Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Croatia Cruises

Croatia Cruises

Sail the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, visiting historic walled cities, picturesque towns and yacht-filled harbours lined with traditional bars and cafes.

Voyage along the Croatia coast on our range of sailing, luxury or casual gulet cruises from amazing Venice, historic Dubrovnik or one of the ports on the Adriatic coastline from Italy to Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

About Croatia Cruises

Dubrovnik is 'the 'pearl of the Adriatic'. Enter the Pile Gate and walk the intricate web of streets and squares, down the marble-paved Stradon and around the 10th century stone city walls.

Split developed around the Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace, and is a fascinating and typical Mediterranean city filled with markets, shops and cafes.

Cruise Kotor Bay past islands and under high mountains to medieval Kotor in Montenegro. This old walled town has ancient squares and alleys with attractive buildings, including the 9th century St Tryphon's Cathedral.

Medieval Korcula, one of Croatia's thousand islands and reputed birthplace of Marco Polo, has rich architecture, natural beauty, and a relaxed pace of life.

Koper's old Venetian quarter surrounds Tito Square and the largest cathedral in Slovenia. Rovinj has narrow, cobbled streets, small squares, and Venetian palaces.

Pula was an ancient Roman city and is dominated by the large well-preserved Roman amphitheatre. The city of Sibenik is one of the oldest in Croatia. Perhaps visit nearby Krka Falls in the National Park. Trogir is a beautiful walled and gated town with an elegant palm-lined seafront and small, inviting squares and alleys.

Mountains and valleys scattered with pine, carob and citrus trees are the main feature of the unspoilt landscape on Vis island. Hvar is the longest and perhaps the most beautiful Croatian island, with a palm-fringed harbour, good bathing beaches and interesting sites.

Ploce has an attractive harbour and within reach is Mostar, the historic city in Bosnia-Hercogovina with its rebuilt replica of the 500 year-old bridge demolished in the recent war. Mljet is a lush island well known for its wine, olives and goats cheese, and for its great natural beauty and sandy beaches.

The Albanian city of Durres has the largest Roman amphitheatre in the Balkans and the former King Zog’s Villa Durres. There are excursions to Albania’s capital Tirana, once forbidden to westerners.

Split, Croatia Trogir Rovinj

Highlights of Croatia

Dubrovnik

The red-roofed city of Dubrovnik can be admired from the walkway along its 10th century walls. Below, the elegant, marble-paved Stradun leads to colourful caf's, St Blaise's church, Sponza Palace and the cloistered Franciscan Monastery housing a pharmacy which has been in use since 1316.

Dubrovnik (Croatia)

Hvar

Hvar is a picturesque island on the Dalmatian Riviera, with good bathing beaches and a harbour backed by a hillside of terracotta-tiled houses. There are views of the sea and surrounding islets from the Fortica fortress, and the Franciscan monastery houses a museum exhibiting 16th-century paintings. Also in the town is the Cathedral of St Stephan, the unfinished Gothic palace of Hekrotivic, and a palm-fringed waterfront with seafood restaurants.

Hvar (Croatia)

Koper

Koper has a well-preserved and compact medieval centre with quaint narrow streets, and is Slovenia's main port. The symbol of the city is the lovely Praetorian Palace, which is situated in the picturesque main square. One of Koper's oldest buildings is the 12th-century church of Carmine Rotunda which contains a series of 14th-century frescoes. Across the bay is the resort of Ankaran and its sandy beaches.

Korcula

Korcula is a forested island with a charming old walled town of Venetian and Renaissance buildings. Enter through one of the city gates to see delightful squares and narrow alleys, which lead to the house where Marco Polo is said to have been born and the Cathedral of St Mark. Caf's along the city walls look out across the blue Adriatic

Korcula (Croatia)

Mljet

Mljet is a lush island well known for its wine, olives and goats cheese, and for its great natural beauty. Much of the island is covered by forests, the northwestern half forming Mljet National Park, noted for its spectacular saltwater lakes. The sea round the island is rich in fish and marine life.

Mljet (Croatia)

Opatija

The town of Opatija was one of the earliest resorts on the Adriatic coast. It is backed by Ucka Mountain and woodland and has many graceful villas and a seaside promenade with a well-known statue, the 'Maiden with the Seagull'. The Park of St Jakov has 159 plant species including exotic examples from the Far east, South America and Australia, and a 15th-century church of the same name.

