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The best way to see Croatia

Hopping on a Croatia cruise is the best way to explore the country's coastline and its myriad islands


Could there be a better way to see Croatia than cruising around it? Hopping from idyllic island to idyllic island, taking in the natural wonders of Mljet, the party hub of Hvar and the beaches of Makarska? Stopping off to explore the sprawling Roman palace of Split and the iconic City Walls of Dubrovnik? We think not.

And to cruise Croatia, your best bet is Sail Croatia; experts in small ship cruising. With Sail Croatia, you needn’t be crammed in with hundreds of other passengers on a multi-storey megaship, spending your precious holiday time endlessly queuing to disembark or ask for an extra egg at breakfast. For such an intimate jewel of a country, of more than a thousand islands, all but a few dozen uninhabited, and countless hidden bays, coves and beaches, small-ship cruising is what you need to best enjoy Croatia.

That’s where Sail Croatia gets the crown for the best way to see the country, offering a variety of cruising experiences to suit every travel style and budget, while maintaining authenticity and offering a true reflection of what Croatia is all about.

Not only does it allow you, ably guided by an experienced, English-speaking captain, to discover all kinds of lesser-known attractions as your ship docks and sets off swiftly but your time on board with like-minded travellers will also be that much more rewarding.

Consider, perhaps, the Elegance fleet, recently augmented by the Kraljica Jelena, built exclusively for Sail Croatia in 2018, with its top-deck jacuzzi, high-spec design touches and spacious cabins. Sister ships the Esperanza, the Olimp and the Romantic Star all boast splash pools up top, ideal for cooling down after a session of sunbathing, taking in some of most pristine, postcard-perfect coastlines Europe has to offer. Each also has cabins with private en-suite facilities and air conditioning.

And every day while on your Elegance cruise, you can wake up to a completely new experience – a Grk wine on Korčula that harks back to the time of the Ancient Greeks, divine spit-roasted lamb on Brač, a mongoose scampering amid the 5,000-plus hectares of unspoiled nature of the Mljet National Park.

With breakfast and lunch provided on a daily basis, this allows you to explore your destination that evening, perhaps following the captain up on a few local tips for dinner. After all, sampling the local culture is all a part of your stay.

If a budget break with mates is more your style, a standard ship on a Navigator Cruise has shared facilities but, crucially, a fully stocked, licensed and affordable bar. And, at under £400 for seven nights on board during a whole week in early June, you’re treated to two meals a day, an experienced local guide and full use of the sundeck.

Croatia, of course, has a reputation to live up to as one of Europe’s main party destinations, and if you’re looking to party, look no further than these Navigator party cruises, featuring visits to the famed celeb spots of Hvar, where you can hit the dancefloor like an A-lister, a few sunset cocktails in jaw-droppingly gorgeous Dubrovnik, and a night in a legendary sea-cave nightclub along the raucous Makarska Riviera.

Those who take their cycling seriously will have a professional guide to show them the terrain on a Cycle Croatia Cruise. Featured on the itinerary are the Golden Cape of Brač, the lavender fields of Hvar and the vineyard-covered slopes of Pelješac, where Croatia’s finest reds are produced. If it’s hiking you’re after, then here in Croatia, you’ll be exploring the once closed-off Communist retreat of Vis where Allied spies hid from Mussolini’s forces, scaling the highest peak on the Adriatic islands on Brač and marvelling at the view from the heights of the Biokovo mountain range above Makarska, with Italy in plain sight on clear days.

For those who are a bit past the crazy partying but would still be keen on finding that perfect little cocktail bar on the Makarska Riviera or sipping a chilled local wine while people-watching on the Hvar waterfront, then the Explorer Cruise allows you to dip in and out.  By day, there’s the Split cathedral tower to climb, the narrow streets of Stari Grad to get lost in and the unique Blue Cave of Biševo to gawp at – provided you’re there at noon, when nature lays on a spectacular light show on the shimmering water.

Sail Croatia cruises are tailor-made to suit your needs. You could be a twentysomething traveller keen to explore, an older couple looking for elegant relaxation or an active traveller with bags of energy for hiking and biking. Or you might just want to join a party boat for week of independent fun.

Discover your ideal Croatia cruise at Sail Croatia.

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