CROATIA'S ENCHANTING COAST
Private-Style Cruising
Aboard the M/S SPLENDID
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Across the sea from Italy lies Croatia, a land where the physical beauty of the coastline and the architectural brilliance of the buildings rival those of other parts of Europe. Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast offers travelers a chance to experience a scenic blend of natural beauty and a string of wonderfully preserved medieval and Renaissance towns that have gone largely unchanged since the days when Dalmatia was an integral part of the Venetian Empire. Croatia’s unique blend of Mediterranean languor, medieval tradition, and artistic accomplishment is unique and affords nothing but pure enchantment. Our voyage aboard a private 38-guest vessel is perfect for exploring this region and its small, unspoiled ports, inaccessible to larger cruise ships.

M/S SPLENDID
Launched in 2014, the M/S Splendid is a delightful small ship, built exclusively for cruising along the Adriatic Coast. More like a private yacht, she is a perfect vessel for exploring smaller ports, and remote islands where big ships simply don't go. The M/S Splendid accommodates only 38 guests in 19 beautifully appointed cabins. All cabins face outside and are equipped with private facilities, air-conditioning, a safe, radio, and hair-dryer. There is a bar on board, and wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) is complimentary for all guests. A cozy restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating. A spacious Sundeck is equipped with lounges and provides the perfect place for relaxing and enjoying the passing scenery. Food on board features local cuisine, and atmosphere on board is casual. Just like on a private yacht, a team of six friendly crew members works hard to give each passenger attentive and personalized service.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pack and unpack only once
  • Private-Style cruise experience
  • Splendid accommodations
  • Spend leisurely days navigating through the island dappled turquoise waters of the Adriatic
  • Cruise the fjord like inlets and beautiful bays
  • Call at charming islands
  • Dock beneath the ancient battlements of coastal towns
  • Explore celebrated Dubrovnik, one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities
  • Experience splendid Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque art and architecture
  • Stroll through the lavender-scented lanes in Hvar
  • Island of Brac
  • The Old town of Bol
  • Explore Split, Croatia’s second largest city
  • Discover city-within-a city of the Diocletian’s Palace in Split
  • Visit Korcula where medieval streets are laid out in perfect proportioned squares and life goes on uninterrupted much the way it has for the past millennium
  • Mljet National Park
  • Village life of Dubrovnik hinterland

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 Depart USA
Depart the US for Croatia. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Arrive in Dubrovnik and transfer to the pier for embarkation. Settle in to your cabin before you join the Captain and his staff for a Welcome Reception and dinner. (D)

Day 3 Dubrovnik/Korcula - City Tour
Spend a relaxing morning on board as we cruise the pristine blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. As we approach Korcula, enjoy the regal skyline with its white limestone towers, spires, and domes resting against a backdrop of green hills. We dock in the old town, and steps away from our ship stands the medieval city with its walls and guard towers still intact. Eight centuries under Venetian rule gave the town a treasure trove of Gothic and Renaissance churches, palaces, and piazzas. Legend also has it that famed explorer Marco Polo was born here. Your afternoon guided tour includes a visit to the Marco Polo House and Korcula’s medieval walled city with Cathedral Square at its center. Remainder of the day is free to explore at your own pace. Tonight, dinner is served on board as we invite you to participate in our Cultural Discovery Series - enjoy a performance by a local acappella singing group on board. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Korcula/Hvar-City Tour & Wine Tasting
This morning set sail for the enchanting island of Hvar, a well-known playground for international celebrities and royalty. The Old Town of Hvar is encircled by ramparts and home to an elegant Cathedral, a former arsenal, and noble palaces, all bearing witness to a rich history influenced by Gothic and Renaissance art. Sightseeing includes a walking tour of the Old Town, the Cathedral, and the Franciscan Monastery. Next, enjoy our Cultural Discovery Series - join a local family at their rustic restaurant for a wine tasting, and learn about the island’s long-standing wine production. Enjoy an afternoon exploring Hvar as you walk amidst its intricately carved Venetian architecture. Tonight venture out and dine in one of the many local seafood restaurants. (B,L)

Day 5 Hvar/Bol /Split - City Tour
Arrive in the lovely seaside town of Bol, on the southern shore of the island of Brac, famous for its rugged natural beauty and Golden Cape, Croatia’s most famous beach. Join the locals for their morning stroll before arriving in Split in the early afternoon. Split is a vibrant port city, famed for its Palace of Diocletian, built by the Roman emperor in 295-305 A.D. as his retirement villa. An extensive structure, much of which is well preserved, the palace contains within its walls Split’s medieval town, making it the only palace that has been continuously inhabited since Roman times. Our guided tour of this extensive edifice includes a visit to its underground cellars, the Mausoleum, Jupiter’s Temple, the Peristyle, and the Northern Gate. Enjoy some free time into this evening to explore on your own. (B,L)

