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Most ports along the Croatian coast will offer day cruises to nearby islands. This can be a wonderfully convenient way of visiting Croatian islands without worrying about ferry schedules. Most organised day cruises in Croatia run from around May to September--weather permitting, of course. Be aware that not every cruise runs every day. If you have your heart set on a day cruise, it's wise to book ahead with Viator which offers day cruises from Dubrovnik and Split.
In other coastal cities or on the islands, drop in the nearest travel agency as soon as you arrive to check out the schedule. Or, head down to the harbour where stalls take bookings for upcoming cruises.
Usually the boat will head out around 9am and return around 6pm. Sometimes lunch is included. Watch for the "fish picnic" tour as lunch will often be freshly caught fish, barbecued on a beach.
The best way to see what's available is to head to the seafront. You'll see signs along the waterfront proposing various itineraries and prices. Payment is in cash.
For a more personal (and costly) day cruise, look for "water taxis". The skipper will have some ideas of island or coastal highlights to visit and is usually open to negotiation. On islands such as Brac, Hvar, Korcula and Vis a personal water taxi tour can be a memorable experience as you visit hidden coves, bays and beaches.
A day out to the Kornati Islands is one of the more memorable experiences in Croatia. You can book at Kornat Excursions.
As Croatia's most popular destination, Dubrovnik has the widest selection of day cruises and the most frequent departures. You can take a sunset cruise or a cruise on a traditional wooden sailing ship. Other popular day cruises from Dubrovnik include Mljet National Park, Korcula and the stunning Elaphiti Islands.
In the height of the summer I highly recommend booking your day cruise in advance. Places get sold out quickly! If you book online through Viator you get a low price guarantee, your choice of currency (protecting you against currency fluctuations) and complementary hotel pick-up and drop-off.
Check out these day cruises:
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