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August 14, 2023


Lena Albrecht tells us about her unforgettable SUP tour to Croatia, where the lucky participants were escorted on an incredible island hopping mission via a floating hotel and support crew!

Words: Lena Albrecht // Photos: Oliver Farys


“Imagine paddling along a beautiful coastline and you don’t have to turn back to be back at your starting point by sunset; but at the end of your paddle your floating hotel is waiting for you in a secluded bay, from where you can continue to discover the impressive nature and varied island landscape around you.”

That was the concept of tour operator Bluemaxx when they launched this unique travel concept in 2021.

It is noon, the sun is still very hot here in mid-September, tourists cavort with their suitcases on the harbour promenade of the Croatian port city of Split. Taxis stop briefly to pick up groups of people and thread their way back into traffic, suppliers with large vans bring purchases to the ships that have moored in several rows close to each other directly on the promenade; a colourful hustle and bustle – and in the middle of it all a small reception and a beach flag with the lettering THE SUP WEEK. Here it starts!


After a friendly welcome and a negative corona test, we board the ship that is to become our home for the next seven days. I am shown my cabin, put down my luggage and go on deck – I have arrived alone, but I already know that I will not be the only one; and I quickly find myself in a group of people who have also travelled alone or in pairs from various places in Germany and Austria to spend a week together at sea – everyone feels excited and can’t wait to find out how things will continue.

After a short safety briefing, our ship already leaves the port of Split – after about an hour of motoring, we find ourselves in a beautiful bay, the evening sun has hidden behind the clouds, but I still jump directly into the water, after my arrival here this was just the right way to cool down!

After a first dinner together in the ship’s salon, a sumptuous 3-course menu, a welcome by the organisers of THE SUP WEEK, the introduction of the entire team follows on the foredeck. I was surprised how many travel companions we have on board! In addition to the ship’s crew: SUP coaches, a yoga trainer, safety speedboat skipper and to add a cherry on top… a photographer. At the end of the evening, we all toast a great journey under the now risen full moon; and it should be, as I will be able to confirm seven days later with conviction.


From now on, the days fly by! The next morning, we start with an Early Bird Yoga session. Then after a hearty breakfast before we go check out the inflatable SUP Boards from Fanatic, which are lent to us for the trip and are housed on the sun deck of our ship. With our SUP coaches we paddle through the bay for the first time, receive the first tips on the way at various points and then all do a safety training with the safety speedboat, which will accompany us on our SUP safaris. The planned SUP tours along the coast and between the offshore islands are the main reason why I booked this trip in the first place. In order to be prepared for a possible emergency on the open sea, we are pulled behind the boat on a floating line and quickly realise that this is extremely fun and not nearly as exhausting as expected.

The first SUP-fari in the afternoon makes it clear why life jacket, GPS tracking system and rental room actually make sense. The sea is anything but mirror smooth, the water rather restless, waves come from all directions and my legs feel like jelly by the evening. Due to the many safety precautions and the training with the safety speedboat, I feel absolutely safe at all times! And the distance we cover during our tour is very impressive. The view of the rugged rocky coast and barren landscapes make the tour a very special experience, especially for me, as I almost exclusively paddle at home on a lake.


We spend the evening in the pretty port town of Bol on the island of Brač, a popular seaside resort on the south side of the island and sit together with a cold beer in a nice bar before we stroll tired, but happy, back to our ship and fall into our beds.

Already the SUP-fari the next morning rewards me for my perseverance, the clear water is calm, the sun is shining and the whole group arrives at our ship, which has meanwhile sailed on to Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, a  harbour town in the west of the island with many narrow streets, pretty squares, small shops and traditional restaurants.

We set off and drive into a beautiful bay, where we can spend the afternoon after another generous meal on board and participate in the offered sports program. If we want and still have enough energy, there is a SUP yoga session, on a particularly quiet side of the bay, a SUP course, where depending on our skill level, we are shown new paddle strokes and turns by our SUP coach! Or we can just have a swim, lie on board in the sun, read or chat with others from the group over a coffee, the possibilities are endless and each of us finds the right occupation for himself.

And so the days, one after the other, pass far too fast and we dock with our ship on the penultimate eve of our journey in the small port town of Trogir, which is a beautiful old town, 15km from Split, to disembark – depending on our departure date or planned onward journey!

We laughed a lot in the last few days, paddled in beautiful bays, did beautiful yoga sessions at sunrise, went swimming shortly before sunset, danced on our SUPs in the afternoon and toasted together at the pool bar; cheered on the ship’s crew on their first paddling attempts, ate a lot of ice cream and had interesting conversations! A group of people who did not really know what they were getting into before the start of the journey, leave the ship and agree that they have spent an exceptionally beautiful holiday week together.


The farewell is very warm, my cabin neighbour, who was completely unknown to me until a week ago, has become a friend whom I will visit in her home country at the next opportunity. The land sways under my feet as I walk along the promenade to my taxi, which will take me to the airport and thus back to the reality I had somehow left ashore for the last seven days at sea.

Filled with new impressions, many beautiful moments and very positive memories, I find myself on my sofa at home that same evening, scrolling through the photos that I have luckily taken every now and then over the last few days and know: This was certainly not the last time I will participate in THE SUP WEEK!”


Croatia, especially the coast of Dalmatia with its multitude of offshore islands, offers countless opportunities for paddling. During daily SUP tours you will find yourself in the midst of beautiful nature, rocky bays and hidden pebble beaches, but also small harbours, lively coastal towns and picturesque villages. The Dalmatian Sea is crystal clear, with a bit of luck there will be colourful schools of fish and even dolphins from time-to-time.

Anchor in a quiet bay in the afternoon, enjoy the sunset with a view of the green hills, admire the fascinating stars in the clear sky from the deck of the ship! Here nature lovers and peace lovers will definitely get their money’s worth.

But also, cities like Split and Trogir on the mainland, as well as the island towns Bol, on Brac, Hvar town or Korcula on the islands of the same name enchant with their beautiful architecture, historic old towns, charming shops and traditional restaurants.

The variety of paddle locations are great and there is a new area to explore every day!


From 2023, in addition to Croatia, another travel destination will be on the program of THE SUP WEEK: This will be in Greece, around the Ionian Islands along the Greek west coast. Here there are beautiful beaches, secluded bays, sleepy coastal towns and historic port cities, which offer a varied paddling area which may also be worth discovering.


Closest airport to the port of departure of our trips in Croatia: Split (second option is Zadar)

Cost: Expect to pay between €1280 to €1490 per person for the trip excluding flights.

Included: accommodation on the boat, daily breakfast & lunch, 3x dinner, SUP-Fari, SUP & Yoga program, safety speedboat, trainer & coach team, rental restube buoy with waist belt, Fanatic SUP Test Centre and port & embarkation fees.

All dates of our trips: Available online at www.thesupweek.com

Contact: E-Mail info@thesupweek.com

Tour operator of THE SUP WEEK Reisen: Bluemaxx GmbH based in Graz/Austria


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