While the country's famous music festivals may be on hold, sailing in Croatia looks to be one of the most viable options in 2020. The marinas are open, the superyachts are arriving and so are the holidaymakers. For Croatia sailing, the season has already begun.
With Croatia's borders now open, the country's Jutarnj List yesterday reported the arrival of the first sailing enthusiasts, stating that these were largely Slovenian, Austrian and German boat owners who have vessels moored on Croatia's Adriatic coast. They came to inspect their boats at the start of the season, some to begin their holidays. Croatian marinas are open to receive guests, and boat owners and their families can visit their boats without restriction.
There are no restrictions for the entry and departure of ships within Croatia's waters and many larger yachts (24 metres and above) currently moored in Italy, France, Spain and the Caribbean are expected to soon make the journey to Croatia to begin the season. While a downturn is expected this year within the industry, Croatia is expected to suffer less than other Mediterranean countries due to its successes in containing Coronavirus and the relative swiftness with which travel and other restrictions have been lifted.
Some restrictions still apply in Croatia – the dining, cafe and bar experience will this year not feel exactly the same as normal. However, the supreme standard of the food, wines and beers on offer are exactly the same. With one of the world's best service industries for yachting and sailing holidays, Croatia's marinas and their staff have already prepared multiple new options to facilitate customers needs during the period, covering everything from daily food deliveries to vessels, screening of on-board staff and fully-prepared itineraries.
Croatia appeals as a destination for sailing in 2020 as it is considered a safe and healthy option; the country is on its way to being Coronavirus-free, has a reputation for healthy living and its experienced service sector is accustomed to providing the highest standards expected by those visiting for the sailing experience.
All-night beach parties and club nights might be the main appeal for many of Croatia's youngest summer visitors, but these aspects and their accompanying crowds are not the reason Croatia is one of the world's favourite sailing destination. Peacefully exploring the country's 1000 islands, inaccessible coves and beaches, accompanied by a select handful of close friends and family members; these are the reason people choose to sail in Croatia. Such assets, like the stunning views, nature and sunsets are unaffected by the pandemic. If people are to continue social distancing, where better to do it than aboard a yacht, surrounded by crystal-clear seas and no intrusive neighbours? Though superficially different from any other, this year could be the best in which to experience sailing in Croatia.