Superyacht family holidays don’t have to break the bank if you’re savvy. Family Traveller’s Andrew Dent hopped aboard a luxury boat off the coast of Croatia to see what it was like for himself.
If the words ‘super’ and ‘yacht’ combined make you think of the south of France plus shady Russian oligarchs or Middle Eastern royalty, then think again. There is now a way that you too can get a taste of the Superyacht World, and even bring your kids.
Slovenian-based yacht charter agency Goolets are at the forefront of supplying vessels that deliver the superyacht lifestyle at an “affordable price”. Although by affordable we mean starting prices of €80,000 a week (more like €100,000 once you include food, drink and so on)…
The refurbished yacht Ohana is a brilliant case in point. Ohana operates in the stunning Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia and has 14 cabins, accommodating up to 30 guests. Bookings must be for the whole yacht for a minimum of one week, so you might want to invite some family or friends. You could happily bring the extended family for a multi-generational celebration, or even include four or five families comfortably to share the cost.
When you start to think of it like that, you are not far off the cost of an all-inclusive luxury resort holiday on land in the peak summer months. So now we know this is within reach, let’s dive in and have a closer look.
What’s staying on a superyacht really like?
At a length of 49m, Ohana is an impressive sight from all angles and will make those on shore wonder quite who is on board. Ohana has had a facelift for this coming 2023 summer season, with upgrades creating 14 en-suite cabins with a mix of double and twin beds, making it perfect for children.
There is also a new kids’ playroom, which doubles up as a massage suite (although not at the same time clearly!). The communal spaces are beautiful and the sun deck on top of the ship is undeniably the focal point.
The spot offers a zen vibe for daytime sunbathing and relaxing – the jacuzzi was one of the most popular places onboard when we visited. In the evening the sun deck transforms into a great social place for all the family; movie nights on the large screen in front of the outdoor fireplace -how cool does that sound?
The other area you will spend a lot of time in is the salon – a spacious dining area that comfortably accommodates the whole gang. The food is a combination of local and luxury, with lots of seafood as you would expect, all made onboard by the chef de cuisine.
The staff are fantastic and will look after all the various culinary requests from the kids. They are particularly good when there is a guest birthday on board; think bespoke cake, candles and lots of singing.
Experience the joy of getting right into the heart of a destination
But the real beauty of small ship cruising is the accessibility to the destination. Croatia has become more and more fashionable over the years, rightly so in our view. The water is stunning and the shoreline much more rugged and less built up than the south of France.
Ohana is fully equipped to make the most of the shoreline as it is just the right size to enter some of the more exclusive bays and dock up at night, right alongside the harbours of some of the most interesting historic towns on the itinerary.
Enjoy a plethora of water sports during your holiday
When the yacht is moored up for a swim stop the deckhands will open up a treasure trove of toys, including jet skis, water skis, paddle boards, kayaks and all manner of floaties for the less adventurous who just want to bob around in the warm water (perhaps with a drink in hand).
The kids will love the new waterslide which zooms them down from the top deck and splashes into the emerald water. My guess is the kids will entertain themselves for hours on here (hopefully leaving you to some relaxation).
Make the most of the private way of life
As it’s a private charter, you get the chance to set the itinerary for your trip, including the start and end points. The team at Goolets will advise taking into account your group makeup and preferences. More beach? more culture? More swim stops? No problem, just let the captain know.
The itinerary we experienced started and finished in the historic town of Split. On our first night, the Ohana was moored only a few minutes’ walk away from the old town so we could have a walk around town with the kids before getting back on board for dinner and bed.
We also stopped at the famous islands of Hvar and Brač. The oldest coastal town on Brač is Bol, known for its beautiful beaches, of which the most famous and family-friendly is Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape).
The joy of the charter life is that you can sit on the beach building sand castles with the children whilst keeping an eye on the stunning Ohana glistening in the distance. Unlike everyone else on the beach, you know you are actually going to be onboard that evening enjoying a crisp glass of wine. The same goes for the hordes tramping along the front in Hvar and gazing up at you. Is it terrible to look down over your aperitif and smugly smile about how clever you are?
Soak up the luxury of the superyacht lifestyle
A week on the Ohana is a truly wonderful experience; it offers all the trappings of the superyacht lifestyle at what is an affordable access point.
You can be as active or lazy as you want. You can take in the culture of the ancient towns by touring them, or you can sit on the deck and simply look at them. The food and drink are wonderful, the staff exemplary and the cabins beyond comfortable.
Thanks to the folks at Goolets, the superyacht lifestyle just got a whole lot closer for you and your family. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.
Planning a family holiday
Ohana will be totally remodelled and available in 2023. It will include brand-new features and will comfortably fit groups of 12-30 people. The yacht will be chartered by a 12-person team of experienced staff available at all times
Find out more on Goolets.