“During the first year of the build we encountered several problems, the first and biggest being to convince the bank to give us a loan,” recalls Ivana Ercegovic, telling me about her family’s brave decision to risk their entire livelihood for their Navilux dream. “Navilux was a unique project at the time; there was no similar boat built in Croatia and the notion of a charter yacht was not familiar in the Croatian tourism or bank spheres. It took us many months until we made all the project evaluation to show them that this business had a future and was worth investing in.”
In June 2012 the boat was launched and the family were able to see the fruits of their labour. Their first summer season saw them secure eight weeks of charter, with 10 weeks the year after and 2014 saw them with an outstanding 17 weeks. Ercegovic believes their success is down to the unique experience they offer to the charter market. “We always knew that with our experience and knowledge in sailing we could deliver unique and great service to clients,” she explains. “Out of the eight crewmembers on board Navilux, four of them are family members, which we believe gives a very unique experience to clients. It means the atmosphere on board is very friendly and our clients always comment that they feel at home, which is what we always strive to achieve.”
With Navilux operating exclusively in Croatia, and the region becoming more popular as a superyacht destination every year, it is important to ascertain what characterises the region for the Ercegovics. “Croatia has a beautiful coastline with over 1200 islands,” Ercegovic describes. “That many islands gives you opportunity of exploring many hidden bays and small towns and the islands are very close which means that there is no need for hours of navigation to go from one place to another. The bays give the opportunity to find peace and quiet. Croatia is a country that combines history and culture with modern; you have a lot of towns that were built while we were still ruled by the Romans to old but modernised towns such as Hvar, which have a party atmosphere but also a lot of history.”
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