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Croatia & Culinary Gems of the Adriatic Coast - 2021

7-night small ship cruise with Dubrovnik, Cavtat, Slano, Korčula, Hvar, Split, Krka National Park, Sibenik • Zadar • Opatija • Pula • Kumrovec • Zagreb
  • $407
  • 14
  • 30
15 DAYS FROM $5,699
Moderate Deluxe
Extend Your journey (4 available)
Budva, Montenegro

3 DAYS FROM $799

Lake Bled, Slovenia

4 DAYS FROM $1,199

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“Food is culture, habit, craving, and identity,” claims novelist Jonathan Safran Foer. If so, our 2021 Croatia & Culinary Gems of the Adriatic Coast cruisetour is a flavorsome foray into Croatia’s culture and traditions — and a discovery of its natural beauty.

In this culinary-inspired itinerary from Vantage, you’ll experience Croatia through its remarkably varied cuisine, while touring the country's coastline and inland regions. This lush landscape is a cornucopia of fresh seafood, local meat and cheese, and harvests of “liquid gold:” olive oil and wine. As you'll discover at local estates and home-hosted meals, every dish is packed with flavor and love. With 30 included features and Cultural Connections, you'll experience the best Croatia has to offer — from Krka National Park to the Lavender fields of Hvar.

Your journey also includes a 7-night cruise, where you’ll enjoy an intimate small ship experience aboard the 26-passenger La Perla. Even on board, every meal is a farm-to-table feast — you’ll even get a taste of fresh Ston oysters and local wine supplied by a visiting fisherman, as well as drinks included with lunch and dinner. While soaking up beguiling Adriatic views, six UNESCO World Heritage beckon from the shores ... this is a trip that will delight all your senses! 

Discover even more of this stunning region with optional extensions to neighboring Budva, Montenegro, or to Lake Bled, Slovenia. Plus, take advantage of Reduced Single Supplements (limited availability) to enjoy this journey at an exceptional value — discover Croatia’s culture, cuisine, and dreamy coasts with Vantage today!

Dubrovnik to Zagreb

Pre-Trip Extension

Lake Bled, Slovenia

FROM: $1199 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $300 PER DAY

Budva, Montenegro

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DAY 1:

Depart the U.S. and fly overnight to Dubrovnik

Today you’ll take an overnight flight to Europe. Or, if you like, begin your journey earlier, with a delightful pre-trip extension to Budva.

DAY 2:

Arrive Dubrovnik and embark La Perla

You'll arrive in Dubrovnik today and transfer to your small ship, La Perla, which will be your home for the next seven nights. Once on board, you’ll settle into your cabin before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Briefing and delicious Welcome Dinner. Tonight, you will be anchored in Dubrovnik's Old City Harbor (weather permitting), with direct views of the city’s famed fortified walls. 

During the course of your cruise, opportunities abound for enjoying the clear, clean waters of the Adriatic. You may swim, snorkel, fish from the ship or private tender, or take an active walk during shore excursions.

On the La Perla, meals will be elevated to experiences. Croatia features a rustic, Mediterranean cuisine with influences from nearby Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Dine on fresh, locally sourced foods purchased daily from local markets and well-trusted vendors, some of which you may visit, too. To ensure the freshest seafood and best cuts of meat, we work with local fishermen and butchers. We’ve even brought onboard Illy, the best commercial coffee from Italy, as well as La Perla’s own homegrown blend of olive oil. No detail has been spared in ensuring the finest quality Croatian cuisine. Aboard La Perla, you'll soon agree that “a fish swims three times: the first time in the sea, the second time in oil, and the third time in wine.”

Active Feature:
  • Swimming or snorkeling in the Adriatic Sea
Culinary Feature:
  • Meals aboard La Perla, prepared from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, throughout your cruise

Included meals:


DAY 3:

Dubrovnik's Old City, private concert, and a home-hosted dinner

Today, your carefully selected local guide will lead you through Dubrovnik's Old City — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — introducing you to its most heralded landmarks, as well as its hidden gems. Following the tour, you’ll relax in a centuries-old church for a Vantage-exclusive private classical concert by the Sorkočević Quartet, who are members of the Croatian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Return to your ship for lunch, then enjoy a leisurely afternoon. You'll be supplied with a one-day Dubrovnik card, which provides free entrance to numerous sites around the city, including access to walkway around the top of the walls surrounding the Old City. Your Cruise Director will be happy to recommend activities to do and places to see.

