Ask Harriet: Daytripping in Dubrovnik

After recently embarking on a small ship for the first time, I learned something very quickly: I loved this way of traveling. As we cruised, I couldn’t get enough of just sitting and watching the shoreline go by—it’s so easy, visual, and peaceful. And, as I shared in my journal entry last month, the crew was exceptional. Lois and Robert Miller emailed me to share why they enjoy traveling by river ship so much. Here’s what they said:

My wife and I have taken two River Cruises and have thoroughly enjoyed them for so many reasons. My wife is happy that she only has to unpack once, but one other thing that we will always remember is the gracious, accommodating, friendly, and fun-loving waiters and waitresses from the different European countries serving gourmet food that is always so exquisitely prepared and served along with the included house wine.

Lois & Robert Miller
7-time travelers & Vacation Ambassadors
Seattle, Washington

Lois and Robert, thank you so much for sharing your memories of your River Cruises with me. I completely agree with you Lois: I love that you only have to unpack once—and off you go!

I’m proud that our river ship crew helps to make Grand Circle’s trips shine. I often hear from our travelers that their ship’s crew are among the highlights of their River Cruises. Please continue to email me with your memories—and photos! I love hearing from you.

Ask Harriet

Grand Circle travelers are excited to hear that we’re now offering three new Mediterranean Small Ship Cruises, beginning with September departures. While visiting the Travel Forums on our website, I saw this question related to our Mediterranean itineraries, and wanted to answer it:

Q: We are considering the Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece trip, however we would like to go to Mostar in Bosnia. It looks like we could break away and take a day trip while we are in Dubrovnik. Has anyone done this or know how feasible this excursion would be?

Colleen Ashfield
4-time traveler
Portland, Oregon

A: We often get questions from our travelers about what to do during free time when traveling on our cruises. Some people like to take their free time to rest. Others like use their time to explore more.

To answer Mrs. Ashfield's specific question about visiting Mostor in her free time, I went right to the source to get an answer: our regional office in Dubrovnik. Sinisa Antunovic—Grand Circle Area Manager in Croatia—got back to me right away, and told me that you can travel to Mostar while your ship is in Dubrovnik, but if you do, you’ll lose time in Dubrovnik.

The ship arrives in Dubrovnik in the evening (no matter which direction you decide to take: Athens to Zagreb, or Zagreb to Athens). The next morning, you’ll have the chance to explore Dubrovnik during an included tour, visiting Rector Palace and a Franciscan monastery, followed by free time and the option to go back to the ship for lunch on board. Or, you can stay in Dubrovnik for a few additional free hours before returning to the ship. If you decide to travel to Mostar on your own, you’d have to skip this tour because traveling to Mostar would take a full day (it is a three-hour drive each way).

If you would still like to visit Mostar on your own, you can certainly do so, and your Program Director and regional office can help. You’ll need to book your own transportation (which your Program Director can help with), and depart early. Mostar is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one of the most interesting parts of the area is the Islamic Old Town with its famous bridge. According to Sinisa, the bridge was actually destroyed during the war in 1993, but it has since been rebuilt—and reopened in 2004. While in Mostar, there are many things you can enjoy, from wandering through the old town to shopping at the Turkish bazaar to having a traditional Turkish lunch. Sinisa shared that if you’re lucky, you might just see a few bridge jumpers (the bridge is 66 feet high)!

Here at Grand Circle, we always try to give our travelers choices. I hope this information will help you decide if a visit to Mostar is right for you, or if you’d rather make the most of your time in Dubrovnik.

Please continue to share your travel questions and tips on our Travel Forum. Keep the conversation going!

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