We arrived in the beautiful city of Split for an overnight stay before joining our luxury cruise to explore coastal Dalmatia.
We loved the old town with its sunny outdoor terraces buzzing with people and yummy food. We did our usual trick and got lost. I was on the hunt for bathers for the cruise, but being the end of season, they were hard to find. We eventually found what Ivan described as the last three pairs in Croatia. None really fitted properly, but I “settled” as we didn’t have the energy to walk any further and I could tell that my ever patient husband was needing refreshments.
Next morning the arrangement was that we would be picked up at 10am to be taken to the ship. We waited on what must have been the busiest intersection in Split. We had our eyes peeled for our driver, any driver – were we looking for a bus? a car? a mini bus? a taxi? or even perhaps a limmo? The traffic that morning was chaotic and we didn’t have a clue.
After an hour of waiting, panic started to set in. Nobody we asked could help us. We were hindered by the language barrier and being a Saturday we couldn’t contact our tour operator in the UK. To top it off, the heavens opened and we were getting drenched. So in soggy desperation we headed off to the busy Port to look for the ship ourselves. We were amused to find out later that our transport was a Bedouin – a man with a trolley! It made sense, as we weren’t very far from the Port- but so much for looking out for a limousine. Wishful thinking.
We found the beautiful Arca Fiumana without too much hassle and boarded, still feeling a little ruffled by the mornings’ events. After drying off and unpacking, we went up on deck to meet our crew and to explore, and the morning’s dramas were soon forgotten.
After eight weeks of travelling prior to this cruise, we were looking forward to enjoying the relaxing rhythm of life on board.
The weather started to clear as we set sail towards Bol, a small town on Island Brac, before heading to Hvar overnight. Hvar is one of the most popular islands in the Adriatic and they told us a meeting point for international jet setters.
Leaving Hvar the following morning we cruised to Bisevo to visit the Blue Cave, a magnificent natural phenomenon. It was an experience – we all had to “duck”, as in flatten ourselves to the bottom of the dinghy, so that it could fit in the cave.
From there we sailed to Vis – “the Mediterranean as it once was” and where Mama Mia 2 was filmed. As the sun went down we enjoyed the views of the lovely Villae Rusticae situated along the waterfront, whilst sipping the local wine.
Each morning as we enjoyed breakfast overlooking the blue waters of the Adriatic we sailed to different beautiful locations – Korcula, Mjet, Siano, Elaphiti Islands. Starting with a swim stop before lunch then docking at the next island, each having it’s own history and special charm.
We spent our days lapping up the Mediterranean sun, exploring the exquisite unspoilt towns with their cobblestoned paths and those challenging steps, eating ice cream, enjoying delicious food and meeting our fellow passengers.
Some days there were excursions, a favourite of ours being the oyster tasting at Ston, or other days we just enjoyed exploring the islands by ourselves and at our own pace.
For us, each day cruising just got better and better.
Most evening meals were had on shore. After the delicious three course lunches provided on board we usually weren’t too hungry and were happy to share an appetizer or two between us.
After seven idyllic days cruising we arrived at Dubrovnik probably the most famous and popular mainland stop in Croatia. Before docking at Gruz Port, we cruised alongside the old city walls which was truly amazing, a photographer’s paradise, all the cameras were out. Living the dream.
This cruise has definitely been ahttp:// highlight of our trip. Having had a great group of like minded people to travel with, we’ve made some wonderful memories. Onwards to Greece!