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Dalmatian Islands Yacht Cruise with Dubrovnik & Montenegro - MS Mendula

11days from
£2,799*per person

Overview

11 Days - Yacht Cruises

Experience the romance and glamour of the Croatian coastline and islands on our twin-masted yacht, MS Mendula. Then head on shore to explore Dubrovnik and the charming region around Kotor Bay in neighbouring Montenegro. With just 30 guests on board,feel like a VIP as we anchor up in the most picturesque little ports along the Dalmatian coast. We’ll step ashore with ease to soak up the ambience of medieval towns unchanged in centuries and charming historic cities along the way. As we cruise through the Adriatic's glistening waters, we'll stop in secluded bays - your chance to swim off the back of the ship as if it were your very own - or simply lie back on the sun deck, switch off and take in the glorious coastal vistas. And then head onshore to spend three nights in Dubrovnik, a once-independent city-state with a distinctly unique feel. From here we'll hop over the border to Montenegro for a guided tour of Kotor Bay following the bay to explore three beautiful coastal towns. This holiday is ideal for travellers looking to explore the lesser visited but equally impressive coastal harbour towns of Croatia and Montenegro on a memorable voyage across the Adriatic and tour across the land. 

Itinerary

  • Arrival in Croatia  You’ll arrive in Croatia, where you will be met and transferred to Makarska harbour to board our ship, the magnificent, twin-masted MS Mendula. As you step on board, you’ll be warmly welcomed by the crew who’ll be on hand to help you settle in and familiarise yourself with this vessel.    Free time in Makarska  You’ll have the rest of the day to unpack and unwind (flight time permitting) – perhaps taking a stroll ashore before it’s time to enjoy dinner in the ship’s elegant restaurant. Tonight, chat with your fellow guests over a digestif from the bar as the sun goes down for your first night on board.
  • Free time in Bol  Today we’ll sail to Bol. The Dalmatian Coast is reputedly one of the most picturesque in the world and certainly one of the most dramatic; towering walls of limestone cliff slice the sapphire depths below, interspersed with ribbons of shingle beach, secret coves and idyllic bays. You’ll soon realise why this is one of the most relaxing ways to holiday as you sit back to watch the pine covered coast drifting by. As we arrive in Bol – a town on the Croatian island of Brač, the third largest island in the Adriatic – you’ll be welcomed by the view of a cluster of little fishing boats jostling in its picturesque harbour, fringed by characterful stone cottages. We’ll step ashore to explore the tangle of winding lanes that are unchanged by time, stopping to admire the blooms cascading from wrought-iron balconies. After you’ve worked up an appetite, lunch is served on board whilst you savour the views of the archipelago, before time for a refreshing swim off the ship.   Free time in Vis  Our stop later this afternoon is the nearby island of Vis. An Allied Forces base during World War II, the island was also used as a Yugoslavian naval base and closed to visitors until 1989. You can step ashore into its gorgeous harbour with a quaint jumble of stone houses nestling at the calm water’s edge. There’ll be time to wander at your own pace, soaking up the ambience of this idyllic spot.   Included experiences: Visits to Bol and Vis with swim stop
  • Hvar  Arrive this morning at Hvar Island with swathes of pebble beach and coastline studded with pretty bays and coves. Fed by freshwater springs, the island is lush and green with hillsides draped in an aromatic blanket of pine and eucalyptus forest. The foothills feature a mosaic of ancient olive groves and lavender fields. We’ll enjoy a walking tour around its historic little centre – where the streets don’t even have names! We’ll see the majestic St Stephen’s Square, the largest in Dalmatia, with a 16th century fountain, lined by honey-coloured stone buildings and bustling cafés. Korčula  After lunch back on board there’ll be another opportunity to swim in these clearest of waters. Later this afternoon, we’ll arrive in the historic walled town of Korčula and moor on the picturesque quayside. Known as Black Korčula by the Greeks due to its thickly forested interior, the island was ruled by the Venetians for 800 years and was famed for supplying timber to build Venice’s legendary wooden walls. It also provided a major shelter for the Venetian fleet and its Italianate atmosphere is evident as you explore its winding streets and cool, shaded alleys. There’s a view to capture around every corner in its exquisite old town - no wonder it’s affectionately nicknamed ‘Little Dubrovnik’. The legendary explorer Marco Polo was born here, and his house can still be visited, as can the All-Saints Museum, with its unique collection of religious icons and exhibits. As evening falls, you can enjoy dinner at leisure in one of the island’s charming restaurants before heading back on board and finishing the evening with a glass of local rakija in the ship’s bar. Included experiences: Guided walking tours of Hvar and Korčula, plus swim stop.
