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Sail the spectacular coast of Croatia
Croatia's long, unspoilt coastline has over a thousand beautiful islands to explore and the best way to see them - as well as escape the crowds - is on a private yacht. On this eight-day voyage you will set sail on one of two stylish motorised cruisers, each equipped with an on-board restaurant, sun-deck, spacious en-suite cabins and space for just 38-40 passengers. The two yachts are exclusively reserved for the Times Expert Traveller so you will enjoy meeting like-minded readers on board, relaxing with no formal dining imposed and exploring the best of Croatia's coastline on a small ship.
Our two exclusive itineraries include the atmospheric medieval walled cities of Dubrovnik and Split, both home to impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites, the buzzing resort of Hvar, on Croatia's sunniest island and Korcula, an island rich in olive groves and vineyards. Plus two wonderful excursions during each sailing are already included.
Whether you choose to cruise on the MS Providenca or the MS Adriatic Princess, you'll enjoy all the facilities of a boutique yacht. Each contains an air-conditioned restaurant where breakfast and lunch is included (leaving you free to explore local restaurants at night), a shaded lounge area, sun loungers and no more than 20 spacious cabins.
Croatia has a fascinating past which includes periods of rule by the Romans, the Republic of Venice, and the Austrian Empire who, between them, have left behind impressive examples of Byzantine and Baroque architecture. You'll also pass beautiful terracotta-roofed villages, lush pine forests, and pretty ports. A boat trip along the Cetina River from Omis is included in both itineraries, as well as a Dalmatian wine tasting excursion on the MS Providenca and a guided tour of Vis Island on the MS Adriatic Princess.
In summer 2018, Times readers loved this Expert Traveller offer so much it sold out on both dates, which is why we've secured two new sailings for 2019.
"In India, it takes years of meditation to reach a sublime
state of bliss. In Croatia, you can do it in a week."
James Stewart - travel writer, The Sunday Times
Reasons to book
The best time to travel
An exclusive ship
- Return flights from London Gatwick plus overseas transfers and baggage allowance
- A seven-night half-board cruise on MS Adriatic Princess or MS Providenca
- Two included excursions
- Free wi-fi on board
- A cruise manager and Prestige Holidays tour manager throughout
- Optional excursions are NOT included; please contact Prestige Holidays for more information
Holidays are operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Prestige Holidays, a company wholly independent of News UK. Prestige Holidays: 1 High Street, Ringwood. BH24 1JA. ABTA V2715, ATOL 2509.
Day1Day 1Dubrovnik, Croatia
Today you will fly from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik. A transfer will be arranged from Dubrovnik Airport to Gruz harbour where you will embark your luxurious private vessel.
Dinner will be served on board this evening, with the opportunity to meet your captain, crew and fellow guests.
Day2Day 2Dubrovnik, Croatia
After breakfast, the pretty city of Dubrovnik is yours to explore, either independently or on an optional walking tour (extra cost). If you take the tour, our local expert will show you around this fascinating protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was for centuries a standalone Republic and the only power able to compete with the Venetians.
Your Day 2 itinerary on board MS Adriatic Princess
This afternoon the MS Adriatic Princess will depart for Slano, a fascinating small town which you can discover either independently or on an optional walking tour and winery visit.
Your Day 2 itinerary on board MS Providenca
The MS Providenca will depart for Korčula this afternoon. A stop will be made for a refreshing dip off the Elaphite Islands, and lunch will be served on-board. Korčula, a Venetian stronghold and the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo, makes for a compelling afternoon visit, with the opportunity to take an optional guided walking tour.
Day3Day 3Dubrovnik, Croatia
Your Day 3 itinerary on board MS Adriatic Princess
This morning the ship will sail to the island of Mljet, home of the beautiful forests and lakes of National Park Mljet. An optional excursion to the reserve will included a guided walk and a lake tour in a small boat, which will take you to an exquisite 12-century island monastery in spectacular surroundings.
This afternoon, the boat will continue to Korčula, with stops for wild swimming along the way. Arrival into Korčula in the afternoon is followed by an optional walking tour.
Your Day 3 itinerary on board MS Providenca
This morning, you'll enjoy breakfast with a view of the beautiful Korčula archipelago, followed by a scenic sail around the tips of Pelješac peninsula and Hvar Island - hopefully with a swimming stop too.
The ship continues onward to Pučišća, on the island of Brač, whose famous limestone adorns the likes of the White House in Washington DC and the Bundestag in Berlin. After docking at Pučišća, you can join an optional visit to a stonemasonry school nearby where you will learn all about Brač limestone, the local stonemasons, and the unconventional tools they use.
Afterwards you continue to Omiš, a picturesque Dalmatian town and harbour located at the mouth of the Cetina River. The area is beautiful, with vast mountain gorges and crystal-clear water, and you will explore it in a Cetina River boat trip - an included excursion, designed exclusively for this itinerary.
Day4Day 4Dubrovnik, Croatia
Your Day 4 itinerary on board MS Adriatic Princess
Hvar is your destination this morning, where you will find glorious beaches and crystal-clear waters. En route, the ship will stop to allow you to wild swim in the coves - an unforgettable experience, with this paradise setting all to yourself.
In Hvar, you will have the opportunity to join an optional guided tour, before departing this afternoon to Vis - an island famous for its sandy beaches and beautiful bays.
