The Lure of Cruising Croatia

EUROPE Croatia
Boasting some of the world’s cleanest waters, charming islands and a coast lined with World Heritage sites, the Adriatic Sea is one of the world’s premier cruising grounds. Most of the vessels plying these waters are not large cruise ships, but rather large yachts, ranging from rustic traditional sail boats to luxury yachts, providing an unspoiled, uncrowded cruise vacation option for your clients.

So what’s the appeal? This is the most stunning coastline in Europe; a mix of limpid bays, craggy bluffs, hidden coves and beaches, vineyards, olive groves, and forests of cypress and pine. Remarkably well-preserved ancient towns hold vivid examples of Greek, Roman, Venetian, and Slavic architecture. The sailing and yachting scene here rivals any other, with hundreds of ports and dozens of marinas, and countless natural inlets scattered across a thousand islands. Dalmatian cuisine—consisting of locally sourced, superb fish, shrimp, octopus, and oysters, along with increasingly renowned wines—compares favorably to Italian cooking, and borrows heavily from it: here risotto becomes rizot and prosciutto becomes the delectable prsut. But Dalmatian food is earthier and rougher than Italian, blending hints of Hungarian (paprika-laced goulash), Turkish (kebab-style raznjici, or meat skewers), and Slavic (sour dumplings). It’s also exceptionally affordable. Add to that the exuberant nightlife that dominates on the larger islands of Hvar and Brac where revelers keep the party going until sunrise, Croatia offers something for every cruising enthusiast.
With 1,244 islands, options for port visits and day stops abound. With a spectacular coastline extending 300 miles from Istria to Dubrovnik, the Croatian Adriatic is an ideal place for your client’s cruising adventure. Each island or port offers a unique experience and while most itineraries will focus on a certain region, some cruise companies do offer a complete coastal experience between Istria and Dubrovink.

Kvarner Gulf
The Kvarner Gulf is the area in northern part of the Croatian Adriatic, bordered by the Croatian mainland and Istrian Peninsula. Kvarner is one of the closest points of the Adriatic Sea to Central and Western Europe. Because of it’s vicinity and mild climate, Kvarner has been a very popular tourist destination for Western Europeans since the times of the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 19th century. Kvarner Gulf includes some Croatian islands as well as coastline cities and towns. These include:
Opatija, a coastal town, famous for it’s long seaside promenade, is considered to be the Nice of the Adriatic.
Cres is an island with mild microclimatic conditions, untouched nature and the sea, with almost the entire coast being a beach.
Losinj is a popular tourist destination with a long tradition of wellness tourism that dates back to the 1880s.
Krk is another island, easily accessible from the mainland by bridge that connects it with Croatian mainland as well as by ferry.
The island of Pag is famous for Pag Cheese made of sheep’s milk, as well as for day and night parties at popular Zrce beach.
Rab is one of the most beautiful Adriatic islands with marvelous scenic diversity, a variety of beautiful sandy beaches and culture dating back to pre-Roman times.
The island of Ilovik is covered with vegetation and is nicknamed “The Island of Flowers.”

North Dalmatia
Cruising between Zadar and Split is the most popular and busy part of the Croatian coast, especially for charter yachts. In addition to remarkable inland cruising grounds such as the river Krka up to Sibenik and Skradin and the historic World Heritage-listed town of Trogir, there are the extraordinary and protected Kornati Islands to explore, with a dazzling white lunar landscape that gleams in the sun. There are more mainland harbors along this stretch but fewer on the islands, where overnight is more likely to be at anchor or on a mooring buoy.

South Dalmatia
From Split to Dubrovnik, the coast and the offshore islands become progressively greener, until the vegetation on islands such as Mljet and the small islands off Dubrovnik is almost sub-tropical in appearance. Marinas are more scarce along this coast, although it is amply supplied with small harbors, especially on the mainland and the Peljesac Peninsula, where a yacht can tie up on a stone quay or anchor away from the bustle of the charter yacht ‘hot spots.’ Of course, no visit to Croatia would be complete without a visit to the World Heritage-listed town of Dubrovnik, the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.

