You are using an old version of the browser and your video viewing experience may be impacted
X
The Leader in Small Ship and River Cruising Worldwide
Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value Since 1958

2016 Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece

16 Days from only $5745 including international airfare

ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 50-PASSENGER M/V ARTEMIS & M/V ATHENA DESIGNED FOR AMERICAN TRAVELERS

Zagreb, Croatia • Plitvice Lakes • Split • Hvar • Korcula • Dubrovnik • Bay of Kotor, Montenegro • Butrint, Albania • Corfu, Greece • Delphi • Corinth Canal • Athens

Trip Experience

Discover the cultural and artisanal traditions that await you in Croatia—from the people who call it home.

Trip Itinerary

Get more information about your detailed itinerary, like optional tours, exclusive Discovery Series events, and more.

Program Director

Hear why the sea is such an important part of Program Director Ivan Boban's life.

Program Director

Experience our Dalmatian Coast & Greece Small Ship Cruise Tour with Program Director Luci Duzevic

Trip Extension: Athens

Discover ancient ruins and traditions in the cradle of Western civilization during our optional trip extension.

Trip Extension: Bled

Explore the beauty of Triglav National Park and sample gingerbread at a local shop in Bled, Slovenia.

Discover our Mediterranean small ships

See how our award-winning, 50-passenger small ships will enhance your Mediterranean cruise experience.

Courtesy Epiphany Morgan
Maja: A 365 Docobites Film

Discover the treasured local tradition that's associated with Slovenia’s Mount Triglav.

Courtesy Small World Productions
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Explore the rocky islands and ancient stone towns of the Dalmatian Coast with travel expert Rudy Maxa.

©2016 The New York Times
36 Hours in Athens

Discover two sides of Athens: from ancient ruins and traditional cuisine to a vibrant youth culture and modern entertainment scene.

Courtesy Zlatko Medić
Dubrovnik Old Town Aerial

Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Dubrovnik, the lovely and historic crowning jewel of Croatia.

Courtesy Epiphany Morgan
Martin: A 365 Docobites Film

Preview the Slovenian culture and traditions that await you on our optional trip extension to Bled.

Courtesy Martijn Payens
Mushrooms of Concrete

Discover Albania’s concrete bunkers—sites that, though built for potential warfare, have more creative uses today.

Courtesy Paul Kurti
Out of Sight

Meet four Albanian children who share their hopes, challenges, and dreams—or, in some cases, lack thereof.

Courtesy Small World Productions
Greek Islands

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa to discover sundrenched villages and natural wonders along Greece's Cyclades islands.

Courtesy Small World Productions
Athens and the Peloponnese

Get to know iconic Athens and discover the legendary locales beyond its borders with travel expert Rudy Maxa.

New Year, New Stories

Take a look at the films that inspire filmmaker David Conover—and preview the stories that await this year.

Climate Change & Travel

Travel with David Conover to see how people—from street protesters to Heads of State—respond to a changing climate and ocean.

Produced for CuriosityStream
Big Picture Earth Trailer

David Conover's newest television series takes us from Stonehenge to Petra, from Iceland to the Oracle at Delphi ... and beyond.

Sharing Travel Moments

Hear why visual storytelling helps to build a conversation about the world from filmmaker David Conover.

Solo Traveler Experience

Hear about one solo traveler’s experiences in Turkey and Greece.

The Grand Circle Cruise Line Experience

Travel aboard Grand Circle Cruise Line’s selection of river and small ships—from the Adriatic Sea to the Danube River.

Travel Protection Plan

Learn about the benefits of Grand Circle's plan—and how you can protect your entire trip investment.