Your Day 4 itinerary on board MS Providenca
Today you will discover some of Croatia's inland treasures, on an excursion to the Krka River. You will be transported to the small town of Skradin, the guardian of the mouth of River Krka and the gateway to its National Park, which boasts seven beautiful waterfalls. The tour continues to Trogir, a little island bridged to the mainland, whose unique culture fuses both Greek and Roman heritage. The island is a UNESCO listed site, and its main attraction is the Cathedral of St. Lawrence - probably the finest example of sacral architecture in Croatia.
This afternoon, the ship will contuniue to Split - another UNESCO listed site. You can explore on your own or join an optional walking tour of the ancient sites.
Day5Day 5Dubrovnik, Croatia
Your Day 5 itinerary on board MS Adriatic Princess
After breakfast on board, you will join an included excursion to discover the island of Vis. The highlight of the tour is Šibenik, a town which successfully combines history and natural beauty, with a stop for swimming and relaxing on one of your local guide's favourite beaches. Dalmatian fried fish will be served as a snack, for a traditional taste of this glorious coastline.
This afternoon the ship will continue to Šibenik, where you will have the opportunity to take an optional city tour.
Your Day 5 itinerary on board MS Providenca
This morning, the island of Hvar awaits: the 'sunniest' island in Croatia and known for its lavender fields, potent red wines, and glitzy jet-set waterfronts. Here you can join an optional walking tour to learn more about the history of the town and the island.
The boat will then sail to the beautiful archipelago of Pakleni Otoci, where a swimming stop will be made. Later in the afternoon, the anchor will be dropped in Vela Luka, Korčula Island, where dinner will be served on-board in the company of the Captain.
Day6Day 6Dubrovnik, Croatia
Your Day 6 itinerary on board MS Adriatic Princess
After breakfast you will join an included excursion to Skradin and Trogir by coach. After travelling through the dramatic countryside to Skradin, you will have time to explore one of the most beautiful national parks in Croatia. The excursion will continue to Split, via Trogir - a small town and one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites. Except for its lush parks, the entire island is occupied by spectacular stone houses, palaces, churches, monasteries, towers, walls and more. You will have free time to visit Trogir's Cathedral of St. Lawrence, which is probably the finest example of sacral architecture in Croatia.
Finally we will be arriving into Split Old Town, where you can join an optional walking tour with a local guide. Because of its historical and architectural importance, the whole area is also a listed UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
Your Day 6 itinerary on board MS Providenca
After leaving Vela Luka, the Captain will choose the perfect bay to drop anchor for you to enjoy a refreshing morning dip in the crystalline Adriatic. The perfect start to your day.
The journey continues on to yet another island: Mljet. The national park on the island is the home of two saltwater lakes and beautiful forests, which are yours to discover independently or on an optional guided tour. This is a stunning spot to explore by bike, kayak, or on one of the many walking trails.
You will spend this evening in the small settlement of Slano on the mainland, whose spectacular waterfront has been a highlight of this coast for centuries.
Day7Day 7Dubrovnik, Croatia
Your Day 7 itinerary on board MS Adriatic Princess
Enjoy breakfast on-board this morning, with an early departure to Brač Island. Pučišća is nestled in a beautiful bay on the island of Brač, surrounded by the stone quarries that yield some of the whitest and best quality limestone in the world. Pillars of this snow-white stone decorate the façade of the White House and other landmarks all over the world. After docking at Pučišća, you can join an optional short visit to a stonemasonry school nearby where you will learn all about Brač limestone and the centuries-old tradition of stonemasonry.
This afternoon the ship will depart for Omiš - a small, pretty town built below steep mountains at the mouth of the River Cetina. Here you can join an included excursion on a small boat trip along the river, discovering the spectacular scenery.
Your Day 7 itinerary on board MS Providenca
The littler town of Ston is well-known for its preserved town walls, strong Dalmatian wine, ancient salt production and succulent oysters. Today's included excursion, the 'The Taste of Dalmatia' tour, highlights some of these treasures.
A swimming stop will be made off Lopud Island as the ship returns to Dubrovnik, our final port of call. This evening you will be free to explore Dubrovnik Old Town at leisure and enjoy the nighttime ambience of Dubrovnik.
Day8Day 8Dubrovnik, Croatia
After breakfast this morning you will bid farewell to the crew and captain, disembark, and transfer to Split airport for your return flight to London Gatwick.
Enjoy laid-back itineraries and top-notch facilities on this luxurious motor cruiser
The ship was fully refurbished in 2018 and displays a stylish, modern interior. With just 20 cabins located on three decks, the cruiser is ideally suited to explore 'off the beaten track' ports that big cruise ships are unable to reach. On-board there is no strict dress code, so kick off your shoes, relax, and enjoy the stunning scenery, at a gentle pace.
The casual theme continues with breakfasts and light lunches served buffet-style.
As well as a Cruise Manager and attentive crew on-board, you will be accompanied by a Prestige Holidays Tour Manager, who will be on hand to make your holiday completely care free.
MS Adriatic Princess
With a maximum of just 38 guests, this intimate cruise ship can venture to destinations that big cruise vessels can't
Your home from home for this Croatia cruise will be the Adriatic Princess, a classic style motorised cruiser commissioned in 2017. She is ideally suited for the Adriatic seas, and is small enough to venture far from the regular tourist trail - taking you to harbour towns, coves and islands that simply cannot be accessed by larger cruise ships. The Adriatic Princess has capacity for just 38 guests, based on twin occupancy, in 19 outside cabins.
With no strict dress code, kick off your shoes, relax on the sun deck or in the shaded lounge area, and enjoy the stunning scenery and the company of like-minded travellers.