Jewels of the Adriatic Walking LITE Cruise

September 14 – 23, 2023 • 10 Days • $4290*

This tour includes two diverse segments—a 2-night land program that explores Zagreb, capital of Croatia, and Plitviče Lakes National Park, along with a 7-night cruise through the Croatian islands of the Adriatic along the Dalmatian Coast.

* Does not include port charges of $110 per person (subject to change). Included cabins on the Lower deck during the cruise. A limited number of cabins are available on the Lower deck; upgrades are available to the Main and Upper decks.

Tour Type: Small Ship Cruising, Walking LITE

An ancient Mediterranean buffer between Europe’s Italian and Balkan Peninsulas, the Adriatic Sea links these two spheres of Europe historically, economically, and culturally, yet the differences between the two peninsulas are vast and intriguing.

The Balkan side is bordered by a disproportionately long Croatian shoreline, bejeweled with over one thousand sun-drenched islands sharing much that is culturally Croatia, yet each with a distinctive ambience, story, and flair. Cruising the islands has stirred the imagination of travelers for eons.

The centerpiece of the Adventure is the 7-night cruise embarking in the historic city of Split, home to the gargantuan, and still used, Diocletian’s Palace, and disembarking in the medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, equally historic and even more picturesque.

The Mega Yacht “My Way”, built in 2018 to full EU Solis requirements, is a deluxe cruise vessel featuring the latest state-of-the-art equipment and amenities. This sleek design and great service provides an enchanting way to visit the Adriatic.

A young and vibrant crew of 7 + a cruise director are attentive to your needs. Free WiFi (subject to signal). Non-smoking interiors. Currency: Croatian Kuna.

Public areas include a large, fully air-conditioned restaurant, an outdoor lounge, partially covered sun deck with comfortable lounge chairs, a jacuzzi, and a swimming platform at the rear which provides easy access to the water.

Its 20 spacious and comfortable cabins allow for a maximum of 39 passengers, and are fully equipped with air conditioning, safe, wardrobe and a porthole (Low Deck) or window (Main & Upper Decks). All cabins have private bathrooms.

CABIN UPGRADES: All cabins are outward-facing. The Adventure price is based upon cabins on the Lower Deck, of which there are 8. Lower Deck cabins are, on average, more spacious, ranging between 172 and 204 sq. ft. These cabins have 2 rectangular windows in a porthole style; they let in light but do not open. Though all cabins have air conditioning, Lower deck cabins stay a bit cooler since they are partially below the waterline. 8 cabins are available on the Lower deck, 6 doubles (1 larger bed) and 2 twins (2 beds). Upgrades are available as follows:

  • Main deck-Category B: These cabins range between 128 and 188 sq. ft. and have a larger “hopper” window that opens from the top. The window is high on the wall and not designed for viewing. Doors on Main deck cabins open to the walkway that encircles the ship, letting in even more air and light when open. 5 cabins are available on the Main deck, 1 single and 4 twins. The upgrade fee is $450 per person.
  • Upper deck-Category A: These cabins range between 156 and 161 sq. ft. They are forward of the dining room and are the only 3 cabins on this deck. Upper deck cabins also have a “hopper” window opening from the top with doors that open on the ship walkway and decking. In addition, the front two cabins have large picture windows over the bed looking forward over the bow of the ship. The 3rd cabin is a bit larger. The 3 cabins on the Upper deck are all double cabins. The upgrade fee is $625 per person.

Including:

  • All land travel as outlined
  • Accommodations for 7 nights in double or twin cabins on the Lower Deck of our chartered ship, the M/Y My Way. Upgrades are available.
  • 2 nights in superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • Cruise fuel surcharges (subject to change)
  • 17 meals: All breakfasts, 6 lunches (3-course meals with salad bar), and 2 dinners as denoted (BLD)
  • Complimentary coffee/tea/water aboard ship
  • 5 tours or walking tours, as listed, with commentary by local guide
  • Fees for 3 or 4 IVV walking credit (IVV sanctions requested)
  • All tipping for local guides/coach drivers/cruise manager (tips for on-ship personnel are optional and not included)
  • Two WAI tour leaders throughout
  • Cultural & historical expertise of local guides at several points of interest
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A very limited number of single accommodations are available – contact us for details!

