Hi all, new to this forum, my wife and I are planning a trip to Europe in June 2018. We have been looking at a 8 day cruise from Dubrovnik to split, just wondering if anyone can recommend the any booking agents or specific ships. Only interested in smaller ships, we have looked at booking thru adventuresmith explorations and the ship 'admiral'. Any info will be much appreciated. Joe.
I was in the cruise business for about 24 years as the PR Director for large cruiselines and then smaller and smaller cruise lines, which I found I much preferred. As such, I went on many of these smaller cruise ships and boats and even down to yacht sizes, and found them very enjoyable. One of our favorite companies is called Star Clippers, and to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we are going with them on Septemb3er 2 on their ship Star Flyer on a 13-day sail up the Adriatic from Athens to Venice, Italy, with many stops at the various Greek islands as well as stops in Croatia and Montenegro. These are huge sailboats that really sail, with four tall masts and 36,000 sq. ft of sail, but they also do a lot of motoring when necessary to keep you on schedule. They take only about 175 passengers or so and life on board is very casual -- no drewssing up as you are expected to do on many of the "bloat and float" giant cruise ships. This cruise will visit Santorini, Cofu and Katakolon in Greece, plus Kotor in Montenegro and our favorite, Dubrovnik in Croatia, along with Korcula, Hvar and Mali Losinj in Crotia before docking in Venice. Because the ship is only about 330' feet long or so, they can drop anchor along with the other large yachts, close in, as opposed to having to stay way out with the other big cruise ships and then lightering in with big groups of people. Star Clippers has many different itineraries throughout Europe so you should find one you'll enjoy -- and, what we also like, the price is not sky high for these, as compared to going on the even smaller luxury yachts. We are paying no more than what we would for a nice cabin on one of the big Princess ships, but we have a far better time without the 3,000 other people on board, and see the scenery much closer up. we strongly recommend these Star Clipper cruises for those who are more interested in looking outward to the history, wildlife, culture and scenery of the area in which you are cruising, as opposed to looking inward to the resort like amenties on board, such as stuffing yourself with up to 7 meals a day, playing bingo, dancing in the nightclubs, and drinking at umpteen bars on board. The large ships do give you a good cruise experience, but do not give you a particularly good experience of the area in which you are cruising.
There are other really good small cruise lines we have taken in other parts of the world, and if you become interested in going to Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, Costa Rica, the Columbia and Snake rivers or other destinations, then be sure to look up a wonderful little yacht cruise company called Un-Crusie Adventures, headquartered out of Seattle, Washington. We have cruised with them at least 8 to ten times over the years and have always found them to be top end. They have a fleet of about 8 or 9 yachts that range from about 120' and taking just 22 guests, on up to their largest yachts of about 180 to 200' as I recall, taking up to maybe 60 to 70 guests. They have been written up extensively by the media and are considered to be one of the top 5 to ten small cruise lines in the world.
Hope this will be of some help to you in amking your decision.
Thanks for the reply Gordon. Yes the smaller ships and the smaller numbers really appeal to us. We can hardly wait and it's nearly a year away.
I was going to recommend Star Clippers as well. We did a 7 day Adriatic cruise with them that left/returned to Venice and made stops in Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj, and Piran. We had a great time and really loved the sailing ship. This type of ship is not good if you have difficulties walking as there are no elevators and you have to step over thresholds. There is only one dining room and limited entertainment (no shows, casino, etc) but that is not why we were there. We will definitely cruise with this line again!
We are also going next August and I've found this terrific itinerary for a very reasonable price on a small ship (not a sailboat): http://www.adventure-life.com/croatia/cruises/12331/dubrovnik-to-split
The boats they use, The Mama Marija, Captain Bota, Splendid, Apolon, and Equator, are all operated by a Croatia-based company called Ambassador Travel.
If anyone has sailed with them before, please let me know.
Another Croatian cruise line I have seen recommended and as well know others that have used them is http://www.katarina-line.com
I checked them out while we were in Split. They carry fewer passengers than the other line mentioned above.
Another option to check out