Selected departures from August to October 2020
You fly to the spectacular city of Dubrovnik and on arrival you’ll be taken to your magnificent ship, moored in this ancient port where the warmest of welcomes from your professional captain and crew awaits you on board the brand new MV Rhapsody. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in to your cabin and explore this exceptional vessel; perhaps enjoy a cup of tea up on the sun deck, drinking in the views and the fresh sea breeze or wander ashore for a little stroll along the quayside. Whatever you decide, it’s time to relax and unwind as your holiday has truly begun! It’s not long before it’s time to meet your fellow travellers for a welcome drink in the bar before taking dinner in the relaxed yet elegant atmosphere of the ship’s restaurant.
As the sun rises above the terracotta rooftops of this magical city, and glints on the crystal-clear Adriatic, it’s time to rise refreshed and enjoy your first leisurely breakfast as we set sail on our Dalmatian adventure. Head up on deck and enjoy the thrill of being at sea, as you gaze out on to a sparkling horizon, a blanket of dazzling turquoise, stretching as far as the eye can see; lean against the gleaming rail and drink in the crisp salty air, and let your mind completely unwind as our sleek vessel effortlessly slices the effervescing waves. This is one of the most spectacular and unspoilt coastlines in the world, where velvet swathes of pine forest tumble down to the rugged rocky shores, fringed by quiet coves and sleepy fishing villages, a cluster of honey-coloured stone buildings and tiny shady streets where time seems to have almost stood still.
We drop anchor to enjoy a refreshing swim stop and you’ll love the experience of swimming off the platform area the back of the ship as if it were your very own private yacht, before wrapping up in your complimentary robe and drying off on a sun lounger on the pristine sun deck!
Thoughts soon turn to lunch so reconvene with your fellow passengers in the restaurant and enjoy the views through the panoramic windows as we sail towards the island of Lastovo, one of the remotest and most idyllic islands in the Adriatic. Lying at the centre of an impressive archipelago of uninhabited islets, this picturesque spot was employed as a military outpost during the second half of the twentieth century, and therefore spared the island from unchecked development; today it is a joy to wander the historic streets of this undiscovered town, truly off the tourist trail and virtually self-sufficient in food, where the people retain a strong sense of identity and independence from the rest of the country and where life goes on much as it has for centuries. You cannot fail to be enchanted and will truly feel a long way from home. We visit a little local winery, owned by the same family for several generations, to learn more about the production of their wines and enjoy a tasting.
Return to the ship in time to relax over an aperitif on the terrace before the crew serves tonight’s delicious dinner.
Dawn breaks and our ship sets sail into the blue. You can enjoy an unhurried breakfast so why not take another cup of tea out on to the deck and savour the fabulous open views. There’s sun loungers for all so lie back with a book in the sun before a quick dip in the glamourous hot tub; perhaps then cool off under the shady awning with a long drink from the bar. There’s something very Mediterranean about the character of Croatia’s islands where the pace of life is laid back and relaxed – just how holidays are meant to be, so take full advantage and just go with the flow!
Enjoy lunch on board before our arrival on the island of Vis in its gorgeous harbour with attractive jumble of stone houses nestling at the calm water’s edge and a spectacular wild mountainous backdrop behind. The most remote of Croatia’s inhabited islands, the Greeks chose it as a convenient base between the eastern and western shores of the Adriatic. Fought over throughout the following centuries, during World War II it came to prominence once again, as Tito’s base for his Partisan movement and it was under British occupation from 1944. Only open to foreign visitors since 1989, there’s something deliciously authentic about its unspoilt beauty and you’ll have time to explore under your own steam, wander the lattice of streets from the delightful marina where the fishing boats gently rock in the breeze, admire the aristocratic summer houses with their lovely stone staircases and balconies, and terracotta pots ablaze with colourful blooms.
Tonight dinner is at leisure and as Vis’s waters are reputedly one of the richest fishing areas in the Adriatic, you’ll find the local restaurants serving some of the best seafood in Dalmatia. Make sure you try the local anchovy paste too with some local white wine - or the sweet delicacy made with figs, fennel and brandy – best eaten with a glass of the local fruit brandy – rakija!
From our mooring in the quaint harbour, fringed by glossy palms and Venetian-style houses with their lovely intricate wrought-iron balconies, we board smaller boats to enjoy this morning’s excursion to the famous Blue Cave. A tourist attraction since the 19th century, hidden beyond the cave’s narrow entrance is a magical grotto where water-filtered sunlight shines in through an underground entrance, bathing everything in a phenomenal and eerie blue light – it really is quite something to experience. It’s not unusual to spot dolphins in the surrounding waters too so make sure you have your camera at the ready! We return to our ship for lunch and an afternoon’s cruising so perhaps head up on deck and enjoy the fabulous views and the bracing sea air before we drop anchor for a swim stop at the legendary Golden Horn Beach on the island of Brac. This is the most beautiful beach on the Adriatic, which changes its position and shape depending on the wind and currents, where the Maestral blows its warm breezes across the fine honey-coloured shale that tapers into a golden point in the glistening turquoise water. Please note that access to the Blue Cave may be closed in cases of bad weather or high tides.