Visits to/Admission fees:

  • ZAGREB: Morning tour includes a stop at St. Mark’s Church & more
  • PLITVICE LAKES: Croatia’s most famous national park with spectacular lake and waterfall views
  • SPLIT: Guided tour includes Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace
  • TROGIR: An excursion to view stunning waterfalls at Krka National Park
  • HVAR ISLAND: Walking tour includes the first public theatre in Europe and more
  • KORCULA ISLAND: Walking tour of historical sites in charming and well preserved medieval city
  • MLJET ISLAND, CROATIA: Sail to Mljet Island with free time to explore the magnificent Mljet National Park
  • SLANO: Visit to a fishermen’s village followed an authentic local oyster tasting
  • DUBROVNIK: Panoramic motor coach tour of the historical centre
  • Plus more fun and educational experiences than we can list!

Optional Excursions

  • Entrance to Blue Cave- Vis
  • Numerous walking activities as scheduling allows. When walkable from the ship, no additional fees will be charged. If transport and/or local guides are necessary, additional fees will be necessary.

“Friendliness, skill of guides (both American and International) is what prompts me to come back to WAI.”

-JoAnn K; Timonium, MD


“Scott and Ruth guided us with grace, patience, humor, and efficiency – great team…Good mix of walks and spectacular views, mixed with history.”

-Diane T; Seattle, WA


 “The highlights: Scenery was amazing, hearing stories and history from the local guides, the ship experience.”

-Sharon B; NS, Canada


“I believe the whole trip was well planned and organized. All the local guides were very knowledgeable and informative.”

-Fred F; Anacortes, WA


“I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of this area of the world. Awesome!”

-Karen H; Portland, OR


“Loved walking thru villages and countryside – helps me imagine the life of the locals and historic times… Awesome trip! Wonderful opportunity to see the world and experience local culture. I learned a ton, WAI makes history real, informative and fun. We covered a lot of territory – geographically and educationally. I feel incredibly blessed to have traveled with you.”

-Kathie B; Sunnyvale, CA


 “The white hills, red tile roofs and blue water of the Adriatic, loved it all and I’m so thankful I got to experience it.”

-Shirley L; Renton, WA


 “The cruise was delightful – just the right size ship with a wonderful crew.”

-Carol W; Medford, OR


“I felt that Scott and Ruth did an outstanding job in every area, the walks, the info, the changes in schedules; they were outstanding. Loved the relaxing atmosphere of the Vita. The staff/crew was impeccable.”

-Carol O; Winlock, WA


“The boat was lovely and it was great having it all to ourselves!”

-Kate Q; Spokane, WA


“I have enjoyed this trip greatly. Everyone was so nice – the guides, the crew and other guides. Would recommend to all.”

-Dana N; Issaquah, WA


“Local great guides – familiar with history and can express emotion and point of view that is understandable…Entire trip full of pleasant and educational surprises.”

-John S; Oakland, CA


“This week on the Vita was unforgettable.”

-Marion N; Woodinville, WA


“Scott and Ruth were great communicators. They made each transition smooth – so conscientious, respectful and professional. They are the poster children for being the quintessential tour guide!”

-Mary Jo G; Haddonfield, NJ


“Scott and Ruth are excellent guides. We hope to travel with them again.”

-Daryl T; Seattle, WA

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

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Important Info

Group Size

20 to 30 travelers

Lodgings

2 nights in strategically located Superior Tourist Class or better hotels, 7 nights aboard our 39 passenger ship

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of lunches and dinners. Letters BLD indicate which meals are included.

Airfare

Not Included. Start point is in Zagreb; finish point is in Dubrovnik.

Transportation

The M/Y My Way was launched in 2018 and holds 39 passengers. In addition, a full size motorcoach is used from Zagreb to Split and buses and vans are used to transport our group on the islands.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

Walking Adventures Guides Scott & Ruth Burk - Adriatic Cruise

Scott and Ruth Burk have been leading travelers on Walking Adventures for the past several years, sharing highlights of European and American destinations with fellow Adventurers! Always on the lookout for the best viewpoint or hole-in-the-wall café, they enjoy finding the hidden treasures along those paths less traveled. While at home in the Pacific Northwest, they are passionate about their family, enjoy hosting soirees, and for several years now have helped to raise guide dogs for the blind.

 

Itinerary

Day 1-Sep 14: Arrive Zagreb, Croatia (D)

Travelers arrive throughout the day into Zagreb, capital of Croatia. The city’s story goes back to the Roman period, and its current look and feel reflect several different time periods with a charming and attractive blend of architectural styles, including a picturesque, medieval old city on the hill overlooking the newer part of town. This interesting Balkan capital makes an excellent starting point for Jewels of the Adriatic.

