Adriatic Cruise 2009 – Update to Albanian section of Adriatic Pilot

Published 13 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Some corrections and new information – Adriatic Pilot

Clive and Norma Probert

S/Y Sanyassa

Our edition of The Adriatic Pilot was the 4th. and we downloaded the July 2006 corrections. These corrections are based on the above during June, July and August 2009.


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ATMs are in plentiful supply in major cities. Leks are now 154 to the £ and 130 to the euro (June 2009).

Travel advice

There seem to be few, if any, restrictions on travel now. When we left Sarander we were told we could anchor anywhere except Sazanit Island. We were told we would have to check in at Vlores before going to Orukum Marina but see below.

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Gjiri i Sarandes

We used an agent – Agim, tel: + 355 692 566 576, e-mail: [email protected] We emailed him in advance with attached photocopies of ships registration, passports and crew list. We texted him when we were an hour away and he was on the dock to take our lines.

Checking in took less than 1/2 hr. He took our laundry and returned it immaculately washed, dried and ironed. The equivalent of 4 loads cost only 15 euros. He drove us to the fuel station for diesel and arranged an air-conditioned taxi, inevitably a Mercedes, for a day to visit Butrint, Gjirokastra and “Blue eye”. Cost 80 euro.

Total cost of stay: 50 euros for agents fees and 5 euros/night dockage fees (includes free water and electricity).

The dock has recently been rebuilt and is very clean. Security is good. The town, however, is dusty, half-completed buildings and piles of rubble are everywhere. We did not find the restaurants very good, though they were cheap.

One problem is that the harbour has no breakwater so is very exposed to swell. In spite of there being only light winds, this became so bad that we left the dock and anchored off. However, Agim advised us not to leave the boat unattended while at anchor because he feared children might swim out from the beach and climb aboard.

We headed north intending to call at Orukum. We anchored one night at Gjiri i Spiles. A good anchorage but again subject to swell which was too bad to land a dinghy on the beach or on to the two wooden jetties.

When we arrived off the bay of Vlores we had 25kts. of southerly wind. Looking at the chart, Vlores did not seem to have much shelter from the S and we did not fancy the 7 miles windward flog to Orukum, so we continued.

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We made a night entry. The fairway buoy was unlit and we nearly hit it. The channel markers are just posts with very low-intensity lights, very difficult to see against the town and harbour lights. They did not show on radar. An easier approach would have been from due south of the entrance just west of the commercial boat anchorage and approach from there. The entrance is easy to identify from a distance as a gap in the very bright harbour lights.

The actual dock is quite clean although the water in the corner where we were berthed was full of rubbish. The main problem being the container wagons that charge through the area. The security is good and the dock entrance only a short walk away.

Straight ahead one is immediately in the town with a good internet cafe 70M on the right. Turning right there is a supermarket 300 metres away with a fuel station across the road. ATMs are plentiful. Continuing past the supermarket for 700M is the bus station where frequent buses run to Tirana. Fare 100 Lek per person.

Unfortunately, the bad experience comes at checkout. We stayed 2 nights, used an agent and the cost was 150 euro. Apparently, the fees had been raised in April 2009. Agents name was Aurel. Phone number 003556972039301.

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