The month of May is usually very busy for our charter specialists at CharterWorld with a number of them attending various yacht charter shows, inspecting the vast selection of beautiful luxury yachts available for charter during the Mediterranean summer season. In addition to the shows, our brokers have the opportunity to attend familiarisation trips, also known as Fam-Trips. This year we were invited aboard the fantastic 50m Benetti charter yacht JO, providing us with a great, first-hand experience on board as well as additional knowledge of the cruising destinations; in this case along the spectacular coast of Croatia, beginning in Dubrovnik and cruising down to Montenegro.
ABOUT THE YACHT
One of the best maintained yachts in the fleet, the 50-metre motor yacht JO is always a pleasant surprise when you see her, after remembering she is a 2004 yacht (launched by the prestigious Benetti shipyard with exterior styling by Stefano Natucci). Stepping aboard, it is instantly noticeable that she is a superbly maintained vessel and well taken care of. Both interior and exterior are impeccable.
The layout is great for charter, starting with her typical Benetti sun-deck, which is very spacious and divided into 3 areas: massive sun-pads forward with retractable umbrellas, centre area with Jacuzzi, seating and bar, as well as aft deck-chairs on a raised platform. The Upper aft deck provides an excellent space for al-fresco dining, with comfortable seating aft and three separate tables for relaxation.
The interior of JO superyacht by Francois Zuretti is light and comfortable. Accommodation is provided to 10-12 charter guests in 5-6 spacious cabins, all with large bathrooms; including one full-beam master stateroom, two twin and two double cabins. An added bonus is the fully convertible upper deck games room, which can be used as a double cabin if required, and is perfectly comparable to the other doubles. It also offers great view and easily reconverts into a TV/games room when only 5 cabins are needed.
Super yacht JO is well equipped with everything expected of a luxury yacht of this size; tv/satellite (Sky), a library of over 800 DVDs, VSAT internet. iPads and laptops are also available for guests to use.
The toys are another strong point of this outstanding charter yacht, as there are many and all in great condition:
1 x Williamsjet tender 625
1 x ZAR 53. Suzuki 140HP.
2 x Kawasaki Ultra 300LX
• 3 Boards to suit Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
• Sails – 2.5, 3.5, 4.2, 4.7, 5.2, 6.0, 7.5 m2
1 x Gyro tube
1 x Mable
• 1 x Elite Alpha O’Brien Mono.
• 1 x Connolly Mono Ski
• 1 x Connolly twin skis
• Children’s Learner skis.
• 1 x O’Brien Valhalla 143
• 2 x CWB
• 1 x Nalu
• Sails 7m, 9m, 11m, 12m, 13m.
• Range of boards. (Crew personal equipment but they are happy for guests to use)
2 x Clear bottom kayaks
2 x SUP (Stand Up Paddleboards)
Plus donuts, snorkelling equipment, fishing equipment
The crew are excellent, and clearly a very cohesive team throughout. Bruce Handyside was the captain for this trip and he is an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly person. The interior crew are friendly and attentive. During the fam-drip the Chef prepared excellent dishes, fresh and well presented.
Having toys is one thing, but a keen deck crew is what really matters! The crew aboard JO are superb at encouraging you to use the toys, teaching you how, and being there to make it safe and comfortable. They can give jet-ski licenses, there is a kite boarding and wind surfing instructor and even a free diving instructor on board.
THE FAM-TRIP ITINERARY
Our broker arrived in Dubrovnik airport and embarked in Cavtat a beautiful little bay and village, around 5-10 minutes’ drive from the airport. Cavtat is an excellent place to start or end a yacht charter holiday anywhere near Dubrovnik. The vessel can cruise out to several great nearby anchorages and charter guests can enjoy the vast selection of water toys, go for a swim or simply unwind sunbathing. In the late afternoon a short cruise took the group to a perfect anchorage in front of the old town of Dubrovnik: another fabulous place to be or tender-in for shore visits.
JO left Dubrovnik overnight to cruise to the north eastern tip of Mljet, with everyone waking up in one of the quiet bays of the National Park.
“The whole island is very lush and green, and the surrounding waters amazingly calm and clear. This is a good area for shore visits, and there are great walks, but we opted for cycling.” Nick Benazeth – CharterWorld yacht charter specialist
There are relatively easy trails that lead through quiet forest to the other side of the island where there is a lake, and a small island with a charming monastery on it. There are also many different diving options for scuba diving around, with a lot of ancient Roman remains – mainly amphoras.
Another early morning cruise took everyone back towards Cavtat to clear out of Croatia and along the coast into Montenegro. The whole of the Kotor bay area is spectacular, with fortifications at the entrance, impressive cliffs all around and the picturesque islands off Perast (Our Lady of the Rocks and St George Island). Once at Porto Montenegro, a 30-minute scenic cruise will take you to the heart of the fjord and towards Kotor. There are many good anchorages here for water-sports and relaxation.
“After a slow cruise throughout dinner and a great night at anchor, we sailed back out towards Tivat for a final day of watersports and free diving.”
Luxury yacht JO is in superb condition and comparable to the best charter yachts available in the Mediterranean, and so is her crew. She is a busy vessel due to her excellent reputation and she has many happy repeat guests year after year. There are still a few weeks available for yacht charters on JO in late season in the Eastern Mediterranean with EUR€195,000.00 per week plus expenses in August and a negotiable rate of €175,000 per week plus expenses in the low season. JO is also available for charter in the Caribbean during the European winter. For more information contact our charter professionals here.