14 July, 2016
Faster is better
Moving with style and speed
Fast, discreet, private – speedboat taxis are a new trend in tourism-oriented countries. One of the first water taxi companies and fast boat builders in Croatia are companies Colnago and Lolivul
Water taxi is one of the fastest growing trends in the Adriatic and one look at the map of Croatian coast makes it easy to understand why The Adriatic coast is perfect for that type of transfer – a RIB or a speedboat are the ideal means to take you to any of the thousand islands and coves where lately secluded beaches or intimate restaurants have been sprouting almost monthly. It’s difficult to believe the water taxi service is so new to the Adriatic – organized speedboat transfers started barely fifteen years ago – and up to quite recently those in need of fast transfer were left to their own devices, to the mercy of willing small boat owners to help, or expected to wait for a regular and slower boat lines. One of the first companies to offer fast boats and transfers by water taxi was Colnago, maker of RIBs, fast aluminum boats and work boats. The company’s experience in the water taxi segment has had influence on their new model development, as many of their latest models are built as dedicated water taxis. One of them is Colnago 40, a 13-meter long aluminum hull speedboat with cabin, currently the finest water taxi in the region. Its sky blue hull makes it easily noticeable at sea and during the summer months it’s often seen operating between the coast and the islands, almost 24 hours a day.
Most water taxi companies – almost two hundred of them – operate from either Split or Hvar, where the water taxi segment in Croatia started in the first place. Development of the segment allowed easier access to secluded islands and coves, promoting development of those areas, attracting affluent owners of private villas looking for privacy. Most companies offer VIP services – transfer by boat, and then by car to the villa or the hotel, and some of them cooperate with real-estate agencies to create customized service for clients, adding options like transfers by night, even in poor conditions or in boats with closed cabin. The most successful companies are on call 24 hours a day, often accepting clients in the middle of the night, after long summer parties. Still, most companies offer simple, basic service – open boats and transfer in good weather conditions only – and for most clients, that is exactly what they need: fast transfer and wind in their hair. Other than basic transfer to and from the coast, some companies offer day trips to most popular local destinations, creating a parallel offer to that of travel agencies, whose boats are most often crowded and slow. The most popular model for such trips are RIBs by Split maker Lolivul, usually their 9-meter model. There is still plenty of room left for development of this segment, as none of the companies offer transfer outside Croatia (due to significant safety requirements), but that type of service is around the corner, as well. The fast transfer segment has opened up new possibilities of getting to know and enjoying the Adriatic for guests who either don’t own a boat, or can’t pilot it. Secret, secluded destinations far away from the crowd, and the comfort of not having to travel by jam-packed ferries or tourist boats make water taxis the perfect services for curious tourists always ready to try out new trends.