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Destinations

Captivating cruises to Croatia


Nestled between Slovenia, Bosnia and Hungary, Croatia reaches out along the Adriatic, creating a coastline of historic cities and unbelievably beautiful views. On our cruises around the Adriatic, you can explore three captivating Croatian cities – Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar.


Explore the Ports

Zadar

Zadar, Croatia

Overlooked by the impressive Velebit mountains, Zadar is the oldest city in Croatia at over 3,000 years old, earning it the title of Dalmatia’s historical centre. The influence of both the Romans and the Venetians is evident in the Old Town. Here you can find the ruins of the Roman Forum, conceived by the first Emperor Augustus, the 9th-century Church of Donatus and the Cathedral of St Anastasia.

Zadar’s sea views and sun sets have captivated filmmakers for years, including Alfred Hitchcock, and it’s clear why. Not only can you gain spectacular views over the Adriatic Sea, but Nikola Bašić’s incredible, multi-sensory art instillations bring the landscape to life. The Sea Organ turns the lolling waves into music, and the Sun Salutation produces a dream-like night show that mimics starlight.

In Zadar you can sample some great parts of Croatian cuisine. Pršut is a wafer-thin cut of prosciutto, which owes its flavour to the bora, the Adriatic breeze that blows along the coast and dries the meat. Other local dishes that owe their creation to Nature are the salty cheeses and herb-coasted meats produced on the nearby island of Pag. Here, the bora sprays the land with seawater, flavouring the food. Taste the produce of Zadar and local towns in the many cafes of the Old Town.


Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Often referred to the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik is characterised by its mosaic of architectural styles, terracotta roofs and towering city walls that look out over the clear, azure waters of the Adriatic. Television enthusiasts will recognise the city as King’s Landing from Game of Thrones and Canto Bright from The Last Jedi – the iconic city walls are difficult to miss. No visit to Dubrovnik is complete without a stroll along them.

You could also enjoy a traditional morning coffee in the open-air cafes on the Stadun, a limestone-paved promenaded surrounded by 17th-century Baroque buildings, perfect for soaking up Dubrovnik’s relaxed culture. In the evening before returning to your ship, you can relax with a drink in the bars overlooking the sea, watching the Croatian sunset.

If you’d prefer to delve deeper into Dubrovnik’s history, you can visit its many museums and sites of interest. See how local aristocrats once lived in the Cultural History Museum. Discover gold-plated medieval relics in the treasury adjoining the Cathedral, including the skull of St Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint. Learn about the life in Socialist Yugoslavia in the Red History Museum, and the city’s 16th-century Golden Age as a maritime power at the Maritime Museum.


Split

Split, Croatia

Just as beautiful as Dubrovnik, Split features Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, as well as a more modern vibe as Croatia’s second-largest city.

Split’s UNESCO-listed Old Town surrounds the grand Diocletian’s Palace and several cafes and restaurants await you along its cobbled streets. Alternatively, you can take a stroll along the modern Riva Promenade, a palm-lined street along the harbour.

Outside the walls of Diocletian’s Palace see the statue of Gregory of Nin, who served as a bishop over a thousand years ago and introduced the Croatian language to the Church, making services more accessible. You may notice the statue’s shiny toe – it’s believed that rubbing the foot brings good luck, so why not give it a try? The small park surrounding the statue of Gregory of Nin is a great place to enjoy a snack and a spot of shade.


Spotlight Excursion: Diocletian’s Palace & Split’s National Theatre

Diocletian’s Palace, Split

Visit the remarkable Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 4th century. Enjoy a guided walk through this ancient Palace, where your guide will reveal the secrets and stories that have been preserved for centuries. Step into the iconic Peristil, the grand courtyard and marvel at the striking architecture.

After exploring the ancient wonders of this UNESCO site, you will visit the renowned Croatian National Theatre. Learn about the theatre’s fascinating history, including its connection to prominent figures in Croatian arts and literature and the stories behind its construction and impact on the city.

You will also be able to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the theatre’s inner workings as you explore backstage, seeing the dressing and sewing rooms. Witness the craftsmanship and preparation that go into bringing captivating performances to life.

Conclude your tour at Kazalisna Kavana, a charming theatre-themed bar for a refreshment.


Why Cruise to Croatia with Us?

Spirit of Discovery in Rovinj, Croatia

When you cruise with Saga, there is so much to enjoy both on board and ashore. Every morning the daily schedule will be delivered to the door of your private balcony-cabin (which are standard for every guest, regardless of cabin grade).

From educational talks, fitness classes, art and dance classes, games and more, to top-of-the-range facilities, you’ll always be entertained during days at sea. Unwind with a relaxing treatment in the Spa or get pampered in the Salon – it’s up to you! On days ashore, we offer included excursions at most ports as well as optional excursions and plenty of free time to explore independently, so you can get a true cultural experience in visited destinations.

You can enjoy the small-ship luxuries aboard Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure without worrying about hidden fees, with our included return chauffeur service, gratuities, travel insurance, Wi-Fi, drinks and fine dining, including afternoon tea every day, chef-prepared cuisine in the Dining Room and all our speciality restaurants. Plus, with a ratio of one service team member for every two guests, you can always expect special and personal service. This is boutique cruising.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.