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Small ship cruises - a Captain's guide to what to expect

Travel experiences

31st December, 2018

There are fewer places in the world that can match the natural beauty of the Adriatic and its archipelago of picturesque islands that pepper the coast of Croatia. But don’t just take our word for it, the Captains really do know best when it comes to cruising here.

Saga’s small ship cruises offer a more intimate way of experiencing this spectacular coastline. The fleet of small ships boast all the charm and grace of larger cruise vessels, but with a much more relaxed feel, making them a popular choice for a cruise holiday.

In an exclusive series of interviews, the Captains have given us an insider’s guide to what it’s really like to cruise the calm, clear waters of the Adriatic and why they love it so much.

Meet the Captains!

"Dalmatia", Ivo

MV Dalmatia

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job as Captain?

A: I enjoy it most when the weather is nice, guests are smiling, and they are happy.

Q: Please tell us what is unique about your particular ship and the tours you take our customers on.

A: My ship is special as everything always goes according to plan, and it feels like everything is in place.

Q: What do you think our customers love the most about cruises aboard your ship?

A: Lying on the deck under the sun, the fantastic crew members and the relaxed atmosphere.

Q: Do you have any hints or tips for customers cruising for the first time on a Croatian small ship cruise? What to bring / what to expect?

A: To enjoy it as much as they can, there isn’t a more beautiful vacation.

Q: Do you have a favourite destination you visit and why?

A: The northern Adriatic because of its calm, beautiful nature, lack of crowds and its safe ports.

Q: Are there any less well-known places that you visit on our tours that you can recommend?

A: Ilovik and Susak islands – they are very beautiful, and special.

Q: What is your best memory of your time working for Saga so far?

A: Best memories are singing and dancing with the groups. And of course, when they are all united.

Q: Plus, anything else you'd like to say...?

A: You cannot understand it until you experience it.

Experience our cruises on Dalmatia.

"Emanuel", Goran

MV Emanuel

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job as Captain?

A: Cooperation with people is something I enjoy. You can learn a lot and gain a lot of life experience, especially if accompanied with nice weather.

Q: Please tell us what is unique about your particular ship and the tours you take our customers on.

A: Emanuel used to be a line passenger ship, which makes her unlike other ship in terms of layout. It is both a bit traditional, and very comfortable - a ship with “soul”.

Q: What do you think our customers love the most about cruises aboard your ship?

A: The family atmosphere, the team work and the beautiful sea.

Q: Do you have any hints or tips for customers cruising for the first time on a Croatian small ship cruise? What to bring / what to expect?

A: Take advantage of the sun and sea!

Q: Do you have a favourite destination you visit and why?

A: Korčula – there’s something special about the place.

Q: Are there any less well-known places that you visit on our tours that you can recommend?

A: Šipan and Slano are our hidden beauties.

Q: What is your best memory of your time working for Saga so far?

A: There are many good memories. What we enjoy most is seeing our guests happy and going home with unforgettable memories.

Q: Plus, anything else you'd like to say...?

A: Relax…

Experience our cruises on Emanuel.

"My Way", Ante

MV My Way

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job as Captain?

A: I most enjoy the sense of freedom, which impregnates the whole journey.

Q: Please tell us what is unique about your particular ship and the tours you take our customers on.

A: Everything is special. Each Captain will tell you this for his ship, especially if it is a family business. The atmosphere, the whole journey, Croatia itself, islands, climate… everything.

Q: What do you think our customers love the most about cruises aboard your ship?

A: The sense of freedom they experience when exploring our beauties, and most of all, seeing so many destinations without the need to handle their luggage, as they have a “moving hotel”.

Q: Do you have any hints or tips for customers cruising for the first time on a Croatian small ship cruise? What to bring / what to expect?

A: Relax and enjoy.

Q: Do you have a favourite destination you visit and why?

A: For me, each destination is special in its own way, as they are all different.

Q: Are there any less well-known places that you visit on our tours that you can recommend?

A: Skradin – you have to see it to experience this kind of beauty.

Q: What is your best memory of your time working for Saga so far?

A: There are many!

Q: Plus, anything else you'd like to say...?

A: No, there is only one thing to follow up - relax and enjoy.

Experience our cruises on My Way.

"Nautilus", Zoran

MV Nautilus

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job as Captain?

A: Being a Captain is a dream come true for me, as I have loved the boats since I was very young. I also love working with customers, you meet a lot of interesting people.

Q: Please tell us what is unique about your particular ship and the tours you take our customers on.

A: It is special because it is mine. But also, it’s very comfortable, and there is a good internal communication throughout the ship.

Q: What do you think our customers love the most about cruises aboard your ship?

A: In The: environment, the sea, climate, hospitality, kindness, rest, the peace and quiet, and tasty food.

Q: Do you have any hints or tips for customers cruising for the first time on a Croatian small ship cruise? What to bring / what to expect?

A: Without excessive luggage, without panic.

Q: Do you have a favourite destination you visit and why?

A: Pučišća to get some rest. Split to do the rest.

Q: Are there any less well-known places that you visit on our tours that you can recommend?

A: Pučišća is my favourite.

Q: What is your best memory of your time working for Saga so far?

A: There are many experiences and many to look forward to.

Q: Plus, anything else you'd like to say...?

A: Without prejudice, come and forget everything…

Experience our cruises on Nautilus.

"Providenca" & "Liberty", Dražen

MV Liberty

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job as Captain?

A: The best thing about being a Captain is that first of all you are never bored. I constantly meet new people, experience new cultures, see new habits and interesting life stories and beyond all amazing people. I have an opportunity to meet new friends which make my life, richer.

Q: Please tell us what is unique about your particular ship and the tours you take our customers on.

A: What is interesting about my family is that my grandfather and my father were Captains, too. I have been on the older, wooden ships since I was a little boy. I learnt just by watching my father and my grandfather. I was born with that and all our love was given to our ships. Their wives were little bit jealous on the ships because they used to give more attention to the ships than them. Our boats were like our mistresses. Now we are owners of a new, elegant, modern cruise ship and we, as owners, are constantly on the boat which makes our service even better.

Q: What do you think our customers love the most about cruises aboard your ship?

A: Our customers always say that we stand out for our home-made food, the size of the boat and cabins, outstanding crew, outdoor saloon which makes unique atmosphere either having their lunch in an untouched bay or having their dinner alfresco on a summer’s night.

Q: Do you have any hints or tips for customers cruising for the first time on a Croatian small ship cruise? What to bring / what to expect?

A: When you are coming to Croatia bring a good mood and a bathing suit. Do not miss our Croatian wine made on our islands and our local food.

Q: Do you have a favourite destination you visit and why?

A: It is really hard to say which destination is my favourite because it is hard to choose between amazing ancient Dubrovnik, or Marco Polo's birth place Korčula, outstanding Hvar. Maybe the Mljet National Park stands out the most. It is indescribably quiet and peaceful. There are lakes where you can cycle all around them, experience untouched nature or even swim.

Experience our cruises on MV Liberty.

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.

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