They sit shimmering in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia, mostly unknown to American tourists. Island hopping around these undiscovered gems onboard a small ship cruise is discovering paradise, over and over again. Bustling marinas, medieval town squares, sapphire, and turquoise beaches, boutique hotels, al fresco dining, and chic bars are all part of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast and islands.
I chose a water journey around the islands, but make no mistake…this was no ordinary cruise. My ship of choice was the Diontis of the Katarina Line, a traditionally-styled but modern boat with two-masts, holding a mere 25 passengers and 7 crew members. It was intimate, and it was a blast!
Our adventure actually began on land, with a day in Dubrovnik. This stunning, medieval city overlooking the azure of the Adriatic has captured the imaginations of many, including the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones” which films its King’s Landing scenes here. It’s easy to see why this city has mesmerized the masses – it’s nothing short of magical. Ancient castles, red-roofed buildings, and narrow cobblestone streets all run down to the bluest sea imaginable. A better place to kick off the cruise is not to be found.
Setting Sail for the Dalmatian Islands
Our boat set sail the next morning just as the passengers were finishing up our buffet breakfast made by our own private cook and eaten on the shaded, open-air deck. With such a small group, it was easy to chat over coffee and new friendships began to take hold. Unlike “regular” cruises which travel during the night, the closeness of the islands lends to a short morning cruise time. This also has the advantage of allowing travelers to spend a good part of the evenings on the islands for dining and entertainment.
We were about to be introduced to four delightful islands…
Read about the stunningly beautiful Dalmatian Islands in the Travelers Way.