THERE is no doubt the best and easiest way to explore the invitingly indented coastline of Croatia is on a cruise, be it a small local vessel, or a larger international one.
The turquoise waters of the Adriatic were once the sole domain of traditional gulets, which offer an intimate way to delve into the history and culture of the region while exploring remote villages and secluded, usually pebble beaches.
As australiancruising news.com notes that has all changed as Croatia – the must-see country in the Adriatic – has become a big drawcard as a laid back sun-kissed summer destination.
Not surprisingly, international cruise lines have noted the increased demand and quickly added the Adriatic to their ever-expanding itineraries.
Mega cruise ships, with thousands of passengers on board, are not sailing there as port facilities are unsuitable, but smaller vessels with 500-plus passengers are already on their way.
Next month dozens of ships will be cruising in Adriatic waters, and there will be no easing of numbers through the extremely busy northern summer months.
Surprisingly, some of the cruise ships will only make a port call to Croatia’s show-stopping walled city of Dubrovnik which is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Others will also take in the Croatia cities of Zadar and Split.
In search of authenticity, Seabourn Odyssey, will sail into Croatia’s harbour of Promosten, and tender passengers into the medieval town which has one of the most picturesque settings on the Adriatic coastline, seabourn.com
Most cruise ships sail along the Adriatic coastline from Venice (Italy) and often include the Aegean’s Greek islands on their itineraries. Turkey was also featured, but, sadly, unrest there has resulted in many cruise lines taking that country’s ports off their itineraries.
To really explore Croatia, a small gulet remains the best option, and it is worth checking out organised gulet cruises run by the award-winning UK-based Peter Sommer Travels, petersommer.com/croatia