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Croatia cruises guide: How to visit the islands in style

Simon Calder’s Travel

Croatia has steadily grown in popularity as a tourist hotspot, offering everything from crystal clear bays to cities crammed full of history dating back to medieval times. But with so much culture and coastline to choose from, it can be hard to decide which part of Croatia to visit first.

While Dubrovnik’s Roman ampitheatres and Fort Bokar have gained fame from their appearances in Game of Thrones, the island of Hvar combines turquoise waters with a party scene to rival Mykonos or St Tropez. Meanwhile, foodies have a lot to say about Zagreb, which blends Eastern and Western European cooking styles with Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil and rosemary, as well as root vegetables and dumplings.

Cruising around the Adriatic sea is a great way to experience ancient walled cities filled with medieval architecture along with lush island gems like Mljet, Korcula, and Vis. All without having to pack and unpack or browse ferry timetables to travel between islands.

Whether you’re travelling as a family or want a romantic trip with a loved one, we’ve rounded up some top cruise options in Croatia.

Visit three UNESCO world heritage sites

Explore ancient architecture as well as golden sands with Sail Croatia
Explore ancient architecture as well as golden sands with Sail Croatia (Sail Croatia)

Sail Croatia offers the ultimate break for culture lovers, or anyone who enjoys sightseeing as much as they like sunbathing. The Elegance Cruise starts and ends in Split, where you can tour the Unesco heritage site of Diocletian’s Palace, which is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman architecture in the world.

The route will take you north through the seaside town of Trogir, which is also Unesco-listed, before stopping in Sidenik where you can explore the Cathedral of St James. From there, you’ll be taken to Vodice to admire world-famous waterfalls before having beach days on the islands of Vis and Hvar.

Prices from £2,019pp including seven nights accommodation, all meals and drinks, daily swim stops, airport transfers and a tour manager. Departing 7 July 2024.

Get blown away by the intimate luxury of a twin-masted yacht

The SS Mendula only has 15 guest cabins
The SS Mendula only has 15 guest cabins (Riviera Travel)

Experience the romance and glamour of a sailing yacht that only holds 30 passengers and six staff. Riviera Travel’s SS Mendula can easily be anchored in tiny ports, so all you have to do is skip off and start your day without the need…

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