When you charter a boat in Croatia: ACI Marina Dubrovnik edition – part two

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Part Two: What to know before you get OFF the boat

Taking a boat out and sailing the Adriatic really is as idyllic as it sounds and looks. Basking in the summer sun, cooling off by swimming in the refreshing and crystal clear bays, exploring the islands and getting amongst the buzz of all of the other holiday makers that you meet along the way. The last day and night of charter is the last thing on your mind…

And yet putting a little forethought into that last night and the following morning-that-no-one-wants-to-speak-about can make a big difference to how your trip wraps up.

Here are our tips for how to make sure your last night on the boat doesn’t leave a disappointing dent in your sailing holiday buzz.


Just like a rental car, a charter boat needs to be returned with full fuel tanks. ACI Marina Dubrovnik has a fuel station located up-river from the entrance to the main marina itself. The line for the fuel dock can be long with everyone returning to base on Friday afternoon. If you have any crew on-board who will not be helping to dock the boat at the fuel station, then we highly recommend that SOMETHING… Be prepared to wait for a long time, and please do so courteously. Everyone in line will be feeling similar to you, likely tired, hot and impatient. Being kind, patient and pleasant will go a long way! If you are not sure if a boat is waiting in the fuel queue, just give them a friendly shout and wave to ask them.

Don't forget to lighten your load!

Make sure you dump your holding tanks BEFORE you approach the marina!!! This often get overlooked and makes things very uncomfortable when it comes to changeover of the boat black to the charter company.

Be an awesome boat charterer and dump the tanks.


Coming back into the marina in a timely fashion will help to avoid unnecessary frustration and stress. Remember, a whole marina full of boats will be returning at the same time. It is tempting to ‘race’ other boats under the bridge and up the river mouth to the marina. But please remember the speed limits and keep in mind that many locals use this waterway as well. And as you approach the river mouth, watch out for water taxis, pleasure craft, ferries and super yachts that may be coming and going from the port of Gruž.

On approach to the marina itself, contact the marina on VHF channel 17 to let them know that you are coming in. They will advise you which pier you will be docking on. It is important to note that it is probably the same pier you began on, but not necessarily. So its good to pay attention to where you are being directed to.

The map above I have borrowed from Azimouthio’s website, a yachting info search website. Unfortunately, the ACI website doesnt actually have a map available but this map is fairly accurate and shows the entrance, the general berth layout and where the fuel station is. All very important and useful information!


Our most useful bit of advice for your last night on-board your sailing yacht: Book a table in advance to save everyone getting HANGRY! Nothing mars the tranquility of a wonderful holiday quite like bickering and dissent caused by everyone being hungry and grumpy!

There is always the option to catch a taxi into Dubrovnik city for dinner. Of course, there are some stunning restaurants in and around the old town. And, if you and the crew don’t want to wander far from the boat, there are quite a few options within walking distance, including two within the marina grounds. Keeping in mind that you have a marina FULL of hungry sailors who will be looking for sustenance at the same time, we highly recommend booking a table a day or two in advance. This way you can breeze into the restaurant and skip waiting with everyone else!

A few of the restaurants within walking distance of ACI Marina Dubrovnik are:

Watch this space for our blog about restaurants and places to eat that we recommend in and around Dubrovnik!

And just a note, your crew may be tired from their day out on the water and may want to get a ride to dinner. OR they may be feeling awake and energetic before dinner and ready to walk/catch the bus that departs from right outside the marina gates. But after dinner can often be a different story, and a ride back to the marina may be very welcome. Be prepared for this and ask your charter company for a referral for a reliable driver. You don’t have to book a car straight away. Just keep the number up your sleeve in case you need it later in the evening!


Please make check-out an easier job for the charter company staff. A technician will be coming on board your boat to check the condition of the boat and that you have emptied the holding tanks and filled the fuel tanks. Please ensure that you are ready in the morning to unload all of your luggage and personal items from the boat at a reasonable hour. It all helps the charter world tick over nicely, and helps the charter company to turn over their boats.


Book your transfers from the marina in advance. Whether you are heading into Dubrovnik to spend a couple of days exploring, heading to the airport to catch a flight or are going to pick up a rental car, make sure that you don’t leave booking a taxi or transfer to the last minute.

Just like at the beginning of your sailing holiday, there will be a big crowd at the marina and half of them will be trying to find someone to take them into Dubrovnik. If you book your transfer earlier in the week (or even earlier than that!), you are entitled to feel a little smug as you walk through the waiting crowds to your car and driver!

If you have chartered a boat from ACI Marina Dubrovnik recently, we would LOVE to hear from you! Is there anything that you think is useful that we may have missed out? What things do you know now, that you wish you had known before your charter? Let us know in the comments!

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