FROM
$5745
16 DAYS
$360/DAY
including international airfare
15 DAYS FROM $4595 Small Ship Cruise Tour Only
Extend Your Trip
 

Customize Your Trip
See how you can create your own unique travel experience

 
 

Share Your Travel Moments
Upload your travel videos
and photos from your past vacations with us

Itinerary Overview

Visit Croatia, a destination which has enchanted travelers for more than a millennium, on this Small Ship Cruise Tour. Witness turquoise lakes linked by soaring waterfalls … islands covered in lavender and myrtle … whitewashed villages perched on sun-baked cliffs. And set off on a Dalmatian Coast cruise aboard our private small ship—expressly designed and constructed for two groups of just 25 travelers each—for ten or eleven nights. Soak up the medieval beauty of Dubrovnik. Walk in an emperor’s footsteps in Split. Journey to the island that gave Marco Polo his wanderlust. And savor a warm welcome from locals who extend to us a taste of legendary Croatian hospitality. A visit to ancient Delphi and Athens rounds out your discovery on this singular journey of epic beauty.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $845

    With its spectacular mountain scenery, a healthy sub-Alpine climate, crystalline lakes and rivers, and idyllic little medieval towns—Slovenia truly is an amazing corner of the world. Explore Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, situated in an area with infinite unspoiled natural treasures—including stunning cliffs and majestic mountains. You’ll also venture to smaller, more out-of-the-way towns and historic villages.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Fly from the U.S. to Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Arrive in Zagreb, where a Grand Circle representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your transfer to your hotel.

    Zagreb is a city of about 750,000 people and has been Croatia's capital since 1557. The city developed between the eleventh and 13th centuries from the two municipalities of Kaptol and Gradec, whose historic remnants still stand today in the Upper Town.

    This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink before celebrating the start of your journey during a Welcome Dinner.

  • Encounter local flower markets while touring Zagreb

    Enjoy a guided tour of Zagreb after breakfast today, beginning with a stroll through the Lower Town, whose well-designed street grid was laid out in the 19th century.

    Here, you’ll be introduced to many of the city’s civic and historic monuments. Then, take the funicular to the older Upper Town, where you'll discover Zagreb’s medieval landmarks. These include the neo-Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption and St. Mark’s Church. Pay a visit to the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, dedicated to the untrained European artists of the 20th century. Many of the colorful artworks are done with a childlike simplicity, and the bulk of the intriguing collection is rooted in Croatia. Your tour ends at Zagreb's most colorful open-air market, called Dolac.

    You can seek out lunch on your own, followed by a free afternoon to pursue your own interests. Art lovers may want to peruse more of Zagreb’s excellent museums and galleries—for example, the eclectic collection at the celebrated Museum Mimara. View European paintings from the 14th to 19th centuries at the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters.

    Your evening is free to dine on your own.

  • View Varazdin's Main Square and City Hall

    Enjoy a free day to explore Zagreb independently, with lunch and dinner on your own.

    Or join our full-day optional tour to the lovely Baroque city of Varazdin. For centuries, this was the home of several aristocratic families, who built magnificent palaces and churches that continue to grace the city today. Varazdin's centerpiece is its moated castle, entered via a drawbridge, which is now a museum featuring antique furniture from different eras. Begun in the twelfth century, the castle was still used as a seat of local government until 1925, and is set in a park with striking landscaping. Lunch is included on this optional tour.

  • Discover the beautiful Plitvice Lakes and UNESCO World Heritage Site

    This morning, travel overland to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, where you'll enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful region's lower lakes. Please note that this tour includes uneven ground and several sets of stairs (up to 300 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    This 114-square-mile national park has at its heart 16 turquoise lakes linked by a series of waterfalls and cascades. The natural wonder has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

    After an included lunch, continue to Split, which is on the Adriatic seacoast in the Croatian province of Dalmatia. When you arrive in Split, you'll embark your small ship. Meet the crew for a Welcome Drink and Briefing before dinner onboard.

  • Explore the medieval town of Split

    This morning in Split, you'll discover the Imperial Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the greatest Roman ruin in Southeastern Europe.

    Built like a fortress with walls 590 feet by 705 feet, the palace was occupied by the Emperor Diocletian from AD 300-313. As you stand in the peristyle (central court) of this grand structure, its scale is sure to impress you.

    The medieval town of Split took shape within the palace walls; Diocletian's Temple of Jupiter was converted into a Christian baptistery and his mausoleum became a cathedral. The entire old section of Split, with the palace as its centerpiece, is a virtual open-air museum with the city's contemporary life bustling through it.

    Return to your small ship for lunch onboard. Then, the afternoon is yours to explore this second-largest Croatian town, or to just relax in one of Split's many cafes or bars on Riva, the town's famous seaside promenade.