Day 6 Split/ Pucisca - Stonemasonry School/ Makarska
A short sail across the Brac canal takes you to Pucisca, a delightful fishing village on the island of Brac where you visit the Stonemasonry School preserving the age-old tradition of stone artistry. Meet the students and learn how they use the long-standing techniques in creating art out of stone - Cultural Discovery Series. Over lunch sail to Makarska, a port town and a well-known resort with a spectacular natural setting, backed by the glorious Biokovo mountain range. Take a walk along a waterfront promenade, lined with palm trees and cheerful open-air cafés. From here enter the Old Town, a warren of stone buildings and cobbled streets surrounding the main square, which is backed by the parish church and a small open-air market. The afternoon is yours to spend as you please in Makarska. Enjoy the relaxed and easygoing atmosphere of this typical Dalmatian town. (B,L)

Day 7 Makarska/Mljet - National Park
After a morning at sea, arrive in Mljet, a long, thin island of steep, rocky slopes and dense pine forests. No great towns ever grew up here, and today it is home to half a dozen small villages. The island is also awash in legends and folklore. The most told story is the legend of Homer’s hero Odysseus, whose ship supposedly was blown ashore at Mljet where he was enchanted by the nymph Calypso and kept in her cave for 7 years. Today, more than a third of the island is contained within Mljet National Park. It is an unspoiled oasis of tranquility, where the lush vegetation, pine forests, and spectacular saltwater lakes are exceptionally scenic. Take an informative walk to the salt lakes with your guide and enjoy free time for exploration at your own pace. (B,L)

Day 8 Mljet/ Dubrovnik - City Tour
This morning sail for Dubrovnik. Set on a rocky peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known also as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” the city once competed with Venice for the riches of eastern trade, amassing pride and fortune enough to dapple its streets with world-class Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural design. Enjoy a guided tour of Dubrovnik, and bask in the beauty of this perfectly preserved medieval town for which George Bernard Shaw once said: “Those who seek paradise on earth, should come to Dubrovnik.” We tour the Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery, and its Old Pharmacy, operating since 1317, the Dominican Monastery and the adjacent museum, which contains works by Titian. Enjoy an evening at leisure and have dinner in one of the many great local restaurants. (B,L)

Day 9 Dubrovnik to USA or extend your stay with an optional Dubrovnik extension
After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL DUBROVNIK EXTENSION
Day 9 Dubrovnik - Village Tour
Following breakfast, disembark and depart for a half-day excursion to the Konavle Valley. Experience village life as you ride a train through vineyards and picturesque villages of Dubrovnik hinterland. Visit the water mill, learn about flour production, and participate in the making of local specialties. Visit the winery and enjoy a wine tasting paired with delicious local snacks. In the afternoon, transfer to your hotel and check-in. Remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)

Day 10 Dubrovnik
Enjoy a full day at leisure and take this opportunity for independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Walk the city walls, visit one of the many local galleries, shop for local handicrafts and jewelry, or relax and enjoy the amenities of your hotel. (B)

Day 11 Dubrovnik to USA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)


Program, vessel and routing are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - 7 nights on board the elegant M/S Splendid. All staterooms outside, each with private facilities, air-conditioning/heating, a safe, radio, and hair-dryer
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 15 included meals consisting of 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 2 dinners. Complimentary fresh fruit and bottled water available in the lounge daily
  • PORTS OF CALL - Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Bol, Split, Pucisca, Makarska and Mljet
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - For your enjoyment we have walking guided tours of Dubrovnik, Split, Korcula, and Hvar
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as learning about wine production on the island of Hvar, a visit to the Stonemasonry school on the island Brac, and a performance by a local acapella singing group on board
  • PROFESSIONAL CRUISE DIRECTOR - Assistance of an experienced cruise director on board
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR GUIDE - Assistance of a professional local guide during city sightseeing tours and transfers airport/boat/airport
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport to the boat
  • FUEL TAXES, SURCHARGES AND PORT TAXES - All ship’s port taxes and fees

OPTIONAL DUBROVNIK EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION - Hotel accommodation for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Excursion to Konavle Valley including wine tasting and snacks
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACH - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside airport

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