Tonight, head to nearby Gromača for a home-hosted meal with a Croatian family and learn about local customs and life in the region.

Vantage Exclusive:

  • Private classical concert
Included Feature:
  • Half-day tour of Dubrovnik’s Old City
Cultural Connection:
  • Home-hosted meal with a Croatian family at Gromača

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 4:

Explore bucolic Cavtat

This morning, depart for Cavtat, a beautiful resort town and birthplace of artist Vlaho Bukovac. Known mostly for large compositions and portraits, his fascinating story is just part of what you'll learn about during an included walking tour. You’ll have free time afterward. You can also take part in a walk to the hilltop Račić Mausoleum: imagined by famed Croatian sculptor, writer, and architect Ivan Mestrovic.

Next, you’ll visit an old water-powered working mill. Learn how mills used to be community gathering spots and helped fuel the local economy for centuries. Then, head to the village of Ljuta, where you’ll be treated to a lunch with local specialties like ham, traditionally baked bread, cheese, and homemade wine.

This afternoon, your cruise along the Dubrovnik Riviera to Slano is a pure delight. The waters here are crystal-clear. Since Slano is a shallower bay, you will be able to see shells and sea life from the deck. Are you a swimmer? Then, you’ll love the opportunity to go for a dip in the summer!

You'll be treated to some incredible regional flavors when a local fisherman comes aboard La Perla with his family-owned wine, as well as oysters, for you to sample. You'll learn about how oysters are farmed and the culture surrounding this popular shellfish.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day guided walking tour of Cavtat
Culinary Feature:
  • Lunch in Ljuta with local ham, bread, cheese, and homemade wine
  • Sample oysters and wine from a local fisherman
Cultural Connection:
  • Visit to an old water-powered working mill
Scenic Sailing:
  • View sea life in the clear, shallow waters from Dubrovnik to Slano

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 5:

Discover the Dalmatian islands of Korčula and Hvar

You’ll depart Slano early this morning, cruising farther along the Dalmatian Coast. Pass by the Pelješac peninsula and Mljet Island National Park on your way to the stunning island of Korčula, one of the greenest in the Adriatic. Disembark your yacht for a tour that includes the Korčula City Museum and then have free time to explore on your own, perhaps visiting the open market near the pier. Enjoy additional opportunities for swimming, cycling (we have two complimentary bikes on board or you can rent one locally), or strolling down the long promenade along the sea.

Later this afternoon, enjoy lunch on board and soak up more mesmerizing scenery as you cruise between the lush, green island of Korčula to Hvar, two of the sunniest and most popular islands. You’ll also enjoy a lecture about the famous Dubrovnik Republic. Arrive in Hvar this evening and take the opportunity to explore the area after dinner, perhaps with a visit to a pub to mingle with locals.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day guided walking tour of Korčula
Cultural Connection:
  • Lecture on the Dubrovnik Republic
Scenic Sailing:
  • Pass Pelješac Peninsula and Mljet Island National Park on your way to Korčula
  • Cruise between Korčula and Hvar

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

Unearth the UNESCO treasures of Hvar

An idyllic Mediterranean port, Hvar is a popular celebrity destination known for its vast fields of lavender, ancient olive trees, and fruit orchards. Set off on a guided walking tour this morning and learn the port town's history, hear about local legends, and visit the lace museum, inside the Benedictine Monastery.

Later, discover even more on an island tour, including a visit to Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return for lunch on board and take the afternoon to explore Hvar at your leisure. You may also choose to go swimming, snorkeling, or fishing (weather permitting). Active travelers shouldn't miss the walk to Hvar Fortress, with entrance included.

Before dinner, attend an informative lecture about the healthy Mediterranean diet and taste local products. Cruise to Split during dinner this evening. You’ll dock overnight at the town center.

Included Features:

  • Half-day guided walking tour of Hvar including visit to the Lace Museum
  • Hvar island tour including visit to Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO-listed site
Cultural Connection:
  • Lecture on the Mediterranean diet

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 7:

Revisit the Roman era at Diocletian’s Palace in Split

Welcome to Split, one of the oldest cities in this historic region. Explore ancient Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the emperor chose as his retirement home because of the area’s spectacular beauty. Your special tour also takes you into the mysterious passages in the lower levels of the palace’s massive structure — Game of Thrones fans will recognize this site as one of the show's filming locations! You'll have the balance of the day free to explore Split on your own.