    Or, you can join an optional afternoon excursion to the Dalmatian countryside, where you'll meet with local villagers and experience the traditional way of life in this region.

    This evening, after a Port Talk from our Program Director, enjoy dinner and traditional folklore entertainment onboard. Then, your night cruise will take you to your first Dalmatian island—Hvar.

  • Discover the island of Hvar while cruising the Adriatic Sea

    Ride through this luxuriantly green island's patches of lavender, rosemary, and heather to Hvar town, whose Venetian flavor reflects its long history of rule by that city-state.

    After a brief orientation, you'll have free time here to explore on your own. Next, journey to the quaint seaside village of Vrboska, which lies in a picturesque cove surrounded by pinewood forests and lovely beaches, where you'll enjoy a wine tasting at a small, privately owned winery nearby.

    After lunch aboard the ship, cruise to Korcula, the largest island in the archipelago and home to a picturesque medieval town. Prior to dinner this evening, enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion with a local resident, who will reveal the highlights and challenges of life on the island.

  • See Marco Polo's birthplace while exploring Korcula

    After breakfast, soak up the history of Korcula which, among other things, has been the center of a proud musical tradition.

    You'll visit the spot believed by many historians to have been Marco Polo's birthplace (only one stone wall of the house remains). You will also get acquainted with Korcula town's history, which included centuries of rule by Venice, with a visit to its local museum. Learn about the historical importance of the Roman Catholic Church here when you visit St. Mark's Cathedral and the Treasury of the 14th-century Abbey Palace.

    Then, set sail for the grand city of Dubrovnik. En route, you'll enjoy an informative discussion about daily life and politics in contemporary Croatia, an exclusive Discovery Series event.

  • View Dubrovnik while cruising aboard MS Athena

    With its old section, the Stari Grad, surrounded entirely by white stone walls, Dubrovnik gleams like the proverbial City on a Hill. Your tour today in this historic gem includes visits to the Rector's Palace and a Franciscan monastery housing one of Europe's oldest pharmacies. Regarded today as one of the world's most exquisite walled cities, Dubrovnik's character reflects its storied past as an independent city-state that rivaled Venice. Also known by its Latin name, Ragusa, this was a fortress city that served as the base for a fleet of ships that carried trade between much of Europe and the Middle East. The city-state's period of autonomy extended from 1358 to 1808. In the early 1990s, some of Dubrovnik's historic sites sustained damage during the Balkan conflicts, but the city has been peaceful for more than 15 years and largely restored under UNESCO supervision. This restoration work has been supported with a donation from Grand Circle Foundation.

    Later in the afternoon, experience Gromaca, a village near Dubrovnik. Here, you'll meet some local people and experience their way of life. Then, join these local residents for a Home-Hosted Dinner, an exclusive Discovery Series event.

  • Explore Kotor Bay by ship and discover Montenegro during a walking tour

    Cruise into Kotor Bay this morning. After enjoying a brief discussion about this waterway's strategic importance, you'll discover the city's perfectly preserved historic center on a walking tour. In the Middle Ages, this natural harbor on the Adriatic coast was a walled city and an important artistic and commercial center with well-known schools of masonry and iconography. Here, you'll visit the maritime museum that preserves the rich seafaring heritage of this region. Please note: This walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 50 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Following an onboard lunch, depart for Perast. There, you'll take small boats to visit the baroque Our Lady of the Rock shrine on a man-made islet. The shrine contains 68 paintings by local 17th-century artist Tripo Kokolja, while its greatest treasure is the icon of Our Lady of the Rock, painted by the Dubrovnik artist Lovro Marinov Dobricevic. This evening, enjoy dinner onboard.

  • Enjoy the morning at leisure in Kotor.

    Or, you may join an optional tour to Montenegro's cultural heart and one-time capital, Cetinje. Along the way enjoy a scenic uphill ride that culminates in a spectacular view of Kotor Bay. Then, stop in the village of Njegusi, famous for their smoked ham and a local cheese. Sample a few of Njegusi's home-grown delicacies before continuing on to historic Cetinje, nestled at the foot of Mount Lovcen and encircled by steep hills. After a guided tour of the palace of King Nikola, you'll have free time to explore the cultural treasures of this ancient royal town. Please note: This optional tour includes a drive along a steep, narrow mountain road.