Opatija (Croatia)

Piran

Part of the Venetian empire for five centuries until the late 18th centruy, Piran in Slovenia feels like an Italian coastal town. Its old town retains the clustered medieval structure of narrow winding streets and houses huddled close together, with numerous squares and churches surrounded by the city wall. Tartini Square in the centre of Piran is named after the famous violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, who made the town world-famous. Overlooking the town and the sea is the dramatically situated St George Cathedral and its spectacular bell tower with views over the Croatian and Italian coasts.

Piran (Slovenia)

Pula

Pula is at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula in the north of Croatia, across the Adriatic Sea from Venice. It dates back to Roman times, with its well-preserved ampitheatre built as the venue for gladiator fights at the same time as Rome`s Colosseum in the 1st century AD, and other Roman sights including the Forum and Triumphal Arch. The ampitheatre is still used for summer concerts and festivals.Pula has major fortifications from its time as the major naval port of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Nowadays, Pula is a busy commercial city with a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. The city is bordered by national parks remarkable for their astounding unspoilt natural beauty.

Pula (Croatia)

Rijeka

Rijeka is a busy port at the northern tip of the Croatian coast, almost untouched by tourism. The main shopping street is the Corso, where there are cafes and fountains. The oldest structure in Rijeka is a stone archway which was once the entrance to a Roman centre of command, and also of interest is the Maritime and Historical Museum. It is housed in a former palace and exhibits nautical, Roman and Greek archaeological finds.

Rijeka (Croatia)

Rovinj

The first view of Rovinj from the sea is the much-photographed Riva waterfront and its brightly-painted houses, and the bell-tower of Saint Eufemia's Church which can be climbed for wonderful views of the town and the picturesque islands along the coast. Narrow cobbled streets lead up to the old town from the harbour, where three ancient defensive gates survive. Red Island and its beaches can be reached in 15 minutes by boat from Rovinj.

Rovinj (Croatia)

Sibenik

Sibenik is one of Croatia`s oldest cities, where the sights include the City Square, the Dukes and Bishop's Palaces and a Venetian Loggia, reached via the steep winding alleys of the Old Town. The highlight of a visit to Sibenik is the World Heritage-listed Renaissance cathedral of St James, built in 1434 and situated below the town's fortress walls. The city region of Dolac is peppered with lively cafes and restaurants serving local specialities.

Sibenik (Croatia)

Split

The World Heritage Site of Split is a bustling city and the second largest in Croatia. It gradually developed around the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, built more than 1700 years ago and incorporating columns and sphinxes from Egypt. Remarkably it still thrives today, housing restaurants, shops and markets. Within the palace is the Peristile, a colonnaded square, and the cathedral. Split's Archaeological Museum exhibits Roman artefacts including coins, and reliefs of mythical figures.

Split (Croatia)

Triluke Bay

This small cove on Korcula Island has three peaceful beaches backed by pine forests and is used as a stop for swimming and relaxing, perhaps with visits to some of the surrounding villages.

Trogir

Trogir is a historic town on the Croatian coast close to Split. It dates from the 3rd century BC and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997. Trogir is a walled and gated town with an elegant palm-lined seafront and small, inviting squares and alleys. Its medieval centre includes a preserved castle and tower and many public buildings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The church of St Lawrence is noted for its west portal.

Trogir (Croatia)

Venice (Italy)

The glorious buildings along the Grand Canal are a breathtaking sight - the ornate fa'ades of 15th century Palazzo Dario and Ca' d'Oro, the Rialto and St Mark's Square and Basilica. Venice is renowned for its Murano glass and for its exclusive shops. Upmarket boutiques run from Piazza San Marco to the Accademia Bridge and more unusual wares are available in Frezzeria.

Venice

Zadar

Once a dominant city on the Adriatic coast, picturesque Zadar is a historical treasure with the remains of a Roman Forum, the Church of St. Donat, the Romanesque Cathedral of St Anastasia, the Church of St Mary, and the Benedictine Convent. The city owns a permanent collection of church art known as 'The Gold and Silver of Zadar'. It has some good beaches, restaurants and taverns, serving up the local Maraskino liqueur.

