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Plitvice Lakes, the unique national park which features on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Caption: Plitvice Lakes, the unique national park which features on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Caption: Dubrovnik's imposing city walls around the Old Town
Caption: The famous waterfalls of Krka National Park, Croatia
Caption: The glorious blue waters of Plitvice Lakes National Park
Caption: The stunning landscape around the Kornati National Park, Croatia
Caption: Medieval Korcula sitting beside the Mediterranean
Caption: Looking to Rovinj town across the harbour
Caption: Rovinj Old Town
Caption: Historic Split, home of Diocletian's Palace
Caption: Zagreb Art Pavillion
Caption: The ever shifting Golden Horn Beach at Bol
Caption: Trogir harbourside, Croatia
Caption: The terracota red roofs of Dubrovnik's Old Town

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: Captivating Croatia Cruise & Stay
Duration: 13 days / 12 nights
Flight information: Economy flights depart London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport [ZAG] on Day 1 and depart from Dubrovnik Airport [DBV] to London Heathrow Airport [LHR] on Day 13
Pickup location: Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport [ZAG]

Overview

Choose your own departure date for your group

Cruise azure waters, explore ancient palaces, discover vibrant cities and relax in nature - the coastal nation of Croatia has it all. Be captivated as we explore the country by land and sea on this unique holiday.

Join us as we become captivated by the fascinating country of Croatia! Starting in the vibrant capital, Zagreb, we make our way to the coast to explore the historic Pula peninsula, whose stunning scenery and Roman remains tells of centuries of rule from Venice across the water. 

We discover the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of Croatia's jewels before boarding our cruise in the port town of Zadar. From here we sail to the most famous city, Dubrovnik, stopping along the way at a mix of historic cities, idyllic coves, stunning national parks and beautiful scenery. Cruising we really get to appreciate the lovely blue waters and quaint islands for which Croatia is so famous. 

Our final destination is the ancient city of Dubrovnik. Whilst it has gained fame in recent years due to its link with Game of Thrones, the fortified town walls tell tales of many more eras of history. Our final nights on land here allow us to discover more and see why Croatia really is one of the most captivating there is! 

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Arrive Zagreb
DAY 2 - Discovering Zagreb and to Opatija
DAY 3 - Exploring the Pula Peninsula
DAY 4 - Plitvice Lakes & Board Cruise
DAY 5 - Zadar & Sailing to Sali
DAY 6 - Krka & Kornati National Parks
DAY 7 - Historic Trogir & Split
DAY 8 - The Beach at Bol & Hvar Island
DAY 9 - Korcula & Mljet National Park
DAY 10 - To Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic
DAY 11 - Discovering Dubrovnik
DAY 12 - Heritage, Traditions and Tastes of the Croatian Countryside & Farewell Meal
DAY 13 - Goodbye Croatia
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Arrive Zagreb

Welcome to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Upon arrival Zagreb Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, this evening enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Zagreb 

DAY 2 - Discovering Zagreb and to Opatija

After breakfast, we check out before heading out on a morning sightseeing tour of Zagreb. The tour will take us through the historic Upper Town. We will pass both St Mark’s Church and St Catherine’s Church, as well as the Cathedral and the Government Palace, before entering the Croatian Parliament building.

Then, we leave Zagreb as we head towards the coast and journey the beautiful bay of Kvarner and its popular resort, Opatija. On arrival, we enjoy an orientation bus tour of Opatija, showing the highlights of this former Imperial resort city before checking into our hotel. Lunch and the rest of the day is at leisure to discover Opatija’s sights. Dinner will be at the hotel this evening with the group.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Opatija 

DAY 3 - Exploring the Pula Peninsula

Today we head out to explore the historic Pula peninsula. After breakfast, we drive along the coast to visit the city of Pula. A guided tour will tell us about the city’s history. As we walk in the footsteps of the Romans, we visit the famous amphitheatre.

We continue to Rovinj, possibly the most romantic town in Croatia, which boasts a charmingly picturesque old town. We walk around the Old Town’s winding streets to the foot of the Church of St. Euphemia, a favorite gathering place of artists from around the world.

