the coastline, but it is also the most expensive time. You do not necessarily need to charter a boat in the dead of winter to avoid peak rates; you simply need to plan around these dates. So if you charter a yacht in June or September for example, you can cut back on costs and still enjoy sailing in lovely conditions.
2. Look for ways to cut your mooring costs.
This part will depend significantly on the weather because we have to think about safety first, but in general is as follows;
If you are going to moor a 40 foot monohull vessel at a marina in Croatia during peak season, expect to pay around €50-€80 per day. This can add up quickly.
What can you do about it? Well, the smaller and older your vessel is, the less it will cost to moor it, so you can keep this in mind when you reserve your boat.
You can also look for alternatives to major marinas. There are a number of popular restaurants which will allow you to moor at their docks for free if you will be eating there. You might also be able to dock at a small fishing harbour; this opportunity is usually available during peak season. Finally, you can choose to latch onto a mooring buoy, which is one of the least expensive options—or you can simply drop anchor in a bay for free.
3. Spend each night on the boat, and try to eat most of your meals onboard.
If you can, you might want to consider avoiding the temptation of dining out every night or staying at land-based hotels. You can keep your budget to a minimum by eating all your meals onboard and sleeping on the yacht each night. The trade-off however is missing out on some unique experiences—so balance your budget and your itinerary accordingly.
4. Look for fun free or low-cost activities.
There are many low-cost tours available in the cities, and quite a few national parks along the coastline charge minimal fees. There are also free activities to consider, like the water toys available on your yacht, not to mention sailing itself.
You might notice I did not recommend sailing bareboat as a means to cutting back on costs. Why not? While you can save money if you choose to forego hiring a skipper or full crew, budgeting should only be one of your considerations. Your top concern should be safety. If you are not an experienced sailor, having a skipper onboard will not only ensure you have a lot more fun, but will keep you and your travelling companions safe should you hit a rough patch of ocean or inclement weather.
The bottom line is this: Whatever interests you, you do not need to pay an arm and a leg to have a great time on a Croatian sailing holiday. Draft up a budget, and then make up an itinerary based on what you are willing to spend. And don’t forget to ask your charter company, skipper and crew for recommendations. Their expert knowledge can save you a lot of money while helping you to experience the best of Croatia!