Departures from May to October 2020
Imagine yourself reclining under a deep azure sky, as the polished teak deck moves almost imperceptibly with the rhythm of the Mediterranean and a refreshing evening breeze ruffles the air. In the small, picturesque ports on the Dalmatian coast, surrounded by low cliffs, where the cruise liners boasting ever-larger passenger numbers are conspicuous by their absence, you are cruising the Mediterranean aboard your very own yacht-cruiser. Normally the preserve of the wealthy, you can now experience a magnificent vessel carrying fewer than 40 guests.
Smaller numbers mean a more personal service on board, whilst the dimensions of our vessels allow easy access to stunningly attractive out-of-the-way ports like Split, Makarska and Hvar, which offer a much more intimate onshore experience. Our ships often sail between the islands and the shore, affording spectacular views that will stay with you for a lifetime.
With so few fellow travellers, an exclusive atmosphere soon prevails as you gather in the convivial surroundings of the bar or up on the sun deck for a nightcap. The friendly, attentive yet unobtrusive staff attend to your every need as if you owned the vessel – that’s how relaxed it is on this unique type of cruise.
Enjoy spectacular coastal views whilst reclining on a sun lounger or hammock on the ample sun deck. Below you will find the Salon Deck with the elegant restaurant and bar, beautifully furnished and fully air-conditioned for your comfort. Each day begins with an excellent breakfast on board with a selection of hot and cold options. Depending on which itinerary you choose, on certain days lunch or dinner is prepared on board, specialising in mouth-watering local menus, hot meat or fish dishes through to freshly prepared salads, all delivered with a beaming smile. No cruise is complete without the Captain’s Dinner, of course, and you will enjoy a delicious selection of the best of Croatian and Mediterranean cuisine. There’s no seating plan; you choose your own table and dining companions. On certain days you will be free to enjoy lunch or dinner at leisure, giving you the opportunity to sample some of the delightful local restaurants ashore.
Every evening, the ships remain moored so you can take an after-dinner stroll off the vessel, exploring these typically unspoilt ports. After just a few days of this extraordinary experience, you will be on first-name terms with the ship’s company and most of your fellow guests. There is little formality – shorts and t-shirts are the order of the day. This is exactly how holidays should be.
You’ll arrive at the airport to take your flight to this historic walled city. On arrival, you will be escorted to the harbour where the superb fourstar MV Corona awaits. The captain and crew will welcome you aboard and help you settle into your comfortable, well-equipped cabin. For the rest of the day it’s time to relax and get to know your fellow passengers – there are just thirty-eight of you in total! Perhaps you’ll catch some ‘rays’ on the Sun deck or take a stroll ashore. It’ll soon be time for dinner and the ship’s restaurant awaits. After dinner, why not take a stroll around Dubrovnik, or enjoy a digestif in a local bar?
As you rise refreshed in the morning and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be so glad you chose this holiday. The MV Corona, our home for the next week and every inch the private yacht, slips out of the harbour and out to sea. Dubrovnik soon fades into the distance – but we will be back for a more in-depth visit later. It is impossible for large cruise liners to visit the charming and almost deserted hamlets accessible to the MV Corona.
We arrive at Mljet, one of the most seductive of such islands, where the hillsides are clad in a green carpet of lush pine forests bringing that instantly recognisable Mediterranean aroma to the air. Nestling in picturesque coves are medieval fishing villages, refreshingly free from tasteless development, where the alleyways are simply pebbles set into the earth and overhead shutters sway precariously in the warm, gentle breezes. Life here continues much as it has for centuries. We go ashore to the tiny islet of St Mary’s and visit the 12th century former Benedictine monastery. With its colourful walls and altar carved from local stone you will already feel a long way from home. Gaze around you during dinner at one of the hospitable local restaurants and absorb the ambience. It’s easy to see why legend has it that the Greek hero Ulysses came here to contemplate!
After breakfast, take to the deck to see the spectacular coast of Korčula island sliding by as we cruise northwards through this enchanting archipelago. On reaching the mainland we drop anchor in the port of Makarska from where you can marvel at the rocky splendour of Mount Biokovo, nearly 1,828 metres above sea level, which shelters the coast from less temperate climates further inland. During the 10th century this region was bedevilled by fearsome 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. Enjoy lunch at your leisure wherever you wish.
This afternoon we sail to the glorious island of Brac, mooring in idyllic Pučišća. This jewel of a place, perhaps the most spectacular of Croatia’s villages, boasts dwellings of gleaming white stone reflecting the sun onto the crystal clear water. Stroll ashore to explore this charming spot or relax on board before the superb Captain’s Dinner is served – a delicious selection of Croatian and Mediterranean specialities.
