At Otium Yachts, we pride ourselves on knowing the yachts and crew we recommend personally. With more than a decades’ worth of experience in the luxury and crewed yacht charter industry, we have fostered strong relationships with the people we work with – our yachts and crews feel more like extended family than clients. In a saturated market, we believe this is our greatest point of difference. This is why we are sharing this ‘Meet the Captain’ series, so you can get to know the people behind the yachts as we do. Today, let us introduce you to Captain Niksa Gluncic from superyacht ACAPELLA.
What is your family history at sea?
My family has a long and proud history at sea spanning almost a century. At a time when many Croatians were emigrating, my Great-Grandfather stayed in Croatia and built the first family ship named Andjeo (angel). My grandfather grew up on this ship and in 1956, he built our family’s second ship called Bijela Vila (the white fairy). Bijela Vila worked as a cargo ship in winter and with tourists during the summer months, offering daily trips. Like my grandfather, our father grew up on ships, then my brother Tomislav and I naturally followed in their footsteps, joining our family aboard from very young ages. This is where our love for boats, the sea, and tourism was born. I never once imagined doing anything else.
In the late ‘80s our grandfather retired, our father took over the ship and converted it to do 7-day cruises. This was a family affair – dad was the captain, mum was the chef, my brother and I was helping out as the deckhand and bartender. This was a challenging time to be involved with tourism as it was during the war; in the first season, we only sailed one week. However, we were determined to make it work and by the end of our time with Bijela Vila, we were sailing 23-week seasons. Our clientele was 95% return clients, some groups sailed with us for 10 to 17 years!
As we are always looking for ways to grow and improve, in 2003, I and Tomi brought a 27 m gulet from Turkey to Croatia and entered the luxury yacht market. Our passion was always to create memorable experiences and exceed our guests’ expectations. We tended to every detail of gulet Andjeo and prided ourselves on the service we offered. Our commitment and hard work were rewarded with an excellent reputation and a long list of return clients. After 15 years, we were ready for a new challenge, hence – ACAPELLA was born.
Tell us about ACAPELLA
As much as we loved Andjeo, we always had a dream to build a luxury sailing yacht. Tomi and I imagined a perfect luxury sailing yacht, with unique design and details, and a yacht that could sail the world. We designed this yacht in our spare time but never quite believed it would come to fruition. Fate had other plans. When the perfect buyer for Andjeo arrived, we saw it as a sign to sell and turn our dream into a reality.
We have spent the last two years pouring our heart and soul into the build of ACAPELLA. For anyone who knows us, it is no secret that we are perfectionists, so every detail of Acapella has been designed, built or overseen by us. We also built Acapella on island Korcula out of nostalgia because that is where our great-grandfather built our family’s first ship. That’s why this is not your average yacht build and launch; Acapella is the realization of a dream and a continuation of our family history.
Luxury sailing yacht ACAPELLA has incredible sailing performance – something that was very important to us. We are also excited because she will be able to sail in different destinations. Acapella has beautiful sleek lines and modern interior design. Every detail is about quality, design, and comfort. Acapella has three generous master cabins; two full-beam master suites, one large full-beam VIP room, and two double bed cabins. All of the rooms are luxurious, comfortable, and spacious, with large ensuite bathrooms and storage space. We have all the toys aboard our guests could want, including a custom-built 11 m tender with 2 engines, each 450 HP.
What keeps you passionate about sailing and tourism?
I have been at sea since I was a child. I watched my grandfather and father aboard with admiration, and have spent two decades working with my brother at sea. Not once, did I imagine another career path. Sailing is in my DNA, as is going above and beyond for our guests. I don’t need to say too much about the service and experience we delivered aboard – our long list of return clients says it all. I have always been a captain that is very involved in the guest experience, I do not hide behind the helm. I get true joy out of creating memorable experiences for our guests (as does my brother), and this is what keeps me in tourism. No two days are alike, so my passion and enthusiasm remain as strong as it was when I first took the helm as captain.
What is your favorite part about working as a captain on a charter yacht?
Showing our guests my beautiful country, personalizing every charter, the sense of satisfaction we get at the end of every week, and when guests return to do it all over again!
Sail with Niksa aboard sailing superyacht Acapella
ACAPELLA is the most anticipated launch of a luxury yacht in Croatia this season and we are thrilled to share Niksa’s story. We have worked with and known Niksa for more than a decade, and can honestly say that he is one of the most hardworking, passionate, and dedicated captains on the Adriatic. Niksa’s passion and attention to detail is second-to-none which is why we have full confidence that all guests who sail with Acapella will have a unique and memorable experience. ACAPELLA can comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests.