Access all areas on the Adriatic coast

A shoreline-hugging course
keeps these cruises connected
to the picturesque coast,
writes Joanne Brookfield. The Sun Herald October 15, 2017

One of the most memorable things about
Croatia is the scent of lavender. With the sun
shining on what feels like an endless aquamarine
coastline, warmsea breezes carry
the plant’s perfume from where it’s grown on
islands like Hvar, or where it’s sold in market
stalls in coastal Split or Dubrovnik.
This scented dimension enhances a genuinely
picturesque part of the world, so it’s no
surprise Croatia is an in-demand destination.
Given its long stretch of Adriatic coastline
dotted with islands, one of the best ways
to experience this part of Europe is by water.
Cruise-Croatia is a specialist in the region,
with more than 100 itineraries to choose
from. With so many options, the simplest
way to decide is to select the style of vessel,
says Peter Smith, Cruise-Croatia’s general
manager.
The company offers ‘traditional’ cruises
aboard wooden-hulled boats, which suit
young and budget-conscious travellers; a
‘first class’ fleet of well-appointed vessels,
and popular ‘deluxe’ cruises aboard exclusive
new small ships.
“They are a superb way of cruising this
part of the world,” says Smith. “They have a
maximum of 36 to 40 passengers, so it’s not
like big-ship cruising. The boat size is ideal
for getting in and out of inlets, bays and
swimming stops and the old ports of Dubrovnik
and Split, where the big cruise ships
struggle.”
Deluxe seven-night voyages are ideal for
anyone worried about suffering from seasickness,
he says. “We call it cruising, but
you’re never out of sight of land on three
sides. You’re just going up and down the
coastline and it’s very smooth; you’re not
subject to rough weather. If anyone suffers
seasickness, this is their kind of cruise,” he
says.
The best time to travel is between May and
early October, although Smith suggests
avoiding European school holiday times in
July-August. The best time to book, however,
is now, he says. “You’re much more likely to
get your choice of dates and your choice of
ship and there are early bird offers as well.”

Smith says a typical day on a Cruise-
Croatia deluxe cruise includes breakfast on
board and, after setting sail, a mid-morning
swim.
“We just pull into an island or an inlet, and
a swim stop is jumping off the back of a boat,
it’s that kind of holiday. Or crew run people
who don’t wish to swim to the beach in a
Zodiac,” he says.
Mid-afternoon sees the vessel in port at
“one of those beautiful islands”. There might
be a walking tour and there’s plenty of time
to explore. Guests can dine onshore, then
have a nightcap on the boat. ‘‘Seven nights of
that is a lovely way to do it,” Smith says.

 

‘The boat size is ideal for
getting in and out of inlets,
bays and swimming stops
and the old ports of
Dubrovnik and Split.’
– Peter Smith

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