Zadar (Croatia)

Customer Reviews

We took a 7-night cruise from Dubrovnik in August on Variety Cruises classic small ship, Callisto.

With over 1200 idyllic islands to explore, its impossible to tire of the beautiful Dalmatian coast of Croatia and Montenegro. Despite having already been to this area several times before, there were still many new ports to discover on this cruise to some of the highlights and lesser-known gems of Croatia.

To my mind, the only way to explore this part of the world is island-hopping on a small ship. Able to reach the smaller, less-visited ports, you can visit a different island every day and see the many sides of Croatia in comfort and style.

We embarked in Dubrovnik, and would highly recommend a pre-cruise stay here if you havent already visited this fabulous marble city. We had already spent some time here on a previous trip, so contented ourselves with a walk around the city walls to take in the amazing views, and lunch in a traditional restaurant tucked away down a side street. Its always best to venture off the main Stradun in Dubrovnik to find somewhere to eat - less crowded, better food and cheaper prices!

Our ship, Callisto, was waiting for us at Gruz Harbour (a short journey from the old town of Dubrovnik). We were welcomed on board in the usual friendly Variety Cruises way and felt immediately at home. Carrying just 34 passengers, Callisto is a traditional style yacht with teak decks and brass fittings, with plenty of seating outside and in the air-conditioned lounge. Sunny the bar man recommended a chilled local wine for us and we relaxed out on deck in the knowledge that we would be very well looked after for the next week.

Our first port of call was Split, a thriving port city with its impressive Roman Diocletians Palace. Although its a lively place with ferries toing and froing to nearby islands, head into the old city and enjoy the quieter streets where you can happen upon Roman ruins quite by chance. We spent time in the enormous market, selling everything from tourist souvenirs to bright stacks of fruit and vegetables and freshly-caught fish. After sailing overnight, we arrived at the tiny island of Rab in the morning. Even in August, the scenic walled town had a tranquil, relaxed feel with very few tourists. We set off to explore after breakfast and strolled along the waterfront before heading up into a maze of streets, leading to open squares lined with shops and bars, and the occasional well-tended garden, complete with statues. Above the town was a fragrant pine forest, which stretched down the hill to the sea and a perfect swimming spot with crystal-clear waters.

Next day we cruised through a scenic fjord into Sibenik, gateway to the Krka National Park, where we spent the day on an excursion from the ship. The magnificent waterfalls are the main attraction, but the area is also a nature-lovers paradise, with tours available to point out all the natural wonders of this beautiful National Park. Remember to take your swimming costume as unlike other Parks in Croatia, you can actually swim here, an unforgettable experience.

We had been to the island of Hvar before and were keen to see if it had changed since our last visit, six years ago. Whilst it was noticeably busier around the harbour, the island still has a real charm. Its a pleasure to explore the quaint back streets and pick up some of the islands famous lavender, before people-watching from one of the many bars in the main square. We were looking forward to returning to Korcula, with fond memories of our previous visits. We were not disappointed; this exquisite island is still definitely one of my favourite places in Croatia. Incredibly scenic, with meandering cobbled streets overlooking the sparkling sea, there are plenty of places to stop and take in the view, sample some of the local delicacies, and shop for upmarket souvenirs. Korculan wine is well-regarded and the island is perfect for wine-tasting excursions.

Last but in no way least, we cruised into Kotor Bay in Montenegro. This walled town nestled at the end of a picturesque fjord is another favourite of ours, and yet another highlight of this wonderful cruise. Quirky and characterful, Kotor is a popular destination, but with so many enchanting side-streets and hidden squares, its always possible to find a quiet place to relax. On this, our third visit, we were pleased not only to once again find our favourite bar, but also to stumble upon previously undiscovered treasures.

Our cruise experience was exceptional, due in part to the places we were able to visit on this lovely small ship. The other major factor in our enjoyment was the ship itself. The crew on board were friendly, unfailingly helpful, efficient and made sure everything ran like clockwork. Special praise to hotel manager Spiros who oversaw everything like a hawk, and our barman Sunny, who went out of his way to make our cruise special.

The food was simply amongst the best I have ever experienced on a ship - and thats no faint praise! The breakfast buffets were unbelievably tempting; I enjoyed a different breakfast every day, from yogurt and fresh fruit to golden pastries and a full cooked breakfast. Lunch was a tantalising choice of tasty salads and several hot options, whilst dinner was truly exceptional, with a choice of courses which were universally appreciated. There was a real Mediterranean flavour to the food, enhanced by the fact we ate most of our meals al fresco, enjoying the wonderful views.