  • Sailing with swim stop You could take to the deck this morning to watch the stunning coastal views slipping by. We’ll stop for an invigorating swim in one of the many sheltered bays along the Dalmatian archipelago, before sailing along the northern shores of the island of Hvar to our next port of call.  Jelsa  After lunch on board, we’ll arrive in Jelsa, nestled on the edge of a pretty bay on the island of Hvar, situated between the island’s highest peaks, St Nikola and Hum. We’ll moor in its harbour fringed with palms and pavement cafés. With its freshwater springs, the island is lush and green, its verdant hillsides draped in thick forest and its foothills perfumed with lavender and fruit orchards. Inhabited since Neolithic times, the Greeks then founded a colony here, becoming a major naval base during the 14th-century as the Venetian Empire extended its reach. We’ll enjoy a guided tour, stopping to admire the stonework of the typical Dalmatian houses, and the fine church encircled by a web of terracotta roofs and cobbled alleys. Afterwards, we’ll embark on a guided wine tasting in the town. We’ll remain moored here overnight so, this evening, hop ashore to dine in one of the restaurants serving local Mediterranean inspired menus: simply grilled fresh fish, pasta with seafood or hearty meat dishes - look out for dishes cooked peka, very slowly under a ‘bell’. Included experiences: A guided tour of Jelsa, a wine tasting plus swim stop.
  • Free time in Milna  Rising refreshed, you can sit back, savour that second cup and soak up the seascapes in this archipelago as our vessel cuts effortlessly through the waves. Conditions allowing, we’ll arrive at Milna on the island of Brač for some free time to enjoy lunch. Another idyllic swim stop is planned this afternoon as we sail to Trogir. Free time in Trogir  Trogir is a historic coastal gem founded by the Greeks. A succession of rulers left their mark here, evident in its imposing city walls, ancient sights, stately Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and classic waterfront. At the heart of the old town, you’ll find the cathedral, one of the most impressive in the Adriatic. Trogir’s lanes are tucked behind an attractive waterfront and imposing 15th-century walls and is a delightful place to explore independently. This evening, we’ll enjoy the Captain’s Dinner with a delicious locally inspired menu. Included experiences: Visits to Milna and Trogir with a swim stop.
  • Sailing with swim stop  We’ll enjoy a leisurely start today as we continue south after breakfast. Make sure you make the most of this final morning on board, soaking up the sun on deck or enjoying a drink with newly made friends in the bar. We’ll stop at the island of Ciovo for our last swim stop, before lunch on board en route to Split.  Split  On arrival, we’ll join our knowledgeable guide for a walking tour of the sights including the huge Roman ruins of the Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, used in ‘Game of Thrones’.  As one of the greatest structures of the Roman Empire, no expense was spared in its construction – the best Italian marble, with columns and sphinxes from Egypt. But what makes this palace so astonishing is that during medieval times it was fully integrated into the town’s fabric with a jumble of buildings grafted onto and inside it. This means for example, the Temple of Jupiter became a baptistry. It’s all the more fascinating that today 3,000 people still live here. You will find surprises at every turn; there are tall medieval buildings lining the streets, buttressed by unmistakably Roman columns.   Free time in Split  Perhaps choose the old town for dinner before returning for a nightcap on deck, against the backdrop of Split’s beautiful skyline. Included experiences: Swim stop and walking tour of Split, including Emperor Diocletian’s Palace.
  • Postira  Our final day of sailing has arrived but there’s still so much to enjoy. With sunshine glinting on the azure water, we’ll slip our moorings once again, sailing back towards the island of Brač, the third largest in the Adriatic. We’ll arrive in the fishing port of Postira to spend the morning exploring more of this island. The landscape here is typically Mediterranean - pine-scented uplands with vineyards and citrus groves tumbling down to deserted beaches. Take in a panorama from Vidova Gora, the island’s highest peak before enjoying a visit to the Olive Oil Museum in Škrip, to sample the excellent produce. The olive oil here is well-renowned, with olive cultivation dating back to the Venetian years. Makarska  After a late lunch back on board, we'll sail back to Makarska from where you can marvel at the rocky Mount Biokovo. At nearly 1,828 metres above sea level, it shelters the coast from less temperate climates further inland. During the 10th century, this region was bedevilled by pirates preying on passing ships. A slightly raffish atmosphere still prevails but piracy has long since been replaced by more peaceful activities such as fishing, and the production of olive oil and wine. St Mark’s Baroque church and some palatial 18th-century Venetian style houses stand guard over Makarska’s main square. We’ll moor overnight for our final evening on board, enjoying dinner at leisure.  Included experiences: Visits to Postira, its Olive Oil Museum, and Makarska.
  • Ston  Say farewell to your crew this morning as you disembark MS Mendula and continue on your post-cruise land tour, heading to the medieval town of Ston – home to salt, city walls and oysters! On arrival, we visit a traditional family-run wine cellar. Here, we'll enjoy the authentic flavours of Ston, sampling a variety of flavourful cheeses, including specialities like Pag cheese, alongside thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto and renowned local wines. Our hosts will guide us through a selection of delicious local wines, sharing their knowledge and stories. This unforgettable experience offers a taste of the region, connecting you with its culinary heritage and leaving lasting memories.    