Jewels of the Adriatic Cruise

September 19-29, 2018 • 11 Days

25 – 27 travelers: $5,500
28 – 31 travelers: $5,350
32 – 36 travelers: $4,950

NEW TRAVELER DISCOUNT: New Travelers receive $400 off this international tour!

This program includes two diverse segments—a 3-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.

Montenegro & Bosnia-Herzegovina Extension

September 29-October 3, 2018 • 5 Days • $1490

This land-based extension explores highlights such as Montenegro’s gorgeous Bay of Kotor, picturesque and historic Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and beguiling Mlini, Croatia.

View Daily Itinerary

Why Cruise the Adriatic?

Check out this video to view 3 of our favorite things about this destination!

Welcome to a new and revised walking adventure in the Balkan Peninsula! The 2018 version of this program offers an 11-day main tour and a 5-day optional extension. The main tour includes two diverse segments—a 3-night land program that explores Zagreb, capital of Croatia, and the astounding lakes and cascading waterfalls of Plitviče Lakes National Park, along with a 7-night cruise through the Croatian islands of the Adriatic along the Dalmatian Coast. The optional extension takes us into the neighboring Balkan countries of Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Adriatic Sea is that ancient Mediterranean buffer between Europe’s Italian and Balkan Peninsulas. It 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, interrupted in modern times by post-World War II Yugoslavian communism, then even more so by the Yugoslavian Wars of the 1990s.

After disembarking the ship in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the optional extension into Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina provides a more textured glimpse of the region. A day in Montenegro is a pure delight of non-stop scenic drama—the massive Bay of Kotor, reminiscent of the fjords of Norway, seen from a shoreline walk as well as from the mountaintops above.

Moving deeper into the Balkan Peninsula into Bosnia-Herzegovina offers opportunity to see how the contrast of religions was exploited by the dark side of human nature. But even here, in Herzegovina, natural beauty combines with this phenomenon of experiencing different points of view: the Islamic remnants of Turkish occupation, the Orthodox influence of Serbia, the Catholic faith of Croatia, and the hope of restoration.

Adriatic Cruise MS Desire
Our Ship

The M/S Desire is a new, five star vessel launched in 2017. All cabins are equipped with a full range of modern amenities including A/C, hair dryers, and sound proofing. The Upper Deck dining room is also air conditioned and seats all passengers at once. An extension of the restaurant offers covered, open air dining as well. The Sun Deck offers covered or open lounging with a small swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and outdoor bar. A swimming platform and three outdoor showers enable convenient stops to swim in the Adriatic Sea, usually in quiet coves.

View M/S Desire Deckplan

Cabin Upgrades:

The Adventure price includes Double Cabins on the Lower Deck. Eight Lower Deck cabins are available with three portholes. Three levels of upgrade are available:

    • Eight Main Deck cabins, five with 4 large portholes and three with a large picture window:  $75 per person upgrade
    • Two large Upper Deck cabins with picture windows: $100 per person upgrade
    • One large Sun Deck cabin with multiple picture windows: $200 per person upgrade

Jewels of Adriatic Cruise

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/S Desire. Upgrades are available.
  • 3 nights in superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • Port fees and cruise fuel surcharges (subject to change)
  • 21 meals: All breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners as denoted (BLD)
  • Unlimited coffee/tea/water aboard ship
  • All listed walks, with commentary by local guide or national guide
  • History/culture/flora-fauna presentations aboard ship
  • Fees for 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
  • Customized WAI shore excursions
  • Cultural & historical expertise of our national guide for full trip – both land and sea
  • Due to the size of our ship, the M/S Desire, single accommodations are not available on this tour.

Visits to/Admission fees:

  • Plitviče Lakes National Park including electric boat transport
  • Diocletian’s Palace tour – Split
  • Brač Archeological Museum – Brač
  • Pučišća stonemason school – Brač
  • Hvar Island driving tour – Hvar
  • Hvar Town guided walking tour – Hvar
  • Vis island panoramic tour by coach – Vis
  • Blue Cave experience, including motorboat transport – Vis
  • Zlokić olive oil factory visit – Korčula
  • Winetasting after Korčula culture walk – Korčula
  • Korčula Town guided walking tour – Korčula
  • Mljet National Park – Mljet
  • Dubrovnik Wall Walk – Croatia
  • Mount Srd gondola – Dubrovnik
  • Plus more fun and educational experiences than we can list!

