Photo: Davor Žunić
“The ACI Marina Rijeka project will breathe new life into this part of the city and determine the direction Rijeka will take in the next few decades.”
As the owner of Simmor maritime agency, Andrija Šimić is one of the first people who brought superyachts to the Croatian Adriatic. ACI Marina Rijeka, the largest project in the history of ACI, has a great future according to Šimić.
In the last eight years, the centre of Rijeka has been transformed and has turned to tourism since the location previously used by general cargo ships fell into disuse. No one made a mistake here; it is just that today 90 percent of the world’s general cargo is transported by container ships. Ports for such cargo were constructed in the east and west of Rijeka, and the port in the city centre was to be repurposed, which started in 2013, when first superyachts came to Rijeka. ACI Marina Rijeka will breathe new life into this part of the city and determine the direction Rijeka will take in the next few decades. Not only the city, but also the Adriatic, and, ultimately, Croatia will also get a modern marina, which will have an impact on new jobs, the cityscape, the branding of the entire region as a luxury tourism destination and which will represent a step forward in the boating world, Andrija Šimić explains.
In this type of tourism, recommendations are everything. People who sail on superyachts don’t read online posts and aren’t interested in TV commercials. They express their opinions about destinations in their internal communications apps. Nothing is ‘fake’ there because no one has paid them to write what they have written. This community is not big – there are about 12 thousand superyachts in the world – but the fight for each client is ruthless. Croatia can offer a lot to such clients, and ACI Marina Rijeka and the complete superyachting sector can become the jewel in the crown of Croatian tourism. Croatia is the leading country in chartering unmanned sailing boats and motor vessels (bareboat charter) and this is a fantastic thing, but now the time has come to start developing our nautical product for elite guests. This segment is associated with private jets, luxury brands and exclusive clients, in a word – glamour, where only sky is the limit. I am sure that sky is the limit for the future ACI Marina Rijeka as well, says Andrija Šimić.