Admire the diverse scenery and experience the vibrant cultural heritage of Croatia, a trove of historic cities, pristine parkland and miles of sun-drenched Adriatic coastline. Begin your journey by exploring Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. Wander the historic Upper Town and see the detailed art nouveau architecture that is a legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Delight in the crystal blue lakes, cascading waterfalls and lush forests of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Discover the Greek and Roman roots of Trogir, a beautiful seaside town, and cruise to Split, another picturesque city by the sea and home of Diocletian’s Palace, the pre-eminent Roman monument on this coast. Visit the island of Hvar, delve into the rich local culture and explore the island’s wine country. Conclude your journey in Dubrovnik, and marvel at the Gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture tucked inside the medieval city wall. This 10-night program includes accommodations at boutique and deluxe hotels, all excursions and an extensive meal program with wine at dinner.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this cruise!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at the top of the page!Itinerary
September 15 and 16 — U.S. to Zagreb, Croatia
Depart the U.S. for your overnight flight to Zagreb, Croatia. Upon arrival, transfer to the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
. Your Travel Director will be with you throughout your journey to handle all program logistics and will be available daily to assist with sightseeing arrangements, dinner reservations, shopping suggestions and any other assistance you may require.
This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception.September 17 — Zagreb
Gain a thorough understanding of recent events that have shaped the stable, independent Croatia of today. Tucked between the sparkling Sava River and the forested slopes of Mount Medvednica, the city of Zagreb awaits you. Stroll the narrow, winding streets and admire the city’s rich array of Austro-Hungarian architecture. At the heart of Zagreb’s beautifully preserved Upper Town
, visit iconic St. Mark’s Church
. Originally erected in the 13th century, its brilliant tile mosaic roof depicts the Croatian, Dalmatian, and Slavic coats of arms as well as those representing Zagreb. (B)September 18 — Zagreb
Enjoy a refreshing escape to one of Croatia’s most spectacular natural wonders. In a vision of unsurpassed beauty, 16 crystal lakes
are laced together by a series of waterfalls and cascades. They shimmer in vibrant, constantly changing colors, a result of the stark terrain. Wander trails in the fragrant forest of beech and pine, which is also home to many rare, endemic species.
Take a scenic drive to Trogir. Check in to the Hotel Trogir Palace
. (B,L,D)September 19 — Trogir
Discover the significant role Croatia’s Adriatic coastline has played throughout centuries of nautical history due to its strategic location and abundant bays, inlets and coves. The city of Trogir is a microcosm of Croatian culture that flourished along the coast despite centuries of foreign rule. Step back in time as you stroll its maze of medieval streets. Pause to view the Cathedral of St. Lawrence
’s striking portal, carved by Croatian master Radovan. Admire the intricate triforium adorning Cipiko Palace
. Visit Kamerlengo Fortress
, and climb St. Mark’s Tower
for gorgeous views. Explore the ancient monastery within the Church of St. Nicholas and the Town Hall
Return to Trogir in the afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day is at leisure.(B,D)September 20 — Split, Trogir
Journey to the ancient harbor of Split and delight in the city’s abundant historical riches. Visit the incredible living ruin of Diocletian’s Palace
, which has been continuously inhabited since the Roman emperor abdicated his throne in A.D. 305. See the cellars, temple ruins, peristyle, the elaborate Cathedral of St. Domnius and the Golden Gate
. Roaming this complex’s tangle of passageways, courtyards and underground chambers is one of Croatia’s most enchanting experiences. Visit a local fish market to select your lunch, which will be prepared for you at a nearby restaurant. (B,L,D)September 21 — Hvar
Silver sunlight dances upon the turquoise waters of the Adriatic as you enjoy a ferry ride to the island of Hvar. Check in to the Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel
. Discover the great treasures lying within the 13th-century walls of Hvar’s Old Town
, including richly ornamented Gothic palaces, picturesque squares and marble streets. Visit the Renaissance-era Cathedral of St. Stephen
. Explore the Arsenal, where imposing war galleons were once repaired and refitted. Converted into a public theater in 1612, part of the Arsenal is still in use today. (B)September 22 — Hvar
Educational Focus: Epicurean Croatia. Learn about traditional Croatian wines and regional dishes which reflect the diverse cultures that have influenced the country over the course of its history.
Admire the architecture in the historic city of Stari Grad and other towns dating from the 14th,
15th and 16th centuries en route to Hvar’s wine country
. Croatia’s winemaking traditions date back more than two millennia, when Greek settlers planted the first vineyards along the Dalmatian coast. Today, Hvar wines are attracting international attention. Grown near craggy limestone bluffs, several local grape varieties have proven themselves superbly suited to the rugged environs. Participate in a wine tasting at a local winery. Then enjoy a traditional dinner of meat and potatoes roasted on hot coals under a peka
, an iron bell. (B,D)September 23 — Dubrovnik
Cruise back to the mainland and take a scenic drive to Dubrovnik, where you will check in to the Grand Villa Argentina
. (B,D)September 24 — Dubrovnik
This beautiful city was relentlessly shelled during Croatia’s Homeland War in the early 1990s, but the medieval churches, graceful fountains and squares have been restored to their former glory. Admire the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery’s Romanesque cloister
, and visit its small apothecary, the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. Explore medieval Sponza Palace, which houses priceless ancient manuscripts. Admire the loggia and ornamentation of the Rector’s Palace
. Visit the baroque cathedral.
The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city on your own. (B)September 25 — Dubrovnik
Spend the day exploring Dubrovnik’s trove of architectural, cultural and artistic gems. Discover for yourself what writers throughout time have struggled to convey about this city’s inimitable allure.
This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception. (B)September 26 — Dubrovnik, Vienna, Austria
This morning, transfer to the Dubrovnik airport for the flight to Vienna, Austria, where you’ll overnight at a deluxe hotel. (B)September 27 — Vienna, US
Board the return flight to your gateway city. (B)
NOTE: Itinerary sequence and/or scheduled events may change. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.