There’s nothing quite like arriving by speedboat, gin and tonic in hand, to board a yacht in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. We arrived a little windswept but felt like extras in a Bond film as we climbed aboard, our friends impressed by our entrance.
It was day two of our five-day trip onboard San Limi, a luxury 32-meter yacht – here to explore the Croatian islands. With over 1000 islands (only 15 that are inhabited) around the Dalmatian coast, we’d anchored down outside the Southern part of Vis - a sleepy and untouched island, which was inaccessible until the late 80s.
We're in Croatia with High Point Yachting, which charters luxury crewed yachts for guests - and has been for the last 20 years. Sasha King, the founder of High Point Yachting, grew up sailing on the Adriatic Sea with her family and wanted to bring one of her biggest passions to others; helping her customers create magical memories like hers.
As we’d stepped off the speed boat we’d boarded Dolce Vita, a three-masted wooden sailing vessel, which was travelling, in tandem, next to us. The gullet wouldn’t look out of place in a pirate movie, if it wasn’t for its luxury fittings, including five ensuite bedrooms, a bar and hot tub on its deck.
We’d initially greeted Sasha, along with five crew members, in Split harbour, a short ride from the airport - where both boats were moored for the night. Boarding our floating hotel we started the trip with delectable produce – local olives, Graševina Kutjevo, a Croatian wine and later enjoyed a seafood risotto, made by the onboard chef.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from San Limi before I boarded, but my expectations were completely blown out of the window as we toured the boat. Accommodating up to eight guests in four ensuite cabins, San Limi’s master bedroom, complete with a king bed and jacuzzi was the piece de resistance of the boat. While its sun deck and water toys were also a highlight - most afternoons the team would get the ‘toys’ out, paddleboards and jet skis, allowing us to play on clear blue waters for hours. Then, as we got back onto the boat, aperitifs would be waiting for us on the sundeck - also doubling up as a great place for morning workouts and daily sunbathing sessions.
Travelling and staying on a yacht, post-pandemic also feels like a safer way to holiday - with the staff tending to your every need (meals, drinks, unpacking, laundry) you can stay onboard for the whole trip; if you so desire. We were happy to explore though, as most guests do - and on the third day, the picturesque cobblestoned of Northern Vis greeted us; as the sun gleamed off the Hum mountains and pebbled beaches and ports, we could see why locals wanted to keep it a secret from tourists.
Our next stop was Hvar, and even as we pulled into its busy port we could feel a different vibe – the party island; how it's best known, bustled around us as we wandered around its marbled streets. After a lunch of fresh salmon and wine, made by the chefs on board San Limi, we saw a different side to the island as we climbed 45 minutes to its’ Fortica Fortress, a 16th-century medieval castle - which gave us panoramic views of the island, and our yachts which were moored in the harbour.
Sustainability is also a big focus for King and her team; with San Limi leading the way - produces its own water and electricity with the use of onboard technology. As we stepped onboard, we were all handed a complimentary San Limi glass water bottle to coincide with their goal to maintain a minimum amount of plastic used on board. While paper straws, environmentally sourced food and drink are also used throughout both boats.
The great thing about being aboard a yacht is every day we woke up to a new sunrise and coastline. Day four saw us looking out to Brac, an island best known for its olive trees and surfing. Stepping off the boat we were also introduced to a hidden gem, Smrka Bay; home to the Tomas family - who cooked us a private lunch of homegrown foods and wines, as we admired the picturesque bay.
While the last day onboard found us just outside the north of Hvar, taking the speed boat to Maslina - a five-star resort which stretches across two hectares of lush pine forest, just walking distance from the glistening waters of the Adriatic Sea. The resort’s Pharomatiq Spa specialises in restorative experiences and garden-to-skin inspired wellness menu - including dreamy facials and massages, which we had the pleasure of experiencing.
Waking up near Split airport at the end of our trip bought the most beautiful sunrise, but unfortunately also set the sun on our experience on board San Limi - an unforgettable experience which left me, and my friend, plotting a way to get back on board again very soon.
By Sarah Finley.
Price on request and are dependent on the date, destination and yacht. Crewed catamarans start from £10,000, £15,000 for gulets and £50,000+ for super yachts. For more information and to enquire visit highpointyachting.com or call +44 1865 339481. To keep up to date with their news and insights like them on Facebook at @highpointyachting or follow them on Instagram @highpointyachting.