Adriatic Yacht-Cruise onboard MY Princess
You can find all the photos of MY PRINCESS here under Views of PRINCESS.
These days the British monarchy is in upheaval: the long-time successor to the throne, Prince Charles, has now become King of England and ascended to the throne. This comes to my mind as I stand in Trogir in front of the elegant yacht with the royal name „Princess“.
The MY Princess (MY=Motor Yacht) is my home for an eight-day Dalmatian intensive cruise under the flag of nicko cruises. Beforehand, I land in Split and am driven from the airport to Trogir with other guests – a journey of just 10 minutes and I am already in the picturesque old town harbour with its Mediterranean flair. Booking Nicko’s travel package is very worthwhile – especially as I also took advantage of the included Rail-Fly offer before the flight. You can hardly get to your personal dream ship in a more carefree and better organised way.
SHIPS@SEA takes advantage of the offer to go on board before the general boarding and looks at some cabins from the five different categories. What they all have in common is the homely impression: smart LED lighting sets both direct and indirect light accents in the cabins.
These are between 12sqm and 15sqm in size and have modern furnishings in keeping with the year of construction of the Princess. The only significant difference is the location on the ship and thus also the cabin access: some cabins are accessed via the outside promenade, while the cabins on the main deck and the upper deck cabins at the bow are accessible via the ship’s interior. In addition to various power sockets and USB charging options, there is also satellite TV with a wide selection of German-language and international programmes. You can also pair your mobile phone with the cabin speakers to listen to your own music in comfort. The shower bathrooms are attractively designed and some even have portholes. The only drawback is the lack of storage space in the shower.
The modern cabins are rounded off by a free WIFI network on board. Depending on the ship’s position, this reveals transmission weaknesses and is not always fully usable. If separate beds are important to you, you should clarify this when booking, as not all cabins can be arranged in this way.
Princess – the sophisticated yacht
The Princess offers everything your heart desires on four decks: the lowest two decks are reserved for the cabins, some of which are accessible from the outside. The Promenade Deck is rightly named, because here you can walk completely around the small cruise liner: wonderful views are guaranteed. The same applies to the on-board restaurant, where almost every seat – at least it feels like – is a window seat. The restaurant offers seating for all guests in one sitting and serves mainly Croatian cuisine.
The bar, along with the sheltered stern lounge, is a cosy meeting place for guests at any time of day. My personal favourite place is in the front: at the tip of the bow there is a wonderful seating area, which invites for views into the seemingly endless Adriatic scenery. Almost as attractive are the seats directly in front of the wheelhouse: these allow views over the foredeck and the passing landscapes. The sun deck offers a bar, seating, numerous sun loungers and a whirlpool. This is a great place to sit and enjoy a 360° panorama – cheers!
What I miss on this cruise is water sports equipment such as SUPs or kayaks. These would significantly enrich the offer for guests interested in sports during the daily swimming stops.
Dalmatia is calling
Our first stop is in Split with light rain showers. But a little later, a wonderful swimming stop in the best sunshine is possible off the island of Brac. Jumping into the not-so-cool water is an experience that none of the travellers will miss. These swimming stops are offered daily – wind and waves permitting – and are the highlights of every Princess trip.
The journey continues to Pucisca: the town has left the summer season behind and lies dreamily in front of me. While the picturesque harbour area presents itself quiet and seemingly deserted, there are almost melodic tapping noises directly in front of our berth. They come from the stonemasonry school that we visit on a guided tour. Doesn’t sound interesting? Far from it! There are only three such schools in the whole of Europe and today we are allowed to look over the shoulders of the young apprentices at their impressive work and learn a lot about this artistic craft.
In contrast to most ocean cruises, the Princess concept does not include sailing at night. This guarantees a restful night’s sleep on the one hand and wonderful views and impressions during the day on the other. The cruising distances are moderate to short and so we have beautiful passages on board during the day on the one hand and time for discoveries ashore on the other. This is rounded off by evening walks through the towns, always with a maritime ambience.
Local cuisine on board AND ashore
And so the travel concept completes its loop: On board you get almost full board. But only almost. On three evenings of the cruise, the galley remains cold and each guest is responsible for his or her own culinary happiness ashore. This gives me the opportunity to try different local cuisines and regional specialities.
I am not disappointed and find the nicko catering concept very convincing: in the morning there is a buffet and at lunchtime it is served a la carte. There is always a set menu that is served. If you are very hungry, you can get seconds.
„Dobar Tek“ – Bon appetit as the Croats say – at sea and ashore.
Croatian Pearls – a guest of Marco Polo
One highlight follows the next and as the old town of Korcula emerges in front of me, my enthusiasm knows no limits. You can only love Korcula. Captain Marjo skilfully goes alongside as number one and it only takes minutes until the pier around us is surrounded by more than a dozen other motor yachts. Interestingly, they are moored in a „package“, as the sailors say here. If you’re late, you’re in the middle of it and parked up by all the other yachts. Beware of anyone who wants to go ashore: you have to climb over all the other ships. Without climbing ashore, we go on a historical discovery tour with a lot of flair.
The birthplace of the great explorer Marco Polo has that certain something and enchants its visitors. Without a doubt: Once Korcula – always Korcula. Promised.