Montenegro and BIH Extension

Including:

  • All land travel as outlined
  • 4 nights in superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • 7 meals: All breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner as denoted (BLD)
  • All listed walks, with commentary by local guide or national guide
  • Fees for IVV walking credit (IVV sanctions requested)
  • All tipping for local guides/coach drivers
  • Two WAI tour leaders throughout
  • Cultural & historical expertise of our national guide throughout
  • Cultural & historical expertise of local guide in Herzegovina
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $210.

Visits to/Admission fees:

  • Kotor serpentine road – Montenegro
  • Koski Mehmed-Pasha’s Mosque – Mostar
  • Biscevic’s Turkish House – Mostar
  • Radimlja necropolis – Herzegovina
  • Zavala Monastery – Herzegovina

“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

Important Info

Group Size

30-36 travelers

Lodgings

3 nights in strategically located Superior Tourist Class or better hotels, 7 nights aboard our 38 passenger chartered 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/S Desire is a five star vessel launched in 2017 and holds 38 passengers. In addition, we use full-size motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 45+ seats.

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.

 

Local Guide Pero Moretic on Jewels of the Adriatic Tour

Pero Moretic will be with us for the duration of Jewels of the Adriatic, as our national guide on the coach and our cruise director aboard ship. He is an active member of the local mountaineering society, and his primary hobbies are travelling and cooking. Fluent in Croatian, Italian, English, and Russian, Pero enjoys all aspects of travel, but focuses especially on absorbing more of the history and culture of regions through which he traverses. Pero loves to explore on his own, has backpacked through South America and is currently planning a road trip to America’s National Parks. He looks forward to sharing the history and fascinating interplay of diverse Adriatic and Balkan cultures with you!

Itinerary

Jewels of Adriatic Cruise

Day 1-Sep 19: 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 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. WAI is excited to add this interesting Balkan capital as the starting point of 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 20: Activities in Zagreb (B)

Zagreb, Croatia Walk – distance and rating to be announced

Today’s walk begins from our centrally located hotel in Zagreb’s Lower Town. Our local guide shares commentary as we wander the lanes and parks of the central part of Zagreb, making our way up the hill to Upper Town, the medieval core of the city. Zagreb only became Croatia’s capital since 1991, after Croatia and Slovenia withdrew from the disintegrating republic of Yugoslavia, but it has long been the leading cultural and political center of the region that is now Croatia.

Day 3-Sep 21: Zagreb - Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia (BD)

Plitviče Lakes National Park – 6/10 km, rated 2B

Croatia’s most famous national park, Plitviče Lakes, is also new on this edition of the tour. Many people consider Plitviče Lakes National Park Croatia’s biggest natural attraction. After arriving late-morning from Zagreb, our trail meanders through a wonderland of sixteen lakes and countless waterfalls, using shore paths, boardwalks, and footbridges. 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. After exploring the park, and motoring across the largest lake by electric boat, we overnight in a nearby hotel.

Day 4-Sep 22: Plitviče Lakes National Park – Embark at Split, Croatia (BL)

Marjan Park Walk – 9 km, rated 3B

Another morning coach ride through Croatian countryside leads, at last, to the Adriatic Sea, and the ancient city of Split. We stretch our legs with a climb into Marjan Park, offering expansive views over the Adriatic, then check into our home for the next 7 nights – the M/S Desire, a sleek 38-passenger craft that will carry us through the Dalmatian Islands in style. After a light lunch aboard ship, a guided walking tour in Split introduces us to impressive, Roman-era Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. 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. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening in one of the many eateries hidden away in the palace or strung along the picturesque waterfront.

Day 5-Sep 23: Split - Pučišća, Brač (BL)

Sailing from Split to the island of Brač
Škrip to Splitska Walk – 3.5 km, rated 2B
Lovrecina Bay to Postira Walk – 5 km, rated 1B

We set sail this morning through azure seas to the island of Brač. Our intimate, chartered vessel is a great way to explore the archipelago off the Dalmatian coast. The Croatian side of the Adriatic Sea has ancient connections to the Roman Empire. Atop the island of Brač, we find the diminutive village of Skrip, birthplace of Helena, mother of the 4th century Roman emperor Constantine. Here, we wander past ageless stone structures and a medieval church named in Helena’s honor to a humble museum boasting treasures from the Roman era and even earlier. Part two of our walk is less historic and more relaxing as we follow a coastal path along the shoreline of the island through forest and gardens past secluded coves. Pučišća (pronounced “Puchishche”) is the afternoon destination. Built on stone, island quarries near Pučišća have produced limestone columns for such architectural monuments as Washington, DC’s White House and Vienna’s Parliament House. Our visit here includes a stop at the stonemasons’ school, preserving the island’s traditional vocation as a livelihood for future generations.

