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 charter industry, we have fostered strong relationships with the people we work with – our yachts and crews feel like our extended family. In a saturated market, we believe this is our greatest point of difference. This is why we wanted to write this ‘Meet the Captain’ series, so you can get to know the people ‘behind’ the yachts like we do. Today, let us introduce you to Captain Marko Mrcic from Gulet Libra.
Meet the Captain, Marko Mrcic from Gulet Libra
What is your family history at sea?
I am the first captain of a charter yacht in my family, though my family has a long history at sea. My great-grandfather was a fisherman in Trpanj on the Peljesac peninsula. My father sailed as an officer in the Yugoslavian Merchant Navy for 10 years and sailed every year in the Adriatic with his private 12 m trawler. My father taught me everything about the sea, sailing and ships; so, you can say that a love for the sea was passed down through the generations.
What drew you to the sea?
I have been at sea my entire life. Since the age of 5, I have sailed the Adriatic with my parents every summer. Ever since I was a child, playing in the port of Split, big ships enchanted me. At the age of 7, I started sailing training in the optimist class. I also grew up hearing stories of the sea from my father and grandfather, and always listened with eager attention. Before Libra, I was a skipper on sailboats and catamarans, and also a captain on motor yachts. I was born and have lived in Split my whole life; the sea is as much a part of me as the air I breathe. Simply put, it was my desire from childhood, a long-held passion, and the natural path for me.
How long have you had Gulet Libra?
I have had Gulet Libra for eight years. For many years, we searched for a suitable gulet; when I and my family saw Libra, it was love at first sight. I think she is such a beautiful, elegant, and well-designed ship.
Why did you want to be a captain and owner of a charter boat?
To become the captain of a charter boat, especially the captain AND owner, was always my dream. I do not think there is a better job at sea. The working conditions are excellent, and the job is extremely dynamic and interesting; every group and every day is different.
When you are only a captain you give your best, yet you are limited by the owner's rules and wishes. When you are just the owner, you can only hope that the captain works in the way you imagined. When you are a captain and owner, I believe it is the best way to deliver the perfect charter and to achieve complete satisfaction for the guests and crew.
How long have the crew been with you?
Libra has four permanent crew members (3+ myself) and one spare crew member. My younger brother Nikola has been a sailor for 8 years, Antonia has been a hostess for 6 years, and Antonio has been a chef for 4 years. There is a young (spare) sailor who works on maintenance in the winter and comes in the summer if needed as a 5th member; he also helps with turnovers. You could say he is our on-call crew member – which is always useful to have in this job.
Have you sailed to other destinations besides Croatia and the Adriatic?
Yes. After training as a boat engineer, I sailed on a 300m long cargo ship for a year. I also sailed around Thailand and Bali but as a guest.
What keeps you passionate about sailing and tourism?
My love for the sea, my country, and my guests keep me passionate. Every day and every guest is different. I love seeing guests in awe of our coastline and nature. We also knock our guests off their feet with our professional yet friendly service aboard.
What is your favorite part about working as a captain on a charter yacht?
I am the happiest when guests disembark from my boat – it is not what it sounds like! I am happy to watch guests leave with beautiful experiences and memories, especially when they return to their country and promote Croatia. It is the greatest gift for me, and it is the most beautiful part of my job – satisfied guests and good references.
What makes you and Libra different from others?
Libra differs from the other gulets with her beautiful custom line and large space on the main deck which provides guests with both enjoyment and privacy during sailing, swimming, or relaxing. There are also some technical differences, but the most important factor is that my crew and I live for the satisfaction of our guests. We always try to anticipate the needs of our guests; we are attentive while remaining inconspicuous. Our approach is warm and hospitable; many guests leave as friends.
What are some of your favorite memories aboard?
I have a lot of beautiful memories, but the most memorable is when we see children cry at the end of the charter. We say it is easy to please parents but when kids cry when it’s time to say goodbye, then we know we did a good job. There are so many beautiful moments and situations, so it is impossible to decide which is my favorite; I have a head and heart full of fond memories.
Do you have return clients?
Yes, we have returning clients and that makes us extremely proud. We have several families who have sailed with us 2 or 3 times. One family has been coming for 5 years, and I am convinced that there would be more if most of our guests were not from distant countries such as Australia, Canada, USA, Chile... It is less convenient for them to come than guests from the EU.
I am also proud of the large number of referrals we have had – guests who come to Libra because they were recommended by their friends that sailed with us. Ask anyone in the industry, the best compliment we can receive is return guests or referrals.
What is one thing you think people do not know about Croatia?
Croatia is a relatively young and small country, and people often don’t know much about us, but they are always stunned by the beauty of our coast, sea, and nature. Many avid travelers tell us they have never seen a landscape as beautiful as what we have in Croatia – anywhere in the world! Guests are also always surprised by the quality of food and wine and the hospitality of Croatian people. I also need to point out that guests are always delighted with the level of safety in Croatia, cleanliness (of nature, towns, and ports), and the service they receive aboard.
Anything else you want to tell future clients about you, Libra, or Croatia?
Our mission is to delight and satisfy people, which is not difficult with such a great boat and crew in such a beautiful and complete destination.
Sail with Marko and Gulet Libra
We have worked with Gulet Libra for nearly a decade; year after year we have watched Marko and his team give 110% to their guests, and every week guests walk away with glowing references. Libra is a beautifully maintained gulet, with six ensuite cabins for up to 12 guests. Read more detailed information about Gulet Libra here or contact us for questions and inquiries.