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Would we recommend Croatia to other cruisers?

By Sue Richards last modified Aug 23, 2010 07:23 PM

Published: 2010-08-23 19:23:35
Countries: Croatia

Sailing in Croatia
By Karen Gray

So would we recommend Croatia to other cruisers? Lets see…

AGAINST

We’ll do the grotty bit first.

Sojourn Tax:

It was bad enough having to pay for an expensive permit to cruise in Croatia, but when we arrived back from Venice, and checked in again at Rovinj, wewere presented with another bill. This sojourn tax is chargeable because, would you believe, we’re considered to be a type of temporary resident, as we have beds onboard. The amount you pay depends on the length of your boat and how long you intend to stay in Croatia. As you might imagine, the Skipper wanted to tell them to stuff it and to cross back over to Italy. The best I could do was to convince him that we should pay the tax for 30 days in Croatia rather than the 60 days that we had previously planned.

The worst bit about the tax was that we were then on a time limit, which was a bore, but also that, when we checked out of Croatia, nobody mentioned it again or checked that we’d paid it or queried whether we’d overstayed. We were left feeling that we’d been ripped off. (We subsequently wrote to the Ministry of Sea to ask them about this tax. I’ve copied their reply at the end of this entry).

Charging for anchoring:

Between designated anchorages where a fee is charged, areas with mooring buoys where a fee is charged even if you’re anchored, and harbours that collect dues from anchored yachts - it’s tricky to avoid more expense. Tricky, but not impossible.

In the two months that we were in Croatia we anchored all the time, never went into a marina and only paid to anchor on one night (at Pula Harbour). We also paid in the National Park on Mljet but that was a one off fee for entrance to the park area, it included a trip to the lakes and you could stay as many nights as you liked.

There are some free anchorages off of towns, but quite often we were in places a bit removed from habitation. If your wallet and your principals allowed you to part with your money for anchoring then none of this would be a problem. Personally, I felt a bit frustrated at missing some places in order to avoid the charges, but that was our choice.

FOR

The Sailing:

Perhaps we were lucky to have a tail wind on the way up and on the way back down again, but the sailing really made up for a lot. We used our cruising chute like we never have before. The numerous islands sheltered us from the sea state and always provided an overnight anchorage. Winds were light and we mostly made quite short distances, but they add up and it was heavenly to glide along peacefully. Plus it was free travel.

The Sightseeing:

We liked: Dubrovnik; Pula, Rovinj and inland in Istria; the Krka river and falls; and, our favourite, Split. Plus, there’s no denying, it’s a darned handy route to Venice.

The Islands:

Amongst others we liked: Mljet, Murter and the Pakleni Islands (handy for Hvar).

Cost of Living:

Diesel is cheaper than in Greece and Italy. We paid around €1.08 a litre. Food shopping seemed on a par or perhaps slightly cheaper than Greece and Turkey.

THE VERDICT

All things considered: Yes, we would recommend Croatia! We’re glad we went and could have stayed longer. If it wasn’t for the money side of things it would be an excellent place for cruisers, but who cares about cruisers when there are so many charterers with money to spend. Needless to say ensigns were virtually non-existent. Oh, and be prepared to see lots of bare bums…and more!

Now that we’re back in Italy we’re missing the Croatian anchorages and with hindsight (oh, wonderful hindsight) I wish I’d twisted the Skipper’s arm to pay to stay longer in Croatia.

Copy e-mail from Ministry of Sea:

Dear Mr. Gray,

In addition to your e-mail about sojourn tax we are informing you as follows.

In accordance with Ordinance of sojourn tax for 2010 (Official gazette 139/09) which had entered into force at 28th November 2009 and Article 3a of the Amendment of the Ordinance of sojourn tax for 2010 (Official gazette 38/10), which had entered into force at 8th of April 2010, the owner of the vessel or any of the passengers which are staying over night on the vessel are due to pay flat fee – sojourn tax depending on the length of the vessel and duration of the visit. Below you can find a table of the flat fee –sojourn tax amounts.

For any additional information and/or complaints you can visit web page of the Ministry of tourism (http://www.mint.hr ) or Croatian National Tourist Board (http://croatia.hr/en-GB/Homepage).

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Stjepan Vuk,
Head of Sector

Safety of navigation, maritime and inland waters protection Directorate
Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure
Table of the flat fee - sojourn tax amounts

5-9 meters, till 8 days, 150,00(Kuna)
5-9 meters, till 15 days, 300,00
5-9 meters, till 30 days, 400,00
5-9 meters, till 90 days, 600,00
5-9 meters, till 1 year, 1.000,00

9-12 meters, till 8 days, 200,00
9-12 meters, till 15 days, 350,00
9-12 meters, till 30 days, 500,00
9-12 meters, till 90 days, 650,00
9-12 meters, till 1 year, 1.100,00

12-15 meters, till 8 days, 300,00
12-15 meters, till 15 days, 400,00
12-15 meters, till 30 days, 600,00
12-15 meters, till 90 days, 750,00
12-15 meters, till 1 year, 1.300,00

15-20 meters, till 8 days, 400,00
15-20 meters, till 15 days, 500,00
15-20 meters, till 30 days, 700,00
15-20 meters, till 90 days, 850,00
15-20 meters, till 1 year, 1.500,00

Over 20 meters, till 8 days, 600,00
Over 20 meters, till 15 days, 800,00
Over 20 meters, till 30 days, 1.000,00
Over 20 meters, till 90 days, 1.300,00
Over 20 meters, till 1 year, 1.700,00

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