With the Croatian borders slowly opening the first guests came to Croatian marinas this weekend. These are Slovenes, Austrians and Germans, who had come to check on their vessels and to see what condition they were in. Although the marinas operated throughout the coronavirus epidemic, it was only with the easing of measures that the first guests began to arrive. According to the epidemiologist, there are no restrictions on guests coming to marinas.
“Croatian marinas are open to receive guests and boat owners with close family members can visit their boats without restrictions. Also, there are no restrictions for the entry and departure of ships within Croatian territorial waters, and vessel servicers work without restrictions", commented Kristijan Pavić, the President of the Management Board of ACI. Restrictions apply in marinas, shops, restaurants and cafes as well as in other facilities and purposes outside marinas. Pavić notes that with the gradual opening of the borders, the arrival of sailors who rent boats is beginning. Admittedly, in a negligible number, but this is also the beginning, writes Novac.hr.
At the moment, ships longer than 24 meters can enter Croatia freely from international waters and moor in marinas, although cruise ships are prohibited from entering Croatian waters and ports until the epidemic regulations concerning cruise ships are lifted.
Nautical tourism is one of the tourist branches for which an enormous drop in guest demand is predicted. In France, Spain and Italy, they predict a drop of as much as 80 percent. Croatia will not be exempt from that either. But, the announcements say that this year, thanks to the impressive fight against Covid-19 and the excellent epidemiological situation, Croatia could profit in the mega yacht segment. Maritime agent Andrija Šimić from the company Simmor reveals for Jutarnji list that this summer Croatia, along with Montenegro and Greece, could be a hit in the Mediterranean for owners and renters of mega yachts, ie yachts longer than 24 meters.
According to him, the "migration" of these vessels to Croatia has just begun. “The corona situation has made tectonic shifts in yachting. The owners of mega yachts that are moored in Italy have a plan to start their season from Croatia because they cannot wait for Italy to fully open and become operational,” he says. According to him, "in the next 30 days, the arrival of about 70 mega yachts from France and Italy is expected." These are yachts intended for charter, but also those in private ownership. Although Spain is quite far away, a dozen yachts have already arrived in Croatia from that country. Apart from the arrival of mega yachts from Mediterranean ports to Croatia, our coast should be the first destination for mega yachts from the Caribbean. Namely, the hurricane season begins in the Caribbean and now these vessels are moving towards the Mediterranean.
A large number of mega yacht owners decided to come to Croatia first because on May 3 we sent clear messages that mega yachts were welcome. I think that the entire Mediterranean season will concentrate on the triangle Croatia - Montenegro - Greece, where the situation with the Covid-19 is approximately the same", emphasizes Šimić.
This optimism is also confirmed by the director of ACI, Kristijan Pavić, who points out that soon they expect the arrival of larger ships in their marinas, and they receive daily inquiries from guests about the working conditions of marinas and renting boats.