While most yachts continue to be fixated with remaining in the Golden Triangle of the Western Mediterranean, the Adriatic has the islands and secluded bays that make its coastline unique, attracting more tourists to Croatia and neighbouring Montenegro and giving the region an economic lift, according to a recent report.
The EU’s newest member may have 14,000 berths but that’s not enough. They have plans to double the number of berths by 2018 to 28,000 berths, and that still doesn’t include the myriad anchoring opportunities.
The Croatian Association of Nautical Tourism has estimate that more than 70,000 yachts dropped anchor in the Adriatic last year.
Indian steel baron, Lakshmi Mittal’s 80-metre long yacht is regularly moored at Cavtat Harbour and last year Roman Abramovich also moored his yacht in Cavtat.
Both of the Adriatic states of Croatia and Montenegro are planning to expand their welcome to visiting sailors through increased marketing and expansion of yacht infrastructure along their coasts, a report in the Southeast European Times reports.
In the much more developed (and congested) western Mediterranean it is estimated that there are at least 180,000 berths.
Mato Frankovic, director of Dubrovnik Marinac said: ‘We have only 380 berths left here. Before we had 450, but the yachts are getting bigger by the year. I get people in my office who are seriously rich. They want to moor their megayachts for winter. I have increased the price for a berth up to €100,000 per season, but they keep coming to my office.’
Frankovic often has to turn yachts away, forcing owners to seek winter berths in France, Italy or even America and the Caribbean.
Nextdoor in Montenegro things are much the same and Montenegro has been pushed into the vanguard of the superyacht community with the Porto Montenegro project. Beckett Tucker, Porto Montenegro’s sales manager, told the SE Times: ‘The Adriatic is very attractive to yacht owners. While Greece is one week sailing from southern France, the Adriatic can be reached in slightly over one day.’
Tucker continues, ‘We’re now extending the marina so as to accommodate 150 to 170 berths for superyachts and 800 for smaller boats. That would turn Porto Montenegro…into the biggest marina for megayachts in the world.’
Cavtat in Croatia also attracts a number of larger superyachts. Luksa Glavina, a director of Dalmi Resorts, a Canadian company planning to build a 200-berth marina across the bay from Cavtat, indicated that an additional 1,000 berths are planned over the next few years.