Offering the perfect Croatian charter experience onboard the country’s most luxurious yachts is at the heart of Goolets’ philosophy, and it is certainly shown throughout its dedicated services. Founded by husband and wife, Mitja and Alenka Mirtič, Goolets is Croatia’s best-kept secret. But not for much longer. We sat down with co-founder, Mitja, to discover their journey from chartering standard, low budget vessels, to organising holidays onboard the most magnificent superyachts in Croatia.
How did you come to start a company organising holidays on some of the most luxurious superyachts in the world?
Mitja Mirtič: We are proud to say that it happened organically. 16 years ago, I can honestly say that we never dreamed of chartering some of the most spectacular and special vessels, but over the years, we have evolved. One of the first crewed vessels over 24m in length were used Turkish gulets that were mostly brought from Bodrum and Marmaris to Croatia. Their prices ranged from 8,000-15,000€ per week and our agency was one of the first companies in the region to promote them. Over the years, bigger and better yachts were being imported to the destination, and as the fleet in Croatia grew, so did our knowledge in marketing and our understanding of the customer, as well as knowing what needs to be organised and how.
In the last seven years, the entire market in Croatia virtually exploded: in a good way! Croatia became one of the most popular yacht charter destinations in the world and the boat building market here has also evolved incredibly. Now, we often see some of the most elegant Croatian vessels ranging between 40 to 60m, with the best crew, services and food onboard. As these yachts grew, so did our agency. We really are a part of this whole yachting expansion in Croatia, right from the beginning.
Where does your passion for yacht charter stem from?
Our main company slogan is “Life is Good”. We are always in pursuit of happiness. For us, this means: working on interesting projects with good people; enjoying what we do; and celebrating our wins in the best possible way: on a yacht. We're all in love with yachting, and we believe it is the best possible reward a person can give to themselves, their friends and their family, for the success that they have achieved, or just to show love to the people around them. We do believe yachting is the most exclusive and fun industry to be in and we are proud to have been part of this market for almost 2 decades.
What is the key philosophy behind Goolets and its services?
We love to create special experiences for our clients. Yachts are fun, but a yacht is just a vessel, just accommodation. By default, a room in a hotel will not make you happy; what you do there and with whom, how and what you eat, the experiences you remember: this is what makes the difference.
"Life is Good" is our mantra and it starts with our employees. They need to love their work and like coming to work: they also need to love yachting! This mantra continues with our customers. One thing is to find an appropriate yacht with a good crew but to make life really good, preparation is even more important. We understand that a 40m yacht arriving at Dubrovnik is a 40m yacht arriving at Dubrovnik. However, the organisation that is required for small or large groups is 100% different. This is where we come in.
Can you explain more about the company’s unique name?
We started as a company specialising only in gulet charters. The name comes from the word gulet. As we wanted to be different, we spelt the name GOOLET and decided to stick with this name, even after we made the transformation from an only gulet agency to a yachting agency!
How do you ensure that each client has the ultimate charter experience?
We are one of the few charter companies that have three different teams working for one client. “Charter Expert” is the team that knows all about the yachts and the crew; knows how to negotiate; understands the client's needs; and can easily translate these needs into finding the best possible yacht. “Luxury Concierge” takes on the client after the yacht is secured. They are superb experts in organising the itinerary, food, wine, extra activities, transfers, special organisations, weddings and everything in between. They are available for the client before, during and after the cruise. “Ground Services” is the behind-the-scenes team in Croatia that knows all the bars, rental car companies, restaurants, local activity companies, guides, wine cellars and much more: they have superb connections with everyone. If the client needs something specific, the “Luxury Concierge” team will arrange it, and the “Ground Services” team is there to make it all into a reality: taking care of the client's unforgettable holiday.
We know the areas that are the best to cruise, as well as all the local experience suppliers, which enables us to create the most amazing yachting experience a client can ask for.
Why is Croatia the perfect location to charter a yacht?
Where do I start! Firstly, Croatia has more than 1,200 islands and the distance between them is very short, so in a two hour cruise you can always reach a different location. The food here is amazing. The people are very hospitable. Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korčula, Vis, Skradin, Zadar, Trogir are just some of the places that make the country so special. Croatia is also very safe: there is no terrorism, no sharks, and almost zero crime. The Croatian people's mindsets are also very beneficial for the rich and famous, as nobody really notices if Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive, or Jordan takes a walk around the city!
In your opinion, what is the best superyacht in your current charter fleet?
I would go with 48.2m Freedom. It is not usually possible to get a 48m yacht with all these amenities for such an incredible price. The fact that she can accommodate up to 24 guests in 11 cabins is also very unique in the yachting world.
What can we expect from Goolets in the future?
We’re always brainstorming more ideas about how to improve our customer services. We do believe that Croatia is just starting out with their industry of yacht building and we expect to be part of this evolving market for many years to come. We certainly would like to contribute to eco-development much more in the future.
If you’re planning your next charter holiday, look no further than Goolets. Get in touch with Mitja and the rest of the team to organise the ultimate Croatian getaway.