    Then reunite with your fellow passengers for lunch onboard, followed by time to explore as you please before your ship sets sail for Saranda, Albania.

  • View an archaeological site in Butrint

    Arrive early this morning in Saranda, Albania. Then travel overland to visit the ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint was the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric of the Byzantine Empire. Following a period of prosperity under the Byzantines, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city's development.

    After lunch on board, you'll visit a local children's shelter supported by Grand Circle Foundation. Here, you'll meet the principal and spend time getting to know the children, including insights into their daily lives and hobbies.

    Early this evening, your ship sets sail for Corfu in the Ionian Islands of Greece. To prepare for the discoveries that lie ahead, you'll savor a Greek dinner onboard. Then join your fellow travelers for a Greek dancing class and deck party. The ship remains moored through the night at Corfu.

  • View Corfu at sunset while enjoying a Greek style party aboard the private cruise ship

    Today, enjoy a fairy-tale excursion to Achilleion Palace, the 19th-century villa of Elizabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.

    In her time, she was known by the nickname “Sisi” and was as popular as the late Princess Diana of England. Uncomfortable with the constraints of court life in Vienna, Sisi retreated to Corfu in her later years and immersed herself in the world of the ancient Greeks. Today, you'll tour the palatial villa she had built in Corfu between the years 1890-1892, which she named the Achillion. The large Neo-classical building and the vast gardens surrounding it are lavishly decorated with artwork, including two notable statues of Sisi's favorite Greek hero, Achilles. Please note that this walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 90 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    After lunch, depart for our overnight cruise to Itea, the port from which you will explore Delphi.

  • Explore the Corinth Canal aboard MS Athena

    This morning, disembark in Itea for about a 40-minute ride to start Delphi tour. Here you'll enjoy a half-day of discovery, including the Temple of Apollo, where the oracle once prophesied. This ancient sanctuary is beautifully set in a landscape fit for a god, at the foot of a mountain with a vista over olive groves to the Bay of Itea.

    Those entering this place in ancient times first purified themselves at the nearby Sanctuary of Athena, where the enigmatic Tholos—a round building of unknown purpose—stands as it has since the fourth century BC. As we approach the Temple of Apollo, you'll walk the Sacred Way used by ancient Greeks, such as the historian Plutarch, who was a priest of Apollo at Delphi. You'll see treasuries built here by the Athenians, the Thebans, the Corinthians, and the Syracusans—the great societies of their day—and enter the theater, built to seat 5,000 people, from which it's possible to get an amazing view if you climb to the top row.

    Then enter the nearby Delphi Archaeological Museum. The unmatched holdings here include the larger-than-life bronze Charioteer, dating to about 470 BC, one of the finest surviving works of antiquity. The museum is filled with other masterpieces from the Archaic, Classical, and Roman periods, including scenes of the gods watching the Trojan War, a nine-statue family monument from the fourth century BC, and a sculpture of Roman Emperor Hadrian's son Antinoos. Please note that this walking tour includes steep ground and several sets of stairs (up to 150 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Return to the ship for lunch, followed by a free afternoon. After dinner on your ship, cruise through the legendary Corinth Canal on your way to Athens.

  • Today, we arrive in Athens and enjoy a tour of this lovely historic city.

    We ride past the historic Panathenean Stadium, originally constructed in 330 BC and restored for the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896, the Greek Parliament building, where the ceremonial guards in traditional Greek dress watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Presidential Palace. Designed in Neo-Classical style, the three-story Presidential Palace elegantly combines elements of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance architecture. We also enjoy a city center walking tour. After, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, followed by free time to make further discoveries on your own.

    This evening we'll gather for a cocktail and Farewell Dinner.

