Croatia by Yacht

If you’ve never been to Croatia, you don’t know what you’ve been missing—especially along the Dalmatian Coast.

Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast has the sunshine, aquamarine seas, and Mediterranean climate of Greece, while its ancient cities like Dubrovnik and Split reflect a rich Roman past.

From there, you can head to the islands—Croatia has more than 1,200 of them—that dot the Dalmatian coastline. Life here revolves around the sea.

That’s why yachting has become one of the most popular ways to explore Croatia. From small yachts for a family of eight to superyachts for up to 30, private crewed charters are an accessible way to see Dalmatian Coast in your own timeframe.

I took a five-day cruise on the Ohana, a superyacht available for private charter by Goolets, a family-owned company with 700 luxury crewed charter yachts to choose from.

While this may sound like a vacation for the rich and famous, yacht charters are available at many price points—and when the cost is divided between family members or friends, they can be an accessible way to travel. The charter price for Ohana is $80,000 per week. If you divide that between a group of 30 of your family and friends, that’s about the same cost per person as a luxury commercial cruise.

A map of Marco Polo’s travels in the 13th century. Some say that the famous explorer’s birthplace was Korcula, Croatia. (Janna Graber)

Onboard the Ohana

I joined a group of friends for our cruise on Ohana. After flying into Split, Croatia, we boarded the 160-foot yacht. While it was a beautiful yacht already, in 2023 it received an extensive renovation to make it even more luxurious, with 14 guest cabins, an onboard cinema, a children’s playroom, and even a rock-climbing wall. This makes Ohana a perfect yacht for families. (Its name is Hawaiian for “family.”)

The Ohana was staffed by a talented culinary team who ensured we ate like kings. I enjoyed their innovative dishes, which included lots of fresh local seafood and Croatian wines. The caring staff onboard made sure that we had everything we needed to make the trip a memorable one.

The sun sets over the historic city center of Omis, a popular destination on the Dalmatian Coast. (matkovci/Shutterstock)

Customized Cruise for You

The best part of a luxury yacht charter cruise is that the experience is crafted just for you and your group. Goolets works with each guest to design an experience that is tailored to their wishes. Once they understand what you want to see and do and what kind of onboard experience you want, they will customize a cruise just for you.

One thing I liked about our cruise was that we had the entire ship to ourselves. Chartered yachts offer a level of privacy and exclusivity that is hard to find on larger cruise ships or in hotels. You can enjoy your own private space, without the crowds and the noise.

Being onboard was a fun experience on its own. The ship had lots of water toys, from snorkels to paddle boards to jet skis. Several times, we found quiet bays and dropped anchor just to play in the water.

Postira On Brac Island Skyline View
Skyline of the beautiful harbor town of Postira on Brac Island, on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. (Goolets)

Destinations to Visit on the Dalmatian Coast

The highlight of any visit to the Dalmatian Coast is the wealth of destinations you can visit, from ancient coastal cities to hundreds of islands.

Dubrovnik is not an island, but it’s the top coastal destination in Croatia. It’s a well-preserved ancient city that you might recognize from scenes in the TV show “Games of Thrones.” Dubrovnik is known for its Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The coastal town of Split also had a starring role in “Game of Thrones.” Its well-kept Old Town is filled with winding cobblestone alleys, buzzling squares, and hundreds of small shops and restaurants. It has a lovely promenade that seems to be the center of life in Split. Many charter yacht cruises begin and end in Split.

One afternoon, we stopped at the small coastal town of Makarska. Fluffy clouds floated over the hills that tower over the town, giving an alpine feel to the region. Though it’s not on the tourist track, we were glad we had the chance to visit. We spent the afternoon meandering through its winding streets and then having coffee at a café overlooking the bay.

Islands in Croatia

Exploring the Croatian islands is a highlight of any charter yacht cruise, and there are many to choose from.

Hvar is the most popular island destination in Croatia. It’s known for its picturesque old town, beautiful beaches, high-end restaurants, and lively nightlife. One of my favorite experiences was seeing its dramatic Hvar Fortress lit up at night.

The island of Brac is famous for Zlatni Rat beach. The beaches in Croatia are pebbly, rather than sandy, but the water is a lovely clear blue. Brac is home to Vidova Gora, the highest peak in the Adriatic islands, which offers panoramic views of the island and the surrounding area.

Some say that the island of Korcula is the birthplace of Marco Polo. Wandering through its medieval Old Town, which is surrounded by walls and towers, it’s easy to imagine those times.

Epoch Times Photo
Hvar is known for its picturesque old town, beautiful beaches, high-end restaurants, and lively nightlife. (Janna Graber)
Epoch Times Photo
The largest island in central Dalmatia, Brac is known for Vidova Gora, the highest peak in the Adriatic islands. (Janna Graber)
Epoch Times Photo
Main gate of Korcula’s medieval Old Town, said to have been the birth place of Marco Polo. (Goolets)

The island of Vis is known for its beaches, charming villages, and crystal-clear waters. I recognized some parts of it from the movie “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.” Several scenes were filmed in Vis town, Komiza, and on Barjoska Beach on the island’s far western tip.

I could have spent another week on the Ohana, but our cruise was over all too soon. I’m looking forward to going back. With more than 1,200 islands, there is much more in Croatia to explore.

Tips on Planning Your Visit

Epoch Times Photo
Ohana is one of Goolets’s superyachts available for private cruises. (Goolets)

The best time to visit Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is in the spring or fall, when the weather is pleasant and it’s not crowded. In the fall, the ocean temperatures are warm enough to swim through the end of October. Summer is hotter and some locations like Dubrovnik can be crowded.

To reach Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and the Ohana, I flew into Split. Goolets offers a wide variety of charter yachts and gulets (traditional wooden sailing vessels). Learn more at

Be sure to try local specialties during your visit. Croatia has many vineyards, olive groves, and lavender fields.

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