Later this afternoon we moor up in Bol’s attractive harbour with its swarm of little boats and charming old stone houses with their characterful shutters, overlooked by a 15th-century monastery, dramatically situated high on a promontory. You are at leisure this evening so as the day fades, enjoy a stroll ashore stopping to admire the wrought-iron balconies and the crumbling stone-work, washing stretched high above in the cool, quiet streets; enjoy some local cuisine in an atmospheric little restaurant – perhaps the catch of the day, simply grilled or fortifying pašticada – slow-cooked beef stewed in a distinct sauce of bacon, prunes and prošek – a local sweet desert wine. Finish the evening with a digestif back on board in the bar where the attentive crew are ready to serve you your favourite nightcap whilst recalling the day’s events with your fellow travellers.
As the seagulls call to one another in the glow of the soft morning light, our ship slips her moorings and we set sail into the hazy blue once again. After a leisurely breakfast perhaps opt for an invigorating stroll around the deck then settle on to your comfortable sun lounger for a fabulous morning’s cruising as our vessel effortlessly cuts through the effervescing waves. Today we sail towards the mainland once more, passing the spectacular Pelješac Peninsula, a fertile landscape dotted with tiny hamlets, deserted beaches and secret coves, then we change course and head inland along the truly spectacular Neretva River to enjoy a very different experience. The Neretva is one of the longest rivers in Croatia, as it snakes its way for 225 kilometres through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Surrounded by a stunning mountain backdrop, its emerald-green waters are dazzlingly and surprisingly clear and its fertile banks yield a rich harvest of watermelons, pomegranates and oranges. An intricate network of tributaries creates an astonishing delta, home to numerous rare species, and this beautifully unspoilt landscape is studded with the occasional isolated village, where the people still traditionally work the land and time seems almost to have stood still.
You’ll have worked up an appetite for lunch on board before we later moor in Metković, a bustling town of whitewashed buildings and terracotta rooftops straddling the banks of this magnificent sweeping waterway. This afternoon we visit the fascinating Narona archaeological museum in Vid, exhibiting the remarkable ruins of a Roman temple, the Augusteum, and seventeen statues of Roman emperors and their family members which were discovered during excavations in the 1990s. We then enjoy a wonderful trip further exploring the wonderful Neretva Delta, one of the last remaining wetland deltas in Europe, on a scenic barge cruise through the mandarin groves, admiring the fauna and flora whilst hoping to spot some of the 400 species of birds that have made their home here.
Today comes to an end with an exquisite dinner in the ship’s restaurant and then perhaps a drink in the bar or a stroll along the quayside before retiring for the night.
Today you might choose to join our full day excursion inland as we take a fascinating and evocative journey further along the Neretva Valley to the Bosnian and Herzegovinian city of Mostar. The largest city in Herzegovina, nestling between the steep valley sides, with a history dating back to the 15th century, growing in importance during the centuries of Ottoman, then Austro-Hungarian rule. The town is most famed for its bridge, Stari Most, which links the two halves of the enchanting old town and is one of the finest examples of classic Ottoman design. It became a globally-recognised symbol during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, destroyed by tank fire in 1993 but then painstakingly rebuilt using much of the same limestone blocks, salvaged from the river. It was reopened by Price Charles in 2004 and remains a powerful symbol of coexistence of diverse communities and reconciliation.
We enjoy a guided tour absorbing the sights and sounds of this atmospheric place, admiring the mix of centuries-old Turkish architecture jostling alongside fine 19th-century buildings reminiscent of Central Europe. What stories these cobbled streets could tell as you wander the ancient alleyways, where artisans fashion metalwork in tucked-away workshops as they have done for centuries. Later this afternoon, after a thought-provoking and memorable day, we return to the ship moored in Slano, an attractive little town sheltering amongst olive groves and vineyards in a picturesque bay. Alternatively, you may choose to spend the day relaxing on board as our ship sails to Slano, arriving late afternoon. Reconvene with your fellow travellers as the crew presents the superb Captain’s Dinner – a mouth-watering menu influenced by Croatian and Mediterranean cuisines.
Our final day at sea, but still so much to savour. Against a stunning mountain backdrop, we enjoy a spot of swimming in the idyllic Badija Bay, its pretty shoreline fringed by thick forest and a grand Franciscan monastery reflected in the glistening water. As we make our final approach to Dubrovnik, head up on deck to watch the skyline of this beautiful Baroque city coming into view once more; our Captain steers a scenic course around the imposing city walls so you’ll experience fabulous panoramic vistas of the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ from the water in all its glory, before we moor up for the final time in this historic port.
After lunch on board we step ashore for a guided tour of the breathtaking old town, its main avenue, a dazzling marble pavement is lined with smart shops and intimate cafés. An independent state for much of its history, the city evolved differently to the rest of Croatia, throwing off its Venetian links in favour of establishing new commercial trading with the eastern Mediterranean, France, Spain and later the Ottoman Empire. You’ll have some free time to wander amongst the wonderful array of monasteries, beautifully decorated churches and medieval civic buildings, stopping perhaps at a café for a cool refreshing drink in one of the shady squares.
As the sun sets on this beguiling city, take dinner ashore at your leisure before returning to the ship where the bar awaits, so enjoy a final digestif with newly-made friends, swapping memories of a truly exceptional trip.
After breakfast we disembark and return to the airport at the appropriate time for your return flight.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin cabin. The price includes return flights to Dubrovnik (some airports carry a supplement, see below), all transfers, breakfast, 5 lunches, 3 dinners and Captain's dinner, tours and visits as per the itinerary and port taxes.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us.
|Arrival airport||Ship location||Transfer time|