We are planning our trip in September, but are seeing pictures of awful crowds from way too many cruise ships - has anyone had experience with this problem and any advice for avoiding the crowds
Where are you going?
Right now we have a travel agent that put a plan together - Dubrovnik - Hvar - Split - it sounds nice, but we haven't accepted it yet. We are planning on September 8-17. We hope to split our time between touring sights and sun and fun at the beach. When we started looking at Croatia we had no idea it was a cruise ship destination - we usually try to avoid those places. We also didn't realize it was so hard to get their from NJ/USA. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
If you avoid Croatia because cruise ships visit you’ll be making a mistake. It’s a beautiful country with much to see. Because Dubrovnik is walled it can seem overrun at times, cruise ship or not. The secret to all these places is to stay overnight. The cruise ship folks and other day trippers are gone and you’ll have the magic all to yourself.
Dubrovnik started issuing fewer permits for cruise ships several years ago i. an attempt to control them and their crowds.
The worst cruise ship crowds we have experienced was on Santorini and in Barcelona.
We have been in Dubrovnik many times with the cruise ships' crowd. We are also going this summer. Just plan for the day. You could go kayaking, take the 15 minute ferry to Lokrum for the day (they have a lovely cafe and beaches - clothed and nude), you can take a tour to Mostar or Kotor. Then when they leave, you are back in the city. Besides, I find the daytrippers don't actually go into any museums, so you could plan your day that way.
Check www.dubrovnik-port.com for your travel dates to see how many boats will be in Dubrovnik (the site isn't working at the moment). Stay the night and explore early and later on in the day when the crowds have floated away!
Take a day trip to Mostar.
I prefer to stay in Stari Grad on Hvar, rather than the noisy Hvar town - I am too old for clubbing and like peaceful nights. The beaches are good here too.
Split doesn't have the cruise ship issue that Dubrovnik has. The city deserves a full day to explore, as does nearby Trogir. Seeing Krka and/or Plitvice National Parks is easier with a hire car and they are both stunning. Best stay the night before park entry at Plitvice to beat the crowds.
As an alternative to Dubrovnik, fly into Split and stay here, Hvar and Korcula town, then return to Split for your homeward flight.
Kotor makes a great day-trip, but it gets cruise ships too, so check online for ships scheduled to be in port in Kotor on your potential day-trip days.
In September they stop doing parties. Not sure when exactly. But anyway crawls you will see mostly late in afternoon and evenings. The split is full any times. Go islands.
We arrive in Dubrovnik on September 9th. According to the cruise ship calendar websites, there are no cruise ships in port there on September 9th or 10th. We arranged our trip to take advantage of this. According to what I have read, Dubrovnik is the city that is most affected by the crowds of cruisers.