Day 6-Sep 24: Pučišća – Jelsa, Hvar (BL)

Sailing from the island of Brač to the island of Hvar
Vrboska to Jelsa Dalmatian Delights Walk – 7 km, rated 1A

The day begins with a voyage south to the island of Hvar, renowned as Croatia’s sunniest island.  We dock in the small fishing town of Jelsa and, after lunch on board, travel by bus through the northern side of the island to begin today’s walk in the quiet 15th century fishing village of Vrboska. The trail continues past Vrboska’s thriving yacht marina and along the coast to the 14th century maritime center of Jelsa, with its welcoming waterfront promenade. Enjoy the traditional ambiance this evening with dinner on your own in delightful Jelsa.

Day 7-Sep 25: Jelsa – Vis Town, Vis (BLD)

Sailing from the island of Hvar to the island of Vis
Vis Town Walk – 4 km, rated 1B

We leave Jelsa by motorcoach this morning, crossing a plain which still retains agriculture boundaries established by Greeks when they founded the colony of Pharos in the 4th century BC. Crossing over the mountainous spine of the island provides panoramic views of checkerboard fields, demarcated by an endless series of picturesque stone walls. Before leaving the island of Hvar, we visit its principle town, 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. We sail west to the neighboring Vis, Walking Adventure’s first visit to this more remote Dalmatian island. We’re excited to offer a walk here along the traditional waterfront of it namesake town – Vis. Our introductory walk is followed by a coach tour that yields several surprises, including a strong link to the military defense of Croatia that only ended after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Day 8-Sep 26: Vis – Korčula Town, Korčula (BL)

Sailing from the island of Vis to the island of Korčula
Korčula Vineyards & Olive Groves Walk – 5 km, rating unknown

Vis is famous for its Blue Cave, which we discover after a short motorboat ride to the tiny, neighboring island of Biševo (population 15). This sea cave generates an eerie, shimmering blue light, filtered by sea water and channeled by a submerged side entrance. Cruising from Vis on the M/S Desire, we arrive early afternoon in Vela Luka, on the western edge of the island of Korčula. From Vela Luka, we cross the island by coach, stopping first at the privately owned Zlokić olive oil factory to enjoy a few samples and learn about the process of making olive oil. Further east, we meet a local guide for our walk of the day through the Korčula countryside, passing farmlands, olive groves, and vineyards, and drinking in views of the Korčula coastline and sea beyond. The walk ends at a local winery with an opportunity to sample the fruit of the vine before we rendezvous with our ship in nearby Korčula Town. Dinner on our own involves an enchanting stroll in this charming medieval town.

Day 9-Sep 27: Korčula – Pomena, Mljet (BLD)

Sailing from the island of Korčula to the island of Mljet
Mljet National Park Walk – 10 km, rated 1B

A guided walking tour this morning introduces us to Korčula Town, a charming medieval community of stone built on an oval peninsula which local legend claims as the birthplace of the renowned merchant and traveler Marco Polo. Late morning, we embark for 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.

Day 10-Sep 28: Pomena – Dubrovnik, Croatia (BLD)

Sailing from the island of Mljet to Dubrovnik, where we disembark
Dubrovnik Wall & Mount Srd Walk – 5 km, rated 2B

Our final morning of cruising traces the shores of the Elaphiti Islands, where we stop for a final dip in the beautiful Adriatic Sea. We finish our voyage in Dubrovnik, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. A medieval wall walk is the best introduction to this Adriatic time capsule, looking down on a photogenic enclave of lovely squares, palaces, churches, and other architectural monuments to the glories of centuries past. The second part of the walk is reached by a gondola ride up to Mount Srd. Instrumental in the defense of Dubrovnik during the Yugoslav Wars, Mount Srd offers stunning sunset views of the Adriatic. We walk from the viewpoint to the nearby village of Bosanka for a traditional “under the iron bell” dinner before returning to port for the final evening of the main tour.

Day 11-Sep 29: 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! Travelers continuing on the Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina Extension depart the ship as well for several more days of Balkan exploration.