    • Meals included:

    Depart for the airport to catch your flight back to the U.S.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens

    5 nights from only $1195

    Journey far back in time to the Peloponnese, a peninsula south of mainland Greece steeped in ancient myths and enveloped in rugged scenic beauty. Discover the Neo-classical splendor of Nafplion, the Bronze Age culture of ancient Mycenae, and the sanctuary of Zeus in Ancient Olympia, home of the first Olympian Games. Conclude your exploration of the ancient Greek world with a two-night stay in Athens.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 5 nights from only $1195

    Journey far back in time to the Peloponnese—a peninsula south of mainland Greece steeped in ancient myths and enveloped in rugged scenic beauty. Discover the Neo-classical splendor of Nafplion, the Bronze Age culture of ancient Mycenae, and the sanctuary of Zeus in Ancient Olympia, home of the first Olympian Games. Begin your exploration of the ancient Greek world with a two-night stay in Athens.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Fly from the U.S. to Athens, Greece.

  • Arrive in Athens, where a Grand Circle representative meets you at the airport and assists with your transfer to our hotel. Travelers on the Ancient Glories pre-trip extension will join you today. This afternoon, enjoy a short orientation walk with your Program Director in the vicinity of the hotel.

    This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at your hotel.

  • Explore the Corinth Canal aboard MS Athena

    After breakfast, enjoy a tour of the lovely historic city of Athens. Ride past the historic Panathenean Stadium, originally constructed in 330 BC and restored for the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896; the Greek Parliament building, where ceremonial guards in traditional Greek dress watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; and the Presidential Palace. Designed in Neo-classical style, the three-story Presidential Palace elegantly combines elements of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance architecture. Then enjoy a city center walking tour.

    You'll then depart for Mikrolimano and enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant before embarking your ship. As you cruise, meet your crew for a Welcome Drink and a briefing before dinner on board. Begin your Dalmatian Coast cruise with a passage through the Corinth Canal after dinner, and then arrive in Itea, a port town near Delphi, where you'll overnight onboard in the port.

  • Explore the Temple of Apollo in Delphi

    This morning, disembark in Itea for about a 40-minute ride to Delphi. Here, you'll enjoy a half day of discovery, including the Temple of Apollo, where the oracle once prophesied. This ancient sanctuary is beautifully set in a landscape fit for a god, at the foot of a mountain with a vista over olive groves to the Bay of Itea.

    Those entering this place in ancient times first purified themselves at the nearby Sanctuary of Athena, where the enigmatic Tholos—a round building of unknown purpose—stands as it has since the fourth century BC. As you approach the Temple of Apollo, you'll walk the Sacred Way used by ancient Greeks such as the historian Plutarch, who was a priest of Apollo at Delphi. You'll see treasuries built here by the Athenians, the Thebans, the Corinthians, and the Syracusans—the great societies of their day—and enter the theater, built to seat 5,000 people. If you climb to the top row, you're rewarded with an amazing view.

    Then, enter the nearby Delphi Archaeological Museum. The unmatched holdings here include the larger-than-life bronze Charioteer, dating to about 470 BC, one of the finest surviving works of antiquity. The museum is filled with other masterpieces from the Archaic, Classical, and Roman periods, including scenes of the gods watching the Trojan War, a nine-statue family monument from the fourth century BC, and a sculpture of Roman Emperor Hadrian's son Antinoos. Please note that this walking tour includes steep ground and several sets of stairs (up to 150 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Later, return to the ship for lunch, after which you can explore the city of Itea and make your own discoveries.

    Tonight enjoy a Captain's Welcome Dinner as your ship cruises through the night to Corfu.

  • View Corfu at sunset while enjoying a Greek style party aboard the private cruise ship

    Enjoy a leisurely morning on board; arrive in Corfu in the late morning. After lunch, enjoy a fairy-tale excursion to Achilleion Palace, the 19th-century villa of Elizabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.

    In her day, Elizabeth was known by the nickname of “Sisi,” and was as popular as the late Princess Diana of England. Uncomfortable with the constraints of court life in Vienna, Sisi retreated to Corfu in her later years and immersed herself in the world of the ancient Greeks. Today, you'll tour the Achillion—the palatial villa she commissioned in Corfu between the years 1890-1892. The large Neo-classical building and vast gardens surrounding it are lavishly decorated with artwork, including two notable statues of Sisi's favorite Greek hero, Achilles. Please note that this walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 90 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    This evening, relax during a Greek dinner onboard and enjoy a Greek-style party. The ship remains moored through the night at Corfu.

