One of the perks of being a yacht charter broker is the occasional possibility of embarking on a FAM trip (familiarisation trip) aboard a luxury yacht. This time around CharterWorld’s brokers were invited to take part in a four-day FAM trip aboard the beautiful and elegant 1952 classic motor yacht SEAGULL II around some of the most beautiful Croatia yacht vacation destinations, including Dubrovnik, Mljet or the island of Lokrum as well as Montenegro’s Porto Montenegro. Below is their fantastic encounter of the entire trip, confirming that Croatia charter yacht SEAGULL II is a truly fantastic vessel and a great choice when it comes to a relaxed and unique Croatia yacht charter with family and friends.
SEAGULL II is a classic and elegant motor yacht with an intriguing history. Dating back to 1952, she was ‘born’ as a coastal passenger ship, carrying amazing 700 people on board between Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Kotor and Split – now renowned for their enchanting scenic beauty and as fabulous Croatia superyacht charter destinations.
In 2004/2005, SEAGULL II yacht was entirely restored and was reborn as a stunning luxury charter yacht, with elegant lines and an appearance of a miniature 1930s ocean liner. Her interior design and decoration features Art Nouveau details with the first signs of the coming Modernism. Numerous art pieces from the same era embellish the interior spaces and all floors in the saloons and dining areas are covered with unique, high quality carpets.
UPPER DECK AND SOCIALISING AREAS
SEAGULL II’s main socialising place is the upper deck which comprises four distinct areas: the dining salon, the main salon with a cocktail bar, an open deck and an open terrace. It is definitely worth experiencing a formal dinner in the atmosphere of the formal dining room, designed for modern tastes with an appreciation of a classic style. The dining room is connected to the elegant main salon with a cocktail bar – a perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine before dinner. Large deck spaces are ideal for casual lounging or pleasant al fresco dining, and provide fantastic panoramic views of the sea and the yacht’s surroundings.
Accommodation on board Seagull II is provided in 7 elegant cabins with first class amenities.
“I had a pleasure to stay in a double cabin that is part of VIP apartment situated on the main deck, which includes two rooms; one with a queen-sized bed and one twin room. The VIP apartment has a common saloon, also situated on the main deck, and both rooms boast bathrooms with shower. The bathroom belonging to twin cabin is very spacious. I would say that the VIP apartment would be ideal for a family with children.” one of our brokers describes her recent stay aboard Seagull II.
The Owner’s Suites consist of a spacious deck lounge with a card table, day head and entertainment centre that is located on the main deck, and there are two identical bedrooms on the lower deck. Each cabin boasts a Queen-sized bed and both rooms are linked by a full width en suite bathroom with twin basins, Spa Pool and a shower room.
The four remaining guest cabins (2 twin and 2 doubles) all have a private lounge on the main deck with stairs leading down to each en suite bedroom.
“I’ve found it very nice that each of the cabins have individual access from the deck, which allows guests more privacy.”
Our brokers were also very impressed on how quiet Seagull II yacht was on the way. They could hear no noise of the engine nor that of the generator running. They departed Dubrovnik at 5:45 and cruised to Mljet. On the way all of the guests on board slept, waking up to the gorgeous scenery surrounded by the beautiful islands and the Island of Mljet.
“Seagull II is one of the most comfortable yachts I ever cruised on and even during a 30-minute storm that came very unexpectedly, Seagull II was holding up very well and we could feel it is a solid, stable & well build yacht.”
“The crew are excellent, very service orientated, attentive, professional, well trained and friendly, but not overwhelming in that respect. Captain Branko has a vast experience in managing and taking care of the passengers on large passenger ships and for him the safety and comfort of the guests is the most important.
“In the beginning I got the impression that Captain Branko was gauging the amount interaction our charter group wanted and seem to judge this well, becoming relaxed and more chatty and friendly as the charter went on, sharing with us his extensive knowledge about the Croatian coast.”
“Jenice and Jake who worked the bar area and had the most interaction with the guests were always smiling & sweet, and always ready to assist and serve us delicious coffee, cocktail or a soft drink.”
Jenice is also a professional masseur and the massages are available for charter guests upon request. Clayd was very polite and kind, taking great care of the cabins while paying attention to every detail. All the interior crew made our brokers and guests feel at home and comfortable.
“Jenice remembered all of our favourite morning drinks so next morning my coffee was ready the minute I walked in the saloon.”
The guests may also call the crew at the bar directly from their cabin and take their coffee or a snack in the comfort of their own cabin.
“Crew was very attentive and with the first step on board you could feel the relaxing atmosphere full of smiling faces and happy attitude. “
According to our satisfied brokers, Chef Filip deserves the whole paragraph in Seagull II’s summary as he has exceeded everyone’s expectations. He has been working for the same Owner for 10 years. He gained all his knowledge in Croatia, working not only aboard Seagull II but also in various 5-star restaurants, to acquire additional expertise. He loves to experiment and surprise his guests. He uses fresh produce only and many of the ingredients were homemade or bought from locals. He has endless imagination listening to the guests and trying to implement new ideas and tastes based on their wishes.