Dubrovnik  Afterwards, we'll continue to Dubrovnik, where we stay for three nights. Dubrovnik, an independent city-state for much of its history, has evolved differently to the rest of Croatia. This afternoon, we'll take a tour with an expert local guide explaining the city’s landmarks and intriguing history. The city threw off its Venetian masters in medieval times and founded a commercial empire, trading with the eastern Mediterranean, France, Spain and, later, the Ottoman Empire. The resulting economic boom made Dubrovnik the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and you can still see evidence of its great wealth in the likes of the Rector’s Palace - now a museum - and Sponza Palace, currently housing centuries of historical city documents. The main avenue, lined by enticing shops and cafés, is completely paved with marble, which strikingly reflects the midday sun. Add in a wonderful array of monasteries and monumental ramparts and you’ll find this is a wonderful city, nestling in a location of outstanding natural beauty. You are free to explore and find a local restaurant to enjoy your dinner independently this evening.   Included experiences: Wine, cheese and ham tasting in Ston and guided walking tour of Dubrovnik
  • Perast  Today, we'll venture over the border into Montenegro to experience the delights of Kotor Bay. We'll arrive at idyllic Perast, which benefited architecturally from Venetian rule. Traditional old stone buildings sneak up the leafy hillside from the water, fronted by a well-preserved line-up of churches and palaces, with the spired tower of Saint Nikola’s dominating the scene.   Perast is renowned for its man-made island, crowned by Our Lady of the Rocks, an eye-catching, blue-domed church. The legend goes that the island was built by local sailors who, after finding an icon of Madonna painted on a rock, threw rocks into the lake after every successful voyage, eventually building the church to give thanks to Madonna for their protection. If you reach through a hole behind the altar, you can touch what’s said to be the original rock! There’s plenty to see inside the church and museum – all donated by grateful locals – including a collection of paintings by Perast-born Tripo Kokolja, a 17th-century Baroque artist, and a dazzling tapestry embroidered by Jacinta Kunić-Mijović, who is said to have woven her own hair through the gold and silver threads! We'll follow a boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks with a visit to Kotor.    Kotor  The shores of the picture-perfect, UNESCO-protected Kotor Bay are dotted with sleepy fishing villages and charming old towns. The moated town of Kotor is one of the many fortified coastal towns in Montenegro showing Roman influences, with Romanesque churches scattered around its medieval marble-pathed maze, including Kotor Cathedral with its imposing twin towers. We'll also see reminders of four centuries spent as part of the Venetian empire, including a Venetian fortification system – featuring stone-carved ‘Lions of Venice’ – to defend the city from the sea. Enclosed by four gates which punctuate the ancient city walls as they climb steadily up the craggy mountainside, Kotor is impressively well-protected! Here, you can enjoy some free time to explore the cobbled streets and enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the many cafes.     Budva  Continuing round the bay to Budva, Montenegro’s most popular coastal town makes up part of the beautiful Budva Riviera. Enclosed on three sides by lush, tree-covered mountains, Budva follows a gentle coastal curve to a charming harbour, where gleaming white fishing boats, sailboats and yachts line the walkways and jetties. Just beside the harbour sits the medieval old town, which stands out from the shoreline like the jewel in Budva’s coastal crown. We’ll explore within the Venetian old town walls with a local guide, finding our way through the narrow streets to the seaside citadel, where the crumbling fortress walls drop dramatically into the Adriatic. After a day full of stunning scenery and historic towns, we'll make the journey back to our hotel in Dubrovnik.   Included experience: A full-day guided tour of Kotor Bay, including Perast, Kotor and Budva
  • Dubrovnik  You’ll see Dubrovnik from above today as we hop on a cable car up to the top of Mount Srđ. With views up to 60km away, it's no wonder the French built their Napoleonic Fort at the top of the mountain. The same vantage point which played a defensive role in the Croatian War of Independence now stuns visitors into silence as they take in the views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic beyond.  Free time in Dubrovnik  The rest of the afternoon will be yours to enjoy Dubrovnik at your leisure. Perhaps you could enjoy a spot of people watching as you sip a glass of Plavac Mali from a pavement café or, if you’re feeling more energetic, you could walk the full route of the incredible city walls enjoying ever-changing views of this historic city en-route. This evening, you will savour a farewell dinner with your fellow guests at a traditional ‘under the bell’ restaurant - a traditional Croatian cooking method in which food is roasted over an open flame using a clay or wrought-iron, bell-shaped baking vessel.   Included experience: Dubrovnik cable car ride.
  • After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to your new-found-friends and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Guided tours of Split and Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, medieval Korčula and picturesque Jelsa nestling in a pretty bay.
  • Visit the delightful harbour town of Postira, the enchanting old town of Bol - and nearby Golden Horn Beach - and explore medieval Trogir.
  • See Brac's Mediterranean landscape and enjoy a visit to the Olive Oil Museum.
  • Discover the charm of Dubrovnik and its fascinating history and enjoy a ride on the cable car.
  • Get a taste of Montenegro and the beautiful old towns of Kotor, Budva, and Perast.