Lunch is at leisure in Rovinj, before we return to Opatija and enjoy the evening leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Opatija 

DAY 4 - Plitvice Lakes & Board Cruise

We depart Opatija this morning and make our way inland to visit one of Croatia’s most famous sites - the magnificent Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

During walking tour of the National Park, we enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this natural wonder with its 16 terraced lakes surrounded by forested mountains and lush vegetation. The tour takes us around several of the lower lakes. After discovering this natural wonder, we stop for lunch before continuing to the historic coastal port of Zadar. Here we will board the beautiful M/S Premier as we start the cruise section of our journey.

Once onboard, join your fellow “sailors” and cruise manager for a welcome reception and dinner on board.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: MS Premier (or similar) 

DAY 5 - Zadar & Sailing to Sali

We start the day with breakfast on board and a walking tour of Zadar’s historical center. The city’s compact pedestrian zone is perfect to explore on foot. We admire the 16th century walls built by the Venetians as a defense against the Turks and see the Port Gate, where the Venetian lion still guards the entrance, as well as the Square of the Five Wells, the Church of St. Donat, the Roman Forum and the largest cathedral in Dalmatia, St. Anastasia.

After the tour, we stop for a tasting of traditional Maraschino liqueur, a local specialty.

Afterwards, we re-board our boat as we set sail south to Dubrovnik and our first stop, Sali. While we cruise to Sali, lunch is served.

Once arrived in Sali, there is time to explore the town at leisure and have dinner on your own in one of the local restaurants.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: MS Premier (or similar) 

DAY 6 - Krka & Kornati National Parks

Today we discover two more of Croatia’s natural wonders, the scenic wonderlands of two National Parks in the Sibenik area.

The first stop is Krka National Park, famed for its breathtaking waterfalls.

After lunch on board, we head for Kornati National Park. Comprised of more than 140 islands with numerous coves and crystal-clear waters, it is a joy to discover. The day is devoted to tour these scenic destinations.

Once back on board, we cruise to Sibenik, where the evening is at leisure.

Included meals: MS Premier (or similar) 
Accommodation: Breakfast & Lunch 

DAY 7 - Historic Trogir & Split

In the morning there is time for a swim before we continue sailing. After lunch on board, we arrive in the UNESCO-listed city of Trogir. Famed for its Ventian architecture, the city is packed with history. Founded by the Greeks, it was developed into a major port by the Romans before coming under rule from Venice. Enjoy free time here to explore at leisure until we re-embark our boat and set course for Split.

Once we arrive in the ancient town of Split, we head out on a walking tour of the historic inner city. Here, will visit the imposing Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will also see the remnants of Split’s Roman heritage, its Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter’s Temple, the Peristyle, and the Cathedral. The evening and dinner are at leisure in Split.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: MS Premier (or similar) 

DAY 8 - The Beach at Bol & Hvar Island

This morning, we sail from Split to Bol, home of the Golden Horn - one of the most breathtaking beaches in Croatia. This vast, golden pebble beach is unique in that it changes shape and position depending on the direction of the winds.

Before lunch, there is time for a swim in the clear blue waters. We then set sail to the island of Hvar. On this famous island, we have a sightseeing tour that includes the first public theatre in Europe, the Franciscan Monastery, and many more historic sights. The evening is free to explore Hvar and to dine on your own in one of the excellent restaurants.

Note: Due to the limited capacity of the Hvar harbor, the port of call can be substituted for Stari Grad/Jelsa. In that case transfers by bus will be organized to and from Hvar

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: MS Premier (or similar) 

DAY 9 - Korcula & Mljet National Park

After breakfast, we depart for Korcula, sailing through turquoise waters and past idyllic islands for an early afternoon arrival.

Korcula town is thought to be the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo. Our walking tour through its narrow, cobble-stone streets includes a visit to the majestic Gothic-Baroque Cathedral of St. Mark.

We continue our journey to the island of Mljet, where an afternoon tour of Mljet National Park awaits. The park features five types of forest, many species of birds, and two deep lakes: Veliko Jezero (Big Lake) and Malo Jezero (Small Lake). This spectacular island was supposedly a favorite holiday spot for the Greek hero Ulysses!

