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 are writing 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 Roko Lelas from Gulet Lotus.
Meet the Captain, Roko Lelas from Gulet Lotus
Why did you choose to work at sea?
I have been on boats since I was 12 years old. During my childhood, I spent time at sea with my dad and tourists from all over the world. I was proud to show these people the beauty of my country and teach them about Croatia. At the same time, I learned their stories and about their countries and cultures; this widened my horizons and gave me a love for the job and tourism. Working at sea and with people are two things that motivate and fulfill me, I guess it is in my blood, very much a part of me. I tried different things – music school and I studied Kinesiology but I quickly realized that while these things are interesting, they are just hobbies, whereas working at sea is what I love and what I want to do for as long as I can.
How did you come to be on Lotus?
We decided to buy Lotus because, after years of owning and working on cruising-style ships (cabin charter), I wanted to take a step forward in my career and the experience I offer my guests. I could see myself in the yacht charter world, and I wanted to use my knowledge, passion, and abilities to their full potential. I looked for a yacht in which I could realize all of my ideas and wishes, and found it with Lotus – which we bought in 2018.
Tell us a little about the crew?
The crew on Lotus has been consistent since the first season in 2018, the only crew member we changed was the chef, and now Jure has stayed with us from last season. The rest of the crew are my sister Jelena as hostess, my childhood friend Domagoj is the sailor, and my right-hand-man. My sister Jelena has also been at sea since a young age, joining and helping dad around the boats. Before Domagoj joined us, he had worked on another gulet for four years as a deckhand and waiter. Between all of us, we have a high level of experience and more importantly – a passion for the yachting industry.
Have you sailed other seas or destinations?
Besides sailing all over the Adriatic Sea, I have also sailed the Aegean and Ionian seas while transporting Lotus from Turkey to Croatia.
What keeps you passionate about sailing and tourism?
The feeling of gratitude, fulfillment, and the look of satisfaction on our guests’ faces are the things that keep me motivated and passionate about this job.
What is your favorite part about working as a captain on a charter yacht?
The best part of my role as a captain is that I suggest the itinerary and organize daily activities. This way, the guests can completely relax; they can soak in the beauty and spirit of Croatia, and leave Lotus enriched with amazing new experiences and memories.
What differentiates Lotus from other yachts?
Lotus is a yacht that catches the eye with her appearance, and she has an excellent sailing performance. I believe that my crew and I can always go one step further to exceed our guests’ expectations. We try our best to show them something new and exciting every day while letting them relax and feel right at home. Creating a comfortable, family-like atmosphere is important to us.
What are some of your favorite memories aboard Lotus?
All of my best memories are tied together in special moments spent with guests. There are far too many to recounts but genuine joys and spontaneous moments like playing the guitar while guests sing and dance – this fills my heart, and I know spontaneous moments like these become treasured memories for our guests.
Do you have return clients?
Between our two boats (Lotus and the first boat we worked privately for years), we have many guests returning year after year; 2020 was actually a 10-year jubilee for some of our guests. Lotus is still quite new to the market, as such, we are slowly building our name and clients. Compared to our first boat, Lotus is much larger, more luxurious, and has more to offer guests; in time, we hope that our passion and hard work will show similar results to our first boat.
What is one thing you think people don’t know about Croatia?
I think most people have a similar image of Croatia. However, there is a difference between reading about Croatia and experiencing it in person. Croatia is a small country but it is rich in culture and natural beauty. Each region, each island, and even each place on the Croatian coast has its own identity and something that differs it from others, whether it is food, tradition, dialect, etc. That is why I can’t think of just one thing that people don’t know about Croatia. I guess they will just have to book a charter on Lotus so we can show them all of the hidden beauties.
Sail with Roko and Gulet Lotus
We have worked with Roko for years and agree with every word he said. Roko is a genuine character who lives and breathes his job. As he mentioned, every guest who steps aboard Lotus instantly feels comfortable thanks to the professional service, yet family atmosphere Roko and his crew create. In this way, Lotus is unique and a true gem.
Gulet Lotus was built in 2006 by Huzur Yat - one of the finest Turkish shipyards when it comes to luxury yachts building. This boutique gulet was built for a private owner, a passionate wealthy sailor who decided to sell it in 2018, as he could not find enough time in his busy schedule to enjoy it. Read more detailed information about Gulet Lotus here or contact us for questions and inquiries.
Your perfect sailing holiday in Croatia awaits, let us help you make 2021 a fantastic year!