Croatia & Cruising the Dalmatian Coast

Croatia & Cruising the Dalmatian Coast

This sensational 10-night journey reveals Croatia’s incredible bounty, including a seven-night Adriatic cruise. Spend three nights in vibrant Zagreb, home to the Mirogoj Cemetery and the beautiful St. Mark’s church. Travel to Plitvice National Park, an astonishing natural marvel; then board your deluxe ship to indulge in the treasured Dalmatian coast and its jewel-colored waters. Each day reveals a new port of call, a sunny island or an exquisite, secluded bay. Highlights include the enchanting islands of Rab, Hvar and Korčula, as well as Split, Zadar and Trogir, storied cities with centuries of history and heritage. Plus, choose between touring St. James Cathedral or Krka National Park in Šibenik. Your adventure concludes in Dubrovnik, one of the world’s best-preserved medieval towns with legendary ramparts and a proud old town. Along the way, expert
lectures shed light on the region’s history and traditional dishes indulge your palate. This program features an extensive meal plan!

Trip Itinerary:

April 25 In Transit

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Zagreb, Croatia. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: ZAG.

April 26 Zagreb, Croatia

Arrive at Zagreb Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Gather with your fellow travelers to enjoy a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner.

April 27 Zagreb

Enrichment: Contemporary Croatia. Join a local expert to gain a thorough understanding of recent events that have shaped the stable, independent Croatia of today.

Discovery: Zagreb. Tucked between the sparkling Sava River and the forested slopes of Mount Medvednica, Zagreb intertwines European elegance with a delightful Balkan spirit. Following a panoramic tour of Zagreb’s modern Lower Town, drive outside the city center to visit Mirogoj Cemetery. Designed by architect Hermann Bollé, this gem is filled with tiled arcades, creeping ivy, sculptures and green copper domes. Back in Zagreb’s beautifully preserved Upper Town, admire a rich array of Austro-Hungarian architecture and see more treasures by Bollé: The Cathedral of Assumption and St. Mark’s Church. Originally erected in the 13th century, St. Mark’s Church features a brilliantly tiled mosaic roof that depicts the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slavic coats of arms as well as those representing Zagreb. (Moderate)

Free Time: Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Zagreb. The city offers many wonderful museums to fill your time, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Illusions.

April 28 Zagreb

Free Time: Take part in today’s Elective Activity to Croatia’s countryside or enjoy a full day at leisure in this vibrant capital city. Treat yourself to an idyllic morning browsing the Museum of Contemporary Art or enjoying the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships. Observe local life in Zagreb’s Jelačić Square or wander through the farmer’s market and sample organic fruits and honey.

Elective Activity: Croatia’s Countryside. Travel from Zagreb through Croatia’s scenic north country to Klanjec. Visit its Antun Augustincic Museum and Gallery and the Church of St. Mary before traveling to Kumrovec, a quaint village nestled near the Sulta River and Slovenian border. Recognized as the birthplace of Tito, the village features the Kumrovec Staro Selo Museum, an open-air museum with well-preserved houses from the end of the 19th century. During your visit to the museum, gain insight into the lifestyles of an authentic Zagorje village. Then enjoy regional specialties during lunch at a family-run eatery that offers stunning views of Croatia’s countryside. (Moderate) Available at an additional cost.

April 29 Plitvice National Park | Opatija

After breakfast, transfer to Opatija. Along the way, stop at Plitvice National Park to explore this scenic wonder.

Discovery: Plitvice Lakes National Park. Enjoy a refreshing escape to one of Croatia’s most spectacular natural wonders. This UNESCO World Heritage site flaunts sixteen crystal lakes that are laced together in a series of awe-inspiring waterfalls and cascades. The vibrant landscape is a vision of unsurpassed beauty where the waters shimmer and constantly change color, a result of the karst terrain. Wander planked walkways and trails amid a fragrant forest of beech and pine. The park is also home to nearly 160 species of birds as well as many rare, endemic species, including the endangered European brown bear. Enjoy lunch during the outing. (Active)

Following this sojourn, enjoy a lunch of regional dishes.

Continue to Opatija and board your ship. Later tonight, after unpacking and exploring the amenities of your ship, gather for a Welcome Aboard Reception and Dinner.

You may wish to sit outside this evening and gaze at the night's sky and cosmos!

April 30 Krk Island | Rab Island

Your day begins with a cruise to Krk and Rab islands. While sailing, soak up the nautical paradise, breathe in the salty air and revel in the stark beauty of far-off islands perched on the horizon.

Discovery: Krk and Rab Islands. Visit Krk Island, Croatia’s largest island, which sits in the middle of Kvarner Bay. After lunch back on board, continue to Rab for a tour of the island’s many marvels, from medieval walls to ancient stone lanes and pretty squares. The village is also known for its four distinctive bell towers: the bell tower of the church of St. Justine, the bell tower of the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the bell tower of the church of St. John the Evangelist, and the belfry of the church of St. Andrew the Apostle. Spy local artists painting in outdoor settings and taste Rapska torta, or Rab cake. Legend claims that the cake was first served in 1177 to Pope Alexander III, but we can't tell you the recipe! Its main ingredients are almonds and Maraschino liquor, but the rest of the recipe is a secret! (Moderate)

May 1 Zadar

After breakfast, enjoy a morning of sailing to the incredibly pretty town of Zadar. Watch the scenery unfold before you: picturesque islands, hidden coves and azure seas! If luck is on your side, you may see dolphins!

