Discover southern Dalmatia's most beautiful cities, town and landscapes with this eight-day island-hopping cruise aboard the MB Mali Ante or the MB Otac Nikola. Every morning brings a new destination, whether it’s a historic town, a verdant forest, a scenic lake or a picturesque harbour. Escape to secluded beaches and wander through remote pine-clad parks, swim in crystalline waters or soak in the sun’s rays on the deck – every activity is fun, entertaining and enthralling.
Korcula: The historic stone tower in which medieval traveller and chronicler Marco Polo is said to have been born in is now a museum dedicated to his life
Dubrovnik: Savour the city like a local by trying specialities such as sugar-coated almonds and arancini, which are sweetened strips of orange peel
Jelsa: Take home the scents of Hvar in the form of dried lavender bags and lavender oil for your chests of drawers and wardrobes
A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Iva Decovski for rates and conditions
Dubrovnik: Protected by magnificent medieval walls, the atmospheric capital of the historic Republic of Ragusa is a treasure trove of palaces and churches
Mljet: The western half of this paradisiacal pine-clad island is a natural park famed for a lake with an islet, which is home to a well-preserved former monastery
Hvar: Historic Hvar town boasts an imposing hilltop castle and a wealth of Venetian churches and palaces clustered around a lively harbour
Brac: Home to the stunning Golden Horn beach, which nestles at the foot of the highest peak in any of the Adriatic islands
Makarska: This vibrant spot in the Dalmatian Riviera is crammed with medieval and baroque architecture
Korcula: Locals claim that Marco Polo began his life’s journey in this tiny town, which covers a peninsula in the northeast of the island of the same name
Peljesac: A sun-drenched peninsula that is renowned for its robust wines and rugged landscapes
The adventure begins in Dubrovnik, the ever-resplendent ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, where you will be collected and transferred to your boat. Enjoy a traditional Croatian welcome from the captain and crew before sitting for dinner (or cold platter if a late arrival) and getting a good night’s sleep because seven days of sheer bliss await.
After breakfast on board, explore historic Dubrovnik, which for centuries was the capital of the prosperous maritime Republic of Ragusa. Surrounded by ramparts and fortresses, the immaculately preserved Old Town is a treasure trove of architectural and cultural masterpieces. Landmarks such as the Franciscan Monastery, which features one of the oldest continuously functioning pharmacies in Europe, and the Rector’s Palace as well as many other sights that will make you feel you have travelled back through the ages. Contemplate the exterior of the 16th century Sponza Palace and St Blaise’s Church, and admire local landmarks such as the Orlando statue and Onuphrius’ Fountain. See the beautiful baroque Cathedral of the Assumption and the treasury as you immerse yourself in the history of this spellbinding medieval city. There is an optional transfer and guide service for Dubrovnik or an optional tour to the nearby village of Čilipi, where locals perform regional songs and dances while dressed in traditional outfits of dark skirts or trousers with crispy white shirts, red belts embroidered in gold silk, bright red leather shoes and matching red caps. Lunch on board the ship followed by free time.
Sail out into the open sea after breakfast and feel the gentle Adriatic breeze wash over you as the boat cruises to magical Mljet. This remote, pine-clad island is steeped in legend and radiates natural, unspoiled beauty. Ancient myths claimed that both Odysseus and St Paul were shipwrecked here, with the former seduced by a nymph daughter of Poseidon and setting up home with her in a cave. In medieval times, the island became a feudal fiefdom of the Benedictine monks, who for centuries ruled it and its inhabitants from a monastery on St Mary’s Isle, which is in one of the two scenic salt-water lakes in the island. The western half of Mljet is a national park and it is in an inlet here that the tiny harbour of Pomena is to be found. Dock here and explore the surrounding area, with secluded beaches washed by crystalline waters close at hand and the lakes just a short stroll away through a deep pine forest while a hike along hidden tracks up to the hills affords stunning views over the island. An optional barbecue dinner is served on board.
The odyssey continues with a morning in the open sea, cruising between Pelješac and Korčula, and by Sućuraj before arriving at the port of Jelsa on the island of Hvar. The harbour could not be more picturesque, located deep inside a beautiful inlet and flanked by a waterfront of historic stone merchants' houses and warehouses. Scout the old town at your own pace, checking out places such as St Ivan’s Square, the Church of St Mihovi and the Croatian Renaissance Pjaca Square. After lunch on board, an optional guided tour of Jelsa is available and it includes admission to the historic Church St Fabian and Sebastian.
Today features visits to two locations: Brač Island in the morning and Makarska on the mainland in the afternoon. Depart Jelsa and sail across the Hvar Channel towards the harbour of Bol in Brač. The port is near the famous white pebble beach of Zlatni Rat, which means Golden Horn. It changes shape and position depending on the winds, and is rightly considered the most beautiful strand in the Adriatic – the scene could not be more dreamlike, with the beach bordered by a pine grove and nestling at the foot of the 780-metre-high Vidova Gora, the highest peak in any of the Adriatic islands. It’s well worth a visit and bathing in the crystal-clear waters is an opportunity not to be missed. Return to the ship to continue westwards towards the mainland, docking in Makarska, a former Venetian stronghold that hugs a sheltered bay. In the afternoon, a trip to Split will be organized for those interested. After the one-hour bus ride from Makarska to Split, enjoy some time visiting the city, returning to Makarska in the evening
Enjoy breakfast at Makarska before sailing east towards the Pelješac peninsula, which juts out of Dalmatia so much that it could be mistaken for an island, and onward to Korčula, an island just a few kilometres off the peninsula. Korčula old town covers a small peninsula, which is barely 200 metres wide by 200 metres long. Local legend has it that Marco Polo, the great merchant traveller and chronicler of the medieval Orient, was born here and the rustic tower-house believed to have been his birthplace and home is now a museum dedicated to his life and achievements. An optional guided tour of Korčula is available in the afternoon.
Follow in Marco Polo’s footsteps and sail out of Korčula for adventures new, heading towards the 65km-long Pelješac peninsula, which is renowned for the sun-drenched karst slopes that produce the best red wines in Croatia: Postup and Dingac, with a stop at Trstenik. Further down the Mljet Strait, we will come to the Elaphiti archipelago, a group of 14 islands and islets. Lunch in on board and there will be swimming breaks in the crystalline waters. In the late afternoon, transfer to the port of Slano.
After breakfast, morning departure from Slano for all clients with morning flights. The ship then sets sail from Slano to the mighty city walls of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, passing by the magical island of Lokrum to the Port of Gruz in for other individual departures. Have a pleasant journey!