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With its seemingly endless coast and lustrous islands, Croatia is prime cruise territory. There's hardly a better way to experience the culture and ecological diversity of Croatia's islands than aboard a boat. A cruise holiday in Croatia can be one of the most idyllic ways of exploring the Croatian islands and a gulet is the ideal boat.
These former sailing vessels have been outfitted with motors and modern cabins for comfortable touring. Unlike big cruise ships, these motorized sailboats can dock on every island and islet offering a much wider range of itineraries. They only hold from 16 to 40 passengers, so the experience is convivial but you don't feel like you're part of a huge throng.
There are a number of companies that offer sailing tours. On Sail-Croatia, for example, you can combine your sailing holiday with cycling, hiking and rafting. Prices for an 8-day itinerary start at only £299 for a Saturday to Saturday cruising holiday off-season. Naturally, prices go up in July and August. Notice also that prices vary depending on the level of comfort. All boats now have WiFi but the more expensive vessels have air-conditioning and private facilities in each cabin. Some boats offer full-board, others only half-board. Here are some popular sailing holidays from Sail Croatia:
So what is it really like to take one of these cruises? I did it!
One beautiful August morning , I boarded a week-long cruise of the islands of northern Dalmatia that included the Kornati Islands National Park, Rab and Krk Islands and the Telascica Nature Park. I can honestly say that it was one of the best holidays of my life. Click here for a full description of the cruise and here for a photo journal of the cruise.
Don't confuse riding on Croatia's ferries with a cruise! The comfort level is completely different. However modern and well-equipped, Croatia's ferries can be noisy and crowded with very limited refreshments and amenities. More on Croatia ferries.
Thomson offers some great deals on cruises that take in Croatia as part of an Adriatic itinerary. Venetian Vistas takes in Rijeka, Hvar and Dubrovnik in a cruise that includes Venice, Trieste and Montenegro. Prices start at £774. Book Now.
Adriatic Affair is even more concentrated on Croatia. This seven-day cruise includes Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik as well as Venice and Koper. Prices start at £742. Book Now.
Large international cruise ships have put Croatia on their eastern Mediterranean itinerary so you can combine stops in Croatia with a cruise that visits Italy and/or Greece as well as other destinations. The most common stop is Dubrovnik but cruise lines are gradually adding more and more stops along the Croatian coast. Use this handy search box to visit Croatia as part of an Eastern Mediterranean cruise.
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