Discovery: Zadar. This storied university town features a bevy of cosmopolitan cafes, museums and Roman ruins. Witness the impressive Roman Forum and the St Donat church (more here). An ancient walled port city and former capital of Dalmatia, Zadar Witness the village’s modern attractions at its waterfront promenade, including the Sea Organ, a musical art installation. Listen to its unending melody, which is fueled by the ebb and flow of the sea's currents. Nearby is the 72-foot Monument to the Sun, which celebrates Zadar’s incredible sunsets. (Moderate)

May 2 Šibenik

Sail to Šibenik this morning. Made entirely of stone, Šibenik — Croatia's third-largest city — is a proud city built entirely by Croats. Due to the town's strategic position in the Adriatic, it was a desired location by larger Mediterranean powers. Thus, the city's rulers built large, sturdy fortresses, fortified city walls and commanding towers to protect themselves. Today, the city welcomes visitors with historical sites, lovely alleys and squares, and striking buildings.

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions.

•Cultural Šibenik. Uncover the architecture of Šibenik while visiting the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St. James, one of Europe's most significant monumental cathedrals. This magnificent church was built only in stone during the 15th and16th centuries. It was also featured on the "Game of Thrones." (Moderate)

•Krka National Park. Delight in the waterfalls, walking paths, boardwalks and more of this spectacular, top-rated park. Set by the Krka River, the park features seven waterfalls, including the wonderful Skradinski Buk. (Active)

May 3 Trogir | Split

Pull up anchor this morning and begin the day with a scenic cruise to Trogir.

Discovery: Trogir. Fall under the spell of Trogir, one of the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic towns in Central Europe. Trogir, a trading port called Tragurion during the third-century B.C., was once Dalmatia’s cultural center. Through centuries of conflict, the settlement was ruled by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians. Today, immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating history as you discover its cobbled lanes, finely-carved facades and shrouded courtyards. Witness the recently renovated Cathedral of St. Lawrence — Croatia’s finest triple-naved Venetian cathedral — and admire the intricate carvings of the Cipiko Palace. See the 15th-century Fortress Kamerlengo, Trogir’s Town Hall and the Benedictine Monastery, founded in the 11th century by St. Ivan of Trogir. (Active)

Discovery: Exploring Split. Enjoy a walking tour of Split and delight in the city’s historical wonders. Visit the incredible living ruin of Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been continuously inhabited since the Roman emperor abdicated his throne in A.D. 305. See the cellars, temple ruins, the elaborate Cathedral of St. Domnius and the Golden Gate, and witness the Peristyle, a rectangular open court that was the heart of the palace. Roaming this complex’s tangle of passageways, courtyards and underground chambers is one of Croatia’s most enchanting experiences. Conclude your excursion over lunch at a local fish market. (Active)

May 4 Hvar | Korčula

Discovery: Hvar Island. Visit sunny Hvar, a Croatian favorite lauded for its sunny shores, lavender plantations, olive groves and idyllic beaches. With a history dating back to 6,000 B.C., Hvar brims with cultural and historical heritage, plus a tranquil Mediterranean ambience. Upon landing on the island, get to know Hvar Town, one of Croatia's best-preserved historic towns, and home to a buzzing port. Witness its Renaissance cathedral, enchanting stone streets and an ancient community theater. After, enjoy a gentle hike up to the 16th-century Španjola Fortress for views of the old town, Pakleni islands and turquoise waters beyond. (Moderate)

In the afternoon, continue your sailing journey to Korčula.

Discovery: Korčula. The spectacular “Emerald Isle” juts into the Peljesac Channel and brims with beauty, harbor-side restaurants and thriving vineyards. Its medieval streets are designed like fish bones, branching off from a central square, and the medieval old town is decorated with red rooftops, similar to to those found in Dubrovnik. In the center of town sits a pretty Gothic-Renaissance church. The island is also rumored to be the birthplace of famous Italian explorer Marco Polo! (Allegedly, the home of Marco Polo is located in the old town on Ulica Depolo street.) (Moderate)

May 5 Dubrovnik

Discovery: Dubrovnik. This beautiful city was relentlessly shelled during Croatia’s Homeland War in the early 1990s, but the medieval churches, graceful fountains and squares have been restored to their former glory. Visit the baroque cathedral and admire the loggia and ornamentation inside of the Rector’s Palace. Explore the medieval Sponza Palace, which houses priceless ancient manuscripts, and visit the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery’s Romanesque cloister. Its small apothecary is the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. (Moderate)

Free time: You may wish to walk around the old walls of the city, an experience that offers splendid views of Dubrovnik’s distinctive orange rooftops, the harbor and the vast stretch of blue sea. For dinner at leisure, consider trying manestra, a typical bean soup found along coastal Croatia, or brudet, a fish stew simmered with chili pepper and polenta. Finish off your meal with rozata, a sweet pudding with a flan-like texture.

Gather for a celebratory Farewell Reception and Dinner.

May 6 In Transit

After breakfast, bid farewell to this beautiful region of Europe. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Dubrovnik Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.


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