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin cabin and hotel room. Cabins/rooms for sole occupancy are subject to availability at the stated supplement.
  • The price includes: 
  • Return flights from a choice of regional airports 
  • 7 nights on MS Mendula in your choice of cabin 
  • 3 nights in a four-star hotel 
  • Daily breakfast, 5 lunches, 2 dinners plus the Captain’s Dinner 
  • Two free drinks with lunch and dinner on board, with a choice of soft drinks, local wine and beer  
  • Tours and visits as mentioned 
  • Services of our experienced Riviera Tour Manager 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board and at the hotel  
  • All port charges, airport taxes and overseas transfers 
  • ABTA and ATOL protection 
  • Please note that in the event of unsatisfactory weather conditions the captain reserves the right to alter or reschedule the itinerary.
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Price from:£2,799
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Accommodation

4* City Hotel - Dubrovnik -

★★★★

The City Hotel Dubrovnik offers great service coupled with a location that’s convenient for exploring the city.   You can start your day with an excellent buffet breakfast at the on-site restaurant and after a day of exploration enjoy a drink in the Terrace area.  Your warm, spacious and welcoming room will feature complimentary wi-fi, coffee machine, flat screen TV, desk, mini-bar and en-suite bathroom with hairdryer and shower. 

Valamar Hotel Lacroma – Dubrovnik -

★★★★

The 4-star Hotel Lacroma is a contemporary hotel situated on a rocky promontory into the Adriatic and is surrounded by lush, green pine forests. It provides an excellent, relaxing base for your stay in Dubrovnik.  There are two restaurants in the hotel including Mediterraneo where you can try their buffet-style dinner consisting of Mediterranean and international cuisine.  Or perhaps enjoy a meal at Momenti Restaurant, serving delicious seafood specialties on the terrace with panoramic views of the Elaphiti.  The hotel boasts a choice of bars to enjoy anything from your morning coffee to a sophisticated glass of wine in the evening. There’s an outdoor poolside bar, a chic wine and cocktail bar, and a lobby bar with terrace offering views of the nearby gardens and sea.     There’s also a choice of spacious, freshwater swimming pools at this hotel – both outdoor and indoor pools available with sun loungers, umbrellas and towels. Revitalise after a day of exploration with a treatment in one of the hotel’s many spa and wellness areas (extra charges may apply payable locally). Please note the outdoor pool will be open during the summer months, depending on weather conditions. 

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Other Information

Holiday code

R687

Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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