Cruising to Croatia along the Dalmatian coast is the chance to take a snapshot of one of the most delightful and unspoilt regions of Europe.
More often than not, ships on seven to 14-night Adriatic Sea cruises depart from Venice although there are longer itineraries which start from Barcelona, Athens, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Istanbul. In addition to fly-cruises, there are options to sail an Adriatic Sea cruise as part of a longer voyage of 16 nights or more from a UK port such as Southampton.
For example, Celebrity Cruises is running cruises to Croatia with its stylish new Solstice class ships from both the UK and Rome.
Cunard Line includes Croatia as part of its Eastern Mediterranean sailings from Southampton as will P&O Cruises as part of its first fly-cruise programme on new pathfinder ship Adonia which enters service in 2011.
Azamara Club Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line and MSC Cruises all make regular cruises in the Adriatic Sea.
Dubrovnik cruises tend to be the highlight of any trip by ship to Croatia. The UNESCO World Heritage site is an impressive ancient walled city with a harbour that allows smaller vessels to enter. Dating back to the 12th century, the city, rightly known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, is a dream for sightseers with its pedestrian-only Old Town and outdoor café society.
Also on the Croatian cruise map is Split, gateway to many and varied islands including Hvar, Brac and Korcula; and Zadar, the historical capital of Dalmatia.