Depart Split and sail to Sibenik, soaking up views of St. Anthony's Channel and UNESCO-designated St. Nicholas Fortress around sunset. Following dinner, enjoy local entertainment on board.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day guided walking tour of Split and Diocletian’s Palace and Cellars
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard entertainment: performance by local musicians
Scenic Sailing:
  • Sunset views of St. Anthony's Channel and UNESCO-designated St. Nicholas Fortress, in Sibenik

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8:

Natural beauty and rural traditions: Krka National Park and Sibenik

Keep your camera handy today as you explore some of the Adriatic's most stunning landscapes. Your first stop is Krka National Park, where waterfalls tumble through dramatic gorges. Your visit includes walks on the trails around the fall and a boat ride from magnificent Krka Falls to Skradin (weather permitting).

Your next stop is Jurlinovi Dvori, a Dalmatian estate with an ethnographic gallery to discover. Be our guest and enjoy a lovely lunch, prepared with centuries-old local traditions from homemade products, including Babić wine — this vintage is derived from Primosten vineyards, and is strong and dry to represent the harsh land it grew on.

Upon returning to Sibenik, set off on a walking tour among the medieval streets, where you’ll see the Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight, toast the conclusion of the cruise portion of your journey at a delectable Farewell Dinner.

Included Features:

  • Full-day excursion to Krka National Park
  • Visit to Jurlinovi Dvori, a traditional Dalmatian estate
Active Feature:
  • Trail walks and a boat ride at Krka National Park (weather permitting)
Culinary Feature:
  • Traditional lunch accompanied by local Babić wine

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Ancient Zadar and Croatia's scenic northern coast

Following breakfast this morning, disembark La Perla to set off on a sightseeing tour of Zadar — another coastal gem that was named Europe's top destination in 2016 and was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. This Roman-era city boasts a historic blend of Ancient, Renaissance, Romanesque, and medieval architecture.

Tuna farms surrounding Zadar were a favorite of the late, great Anthony Bourdain, who featured the region in his hit show No Reservations. We invite you to join us for a lunch at a local restaurant in Old Town, where you can experience the city's famed tuna steak for yourself.

We’ll continue on to Opatija today, with a scenic drive through the mountains of central Croatia, along the northern Croatian coastline, and through the city of Rijeka. As you take in the passing scenery, you’ll be treated to a fascinating discussion about Croatian history.

Check in to your hotel, conveniently located in the very center of Opatija, upon arrival late this afternoon. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Your Cruise Director can recommend local restaurants for dinner.

Included Features:

  • Half-day guided sightseeing tour of Zadar
  • Scenic drive along the northern Croatian coastline
Culinary Feature:
  • Lunch of local tuna steak
Cultural Connection:
  • Lecture on Croatian history, from its initial settlement to its current role in the EU

Included meals:

Breakfast  & lunch

DAY 10:

Discover the Opatija Riviera

After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of this lovely seaside town, which once catered to European royalty taking in Opatija’s stately villas, seaside promenade, and lovely gardens. Continue to tour the Opatija Riviera’s villages, including Moscenice — and be charmed by the amazing views. Lunch is on your own, with the afternoon at your leisure.

Enjoy a walk along the Opatija Promenade for lovely views and perhaps stop for a bite to eat or a drink. How far you go is up to you — a roundtrip walk can cover up to 7.5 miles and, in total, connects seven towns and villages of the Opatija Riviera. Alternatively, you may want to try your luck in one of Opatija's casinos.

Back at the hotel this evening, you can attend an insightful discussion about everyday life in Croatia, led by a local lecturer. Then, let us treat you to dinner at a local restaurant accompanied by klapa singing — part of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Included Features:

  • Half-day guided tour of Opatija
  • Tour the villages of Opatija Riviera
Culinary Feature:
  • Dinner accompanied by traditional klapa singing performance
Cultural Connection:
  • Onboard lecture: Everyday Life in Croatia

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 11:

Touring Roman Pula and the Istrian Peninsula

Discover one of the most beautiful regions of Croatia on a full-day tour of the Istrian Peninsula. Explore Pula Arena, Europe's most complete Roman amphitheater, when we stop in the ancient town of Pula. You'll be able to go beneath the arena floor to see the actual passageways and rooms where gladiators and their foes, including wild animals, awaited their turn in combat. Our tour also takes us to the picturesque coastal town of Rovinj, which was part of Venice's mercantile empire and has a distinctive Venetian aspect to it.