Montenegro and BIH Extension

Day 1-Sep 29: Dubrovnik – Cavtat, Croatia (B)

Lokrum Island Walk – 6 km, rated 2B

Today’s walk is a multi-faceted experience that begins with a return to old Dubrovnik. From there, we walk adjacent to the Adriatic, descending to a remote beach with panoramic views of the city walls. Here, we catch a private boat over to tiny Lokrum Island. Our trail circumnavigates the island, where we hear the story of Richard the Lionheart’s shipwreck, and Hapsburgs royals who used the island to soak in the Adriatic sun. Our boat returns us to Dubrovnik’s picturesque Old Port, where a break for lunch allows one last chance to enjoy one of Croatia’s loveliest towns.

Day 2-Sep 30: Activities from Cavtat (BD)

Bay of Kotor Walk – 8 km, rated 1A

Today is devoted to Montenegro, starting with an easy stroll through idyllic, seaside villages along the shore of the stunningly beautiful Bay of Kotor, largest harbor in the eastern Mediterranean. An extended break for lunch in the ancient, UNESCO World Heritage town of Kotor offers time to wander the town’s picturesque, labyrinthine lanes. Consider joining us for a hike up fortifications to the commanding fortress above town for breathtaking views over the bay. Or take in more expansive views as our bus ascends the serpentine road above town—one of Europe’s most panoramic drives! We return through continuous Mediterranean vistas to Cavtat for second night in this welcoming Croatian coastal village.

Day 3-Oct 1: Cavtat – Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina (B)

Blagaj Dervish House Walk – 3 km, rated 1B
Mostar, A Taste of Turkey Walk – 3 km, rated 1B

We motor west along the Croatian coast this morning before turning inland to cross the border into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Islamic influence of centuries of Turkish occupation is evident in the quiet little village of Počitelj. Everything is built from stone, from a perfectly preserved hamam (Turkish bath) to the quiet little mosque. Continuing inland, our walk in the village of Blagaj follows the Buna River past more picturesque Turkish-era architecture to the river’s astonishing source—a massive spring at the base of a cliff. Mostar was a jewel of Herzegovina, a model of cross-cultural and inter-religious community until tensions of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s literally tore the town apart. Its charm is being restored along with a slow regeneration of trust. No place allows more opportunity to grasp the complex and tragic phenomenon of the Yugoslav Wars.

Day 4-Oct 2: Mostar – Mlini, Croatia (BL)

Our first stop today is in Radimlja to view one of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s most valuable medieval monuments, a mysterious necropolis (cemetery) of tombstones strikingly decorated with relief carvings and cut in a variety of shapes and sizes. We continue deeper into Herzegovina for lunch in the remote settlement of Zavala, followed by a visit to a 13th century Orthodox Monastery, a significant center of cultural and religious life in eastern Herzegovina. We return to Croatia through another reminder of ethnic/religious conflict—the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous Region of Herzegovina, a Serb enclave within the largely Catholic region of Herzegovina. Our last night is spent in the picture perfect Adriatic town of Mlini.

Day 5-Oct 3: Depart from Dubrovnik (B)

We return home this morning, enriched by our encounter with two more cultures of the Baltic Peninsula and in possession of a greater understanding of the complicated story of this intriguing corner of Europe.

More Details

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

To save yourself a spot on this Adventure, contact us to register with a $500 deposit as soon as possible! A maximum of 36 travelers will be accepted. Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

General Tour Conditions and Registration Forms

To finalize your official registration, a completed and signed copy of the Registration Form is necessary. Please be sure to read all the fun stuff (the fine print) in the General Tour Conditions!

First Time Traveler Savings

In appreciation for joining us for your first Walking Adventure, we offer new travelers a $400 credit on this international tour!

Group Travel Credit

If you are part of a Group, remember that your full deposit of $500 is still required to hold your spot on this Adventure. Your group leader is responsible for submitting your name in writing to us before you register, qualifying you for the Group Travel Credit, but a full deposit is needed to officially reserve your place. Your Group Travel Credit will be reflected on your final statement.

Check out more information on the Group Travel Program.