It is apparent that the Owner takes great pride in the Croatia charter yacht SEAGULL II and he makes sure that the yacht is well maintained. The same crew has been with the Owner for the last six years and each of them knows their duty by heart. All the crew is very hard-working and proud of being a member of such unique and one of a kind vessel.
FUN ON BOARD
Seagull II has a vast selection of water toys on board.
These include: one 5.8m Avon RIB, 4.5m Williams RIB, one sea kayak – with additional one on request, one Seadoo RXP215 Waverunner, one windsurfer for beginners and intermediates, one solid floating swim platform, waterskis for children and adults, wakeboard, various inflatable toys as well as snorkelling equipment.
However, having toys on board is one thing, but to have eager and energetic deck crew is what matters and makes your charter unforgettable!
“The crew was encouraging us to use the toys and they were very patient with all of us trying different water equipment. I felt very safe and comfortable and it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons. Despite a bit cold weather, we all had lots of fun.”
All cabins are equipped with TV but none of our brokers had even the time to turn the TV on during their stay on board.
FAM TRIP CROATIA YACHT CHARTER ITINERARY IN THE ADRIATIC
Day One – Arrival
Captain Branko and the crew were awaiting for our brokers’ arrival at Porto Montenegro, Tivat at the main Pier.
The new marina is very impressive and a convenient, elegant and overall great place to embark on a Croatia luxury yacht charter holiday. From chandleries to fashion boutiques, waterfront cafés, bars and restaurants, the village is designed to appeal to a wide clientele all year round. During the summer season it will also feature a selection of international temporary or ‘pop-up’ shops such as swimwear brand Heidi Klein and London concept store Wolf & Badger.
The main attraction is the Lido Mar Pool. This 64-metre infinity edge pool and lounge bar cantilevered over the sea was designed by Richard Hywel Evans and features a 3m-high Jaume Plensa sculpture entitled ‘8 Possibilities’.
“At 18:30 we went to view the 97ft Horizon charter yacht ANNABEL II that was hosting a small open house for us. She was located on the next dock around 10 minutes’ walk. Captain Andrew and the crew gave us a warm welcome and the reception exceed our expectations. Hors d’oeuvres were excellent, paired with fine champagne and Andrew was sharing with us his local knowledge. This afternoon and early evening will be greatly remembered.”
After warm reception on Annabel II yacht our brokers strolled back to Seagull II where chef Filip patiently and calmly awaited them with a light dinner. Dinner was superb and paired with one of the best Croatian Chardonnays, Bartlovic.
Following a lovely breakfast the yacht departed from Dubrovnik to Mljet (30NM around 2.5-3 hours cruise). Guests on board were sunbathing, chatting and admiring the fantastic Croatian views on the way, while Jenice served some delicious cocktails and snacks to enjoy.
“We were taken by the tender to Mljet Island. Despite the rain and bad weather we still enjoyed visiting the National Park. After renting two cars called Mini Brum in a small village Polace we were on our way to Mljet National Park that covers the entire north-west part of Mljet Island.”
Mljet National Park is a large area that borders two salt water lakes – Veliko and Malo Jezero (Large and Small Lake). The Lakes stretch for about 4 kilometres. Right in the middle of the Large Lake there is a small island / islet Melita (Sveta Marija) with large building which is a former Benedictine Monastery, erected there in the 12th century. The Monastery’s building is now a café/restaurant. The small island is connected by boats that sail there from both sides of the Lake.
After a nice walk our brokers enjoyed a wonderful snack in one of the local restaurants in Polace, called Sponga. Since the weather was cold and rainy they all enjoyed a warm fish soup and local fish called skusa. Very simple dishes, yet the soup and fish were superb, accompanied by a homemade bread and nice Croatian beer Karlovic. The locals were very nice, friendly, helpful and talkative.
In the afternoon they enjoyed a delightful late lunch / early dinner. Chef Filip prepared a fantastic dish of local lobster followed by a delicious chocolate – mint cake.
“After taking a short rest we all enjoyed fun time with water toys & some of us enjoyed a massage.”
“Luxury charter yacht Seagull II was anchored in the most idyllic place we could wish for; calm, relaxing quiet and protected by the surrounding islands. The sea was as serene as a lake.”
Our brokers also enjoyed a small kayak excursion where they could admire crystal clear water with breathtaking views of the underwater scenery. They had the chance to try the jetski, water skis, mono-ski and inflatable “donut” – a ride that they will never forget!
“We all had such a good time and the crew was so attentive and encouraging for us to use the toys. I think the crew had as much fun as we did. “
After all the fun with water sports they all enjoyed refreshing cocktails and a hot Spa Pool, followed by an on board cocktail party.
“I think, it was one of the most relaxing evenings as Seagull II was the only yacht anchored out in between the islands giving us this magical & calm atmosphere of the dusk/ twilight in one of the shortest nights of the year; at 22:00 the sky on the horizon was still ‘lit up’.“
Superyacht SEAGULL II left Mljet very early in the morning while guests on board enjoyed a lovely breakfast with the view of Dubrovnik and its famous series of defensive stone walls. (Mljet is located about 30 nm from Dubrovnik, a 2.5-3 hour cruise)
After breakfast our brokers were taken by a tender to do a Lokrum Island tour. Following the tour Captain Branko advised everyone that the weather forecast predicted rain and strong winds approaching, and that he would move Seagull II away from the open sea area to a more protected anchor close to a small island. This island is renowned for its history of being one of two islands used in medieval times as a quarantine island. The crew was very nice and thoughtful, and provided everyone with a rainy and wind-proof jacket that helped keep everyone warm and dry.
