Explore Croatia's Islands with SailWeek
With summer upon us and many of us vaccinated, this year we’re embracing a summer of togetherness. During the various quarantines and lockdowns of the last year, some of us were put in close quarters with our families, driving us together like never before. Yet, losing out on traditions like holiday gatherings and vacations. We were also separated from other family members and many friends — missing out on quality time with many of the people we love most.
Perhaps that’s why this July 4th was one of the busiest travel days on record, with many people hopping on planes and jumping in the car for a road trip to once again be close to those they’re closest with. But, that doesn’t mean travel this year is without risk. With variants on the rise and many people still waiting to get vaccinated or receive their second jab, the Coronavirus is far from being eradicated.
Nonetheless, unlike summer 2020, American travel isn’t all there is to look forward to this summer. European countries like Greece, Italy and even Croatia are welcoming vaccinated American travelers with open arms, inviting them to make up for lost time with family and friends by taking an epic vacation.
SailWeek Family, based out of breathtaking Croatia, is just one of the companies on the Mediterranean excited to welcome back Americans — and what they’re most proud of is helping to foster safer, more responsible travel this summer. We sat down with Duje Tomic, operational director at SailWeek to learn more about how their private, chartered sailing yachts are not only an unforgettable experience for your family and friends, but one of the best ways to travel more safely in Europe this summer.
So first, would you mind telling us a bit about SailWeek Family?
“We’ve been operating charter yachts for more than a decade, offering tours across Croatia’s Dalmatian islands. Our bespoke SailWeek Family holidays are designed to provide families and friends — of all ages — with this private, uniquely luxe and laid back experience.
Essentially, we handle all the details so that you can show up ready to have fun, enjoy each other's company and soak up the sun and sea. You can choose from our pre-planned itineraries like the active ‘Explore’ route that kids love, or for foodies, the ‘Wine and Dine’ route. But, we’re also happy to customize your itinerary, too.”
What is it about yachting in this area that’s so unique?
“Well, the Dalmatian islands are just absolutely stunning. It’s definitely one of those places everyone should experience in their lifetime. But, without a yacht, you take the public ferry from island to island — having to schlep your luggage back to a new hotel every day or so. There’s also the fact that to get from island to island you have to go back to a major port like Split or Dubrovnik, so you lose a lot of time, usually a day, to get from place to place. On top of that, you have to plan activities and meals. It’s a lot to coordinate, especially for families and big friend groups.
At SailWeek Family, we really take the hassle out of exploring this region so that you can just enjoy it. Your yacht becomes your home for the week, and we sail you from island to island every day. We also shop for you so that you can even eat all your meals on board if you want to. Plus, we plan all these awesome activities for you based on your itinerary — from skydiving over Hvar to archery on Šolta, scuba diving, a private tour of the Blue Cave, wine tastings and more. Having the yacht and our team to organize everything really allows you to enjoy the week, your family, and the islands, to their fullest.”
You mentioned taking the public ferry before. You know, maybe that’s not something we would have thought of two years ago, but today it’s quite relevant.
“Totally. Even though tourists are vaccinated or tested, the virus is still out there and there is always a risk. Now we’re looking at our private yachts through a whole new lens, because they’re actually able to create this safe ‘bubble’ for our guests. On board it’s just you and your family and your skipper — maybe a nanny if you hire one — and many of the activities we’ll plan for you are private, too.
All of our staff have been vaccinated, too, by the way, and we’re taking protocols on board to keep the hygiene up. So, you get this almost entirely independent experience that allows you to move freely and feel safe, together. And I think that’s really special, but also important right now.”
What do you think travelers need to consider about this summer that’s different?
“You know, parts of Europe are open, but this is not your typical summer here. Many people in Europe are still waiting to get vaccinated, or fully vaccinated. Not everywhere is open, either, so it’s not like a typical summer where you can make all your favorite stops. This is definitely the year to have a slower European summer and really embrace a certain city or region and just explore that. And I think Croatia, especially the Dalmatian islands, are a unique choice for that.
Especially on a yacht, you have your own pace and your own itinerary. And largely, these islands aren’t very populated. Of course, people come in for the summer. But, the yacht gives you that luxury to stay as secluded as you want. As I mentioned — you don’t even need to leave it to eat, we can buy all the groceries you like and cook everything for you.”
So, this is the summer to create your own luxurious, little bubble.
“Hah! I think so. Any other summer you could easily come to Europe and stay at a bunch of different hotels as you hopped between destinations. But, how often have you had an entire yacht to yourself? It’s a really fun and unique experience — and also a safe one this year. You lose the risk and worry of all these outside interactions that could derail your holiday, and our team plans everything out for you. So, there’s really nothing to worry about. All you have to do is show up ready to have fun.”
And after the year we had, I think that’s totally necessary for so many families and friends.
“We all definitely deserve a break, and Croatia is the best place to escape. I’m biased, of course! But really, the Dalmatian islands are stunning — from the crystal clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling, to the secluded swimming bays, world-class beaches and charming fishing villages. It’s a really magical place.
And what we pride ourselves at SailWeek Family is creating unforgettable experiences for our guests — and I think we’re able to continually do this because we’re so passionate about Croatia. We genuinely want to show you the very best our home has to offer.
Personally, I’m very excited about this season. So many people are looking to create these amazing memories with their families after a tough year, as well as reconnect with family and friends they’ve been separated from. And that real yearning to be together, to just enjoy each other's company and be in this beautiful setting, that’s special. We’re honored to be part of that.”
Big thanks to SailWeek for talking to us about their way to travel Europe more safely and responsibly this summer. Be sure to check out their various itineraries — or talk to their team about creating your own — by visiting https://sailweek-family.com/