No group activities are planned until this evenings’ Welcome Orientation and dinner. Travelers who arrive a day early, however, will have this day free to explore Zagreb’s many worthwhile sites and museums.

Day 2-Sep 15: Activities in Zagreb (B)

Zagreb, Croatia Walk – distance and rating to be announced

Though Zagreb has long been the leading cultural and political center of the region that is now Croatia, it has only been Croatia’s capital since 1991, after Croatia and Slovenia withdrew from the disintegrating republic of Yugoslavia.

Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour that takes us through the historic Upper Town, the medieval core of the city. We see St. Mark’s Church, St. Catherine’s Church, the Cathedral, the Parliament, and the Government Palace.

The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the winding streets of the old town. WAI guides will lead an additional walk this afternoon to explore Lower Town.

Day 3-Sep 16: Zagreb - Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia - Split (B)

Walking tour of Plitviče Lakes National Park
Possible optional add-on walk at Plitviče Lakes

We head south for a visit to magnificent Plitvice Lakes National Park, considered by many to be Croatia’s biggest natural attraction. Here, we enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this natural wonder with its 16 terraced lakes surrounded by forested mountains and lush vegetation. The visual impact of this UNESCO World Heritage site is enhanced by travertine terracing that produces a cascading effect, magnified by the unusual turquoise hue of the water. A walking tour takes us around several of the lower lakes.

After our visit, we drive to Split harbor for embarkation. Get settled in your cabin before attending a Welcome reception followed by dinner on your own in one of the many eateries hidden away in the palace or strung along the picturesque waterfront.

Day 4-Sep 17: CRUISING ~ Split - Trogir (BL)

Split walking tour

Join us this morning for a guided tour of Split including the seafront promenade and Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. The structure is phenomenal in scope and size, but the biggest surprise is its 21st century function as a practical commercial and residential complex honeycombed in the heart of the city. The historical centre of the city where the palace is located is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This afternoon, set sail to the old Dalmatian town of Trogir, sometimes referred to as a “mini-Dubrovnik” because of medieval walls that resemble the famous town visited at the end of our tour. After disembarking in Trogir, a bus ride take us to Krka National Park to experience its magnificent seven travertine waterfalls.

Day 5-Sep 18: CRUISING ~ Trogir - Stari Grad, Hvar (BL)

Trogir walking tour

We start the day with a guided tour of Trogir. The architecture is impressive, particularly the stately Venetian palaces. Late morning we weigh anchor for Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. We’ll enjoy lunch on board and perhaps stop for one of several Adriatic swims.

The Stari Grad Plain and the old town centre of Stari Grad have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2008. Settled initially by Greeks, Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe. The evening is free to explore Stari Grad on your own. It’s a great place to try one of the many local cheap konobas or restaurants in the backstreets of the old town.

WAI guides may offer an optional walking excursion this evening along the coast to a neighboring fishing village.

Day 6-Sep 19: CRUISING ~ Stari Grad - Hvar - Vis, Vis (BL)

Hvar Walking Tour

From Stari Grad, we sail this morning towards Hvar’s principle city, also named Hvar. Though its history dates back to ancient times, what is conspicuous about Hvar Town are the glories of the Venetian period, starting in the 13th century. Several key buildings are in remarkably good condition, which we see as we explore Hvar on a guided walking tour.

From Hvar, our ship continues to Vis. The town of Vis is on the northern side of the island by the same name and was developed near the remains of ancient Issa, the first urban centre in Croatia, formed by the Greeks in 4th century B.C. Visit the remains of the Roman Baths, Church or Our Lady and the City Museum, or take a walk to enjoy the view of the beautiful Villae Rusticae situated along the coast.

Your evening is free in Vis, and WAI guides will likely offer a bonus walk along the waterfront.

Day 7-Sep 20: CRUISING ~ Vis – Korčula Town, Korčula (BL)

Korčula guided walking tour

Leaving Vis, we cruise towards the Blue Cave*, a colorful natural phenomenon on the islet of Biševo (population 15). Weather permitting, we’ll offer an optional visit to this sea cave which generates an eerie, shimmering blue light, filtered by sea water and channeled by a submerged side entrance.

Afterwards we cruise towards the island of Korčula, stopping for lunch in one of the secluded bays en route. Our destination is the main settlement on the island, also named Korčula and considered by some to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, one of the history’s great explorers.

Our afternoon arrival is followed by a guided walking tour of one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the Mediterranean.

