10 reasons you must do a luxury small ship cruise in Croatia
10 reasons you must do a luxury small ship cruise in Croatia
A luxury small boat cruise in Croatia is an exceptional way to see the country and its idyllic islands, as well as to enjoy the sparkling views and undisturbed sounds of the Adriatic Sea. With a relatively small number of passengers on board, the luxury ships that sail the Croatian coast are modern and offer all the luxuries you could want: rooms with balconies, a fully stocked bar and even Jacuzzis set up on the terrace.
Croatia small boat cruises are filled with unique experiences, scenic island tours, and exceptional customer service on board. That should be enough to tempt you to take a short boat cruise, but for those who need more conviction, here are 10 reasons why you must take a short cruise in Croatia.
1. You make lifelong friends
Small boat cruises typically accommodate a maximum of 36-38 passengers, so usually after the first night, everyone on the boat is in the know. There are plenty of places to relax on the boat including several living and dining areas and your balcony if you have a room with a balcony. That said, you’ll soon find that everyone congregates on the terrace (a space for sunbathing, relaxing in the jacuzzi, or taking in the view), or around the bar. This makes for a very social scene and you will soon get to know each other well. Many customers stay in touch with other travelers on their cruise and even returned to travel with them the following year.
2. You get off and, on the boat, whatever time you want in the evening
Small boat cruises tend to dock in a new destination late in the afternoon – either a destination in mainland Croatia or a beautiful island. The local crew are there to recommend things to do, places to visit, and restaurants for your convenience. This means you can get back to the boat at any time you want – whether it’s after dinner for a drink at the bar or late at night after dancing the night away in local bars or nightclubs.
3. You have swimming stops in the Adriatic Sea
As the small boat cruise leaves for another destination each day, it will tend to stop once or twice for swimming stops. When the boat is stationary, you can jump from the back of the boat and enjoy a few hours of swimming in the sparkling waters of the Adriatic Sea. During the summer months, the weather is beautiful and a dip in the ocean is often refreshing if temperatures soar during the midday heat.
4. The passenger / crew ratio is 1 to 4
Ships typically have a maximum of 36-38 passengers and a personal-to-passenger rate of 1-4. This is an example of the dedicated service you get on board. There is always a crew member on hand to help with your needs or answer any questions. The crew generally includes the captain, a chef, a sous chef, two sailors and a cabin crew. The staff are almost always local Croatian with fluent English and exceptional customer service.
5. You can take trips to the islands
When you visit new destinations on the mainland and islands of Croatia, you may be overwhelmed with the choice of what to do and what to see, but fear not! Local guides are there to offer recommendations. You can take walking tours, wine tastings, oyster harvesting, guided tours of national parks, and boat trips to the Blue Grotto to name a few.
6. New luxury ships
Croatia has some of the newest and most luxurious boats. Most boats have a choice of accommodation on the boats, including lower and upper deck cabins – the difference being that the upper deck cabins have balconies and the lower deck does not. All rooms are well appointed and have a private bathroom and modern amenities. The main areas are spacious and bright – the perfect place to enjoy freshly prepared breakfasts, lunches and cocktails. The terrace on the top of the boat is often the most popular place to relax during the day due to the sun loungers, the jacuzzi and the view of the Adriatic Sea.
7. You visit beautiful Croatian islands
As you enjoy the day on the luxury boat with great company, great views, and exceptional service, you often forget you’re on your way somewhere. Time flies effortlessly, but towards the end of the afternoon your boat will arrive at a new port on a Croatian island. Croatia cruises give you the opportunity to explore many beautiful islands including Hvar, Korcula, Vis, Mljet, Ston, Bol and Trogir among others. On the Croatian mainland, cruises usually start and end in Split and Dubrovnik.
8. It gives you a different perspective of Croatia
Cruising along the coast of Croatia gives you a perspective like no other. The perks of cruising are that you often skip the mundane car trips across the country and instead enjoy the sparkling view of the Adriatic Sea while sipping a local beer or cocktail. It also gives you the opportunity to escape the crowds around noon. In Dubrovnik for example, the streets and alleys are usually very busy during the day, but your boat will arrive at the port in the late afternoon, avoiding some (not all) of the busier times.
9. All your drinks, breakfasts and lunches are made for you
On small Croatian boats, most breakfasts and lunches are provided. With an experienced chef and sous chef on board, the meals are extremely delicious. The staff ensure that all ingredients are locally sourced and that they offer local drinks on board from family-run Croatian vineyards and vineyards. The onboard bar is always fully stocked and a drinks tab can be made in your room, payable at the end of the trip. Enjoy a glass of wine or a local beer anywhere on board – your room, your balcony, the bar or the terrace.
10. Local guides, local crew
The crew are local Croatians, speak fluent English and are exceptionally friendly. The captains and sailors are very experienced, with years of cruise management behind them. It is the job of the chef and sous-chef to prepare exquisite dishes, sourced from local suppliers, farms and vineyards. While each crew member has their own ‘role’, they will all be ready to assist you and meet your needs throughout your stay. Many will enjoy a drink with you in the evening, sharing stories and educating you on all things Croatia.
Graham Carter is the director of Unforgettable Travel Company. Unforgettable Travel Company is a leading tour operator designing immersive and unforgettable trips around the world, following its slogan Why Do Ordinary.
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