The fifth edition of Rijeka Nautic Show took place last weekend, September 29 – October 1. Over the years, Rijeka became one of the favourite destinations in Croatia for sailing enthusiasts, and judging by the number of occupied berths at the waterfront in the city centre, it’s also transforming into a popular destination for yacht owners.
Since Rijeka Nautic Show was launched five years ago, it has been supporting local shipbuilders and manufacturers of marine equipment, growing into a respectable manifestation that draws large numbers of interested visitors throughout the weekend. Read more about this year’s edition here.
In front of the entrance, I was greeted by the smiling faces of the amiable crew of Break Time. Our favourite creative minds behind the handmade nautical-themed jewellery are based in Split, so seeing them in Rijeka was a rare opportunity – seized by many visitors who checked out the Nautic Show only to come back and pick out a couple of charming bracelets. A pretty good start (or finish) to the tour!
And then, at first glance, the fair seemed a bit of a letdown. The atmosphere at the nautical exhibition, staged in a large tent on the Karolina Riječka pier, could best be described as stale. Numerous booths occupied by exhibitors didn’t draw much traction and the space looked eerily vacant; not the most iniviting ambiance, and everybody who was passing through seemed to have wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Too bad, as hurrying out meant skipping entertaining panels with fun facts from Croatia’s maritime history… and displays of beautiful ship models such as these:
One look at the waterfront behind the tent, though, and it became obvious why everyone ran out to get some fresh air. Bathing in sun, the riva was lined with around 50 boats built by local shipbuilding companies, ranging from dinghies and small sailboats to gorgeous yachts.
Even those who weren’t looking to buy or had no specific professional interest enjoyed boarding the boats and taking a look around, helped by the friendly staff. The only issue? Parents trying to get their kids to leave, as the younger visitors seemed to be having a fabulous time pretending to pick out a yacht for their personal fleet.
As this year’s Nautic Show was accompanied by a rich programme, visitors were taking the opportunity to go for a ride on the beautiful sailboat VILA; some went for a tour of a Croatian Navy ship…
…while the others enjoyed some of the pleasant views the riva in Rijeka provides.