Dinner on our own in Korčula involves an enchanting stroll in this charming medieval town. WAI guides have an idea for an additional walk this evening, time permitting.

*Entrance to Blue Cave to be paid on the spot: up to $20 per person (depending on the season)

Day 8-Sep 21: CRUISING ~ Korčula – Mljet - Slano (BLD)

Mljet National Park Walk – 5/10 km, rated 1B

This morning, we sail further south to the Island of Mljet, anticipating the privilege of exploring Croatia’s oldest national park. Two lovely lakes form the centerpiece of the park, bearing the not-so-original names Small and Big Lake. Small Lake boasts a surreal shade of iridescent blue, while 12th century Italian Benedictines used an island in the center of Big Lake to build an impressive church, which we visit by boat. Our walk on the island of Mljet features a challenge option that climbs a hill providing postcard-perfect panoramas of both lakes, and the sea beyond.

Alternatively, you can rent bicycles, scooters or kayaks to explore the National Park or island on your own.

We take lunch on board as we depart for a small village called Slano on the mainland. Slano is a peaceful fishermen’s village and the jumping off point for Ston, another once fortified small village famous for its oysters. Ston sits on the Peljesac peninsula, renowned as one of the best wine-producing regions in Croatia.

After exploring the town, we leave for a small nearby village to enjoy the authentic local oyster tasting. Tonight, enjoy Captain’s dinner and overnight in Slano.

Day 9-Sep 22: CRUISING ~ Elafiti Islands – Dubrovnik, Croatia (BL)

Dubrovnik walking tour

Our final morning of cruising traces the shores of the Elaphiti Islands, where we stop for a our last dip in the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Lunch is served while cruising alongside the old city walls of Dubrovnik, which is followed by a guided panoramic bus tour.

Our coach drops us off at the historical centre of Dubrovnik for a walking tour through this renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Following the walking tour, you have free time to explore on your own, or join WAI guides for some additional walking, perhaps on the City Walls, or to corners of the city not featured on the walking tour.

Day 10-Sep 23: Depart from Dubrovnik (B)

We depart for home this morning, leaving this blessed corner of the Balkan Peninsula on the shores of the sun-washed Dalmatian Coast. What a privilege to sample the history, culture, and scenery of the Adriatic Riviera!

More Details

How Do I Lock in My Place on This Adventure?

To register, a non-refundable $500 deposit per person is required to hold your spot. A second non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required by January 15, 2023.

A final payment is due 90 days before departure and is non-refundable after the due date. You will receive a prompt email from us 2 to 3 weeks before both the 2nd deposit due date and the final payment due date.

Soon after registration, an “Adventure Advice” email will be sent with critical information on flight arrangements as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review this Adventure Advice email.

Please follow this link to read our full General Tour Conditions.

What is a Walking LITE tour?

On a Walking LITE cruise, travelers can enjoy the standard ship itinerary, which normally includes several walking tours, knowing that, where possible, WAI will offer more and longer walking opportunities on an optional basis. Further, travelers have the assurance that the ship, our floating hotel, is always a ready refuge where they can relax and transition from participant to observer as they choose.

A Walking LITE itinerary therefore widens the range of travelers who can comfortably enjoy a WAI travel experience. Travelers who prefer a slower pace and less walking than a standard WAI Adventure, but still appreciate a non-sedentary, experiential approach to travel, can join a Walking LITE group knowing that the itinerary will be less demanding physically.

In addition, using itineraries of trusted small ship cruise partners, Walking LITE itineraries allow WAI planners to take advantage of a wider range of destinations. Though we won’t always have specific on-the-ground trail experience, creativity and the wide WAI knowledge base (30 years’ worth) allows WAI guides and planners to amplify and enhance any itinerary by inserting walks of various lengths, some directly from the ship, and some using land transportation to nearby trails with which we are familiar.

Finally, adding Walking LITE small ship cruise experiences captures the value of unpacking only once and enjoying the floating hotel model of river cruising with its slower pace and relaxed tempo.

Our Ship—M/Y My Way

The Mega Yacht “My Way”, built in 2018 to full EU Solis requirements, is a deluxe cruise vessel featuring the latest state-of-the-art equipment and amenities. This sleek design and great service will provide a spectacular way to visit the Adriatic.

The public areas include a large, fully air-conditioned restaurant, an outdoor lounge, partially covered sun deck with comfortable lounge chairs, and a swimming platform at the rear which provides easy access to the water.

