Here’s a scenario. You’ve given in to your dream holiday at sea, booked the ultimate yacht charter this summer, and can’t wait to escape into the secluded Adriatic island paradise you’ve been yearning to explore for months. Fast forward, and it’s the peak of the summer season; you’ve finally set sail on your dream vacation, the light Mediterranean breeze hits your sun-soaked skin, and you can't imagine anything possibly going wrong, especially with your boat as your guide.
That is, until you realize that thousands of other summer yacht enthusiasts had the same idea as you… and the Adriatic Sea is decorated with sailboat after sailboat no matter which way you turn. So, with no berths at the marina you envisioned sleeping at tonight and frighteningly reduced supplies, what do you do?
While the Croatian coast may seem like its lightyears behind the urban metropoles of other coastal countries, gone are the days when first come, first served yachts were the routine - and with the ongoing advancement of technology, Croatian marinas have caught on to facilitate life for you on board. You just need to have an ounce of urgency and listen closely to our tips. But it all comes down to one rather simple solution…
Booking berths online.
We shouldn't have to remind you, but in an effort to really drill into this point and push its seriousness - July and August are always and will always be the absolute peak months for sailing holidays. You will encounter all types of boats in the summer, from charter boats to cruisers, smaller motorboats to megayachts, and they’ll likely have the same sailing route in mind as you and your skipper. But don’t worry - the Adriatic has enough beauty to go around for all of us.
First things first - if you are planning on sailing during the busiest months, especially if you know that you’ll need to stay the night at a marina, you’ll need to book your berth in advance. This should be the rule immediately after you’ve booked your charter and know your itinerary, especially if the dates fall anywhere between July 1 and August 31.
It’s important to note that even in some incredibly well-organized ports like Vis, Stari Grad, and Milna, which tie boats on buoys in ports to maximize the space in the harbor, it is often advised that yachts arrive no later than 2 pm if they’re hoping to find an empty spot!
Okay, we think you get that part now…
And what if you’ve already set sail and notice that the weather is in for a nasty change, requiring a last-minute berth option so you can safely dock for the night? By all means, if you see that jugo or bura winds are arriving with a vengeance during your sailing trip, booking berths online has never been more crucial.
But how exactly does one go about booking berths online?
That’s what we are here to tell you.
When you consider that around 95% of charter boats are booked online today (if not more), and because we are in 2022, it’s safe to assume that most charter boats are equipped with and actively use tablets onboard, making booking berths online not only logical but necessary.
It’s good to know that the majority of the Adriatic’s larger marinas, like Marina Baotić, all 22 ACI marinas, and Marina Frapa in Rogoznica near Šibenik allow you to reserve your berth by sending a simple e-mail, offering you the chance to connect with the marina directly.
But what if we told you that booking berths online could be even easier?
Many marinas in the Adriatic have expanded their reach to several online sales portals given the increasing advancements in technology, gathering all of the marinas and ports in one place, essentially at your fingertips. The end result? A handful of mobile applications that effortlessly do the work for you.
Suppose you’re looking to book an ACI marina during your Adriatic sailing holiday. In that case, you’re in luck, as the Mediterranean’s largest chain of marinas and the leading marina operator in the Adriatic has an app for that.
Available in Croatian, English, German, and Italian, the ACI Marinas app launched in the yachting world back in 2018 and is often the #1 choice for sailors on the Adriatic Coast. That is, for those sailors looking exclusively to park at ACI marinas. This app is used as a thorough guide to all 22 ACI marinas along the Croatian coast, while it also allows users to check the weather forecast and service information. However, most crucial for you is that this app lets you see the available capacity at each marina and follow up by booking and paying for your berth online! You’ll have to pay for your berth in advance, in total, with an additional 10% for the connection. The ACI Marinas app even lets you moor multiple vessels through one user, and if you need to register your boat, you can do that too. The ACI Marinas app is available in the App Store and Google Play.
Arguably one of the most-used apps for sailors in the Mediterranean is My Sea, available for boaters in Croatia, Turkey, Montenegro, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Slovenia, and Austria. My Sea is one of the leading applications for booking berths online thanks to its simplicity, consistency, and the same prices offered if you were to book directly at the marina. No matter the season, My Sea guarantees that your berth, buoy field, or restaurant jetty will be waiting for you when you arrive - though that’s not all it does. My Sea is also an online travel guide showcasing the most beautiful and must-visit spots in your destination, with information readily available about harbors, anchorages, buoys, restaurants, shops, sailmakers, mechanics, and more! You can also leave tips and reviews within the app, add new destinations, or correct outdated information. Talk about never having to worry about a busy berth gain!
Last but not least, Porthop was launched back in 2017 as the ‘Airbnb of boats,’ created exclusively to fight the problem of finding berths in marinas, harbors, and anchorages. Porthop is still a go-to in Croatia five years later, which is not surprising considering it was created by the king of the Croatian Surf'n'Fries franchise - Andrija Čolak.
With Porthop, you can book and pay for a berth in just three clicks. The app boasts a massive database of all charter boats in Croatia, allowing you to browse several destinations and ports. Once you’ve finally decided - book and pay using Braintree or PayPal. This gives you a few more hours of swimming and sunning and less hassle trying to sort your next move.
This app works closely with skippers to solve first-hand problems at sea and gives berth providers security. Since the user immediately pays for the berth, the marina must keep the berth free until the end of the check-in time. And what if the boat doesn’t show up? Well, the marina can offer it to someone else, thus doubling its income. This system also takes out the under-the-table corruption you may run into with skippers arranging and reserving berths without the marina knowing. Overall, it’s yet another easy, effective, and safe way to ensure your berth is waiting for you.
All you’ll need to remember for your next Adriatic sailing holiday? Booking berths online. You can thank us later.