Finally, the other joy of small ship cruising is getting to know your fellow guests. We were lucky enough to cruise with a group of very interesting and friendly guests from all over the world, who made our holiday an even greater pleasure.

Thank you to Variety Cruises and Croatia for delivering such a perfect blend - and even the weather was wonderful too!

The MV Corona is an immaculately maintained small cruise ship, with a fabulous captain and crew. The food we were served throughout the week was outstanding, we all marvelled at how the chef managed to produce such dishes from such a small kitchen. The Captain took decisions to change our schedule to avoid any bad weather/heavy seas, without any loss to the overall itinerary. Our Cruise Manager, Martina was always available to help with small or large things that made the trip outstanding. The cabins and en-suite facilities are better than any we have used on larger cruise ships. The small number of passengers - max 30 - make it very easy to meet and enjoy yourself with fellow travellers and also manage the on-shore excursions that were included in the cruise. We were able to dock at wonderful small harbours at the overnight island stops, as well as enter small secluded bays for our regular swim sessions off the back of the boat. All but one of the guided tours on this cruise were well managed by local guides, but overall they were very good. The way the cruise is run providing a 3 course lunch on board daily, then allows you free time during the evening at each new destination to which you have already been introduced, to spend time with new friends, and take your own decisions about needing an evening meal, a snack of just a drink at a local bistro round the harbour, or visit something specific seen on the earlier guided tour. Being a May cruise the passengers were almost all retirees with an age span of about 20+ years, and an eclectic mix of backgrounds, including doctor, engineer, corporate manager, military, business owner and architect. The conversations were far ranging and always entertaining whenever we got together on board or on shore.

We took cruise only as we wanted to spend an additional few days in Dubrovnik, and we would certainly recommend doing it this way. Croatia is delightful, and one of the cleanest countries we have ever visited, all public facilities are immaculate, locals everywhere we visited wanted to be helpful, and almost all speak English. The coast line from Venice (Italy) in the north, down to just south of Dubrovnik, is magnificent, with beautiful green/blue clear sea water everywhere and numerous small islands that are pristine, with many having either UNESCO World Heritage, or National protection.

Note: We had booked our own flights using EasyJet from Bristol. Unfortunately our flight to Dubrovnik got delayed by 3 hours courtesy of French Air Traffic Controllers striking. We didnt arrive until after 8.00pm instead of being on board MV Corona by 5.00pm. Riviera Travel get full marks for helping us - I called their emergency number from the aircraft (Sunday 13th) and Tracey very quickly put me in direct contact with Martina, our Cruise Manager on the ship, that allowed us to easily manage the delay without causing any issues. Despite being very late, and all the other passengers had eaten 2 hours earlier, the chef provided us our 3 course hot meal - first class service from everyone.

We had the most wonderful cruise on a boat that was only 3 weeks old!! It was immaculate, the crew were amazing and our host/tour guide was incredible! She was 70 years of age and had lost her Husband, Son Mother during the last Yugoslavian war. What a strong lady and so knowledgeable about her country.

The accommodation on board was exceptional with hotel quality bed linen and the shower room was as good as you would find in a 4-star hotel.

All in all, we absolutely loved the cruise and the islands and will definitely recommend our family and friends to go with Blue Water Holidays.

The only snag was at Split harbour when we arrived in our coach - it was a bit of a shambles trying to find out which person was booked on which boat, but we all got there in the end. I know you said it was a new boat, but we didnt realise that it wasnt the MV Futura - it was in fact the Avongard - FANTASTIC!!

The captain owned the boat and he is so proud of it and his crew kept it spotless thoughout our journey.

Although our friends could not come with, we met the most amazing people and everybody got on really well.

The food on board was very good and the chef took great pride in his presentation. We even had a full English breakfast in the morning and cold meats, fruit etc. for those who didnt want a hot meal. There was even hot tea/coffee on tap throughout the day.

We didnt realise that all the excursions were included in the price and we had FREE bottles of water throughout. We even had entertainment on board on the last night!

Well done to everyone concerned!!

Total Reviews: 27 Read More Reviews...