Vlado Porvazník
Sailor - Chocolatier

Background Summary

Sailing the Northwest Passage

We're thrilled to have Vlado join us on S/V Celebrate for the Northwest Passage! Not just a circumnavigator but a chocolatier—a must on any voyage!

Vlado at the wheel of his boat, Civetta II.

Vlado celebrates!


Born in 1961 in Bratislava, Slovakia. From his youth he devoted himself to mountain-climbing. Despite the difficulties of traveling behind the Iron Curtain, he managed to carry out several trips to Italian and French Alps. Also to the foothills of the Himalayas - Pamir. His highlight was climbing on top of the 3000 foot tall northwest wall, Civetta, in the Italian Dolomites in 1983.

After the change of political regime in Slovakia he started to do business in construction and real estate. In the new millennium he returned to his old love - climbing. After hard training and difficult beginnings, in 2009 he climbed the El Capitan, route “Triple Direct” in Yosemite Valley with his friends for five days. He was so thrilled by this experience that two years later, he repeated it by climbing “Salathe Wall” route on El Capitan. After climbing the northwest wall of the Half Dome, also in Yosemite, he has returned to 3000 feet tall El Capitan in 2016 and climbed the famous route “The Nose” with his friend.


Around the same time he has returned to climbing, in 2002, Vlado began with yachting. The original ambition was to sail in the Mediterranean Sea—that would be enough to last a lifetime.

It all changed the book by Annie Hammick - Sailing the Atlantic. After reading the first few pages I became convinced that I have to try it.

In 2009-2010 he sailed from the Adriatic Sea to Caribbean and back again with his 35 feet long ship “Civetta”. On the Island of St. Lucia, he saw sailing ships with blue banners of the Worldcruising Club that were about the circumnavigate the world. And suddenly there was another challenge.


With his new 45 feet long sailboat “Civetta II” he sailed in the year 2012 again from the Adriatic Sea to Caribbean and back again to test her. In 2013 it was again the cruise to the island of St. Lucia to join the “Around the world Rally”. After finishing 15 months long cruise, he has returned to Europe through the Azores.

He has navigated more than 80 000 miles as a holder of the “Certificate of competence for skipper of marine pleasure craft for Oceanic Navigation”.

When I am asked about what was the most difficult thing while sailing around the world and 22 months long separation, I answer the desire for home.

Climbing in Yosemite!


Vlado is married to Viola for 32 years. Although Viola doesn’t share his activities, she is fully supportive and often visiting him on many places. He has two daughters, Natalia and Jana. He has a 7-year-old granddaughter, Emma, and one-year-old grandson Jakub with more grandchildren expected soon.

He became involved in the production of chocolate pralines. As he says, it is the best chocolate product in Slovakia since there are no preservatives.

I consider the invitation to sail from Greenland to Alaska as a huge challenge and an opportunity to widen my knowledge and experience. Thank you Cathy and Charlie for thinking of me.