Croatia and the beautiful Dalmation Coast is fast becoming a popular Mediterranean cruise destination. Small ship cruising (either by motorised yacht, boutique style ship or traditional Croatian gullet) offers the perfect way to explore the picture postcard ports of call. Venice is often the starting point for an Adriatic or Dalmatian Coast cruise and with regular direct flights from Newcastle it's a good choice for a spring or summer 2015 cruise holiday. Here are just some of the ports you can explore...
In the heart of central Dalmatia, Sibenik is proud of its purely Croatian architecture, unlike that of neighbouring cities founded by the Romans. Along the steep narrow streets behind the city walls, the old town retains a good choice of churches, palaces and public buildings most built in the 15th and 16th centuries. Don’t miss seeing St James Cathedral, a sparkling white building, with a superb dome.
An ancient cosmopolitan city and former imperial residence, Split has 1700 years of history acquired thanks to the palace built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Within the preserved walls, the Imperial Mausoleum today serves as the cathedral, and Gothic and Renaissance palaces are supported by the vaults and columns of ancient buildings. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Diocletian’s Palace reveals thermal baths, alleyways and courtyards.
Vineyards, olive groves and aromatic woodlands are dotted all over the Island. Built on a peninsular, and perched on a promontory the island’s coastal fortress of the same name is like an open-air museum. The navigator Marco Polo was born in Korkula, a city of ancient honey-coloured stone redesigned to create unusual medieval architecture. The old town is a checkerboard of marble-paved streets polished by time and lined with impressive monuments, such as the 15th century St Mark’s Cathedral.
On the southern tip of Croatia, the walled-in city is beautifully preserved. Palaces, elegant buildings, cloisters and fountains sit in perfect harmony in this unique setting, protected from the sea by its impressive city wall. Take your time as you stroll round the white marble paved streets, discovering a thousand years of history in one place. Long considered as a rival to Venice, this city’s illustrious past has earned it UNESCO World Heritage site status. Whether this is your first visit to Dubrovnik or not, the unique aura of the “Pearl of the Adriatic” always inspires the same emotions.
With a mild sunny climate, Hvar is one of the most beautiful islands on the Dalmatian Coast. Protected from the wind by Mount Saint Nicolas, the town is encircled by ramparts and offers visitors many remarkable monuments to see, such as the elegant cathedral. Be enchanted by the low white-washed houses as you stroll along the waterfront, where traditional fishing boats and leisure yachts line the quays.
Built on a rocky outcrop on the west coast of Istria, Rovinj has only been connected to the coast in the last three centuries. Legend has it that the port was founded by the inhabitants of a submerged island city called Cissa. Once a peaceful fishing village of narrow winding streets, today it is a cultural centre and seaside resort, although the old town is a harmonious blend of urban architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Venetian influence and a rich cultural heritage are in evidence everywhere in the architecture of the tall, red-roofed houses. The highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the Church of St Euphemia, a revered treasure
Triluke Bay is an uninhabited cove on the southern-most coast of Pasman. This protected cove is a peaceful place with hidden beaches and pine forests. See churches, monasteries and ancient villages, each with their own unique character and charm
And now some suggestions of cruises that visit some of these stunning ports...
Ponant is a high end French Operator, new to the British Market, that has small, very luxurious yacht like ships. They have 7 night cruises on their newest ship “Le Lyrial” departing from Venice during May, June and September 2015 visiting Sibenik, Split, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Kotor (Montenegro), Hvar and Rovinj. Contact us to learn more about prices and how we can provide the perfect bespoke cruise experience.
We also have access to the very small ships of the Katarina Line which specialises in cruises around the Croatian Islands. With the flights from Newcastle to Pula and Dubrovnik we can tailor make a cruise that will suit you. They are very informal and are reasonably priced. For instance you could do an 8 day island hopping cruise from Dubrovnik to Split calling at Mljet, Korcula, Hvar, Vis and Bol. Again, please call to learn more about how we can tailor make your perfect holiday.
Seabourn also have a cruise on the Odyssey that leaves Venice on 16 May 2015 for 14 nights ending in Istanbul. On the way it will call at Triluke Bay and Dubrovnik in Croatia. Seabourn Cruises never disappoint as their attention to detail is unparalled. This cruise is priced from £4915 per person
Silversea has a cruise on the Silver Spirit departing Venice on 10 July 2015 for 10 days finishing in Istanbul. This superb ship will call at Hvar on its way down the Adriatic Sea. If it’s the Italian influence that you are looking for then Silversea is for you. Sheer luxury with panache! This cruise is from £4399 per person
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