2018 Program Revisions

The program in the Balkans has been greatly revised for 2018, an opportunity afforded by the new capability to sail in one direction only. This allows a more efficient use of cruising time and new possibilities for routing on the land portion. A partial list of stops and activities new for the 2018 edition of this Adventure include:

  • Zagreb, capital of Croatia, as starting point of the tour: A new walk here takes us by outstanding examples of its 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture plus a pleasing array of outdoor cafes, squares, shops, museums and parks.
  • Plitviče Lakes National Park: Croatia’s most famous national park is considered by many, including our national guide Pero, to be the top, single, must-see site in Croatia. A new walk here winds amongst the sixteen lakes and innumerable waterfalls.
  • Brac: Our new cruise route allows us to spend the night in the charming town of Pučišća where travelers have the chance to explore dinner options in the picturesque, traditional, stone-built village strung along a picturesque inlet and marina.
  • Hvar: The more efficient cruise course also allows a new stop in Hvar Town, with a guided walking tour amongst its primary points of interest. Hvar is an ancient town with strong connections to Venice during its heyday in the middle and late-middle ages.
  • Vis: We are able to add this brand new island/port of call because 1) of the one-way time savings and 2) we are chartering (it’s not on our ship’s normal itinerary). A new walk takes us along the picturesque waterfront of Vis (population under 2000) along a horseshoe-shaped bay that has several points of interest, including mansions and palaces of the Renaissance period, a Roman bath, Greek cemetery, and Franciscan monastery. The island drive following our walk gives lovely panoramic views over the area and visits a couple of unusual sites related to the island’s defensive position during the 20th century.
  • Blue Cave: From Vis, we are adding a motorboat ride to a tiny neighboring island to visit the Blue Cave, a phenomenon where light is filtered into the cave from a side portal through the water, resulting in an eerie, blue glow of light
  • Korčula: We used to do a 3-stop cultural tour on Korčula, but improved this visit by keeping only the best of the 3 stops, the olive oil factory, and adding a guided cultural/agricultural walk ending with wine tasting at a local vintner.
  • Optional Extension: The optional extension in Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina was previously part of the main tour. The itinerary of our days in Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina are largely unchanged. We did add a walk on Lokrum Island off the coast from Dubrovnik that we’ve been considering for the past few visits. Otherwise, these 4 days were already outstanding and we’re excited to share them with you. We are still 2 nights in the charming, coastal village of Cavtat, and we finish with our last night in appealing, coastal Mlini.

Modified Payment Terms

Because we are chartering the ship, our standard payment and cancellations terms must be modified. A deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration to hold your spot and is non-refundable at time of payment. A second $500 is due as of February 15, 2018 and is non-refundable at time of payment. Final payment is then due 100 days before departure, and is non-refundable at that time. As always, you will be reminded with an invoice a couple of weeks before final payment is due.

Our Ship—M/S Desire

The M/S Desire is a new, five star vessel launched in 2017. All cabins are equipped with a full range of modern amenities including A/C, hair dryers, and sound proofing. The Upper Deck dining room is also air conditioned and seats all passengers at once. An extension of the restaurant offers covered, open air dining as well. The Sun Deck offers covered or open lounging with a small swimming pool and jacuzzi as well as an outdoor bar. A swimming platform and three outdoor showers enable convenient stops to swim in the sea.

View the M/S Desire Deckplan.

CABIN UPGRADES: The Adventure price is based upon cabins on the Lower Deck, of which there are eight. All cabins are outward-facing with portholes or windows. Upgrades are available to three higher categories:

  • Main deck: $75 per person (8 cabins available)
  • Upper deck: $100 per person (2 cabins available)
  • Sun deck: $200 per person (1 cabin available)

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. We finish both the Jewels of Adriatic Cruise and the Montenegro & Bosnia-Herzegovina Extension in Dubrovnik, and travelers will depart from the Dubrovnik Airport (also called Čilipi Airport) – airport code DBV. We recommend that you contact Debbi Custer, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer, mailed to you after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving the Adventure Advice flyer!

What about the walks?

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. The success of the walks is therefore predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

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. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (email [email protected] -OR- call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the Insuremytrip.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Other options include:

  • Allianz
  • Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured International

We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.

What happens next?

Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. The Adventure Advice flyer will be sent soon after, with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you receive the Adventure Advice flyer. Final payment for the program is due 100 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 3 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the 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, or driving through the hills of Herzegovina, connecting with the age-old culture of the Balkans where elements of the Orient still permeate daily life. Walking is still and always the best way to experience our world. Give us a call and talk to one of our Adventure Consultants about how to join us for this unforgettable Walking Adventure program through the Balkan Peninsula and amongst the Dalmatian islands of the Adriatic!