Rise refreshed and take to the deck once more to watch the stunning coastal views slipping by. We drop anchor at Omis, formerly a stronghold of the formidable Corsairs of Almissa, where the spectacular emerald-green River Cetina runs into the Adriatic on this glorious stretch of the Dalmatian coast. Lunch is served on board after which we moor in Split, Dalmatia’s capital. Split is principally famous for a single building, the Emperor Diocletian’s huge palace, 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. We have a guided walking tour of this fascinating complex which has recently been used as the setting of the TV spectacular Game of Thrones. Take dinner at your leisure whilst the ship remains moored in Split. Back on board enjoy a digestif on the sun deck, drinking in the balmy evening air under a beautiful night sky.
This morning we’ll stop once more for an invigorating swim before we cruise to another stunning island in this breathtaking archipelago, Hvar. We moor in Stari Grad on the northern side of the island and then take the short drive by coach to the bewitching old town for a guided tour. Remarkably, it’s so compact and cosy the streets don’t even have names. With its freshwater springs, the island is unusually green, its hillsides boasting spectacular pine forests. Elsewhere you’ll find olive groves, orchards and vineyards, the aromatic pleasures of the island exemplified by the delicate fragrance of abundant lavender fields. Hvar has been inhabited since Neolithic times; later, the Ancient Greeks founded a colony here, and during the 14th-century, as the Venetian Empire extended its influence, it became a major naval base. Also on the island’s northern shores are some distinctive fortified 16th-century buildings, built to repel pirates and assaults by the Ottoman Empire. After exploring Hvar’s agricultural, historical and cultural splendours, we transfer back to Stari Grad where you can dine at leisure wherever you wish. The ship remains moored in Stari Grad overnight.
Morning breaks and we find ourselves breakfasting over more stunning views of this most spectacular coastline. After a leisurely morning and another tasty lunch on board we soon arrive into the historic town of Korcula. Ruled by the Venetians for 800 years, it is rather reminiscent of a much smaller Dubrovnik, with its host of tangled lanes so typical of medieval Mediterranean ports. The town is a charming small fortress, celebrated for supplying timber for the wooden walls of Venice and its harbour was a major shelter for the Venetian fleet. You’ll find architectural gems at every turn in its narrow cobbled streets. Famous for its artistic and musical traditions, Korcula has its own unique sword dance, the ‘moreska’, and a form of a-capella singing, but is much more famous as the birthplace of the explorer Marco Polo. His house can still be visited, as can the All Saints museum with its glorious collection of Byzantine icons.
After our guided walking tour, you are free to explore this beautiful town further. After dinner at your leisure, why not take an after-dinner drink in one of the innumerable harbour side cafés whilst admiring the sleek lines of the MV Corona.
As our elegant yacht drifts on past the rocky shores of the beautiful Elaphite Islands, if the weather allows, it’s your last chance to take a swim off the back of the ship as if it were your very own! After lunch on board, we arrive in Dubrovnik once more and take a guided tour of the old town. An independent city state for much of its history, it has evolved differently to the rest of Croatia. The city threw off its Venetian shackles during medieval times founding a commercial empire trading with the eastern Mediterranean, France, Spain and later the Ottoman Empire. As so often happened, the city began to reflect its resultant wealth and today this wonderfully Baroque city proudly nestles behind its huge imposing ramparts in a location of outstanding natural beauty. The main avenue, lined by intimate cafés, is completely paved with marble, which dazzles in the sunlight and gives credence to the city’s description as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Throughout the city you will find a wonderful array of monasteries, beautifully decorated churches and civic buildings dating from the 14th-century. The guided walking tour encompasses all this and more, after which you are free to explore as you wish.
This evening enjoy a final dinner at your leisure in this most beguiling of cities; and as you relax, your thoughts inevitably turn to the wonderful places you have experienced and the interesting people you have met on this most fascinating of maritime adventures.
After breakfast we disembark from the MV Corona and return to the airport at the appropriate time.
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, all transfers, breakfast, five lunches, one dinner and captain’s dinner, tours and visits as per the itinerary and port taxes. Please note : in the event of unsatisfactory weather conditions the MV Corona reserves the right to alter or reschedule the itinerary. Cabins for sole occupancy are subject to availability at the stated supplement. Please note due to the size of The MV Corona there is no lift between decks; therefore a reasonable degree of mobility is required to negotiate the stairs and overall design.
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.
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Kevin & Pat Gregory
Have recently returned from this amazing holiday which far outweighed our expectations. Captain Ivo and his 7 friendly but professional crew were excellent company. The boat and cabins very clean. Our tour director,Jelena was i...
Wayne and Jane Smith
My wife and I have just returned home from this fantastic holiday and just wanted to say what a wonderful time we had. We don't normally feel the need to give reviews, either positive or negative but this is the exception. Having ...