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Old 01-05-2015, 08:41   #1
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Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

We are a US flagged ship that needs to get out of EU waters to avoid the 18 month VAT tax issue. We are in Sicily right now and want to go to Croatia this summer to cruise. Most people we have talked to head to Saranda to do this because there is a great agent there to help (Agim) and its right near Corfu, Greece. Our plan was to sail to the tip of the heel of Italy (Santa Maria di Leuca) and from there go to Saranda, Albania. However that is a straight shot 75 nm east. To get north to Croatia we will have to go head back west. Seems out of the way. Im looking at Durres, Albania or maybe stay on the east coast of Italy then jump to Montenegro. That would allow me to get out of EU waters for VAT and seems a more direct route to Croatia.

Any thoughts on the best route to get to Croatia allowing for a stop in either Albania or Montenegro on the way there?

(NOTE: I am fully aware of Schengen and the issues surrounding that, please dont divert this discussion to Schengen.)
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:49   #2
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

Maybe Otranto and then a jump to Montenegro/Zelenika? Probably easier to check out/in and also a lot to see. A week or two and than head NW to Cavtat/Croatia.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:58   #3
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

We are also a USA boat. We did what you are planning last year and will do this year. We are in Tunisia and will head out soon to north Sciliy to St Maria and up to Brindisi before going over to Schenjgin Albania and then we will turn south and spend the summer in Greece before going to Turkey for the winter.

Your plan is good except I would go to Ortanto and then over to Orikum where there is the only marina in Albania and is nice. If you want to see a bit of Albania, it is worth going to the capital, you can leave the boat there in good hands. Then up the coast. We did not stop in Durres as it is reported to be a bit dirty and not ready for yachts but we will stop there this year. Schenjgin was just dredged before we got there and they put us on a brand new pier that is really designed for big ships. This year I will bet they either figured out where to put small boats and it could be among the fishing fleet.

Be prepared to pay a lot in Montenegro as a cruising permit is about 350eu or so. And they will ask for your sailing credentials and after a bit of discussion they accepted my ASA book with the stamps that I can completed a number of courses. The same for Croatia. And do not forget that Croatia as of 2015 is now part of Schengren agreement so as an American you get the 3 months in the EU.

As for southern Albania have no idea what is down there yet but will find out as we will be sailing the entire Albania coast this year. OH and in Albania you must use an agent at about 60eu if I remember correctly and you have to check in and out of each port.

Not sure when you are headed that way but we are leaving Tunisia between the 15-21 of may so say 2 weeks across the top of Sciliy then on to a stop near mt etna and on to the boot. Our stop by the way in Brindisi is to see friends who are living there.

Fair winds and maybe we will see you enroute. Look for SoulMates.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:34   #4
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

We are also a U.S.-registered boat based in the Ionian.

So,, if we set Schengen aside, our suggestion would be go north in Italy till you get to Otranto and then cross to Corfu (via Erikoussa for example). From Gouvia you can cross to Sarande and back in a day (using agents in Corfu - Chris Peacock and Nancy in Sarande (Chris can make this connection for you)). After that you can get to Croatia pretty much as you like - up the middle (the direct route) or back across to Puglia and cross to Lastovo from Vieste.

We'll be there this summer.

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Old 03-05-2015, 01:48   #5
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

So for those that are suggesting to go to Saranda (or Corfu to check into Saranda) isn't that adding extra easterly miles and putting us in a position to go against the prevailing NW wind to get to Croatia?

Since we want to see Montenegro anyway I was thinking if we went up the eastern coast of Italy to Brindisi and then sailed NE to Motenegro I could save sailing time and have a good point of sail for the prevailing wind (or SE winds as well).
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:17   #6
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

Zoid that will work as we plan to leave from brindisi to head to Albania. I assume you do have some document of competency as they will ask for it and when I told them I did not have a license they told me I had to leave immediately. I then showed them my asa stuff and they reluctantly let me stay. of course the cruising permit was 350euros.
have fun and you are missing a great country in Albania.
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:22   #7
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoid View Post
So for those that are suggesting to go to Saranda (or Corfu to check into Saranda) isn't that adding extra easterly miles and putting us in a position to go against the prevailing NW wind to get to Croatia?

Since we want to see Montenegro anyway I was thinking if we went up the eastern coast of Italy to Brindisi and then sailed NE to Motenegro I could save sailing time and have a good point of sail for the prevailing wind (or SE winds as well).
Agreed that this will work. A longish sail but if that's not a concern you should be finr.

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Old 03-05-2015, 02:33   #8
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

chuckr: Question on the Montenegro cruising permit, you said it was 350EUR. Our pilot says that you can get a one week, one month, three months, six month, or a year permit. Which one did you pay 350EUR for and how big is your boat?

Thanks,
Zoid
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:07   #9
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

Zoid -- we got a month at 350 for a 40' boat. I am not sure how much of Montenegro you can see in a week but you may be able to. I think a week was over 100euro.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:38   #10
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

It's 400 nm. What is the issue?

IMO Montenegro is a must see and I wouldn't hurry away just to get to Croatia. As you probably know, diesel is tax free there so if you do stop try to do so with near empty tanks.
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:04   #11
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

We sailed Otranto to Montenegro. Pretty easy overnighter and clear of any adverse currents. Winds n that area aren't consistent so it's not hard to get a favourable window. Montenegro is a must see and I don't recall the permit being excessively expensive. Croatia also has a cruising permit fee. Check in at the marina in Montenegro, it's great. The staff will run you around everywhere in a golf cart free of charge and sort out all the check in procedures. A day or two here then up to kotor for a few days is awesome. If you want duty free fuel you may need to book a slot in advance and you will need a ships stamp. They can make a ships stamp but will charge you 30EU or so.
Btw the guide books say the heel of Italy and up to otranto is t that interesting, but we found it really nice (and cheap marinas)
We sailed the area around June.
Cheers and have a great trip
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:27   #12
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

Zoid, not sure where you are now, but we sailed from Corfu to Saranda Albania. Hopped up the coast- Orikum, Durres and Schengin. About 50 euro each port, agent and harbour master fees then costs of port. Ilia was great in Durres. From Orikum we went to Tirana by bus. Montenegro charges vignette- and yes a month is cheaper than 2 weeks- 235 Euro for a 40' yacht. Did this at Bar. We are now on way up to Kotor. After spending 3 years in Greece and Turkey finding anchorages has been more challenging, weather patterns so different. Montenegro is beautiful, but clearly the dependence on tourism is having an effect on the tourist towns" like Budva- a shame. Might see you up here- SV Pavlov
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:35   #13
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

We ended up having good southern winds up the Adriatic so we left from Otranto for Kotor on an overnighter. The weather was right for it and we had no problems. There is "cruising fee" in Montenegro, but for us it was 40EURO for a week. Not to bad. Maybe we will cross paths up in Croatia. I'll keep an eye out for you and come over if you see a Lagoon 380 named Wanderlust.

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Old 08-05-2015, 10:06   #14
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Re: Route suggestions to Croatia via non-EU waters?

Well done Kenny, enjoy Montenegro, especially Kotor
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