Curious about Croatian Cruises?

What do you need to know about cruising in Croatia? The first thing is that small-ship cruises offer the easiest and most economical way to discover this part of the Adriatic. The second thing to be aware of is that these cruises really do sell out fast. Small-ship Croatian adventures often sell out by January for the next summer season, so the time to book is in the fall/winter season, about 6-9 months before you want to travel. The good thing is, deposits are very low to hold your space on board.

The third thing you’re probably wondering is just where will a Croatian cruise take you? You don’t have to be restricted to touristic hotspots like Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar – small-ship cruises can show you more gems along the coast and its chain of archipelagos.

There’s a lot of beauty and unspoiled charm squeezed into Croatia’s coastline (about 1,100 miles on the mainland). You may hear Croatia referred to as the “land of over a thousand islands”, although the exact number is debatable. There are about 78 true islands (as opposed to islets or rocks and reefs), and less than 50 islands are inhabited. There’s a lot of opportunity in a cruise itinerary to discover unspoiled beaches, natural beauty, and the rich cultural heritage of the country’s most celebrated towns.

Here are 14 ports of call in Croatia’s Adriatic (besides Split and Dubrovnik) and what makes each one unique:

1. Opatija

This town on the northern coast is known as the birthplace of Croatia’s coastal tourism, where high society came to vacation in its beautiful setting during the 19th century.


2. Cres

Croatia’s biggest island is a natural paradise offering plenty of old city walls, Renaissance-era churches and palaces to discover.

3. Lošinj

Connected to Cres by a bridge, the island of Lošinj was Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz-Josef’s favorite resort escape; it has a reputation for vitality partially owing to a rich and varied flora, and was the Mediterranean’s first protected marine area for dolphins.

4. Rab

This idyllic island can be recognized by the four bell towers rising from its medieval town, has its own cake, and offers many sandy beaches in addition to the standard rocky beaches of the Adriatic.

5. Zadar

This northern Croatian city offers a picturesque old town, historic ruins, and the quirky Sea Organ and Sun Salutation installations that harness the beauty of nature.

6. Kornati Islands

The archipelago of Kornati is a cluster of over 100 islets, islands and reefs, mostly uninhabited and exhibiting a raw and untouched natural beauty.

7. Šibenik

The lovely medieval town of Šibenik, used in Game of Thrones filming, is an access point for Krka National Park, where you can encounter the magnificent cascading Krka Waterfalls.

8. Brač

This island is most known for its stone quarries, and the beach of Zlatni rat at Bol has been rated one of the most beautiful in the world.

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9. Hvar

Hvar island is known for having the area’s most hours of sunshine in the year, boasts an impressive UNESCO heritage, and is an excellent destination for lively nightlife.

10. Vis

The remote Adriatic island of Vis should definitely be on your list if you like wine tasting, and it was host to several filming locations from the Mamma Mia sequel.

11. Korcula

Korcula is one of Croatia’s most verdant islands, abundant in vineyards, olive groves and charming villages where age-old traditions are alive and well (some claim Marco Polo was born on this island, once part of the Venetian Republic).

12. Mljet

The incredibly green and tranquil island of Mljet has a national park covering its entire northwestern corner, and many say this is where both St Paul and Odysseus were shipwrecked.

13. Peljesac Peninsula

This is the longest peninsula in Dalmatia and is full of natural bays, coves and beaches where one can enjoy the natural beauty and sip some excellent wines.

14. Ston

As part of the Dubrovnik Republic, this historic town was fitted with medieval bastioned walls, about 4 miles long, and is known in the culinary world for its fine oysters.

We can help you choose from a variety of 7-night deluxe small-ship cruise itineraries – focusing on the north or south, or offering an overview of the whole Croatian coast. Pick the places you’d most like to see and give us a call so we can match you with the best cruise for you. If you have more than a week to explore, we can also customize a “Land and Sea” itinerary just for you!

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