Tonight, we enjoy the Captain’s Dinner onboard, with live entertainment and a glass of wine.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: MS Premier (or similar) 

DAY 10 - To Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic

On our last day onboard, we start the final leg of our journey south as we sail to Dubrovnik, the so called “Pearl of Adriatic,” and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

After lunch on board, upon arrival in Dubrovnik, we take a walking tour of the old town and visit the Rector’s Palace and the Franciscan Monastery with its Pharmacy. The remainder of the day is free to discover even more of this amazing city.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: MS Premier (or similar) 

DAY 11 - Discovering Dubrovnik

After breakfast onboard, it is time to disembark our ship. We will be transferred to our hotel in Dubrovnik and after check in, the day is at leisure.

Perhaps take the funicular up the hill at the back of the city for amazing views over Dubrovnik and the coast. The evening is at leisure in the city.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Dubrovnik  

DAY 12 - Heritage, Traditions and Tastes of the Croatian Countryside & Farewell Meal

After breakfast, enjoy the morning at leisure to explore the beautiful city of Dubrovnik.

The county of Konvale lies south of Dubrovnik, approaching the modern day border with Montenegro County. Between rolling coutnryisde, we can get a glimpse of what life used to be like in the Croatian countryside. This afternoon we head out on our final, leisurely excursion to discover some of the history, heritage and crafts of this region.

The first stop is Cilipi to visit the Konavle County Museum, which present the women and men’s national dress of Konavle from various periods, textile handcrafts such as jewellery, musical instruments, artistic paintings, photographs and various items. Besides the ethnographic collection, the Konavle Heritage Museum also exhibits artefacts of the Cavtat Embroidery Association, whose collection has exceptional value with embroidery specimens from Croatia and neighbouring countries, something for which the area is famous.

Afterwards, we head to village of Poljice and Glavic House, an original house some 400 years old and. Registered as cultural monument on the national heritage list, 150 years ago up to 36 members of the family lived in this rural complex. The agricultural traditions of the property continue today and upon arrival, we’ll enjoy a presentation of olive oil making including a welcome drink, tasting and local snacks.

Our final stop in Konvale County is to visit Mlinica Ðivanovici (the Old Mill). In the shade of the Ljuta River, in Ðivanovic we find a unique spot in spectacular scenery. During a short walking tour you will visit the ancient mills, built during the time of the famous Dubrovnik Republic, which are still in use today. You can see the production of flour and the stamping-mill where the cloth for the local folk costumes was made. The unspoiled nature and the crystal clear water of the Ljuta River will make your memory long-lasting.

Afterwards, we return back to Dubrovnik for our final meal together to round off our fantastic Croatian adventure.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Dubrovnik  

DAY 13 - Goodbye Croatia

After breakfast, its time to bid farewell to Croatia. You will be transferred to Dubrovnik Airport for your flight home. 

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • ATOL Protection
  • Economy flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Zagreb Airport [ZAG] on Day 1 and returning from Dubrovnik Airport [DBV] to London Heathrow Airport [LHR] on Day 13
  • Meet & Greet at the airport on arrival
  • Transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hotel Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • 7 nights/ 8 days one-way cruise from Zadar to Dubrovnik on Premier Class Vessel, based on lower deck cabin
      • Supplements apply for upper deck cabins - please enquire.
    • Room service every day, changing of the towels and bed linen twice per week
    • Breakfast & Lunch each day
    • Welcome Reception & Captain's Farewell Dinner
    • English speaking cruise manager
    • Complimentary onboard WIFI
    • Mandatory Port Taxes
    • Unlimited filter coffee, tea, water onboard
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Tour Director from The Big Journey Company as well as the local tour guide (subject to minimum group size being reached)

What's not included

  • Airport transfers outside of tour dates
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Visas, travel insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2 - 3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90-0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable. Balance payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor for advice on vaccinations and innoculations before travel.
  • A valid passport, with an expiration date longer than 6 months after the date of return, is required of all passengers.
  • The boat may moor side-to-side with others in port and it may be necessary to cross ships to get to the shore, therefore, the cruise is not recommended for passengers in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. 
  • In the event of adverse weather conditions, the captain can choose to alter the itinerary for the comfort and safety of the passengers.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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