A young and vibrant crew of 7 + a cruise director will make all your wishes come true. Free WiFi (subject to signal). Non-smoking interiors. Currency: Croatian Kuna.

Its 20 spacious and comfortable cabins allow for a maximum of 39 passengers, are fully equipped with air conditioning, safe, wardrobe and a porthole (Low Deck) or window (Main & Upper Decks). All cabins have private bathrooms.

CABIN UPGRADES: All cabins are outward-facing. The Adventure price is based upon cabins on the Lower Deck, of which there are 7. Lower Deck cabins are the most spacious on the ship, ranging between 172 and 204 sq. ft. They have two upper rectangular windows (they let in light but do not open or allow viewing). Upgrades are available to two higher categories:

  • Main deck-Category B: $450 per person (5 cabins available). These cabins range between 128 and 188 sq. ft. and have a hopper window, large and rectangular, which opens.
  • Upper deck-Category A: $625 per person (3 cabins available). These cabins range between 156 and 161 sq. ft. and have a hopper window, large and rectangular, which opens.

How is Airfare Arranged?

The official start point for this Adventure is our hotel in Zagreb, about a 20-minute taxi ride from the Zagreb Airport (also known as Franjo Tuđman Airport)—airport code ZAG.

Our official finish point is the dock in Dubrovnik. Travelers will likely depart from the Dubrovnik Airport (also called Čilipi Airport) – airport code DBV.

We recommend that you contact Laura Pfahler, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements.

Details about flight arrangements and recommended travel agent contact information will be provided by email after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!

Travel Insurance

WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Laura Pfahler and Sharon Mitchell of World Travel Inc. are travel agents who provides air travel and insurance services to many WAI travelers.

Laura Pfahler: 503-434-6401 or [email protected]
Sharon Mitchell: 971-261-2091 or [email protected]

Check out Insurance Tips from World Travel for a short introduction to travel insurance. (NOTE: WAI receives no commission or financial remuneration from World Travel Inc.).

As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the SquareMouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Other options include:

Allianz
Betins
Travel Guard
Travel Insured International

WAI bears no responsibility for travel insurance benefits advertised by various credit card companies. If you are relying on this type of benefit for insurance, we advise you to verify coverage types and limits and that your purchase does in fact qualify you for this insurance.

NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). Travelers interested in purchasing “cancel for any reason” insurance coverage should be careful to check pricing and terms BEFORE they register for a tour. Recent changes in the international travel landscape has caused changes in the policies of some insurance companies, and made the purchase of this particular type of policy even more time-sensitive.

What if WAI Cancels the Tour?

Walking Adventures International reserves the right to cancel this tour departure with fewer than 12 participants, in which case registered participants will receive a 100% refund of payments received.

This refund policy contains one exclusion. Many suppliers require non-refundable deposits as a condition of booking services. Though it is rare, unforeseen circumstances can force us to cancel a tour. In cases where supplier’s non-refundable policies are imposed, WAI attempts to retrieve as much of these deposits as possible but cannot guarantee a 100% refund. In cases where full refunds cannot be obtained for a cancelled tour, we will do our best to transfer unrefunded money as traveler credits to be applied to a future tour to that destination.

COVID-19 Policies for This Tour

WAI has relaxed our policies and currently requires no mitigation procedures (current WAI Coronavirus Policy). However, Walking Adventures International policy includes endeavoring to comply with any COVID-19 policies in place in the destinations through which we travel.

We are not aware of any COVID-19 policies or restrictions that will impact this tour in along the Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea.

WAI will update travelers upon learning of any changes.

Travelers participating in the Jewels of the Adriatic Walking LITE Cruise must agree to abide by policies in place at the time of travel.

What Happens Next?

Soon after registration, an “Adventure Advice” email will be sent with critical information on flight arrangements as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review this Adventure Advice email.

A final payment is due 90 days before departure (June 16, 2023) and is non-refundable after the due date. You will receive a prompt email from us a week or two in advance. Please see our General Tour Conditions for the full terms and conditions for participation in this Adventure.

Around 2-3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final email packet with details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.

Take a few minutes to peruse the enclosed itinerary. Imagine cruising through the islands of the Adriatic, walking in places where you can almost hear the stomping of the Roman soldiers’ boots, swimming in the clear azure waters of the Adriatic, walking through the villages and hiking among the waterfalls. Walking is still and always the best way to experience our world.

We’d love to have you join us for this unforgettable Walking Adventure through Croatia and amongst the Dalmatian islands of the Adriatic!