CROATIA EXPERTS
Kompas Holidays International is offering a 10% Early Booking Discount on all 2018 Croatia Adriatic Sea cruises when booked by Sept. 30th 2017. Due to the increasing demand for Croatia and the Adriatic Sea cruises, Kompas has rejuvenated its fleet of “small ships” (maximum capacity of 36 passengers). Their deluxe classified ships: M/S Prestige, M/S KARIZMA, M/S DESIRE, M/S ARCA FIUMANA and M/S ADRIATIC QUEEN, feature all outside cabins, built by the latest standards. Modern, fully equipped cabins have A/C, LCD TV, safe deposit box, fire alarm, free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, etc. Sail away on a beautiful 8-day cruise to explore the beauty of the Croatian coast from one island to another. Indulge all your senses while exploring inspiring destinations, charming fishermen’s villages, unique National Parks, picturesque coves for swimming, and tasting local Mediterranean cuisine. Eight-day cruises starts from $1,348 per person (in double occupancy, including Early booking discount), port tax of $95 per person. www.kompas.net

Katarina Line, founded in 1992, evolved into one of Croatia’s leading cruise and travel operators with main office in Opatija and branch offices in Opatija, Split and Dubrovnik. They are one of the leading DMC’s in Croatia and a premier small ship cruise company with weekly guaranteed departures from the end of April to mid-October from the major tourist centers of Opatija, Split and Dubrovnik. With a fleet of more than 50 ships in four different categories, the cruise line caters to all ages and budgets. Katarina Line itineraries give travelers the chance to explore the stunning natural environment and picturesque, quaint Mediterranean towns while hopping from one island to another. This unique way of traveling and exploring coastal towns is one of the most popular and easy ways to experience the true Croatia. Of special interest are deluxe cruises conducted on the new and lavishly designed deluxe vessels providing more comfort and style while including various extra services, sightseeing tours, wine tastings and excursions, all carefully selected to create a unique experience of Croatia from the sea.
www.katarina-line.com

With over a thousand islands to explore in the area, countless bays and coves and gorgeous beaches with glorious blue waters, Adventures Croatia offers the ultimate voyage on the seas. Their professional team of travel experts provides customized sailing, motor yacht and cruise itineraries ideal for individuals or groups that allows travelers to relax and enjoy the serenity of gliding across these waters. The close proximity between the islands makes for an effortless trip where the hassles of re-packing are eliminated and time spent exploring on land is magnified. A yacht charter is an exciting travel solution for families or small groups who want the freedom to explore the islands of Croatia and the Adriatic independently. Their experienced local skippers are available for hire with the yacht if you don’t have a qualified crew member. A private charter provides a unique way to see Croatia; they can help create a personalized itinerary. Set sail with Adventures Croatia for the voyage of a lifetime.
www.adventurescroatia.com

For those who know how to enjoy life to the fullest, Via Croatia has a wide range of luxury yachts and vessels for daily, weekly, and monthly rentals. Most vessels come with a crew but can also come without, if that is what your clients wish for. Yachts offered are sized from just 2 cabins up to mega yachts with 8 or more cabins. Sailing around Croatia with a private skipper is one of the best and most popular ways to explore the Croatian seacoast. Croatia has over 1,200 islands to explore, making it a perfect sailing destination. Charters usually have a round trip policy, or one-way charge will apply. Charters run from Saturday to Saturday. Contact Via Croatia to plan group itineraries and select the right options for your group and budget. www.viacroatia.com

After becoming a member of Virtuoso, Lošinj’s five-star Boutique Hotel Alhambra is the winner of the new award, “Best Luxury Boutique Spa in Croatia.” This award was presented by the recognized global organization, World Luxury Awards, which gives awards in recognition of the excellent service provided to guests. Lošinj’s Alhambra is also the recipient of the 2017 TripAdvisor Excellence Certificate and a member of the renowned Small Luxury Hotels of the World Group, which counts just 520 small luxury hotels with top-notch service that meets the expectations of even the most demanding guests. The SPA at Alhambra is designed to restore the balance and harmony of spirit and body in the oasis of beauty, peace and luxury. Treatments and rituals are provided in a luxurious environment, providing each guest with a sophisticated and authentic SPA experience tailored to their individual needs, using Lošinj’s fragrances as well as cosmetics of one of the leading British brands, Elemis. Alhambra is part of the hotel brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas of the Jadranka Group, which brings together a total of six hotels and restaurants, and villas and apartments in the most attractive locations of the island of Lošinj. With its well-equipped 36 deluxe rooms and 15 suites, Alhambra is an ideal place for guests who prefer a sophisticated design with a touch of aristocracy and exceptional luxury while complete harmony is guaranteed on the private beach of the hotel in the tranquil setting of Čikat cove. www.losinj-hotels.com

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