A new day – a new pearl: After a picturesque swim stop on the way south, we arrive in Dubrovnik at lunchtime. The city is a tourist magnet worth seeing, with corresponding thriving in lifestyle. The prices in restaurants and bars in the old town, surrounded by historic walls, are, to put it mildly, „adventurous“. The same applies to the entrance fee to the city wall: if you want to climb it and enjoy the unique view, you have to pay more than 30€.
The cable car ride to the panoramic viewpoint with a view over the entire bay of Dubrovnik is not much cheaper. For unknown reasons, the cable car is not running today. Therefore, Miriam from cruisereiziger.nl and I dare to hike to the top. We are magnificently rewarded: the panorama is worth every step on the stony ground.
Island magic of Dalmatia
Before my journey ends in Trogir, we stop in Jelsa on Hvar. The cute little harbour town presents itself historic and modern at the same time. In the afternoon, we travel by bus to the St. Tropez of the Adriatic: we visit Hvar Town; after a small rain shower, the sun remains our companion and makes it easy to take Hvar to heart as well.
There is a big hello on the island of Solta and the extremely appealing fishing village of Stomorska: it is the birthplace of Captain Marjo’s family and the winter berth of our Princess. Reason enough, then, for the seafaring family to be greeted by quite a few locals on this Sunday morning as well – everyone knows everyone here.
Owner talk: from professional footballer and tax advisor to ship owner
nicko cruises has had the Princess under contract in the summer months since 2022. But who is actually behind the Croatian motor yacht with home port Split? I meet the two owners on board. Marjo is one of them and also captain of the Princess – it’s clear that he’s on board. The second person in the boat is Stephan – he came all the way from Germany.
The two have known each other since childhood, but initially took different professional paths: Marjo, the seafarer’s son, became a professional footballer, playing for Hajduk Split and Hannover 96, while Stephan became a tax consultant in the Rhineland. After his football career, Marjo went back to the ship and has great nautical expertise. The joint idea of having a ship built grew in them and eventually became reality. They planned their ship carefully from the beginning and built it with high-quality materials. After two years of construction, the Princess was launched and immediately had to weather her first storm. The „Corona Low“ hampered the start of operations from the 2020 season, but now the yacht is successfully operating off the Croatian coast.
Marjo manages the daily operations, while Stephan takes care of organisational matters in the background. He comes on board regularly and then lends a hand, laughing happily: I meet him as he is heaving the passenger luggage on board in Trogir – respect!
MY Princess – a family business at sea
As Marjo and Stephan explain to me during the owner’s talk, the Princess crew is a family. And that in the truest sense: Marjo’s family has a long seafaring tradition and so it is not surprising that his wife acts as chef on board and daughter Marieta is responsible for travel management and guest services.
But Marjo’s sister also has enough work on board: as housekeeper, Marina is responsible for cleanliness in the cabins and public areas. The two sailors, as well as the two budding chefs, round off the family core and together ensure that everything on the Princess works as well as it does.
The machine alarm clock – behind the scenes
Very pleasing is the concept of open doors on board the Croatian Princess. The bridge – here called the Wheelhouse – is open to guests at all times. The captain and helmsman are happy to explain the ship and her modern command centre to guests in detail. It is a good idea to stop by here several times a day and, in addition to the view over the foredeck, to have a chat with the ship’s command.
Just around the corner on the same deck is the galley. The door is usually open, so I often take a quick sniff to guess what’s coming up for the next meal. The cheerful kitchen trio not only whirl around pots and pans, but are almost always available for short conversations between meal preparations. If you’re interested in the engine room, you’re in luck: this door at the stern is also often open and offers a glimpse into the technical heart of the ship. If the crew’s workload allows it, you even get a short tour here. On my voyage, Captain Marjo starts the two main engines punctually at just before 07:00 for the daily cast off. This abruptly ends the nightly quiet on board, so that we passengers soon speak of the „engine alarm clock“.
Of course, those who like can still turn over in their comfortable beds, but almost all guests are drawn to the deck at daybreak. Watching the ship sail out of the picturesque harbours and bays is simply too tempting.
By the way: the engine room is so clean that the kitchen crew could easily prepare food hygienically here…
The Croatian crew takes Princess guests to the most beautiful places in their homeland. The daily experience of the well-known and, above all, lesser-known Croatia is great. The crew is there for the guests in word and action and gives their best every day. So does the kitchen crew: the varied food on board is appealing and of high quality. The only drawback is that some of the portions seem too small. But if you are hungry, you don’t have to stay that way and can get seconds on request. After the meal, there is an information briefing for the coming day: guest hostess Marieta explains the coming programme along with the schedule. As there is no printed information, it would be desirable to be able to see it on your own cabin TV.
Living together with the crew and other guests on board is very relaxed and sociable – everyone seems to enjoy travelling and everyone gets into conversation with everyone else. I come as a holidaymaker and leave as a family friend.
This cruise is so individual, personal and unique with all its little and bigger gems ashore that I don’t want to get off. So if you extend and book the Northern Dalmatia route afterwards, you can combine two fabulous Princess weeks at once. In any case, I am already thinking about coming back on board in the new season.
It is simply too beautiful here: Ahoy MY Princess – cheers to you and your Croatian coasts.
ADVERTISEMENT: SHIPS@SEA travelled at the invitation of nicko cruises.BACK