  • Cruise this morning to Saranda, Albania, then travel overland to visit the ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint was at various times the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric of the Byzantine Empire. Following a period of prosperity under the Byzantines, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city's development.

    After lunch onboard, you'll visit a local children's shelter supported by Grand Circle Foundation. Here, you'll meet the principal and spend time getting to know the children, including insights into their daily lives and hobbies.

    Return to your ship this afternoon to set sail for Kotor.

  • Explore Kotor Bay by ship and discover Montenegro during a walking tour

    Cruise into Kotor Bay this morning. After a brief discussion about this waterway's strategic importance, you'll go ashore in Montenegro to discover the perfectly preserved historic center of Kotor on a walking tour. In the Middle Ages, this natural harbor on the Adriatic coast was a walled city and an important artistic and commercial center, with well-known schools of masonry and iconography. Here, you'll visit the maritime museum that preserves the rich seafaring heritage of this region. Please note: This walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 50 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Following an onboard lunch, depart for Perast. There, you'll take small boats to visit the baroque Our Lady of the Rock shrine on a man-made islet. The shrine contains 68 paintings by local 17th-century artist Tripo Kokolja, while its greatest treasure is the icon of Our Lady of the Rock, painted by the Dubrovnik artist Lovro Marinov Dobricevic.

    This evening, enjoy dinner onboard.

  • Today, you may choose to spend the morning relaxing onboard or exploring Kotor at your own pace.

    Or, join our optional tour to Montenegro's cultural heart and one-time capital, Cetinje. Along the way, you'll enjoy a scenic uphill ride that culminates in a spectacular view of Kotor Bay. Then, stop in the village of Njegusi, famous for its smoked ham and a local cheese. Sample a few of Njegusi's home-grown delicacies before continuing on to historic Cetinje, nestled at the foot of Mount Lovcen and encircled by steep hills. After a guided tour of the palace of King Nikola, you'll have some free time to explore the cultural treasures of this ancient royal town. Please note: This tour includes a drive along a steep, narrow mountain road.

    You'll then reunite with your fellow passengers for lunch onboard, followed by time to explore as you please. Return to your ship this evening, where you'll enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion on Croatia Today as your ship cruises toward Dubrovnik.

  • View Dubrovnik while cruising on MS Athena

    With its old section, the Stari Grad, surrounded entirely by white stone walls, Dubrovnik gleams like the proverbial "City on a Hill." Regarded today as one of the world's most exquisite walled cities, Dubrovnik's character reflects its storied past as an independent city-state that rivaled Venice. Also known by its Latin name, Ragusa, this was a fortified city that served as the base for a fleet of ships that carried trade between much of Europe and the Middle East. The city-state's period of autonomy extended from 1358 to 1808. In the early 1990s, some of Dubrovnik's historic sites sustained damage during the Balkan conflicts, but the city has been peaceful for more than 15 years and largely restored under UNESCO supervision. This restoration work was supported by a donation from Grand Circle Foundation. You'll take a tour of the city to admire the results, visit the Rector's Palace, and see a Franciscan Monastery housing one of Europe's oldest pharmacies.

    Later in the afternoon, you will experience Gromaca, a village near Dubrovnik, where you'll meet some local people, learn more about their daily lives, and join them for a Home-Hosted Dinner, an exclusive Discovery Series event. During the night, cruise to Korcula, the largest of the archipelago's 48 islands and the site of a picturesque medieval town.

  • See Marco Polo's birthplace while exploring Korcula

    After breakfast, embark on an included tour of Korcula. Visit the spot believed by many historians to have been Marco Polo's birthplace (only one stone wall of the house remains). You'll also get acquainted with Korcula town's history—which included centuries of Venetian rule—with a visit to its local museum. Learn about the historical importance of the Roman Catholic Church here when you visit St. Mark's Cathedral and the treasury of the 14th-century Abbey Palace.

    Return to your ship for lunch onboard, and in the afternoon, you can continue your individual exploration of Korcula Island or just relax on the sun deck of your ship. Prior to dinner this evening, you'll enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion about what daily life on Korcula is really like, followed by a Port Talk from your Program Director. Then, your night cruise will take you to another Dalmatian island—Hvar.