The tender took our brokers to the eastern side of the island, which is protected from the open sea, with a small natural harbour. The island covers an area of 0.8 square kilometres (0.31 square miles).
“We have visited the Botanical Gardens that were founded in 1959, boasting native and imported, tropical and subtropical plants, and other vegetation originating from Australia and South America. The island is also inhabited by families of peacocks brought over by Maximilian from the Canary Islands.”
Another attraction worth a visit is a salt lake, which is about 10 metres deep and is known as “The Dead Sea” (Mrtvo More). Here you can enjoy a refreshing swim or visit the nearby deserted Benedictine Monastery, founded in 1023.
Croatia luxury yacht charter visitors can also take a nice hike all the way to the top of the old Fort Royal Castle where they can admire a beautiful panoramic view of the Croatian coast and Dubrovnik.
Following a light lunch our brokers were taken back to Dubrovnik with Seagull’s tender where Ana, a local guide, was awaiting them.
“The tour was very informative and I wish we had more time to listen to Ana and stroll the Old Town. We also had the opportunity to do a small wine tasting in one of the local wine stores, called Di Vino.”
“I think the last dinner on board Seagull II yacht was spectacular!”
“Earlier that day we had a conversation about fish prepared in salt and surprisingly enough after an excellent appetiser, we saw Chef Filip entering the main dining room with a fish covered in salt and flames. Never have I eaten a fish so soft and tender! It was a black sea bass in salt.”
“Dinner was ideally paired with a divine Serbian wine, Trijumf Gold 2012 Alexandrovic. The dessert that followed was melting in my mouth and again it was one of Filip’s own creations: homemade pastry with figs and cream, infused with rose aroma.”
DAY FOUR – DEPARTURE
Unfortunately, after a late breakfast our brokers had to pack and prepare for their departure. Captain Branko organised a transfer to a hotel and the airport in Dubrovnik.
“At noon we had a glass of champagne and said ‘goodbyes’ to the crew. I will truly miss them and I know they will do a fantastic job taking care of our charter guests during their dream Croatia yacht charter, including the most discerning of a clientele.”
“Some of us who had the flights a bit later had a chance to enjoy last walk thru Old town in Dubrovnik and had a quick bite to eat in one of the restaurants.”
“We could not resist the home made French fries and fresh burrata!”
SEAGULL II SUPERYACHT CHARTER LOCATIONS
SEAGULL II is available for Eastern Mediterranean yacht vacations in Croatia, as well as Montenegro and Greece’s Aegean Islands. She is also willing to cruise to the Western Mediterranean including Italy and the French Riviera, upon request.
Many yacht charterers and luxury yachts choose the Eastern Mediterranean as their preferred summer destination for numerous reasons: the enchanting natural beauty of the coastline and the surrounding islands, plenty of beautiful beaches, islets and cays, as well as the fantastic history these countries have on offer. Local people are well known for their kindness and hospitality, with local food and fresh produce being of excellent quality and taste. Croatia is a fantastic destination for families and friends, or even corporate yacht charter; be it aboard a sailing yacht, catamaran or a motor yacht. Montenegro, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, south of Croatia, is a great place to start or end any Croatia yacht vacation, offering beautiful scenery and excellent services.
Perhaps the most popular yachting destination during the European summer months is the Western Mediterranean. The French Riviera and Italy’s western coast vibrate with passion, glamour, style, cultural heritage and natural beauty. French and Italian destinations usually include the islands of Sardinia, Sicily, Panarea, Corsica and Capri, as well as the glamorous cities of St Tropez, Nice, Monaco, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Cannes or the Italian Portofino, Costa Smeralda, Salerno, Amalfi Coast or Naples. Each and one of the destinations of the Western Mediterranean offer plenty of adventure and excitement, as well as possibilities for relaxation; and there is no doubt that the best way to discover these unique place is aboard a luxury motor yacht or a sailing yacht.
The enchanting and beautiful Greece yacht charter location, the Aegean Islands is one of the most popular and sought after sailing and motor yacht destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Warm, predictable winds and visual navigation make it an outstanding area for an unforgettable Mediterranean superyacht vacation. The remnants of early Greek civilisation, the timeless quality of customs unchanged for centuries, and nature’s unique display of beauty in the sea, sky and land combine to make cruising in the Aegean waters an unforgettable experience. The Aegean Islands are traditionally subdivided into seven groups from north to south and include: the Northeastern Aegean Islands, Sporades, Euboea, Argo-Saronic Islands, Cyclades, Dodecanese and Crete.
For more information about charter yacht SEAGULL II and to help you to choose the best destination for your next Mediterranean yacht vacation, creating a personalised itinerary based on your desires and expectations, contact our experienced charter brokers here.