For the best views of the town and the harbor, make the mile-and-a-quarter trek uphill to the Church of St. Euphemia — it's well worth the effort! Your tour includes a stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Upon your return to Opatija, you'll have the evening at leisure. Perhaps you’ll walk to the nearby village of Volosko, where culinary delights await to be explored.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day tour of Pula and Rovinj, with visit to Pula Arena
Active Feature:
  • Trek to the Church of St. Euphemia in Rovinj

Included meals:

Breakfast  & lunch

DAY 12:

Travel overland to Zagreb with a Croatian farm experience

Transfer to Zagreb through the Croatian Highlands today, with amazing views en route.

We'll stop at the farm estate of the Kezele family along the way. Tour the stables where livestock are kept and the wine cellar, to savor a tasting of the family's excellent wine — before being treated to a tasty lunch of farm-raised delicacies. It’s the perfect opportunity to compare the cuisine and traditions of inland Croatia with those of the coastal communities you've been visiting.

This afternoon, check in to your historic hotel in the center of Zagreb. Enjoy the evening at leisure to explore Croatia’s pleasant, low-key capital on your own. If you like, stop by your hotel's casino to try your luck. Dinner tonight is at the hotel.

Culinary Feature:

  • Wine tasting and lunch at a local farm estate

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 13:

Zagreb's monuments and markets

You'll met your expert local guide this morning for a tour of Zagreb. View the city’s impressive landmarks, including the Croatian National Theater and Opera House, Croatian Parliament, Prime Minister's office, St. Mark’s Square, the Old City, the Stone Gate, and Zagreb Cathedral.

Visit the bustling Dolac Market — the largest in the nation — where locals from the countryside come to sell locally-grown and produced fruits, vegetables, honey, oils, handicrafts, and more.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, perhaps visiting the city's Museum of Broken Relationships. Zagreb also has one of the world's most extensive tram systems. So, consider boarding the local tram to Jarun Lake and Park. There, you can enjoy the walking trails or rent a bike to go for a spin. Your Vantage Cruise Director will be happy to assist with directions or suggestions of other activities. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day panoramic and walking tour of Zagreb
Active Feature:
  • Option to ride the local tram to Jarun Lake where you can bike or walk
Cultural Connection:
  • Visit Dolac Market to browse local produce and handicrafts

Included meals:


DAY 14:

Croatian country traditions at Kumrovec, a village and open-air museum

Today you’ll head into the countryside to visit Kumrovec, a preserved open-air museum because it's the birthplace of Josip Broz Tito — the Yugoslavian communist revolutionary (and later, dictator) who led the resistance to the Nazi and the fascist forces during World War II. Here, you'll enjoy a lecture on Tito and his role in bridging the Eastern and Western Blocs.

Then, join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Lunch at Grešna Gorica, the first ever private family-owned estate to open in Croatia, serving only the most traditional of North Croatian specialties. Start off with a specially created Grešna Gorica welcome drink and dine on a seasonal menu that may include cold appetizers like homemade sausage and cornbread, zagorje cheese, beef salad, beef soup, and main courses of duck with mlinci flatbread and roast veal. Treat yourself with decadent desserts like Zagorje strudel and a glass of homemade wine.

Included Feature:
  • Half-day excursion to Kumrovec
Culinary Feature:
  • Farewell lunch of North Croatian specialties on a private family-owned estate
Cultural Connection:
  • Lecture on Marshal Tito

Included meals:

Breakfast  & lunch

DAY 15:

Fly home or stay on for your post-trip extension in Lake Bled, Slovenia

Following breakfast this morning, you’ll transfer to the Zagreb airport for your flight home. Or, continue to Bled, Slovenia, for your post-trip extension.

Included meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Budva, Montenegro


Lake Bled, Slovenia

FROM: $1199 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $300 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

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Croatia & Culinary Gems of the Adriatic Coast - 2021

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