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 Cruises in Croatia

Croatia Cruise with Elegant Cruises
Cruising the Croatian Adriatic Coast

by Ruby Turner

Life on the sea suits a woman like me. This is if I get to start my day with a chance to chat with the Captain over a quiet cup of breakfast coffee or have the smiling Chef give me the recipe from last night’s delicious dinner. I got to enjoy these pleasures plus many more on the yacht-like MS Monet as it cruised along the beautiful and historical Croatian Coast.

The Monet’s popular 8-day/7-night classic itinerary, ”Venice & the Dalmatian Coast”, sails roundtrip Venice to Venice between April and November, giving the traveler an opportunity to have two holidays for the price of one air ticket. A week cruising the beautiful coast with its historical coastal towns and islands plus a chance to spend time in Venice makes this a top-rated holiday.

We were given a warm welcome as we boarded the ship. The smiles and cool drinks offered by the crew members were very much appreciated. Monika Sisina, cruise director extraordinaire, quickly checked us in and we were off to our cabin.
With only 31 cabins – all outside – and one hallway between them, finding your cabin is easy even on the first day. The cabins have all the amenities of larger ships complete with air-conditioning, desk and color TV. One big plus for these cabins is that they are very quiet. No noise transfer from other cabins which you can sometimes have in larger ships.

Sailing out of Venice in the evening was magical with the colors of the sky and water. Dinner was timed so we could all stay out on the classic teak decks until the last of the views had gone. Captain Trojanovic welcomed us and we enjoyed the first of many delicious meals. Meals were served throughout the cruise on an open seating basis in order for everyone to mix and mingle with fellow travelers. Great fun was had as we shared time with passengers from Australia, South Africa, USA, England and Canada.

Every morning, Chef Zoran Macura was in the dining room preparing a variety of egg dishes on request. After a few days he got to know the egg eaters and you had only to nod your head in his direction and you would soon be enjoying his hot dish. Other breakfast options included many choices of fruit, yogurt, cereals, great bacon and all types of breads and croissants.

The Chef and his assistants shopped in the different ports for fresh produce with the fish and meats being supplied to the ship while we were in Dubrovnik. The Mediterranean cuisine meant lots of fresh fruits and vegetables with a variety of fish and meat. Wine and beer were complimentary at the meals.

The Monet is the perfect size for calling at the small island ports. With her shallow draft, we usually tied up at the same dock as the private yachts. This meant we arrived right in the small towns and were within walking distance of most of the sights. All the officers and crew are Croatian so each had suggestions for what they considered their favorite port of call.

The total nautical mileage of this cruise was 641. The first port of call was Pula with its famed Roman antiquities just a short walk from our dock.  Next stop was Split where a short walk took us to the Old Town with its narrow stone streets. It was market day so we got to stroll through the town squares full of flowers and local crafts.

The stop at the old Renaissance town Hvar was one of the most picturesque. The stroll along the stone-paved waterfront provides the opportunity to view and visit some of the many churches and the few hotels that face the sea. We were lucky enough to witness a local wedding where we were made to feel very welcome and invited to join in the happiness of the day.

Dubrovnik, with its massive gray walls of stone, is a treasure trove of medieval art and architecture. The guided city tour is very worthwhile as the events that shaped this city from the 14C to modern times are complex and intriguing.

The last three ports provided an opportunity to take an easy hike in the National Park and a chance to swim in Mljet, a walking tour with lovely shops with a visit to the Marco Polo house in Korcula and finally the interesting medieval walled town of Zadar.

Evenings on board were enjoyable with a series of historical lectures and local entertainers. The lecturers combined their knowledge with a talent for story telling which made their talks very interesting. A violin and piano recital provided an evening of quiet reflection while on another we had the pleasure of listening to a capella folklore singing group. We also had a regular session of learning Croatian phrases which came in very useful while on shore in the smaller towns.

The Captain’s Farewell dinner was a happy occasion with many passengers expressing their gratitude for a wonderful holiday. There was great agreement that there is nothing better than cruising the beautiful Croatian Coast on board Elegant Cruises’ Monet with its Croatian officers and crew. A total Croatian experience with the luxury of only having to unpack and pack once.

As the sun rose the last morning, the Monet sailed into Venice. Monika and Andiana had arranged for all passengers to be transferred to airports, train stations or hotels. From the moment we boarded the Monet to the point of departure, we were provided the best of service.

Elegant Cruises & Tours Inc. provide an incomparable cruise aboard the Monet. I can strongly recommend this cruise holiday for anyone looking for a relaxing, educational, friendly and easy-to-arrange cruise holiday. I am already looking at Monet’s new itineraries in the Red Sea.

Photo courtesy Elegant Cruises & Tours

Ruby Turner
Ruby Turner

Ruby Turner is an enthusiastic traveller and former industry professional. She held the position of Marketing Administrator for American Express Travel Canada before beginning a career in television and as a regular columnist for the Vancouver Sun. Her articles appear across Canada as part of CanWest Publication Network as well as appearing in international newspapers and on numerous websites.

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