  • This morning, ride through this luxuriantly green island's patches of lavender, rosemary, and heather to Hvar, whose Venetian flavor (like Korcula's) reflects its long history of rule by that city-state.

    After a brief orientation, you'll have free time here to discover more on our own. Then, ride to the quaint seaside village of Vrboska, which lies in a picturesque cove surrounded by pinewood forests and lovely beaches. After, you'll enjoy a wine tasting at a small, privately owned winery nearby.

    After lunch aboard the ship, cruise to Split, where you'll dock and take a short orientation walk of the area. Then enjoy dinner and traditional folklore entertainment onboard.

  • Explore the medieval town of Split

    This morning in Split, you'll explore the Imperial Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the greatest Roman ruin in Southeastern Europe.

    Built like a fortress with walls 590 feet by 705 feet, the palace was occupied by the Emperor Diocletian from AD 300–313. As you stand in the peristyle (central court) of this grand structure, its scale is sure to impress you.

    The medieval town of Split took shape within the palace walls; Diocletian's Temple of Jupiter was converted into a Christian baptistery and his mausoleum became a cathedral. The entire old section of Split, with the palace as its centerpiece, is a virtual open-air museum, surrounded by a thriving modern town with shops, cafes, and restaurants.

    Return to your ship for lunch on board, and then enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Split.

    Or, you may join an optional excursion to the Dalmatian countryside, where you'll learn about the traditional way of life in this region from local villagers.

    After a Port Talk from your Program Director, you'll enjoy a Captain's Farewell Dinner onboard this evening.

  • Discover the beautiful Plitvice Lakes and UNESCO World Heritage Site

    This morning, disembark your ship and travel overland to the Plitvice Lakes region, stopping for an included lunch en route. Afterwards, enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful region's lower lakes. Please note that this tour includes uneven ground and several sets of stairs (up to 300 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Here, a 114-square-mile national park has at its heart 16 turquoise lakes linked by a series of waterfalls and cascades. The natural wonder has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

    Continue to Zagreb and check in to your hotel. This evening, dinner is on your own in Zagreb.

  • This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Zagreb, the city that has been Croatia’s capital since 1557. Your tour begins with a stroll through the Lower Town, whose well-designed street grid was laid out in the 19th century.

    Here you’ll be introduced to many of the Zagreb’s civic and historic monuments. Then, take the funicular to the older Upper Town, where you'll be introduced to the city’s medieval landmarks.

    View the civic and historic monuments while touring Zagreb

    This oldest part of the city developed between the eleventh and 13th centuries from the two municipalities of Kaptol and Gradec, whose historic remnants you can still see today. Here we see the neo-Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption and St. Mark’s Church. We’ll also pay a visit to the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, dedicated to the untrained European artists of the 20th century. Many of the colorful artworks are done with a childlike simplicity, and the bulk of the intriguing collection is rooted in Croatia. Your city tour ends at Zagreb’s most colorful open-air market, Dolac.

    You will have some free time for shopping and lunch on your own and then the rest of the afternoon is free. This evening, dinner is on your own in Zagreb.

  • Encounter local flower markets while touring Zagreb

    Enjoy a free day to make your own discoveries in Zagreb, with lunch on your own. Or join our full-day optional tour to the lovely Baroque city of Varazdin.

    For centuries, this was the home of several aristocratic families, who built magnificent palaces and churches that continue to grace the city today. Varazdin's centerpiece is its moated castle, entered via a drawbridge, which is now a museum featuring antique furniture from different eras. Begun in the twelfth century, the castle was still used as a seat of local government until 1925, and is set in a park with striking landscaping. The cost of this optional tour includes lunch.

    This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner.

    • Meals included:

    Depart for the airport to catch your flight back to the U.S. Or begin your post-trip extension in Bled, Slovenia.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Bled, Slovenia

    3 nights from only $845

    With its spectacular mountain scenery, a healthy sub-Alpine climate, crystalline lakes and rivers, and idyllic little medieval towns—Slovenia truly is an amazing corner of the world. Explore Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, situated in an area with infinite unspoiled natural treasures—including stunning cliffs and majestic mountains. You’ll also venture to smaller, more out-of-the-way towns and historic villages.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece

Read Travel Planning Guide