Monday, 27 April 2015

New Croatian Marina In Slano, Near Dubrovnik and Korčula

a432  Slano approach

This is how Slano looked when we first wrote our Croatia Cruising Companion. In fact, until recently, not much had changed. Now, however, ground has been broken on a brand new marina being built by state owned ACI. “State owned” needs explanation  as ACI has a significant minority “public” shareholding in the form of Turkish group Dogus Marine Croatia. And, if the Croatian Marina industry is having to follow the path of, for example, the Croatian shipbuilding industry then it may be that the state won’t own a majority in ACI for much longer. So perhaps Slano and other investments currently being carried out or contemplated by ACI is part of bigger plan to prepare the group for full privatisation?

Slano will be the 22nd marina in the ACI chain and the first new marina to be built by them for over 20 years. It strengthens ACI’s offer in Dubrovnik county to three (existing marinas are in Dubrovnik and Korčula) though it has to be said that, despite the attractions of the eponymous cities, this is a far less attractive cruising area than the Split and Zadar regions, not least because it has a much smaller number and variety of islands. However Dubrovnik and Korčula marinas are often full so this will ease demand there. Unfortunately, though, it will not be able to  help too much with the growing demand for berths for ever larger yachts as the 200 berths are only designed to accommodate yachts up to 25 metres in length.

Covering over 60,000 square metres  there will be a reception, premises for associated businesses such as yacht maintenance and repair, a restaurant with a terrace, and an outdoor pool. Eco friendly landscaping will hopefully mitigate the visual impact of the new development and infrastructure required which will of course include access roads and parking.

Slano itself has a good beach, the bay is well protected and it has long  been popular with  flotillas who have made good use of the existing facilities (lazy lines, electricity, water, tourist office, bars, restaurants, etc) for many years. The marina will no doubt bring back cosmopolitan life to a town that was badly damaged in the Homeland War, with an earthquake in 1996 causing further destruction, though none of the after effects of these incidents was obvious when we last visited.