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Any one sailed Croatia - Dubrovnik - Split?

Any one sailed Croatia - Dubrovnik - Split?

Old Dec 11th, 2021, 02:03 PM
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Any one sailed Croatia - Dubrovnik - Split?

I am starting to hope that our trip to Europe Sept/Oct 2022 may actually happen. We have 6 weeks between cruises and are hoping to explore the Balkan region.

Normally we travel independently and are up for trains/buses or hire cars depending on where we are. But I keep on seeing ads for Sail Croatia. I have friends who chartered a boat and loved it - but I hadn't realised you could also book a cabin for a reasonable price.

The itinerary is basically Dubrovnik-Mjet-Korcula-Vis-Hvar-Milna-Split - 7 days. You anchor each night overnight at the port - its sounds a very pleasant way to see some islands.

I spoke to the agent though and she said bookings are already heavy for September! I wasn't think about booking yet but maybe I need to think seriously about the timing for this part of the trip if we actually want to do it. we could do it either direction but one think I really want to do is to be able to swim in the sea! My only experience with the Mediterranean sea was Rhodes in May - I've never forgotten how cold it was!

So does early or late September make a difference? North to south? Are bookings really already heavy for September? I thought Croatia was open this summer so I was thinking the covid backlog would have gone through already.

We're fully vaccinated and I believe that Croatia will recognize our NZ vaccine passes.
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Old Dec 11th, 2021, 11:27 PM
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I have never done one of these cruises but I have spent a lot of time on the islands and have seen hundreds of them.

I would avoid Sail Croatia as they appear to be more booze cruises for younger people. Unless you just want to party all the time, I’d go with Katarina lines or one of the other companies that spend more time in port and less parked somewhere to swim and guzzle cocktails.

in some ports the boats dock next to each other, and you have to climb over one boat to get to the other. Probably not the quietest way of living, especially if you have a Sail Croatia boat next to you.

There is always the chance of bad weather, but maybe a bit less in early September. However that is still uber high season and there will be a lot more people. Things start quieting down mid month. Last year there were a lot of storms the last week of September. But in other years the weather was perfect!

Check to see how much time you get in each port. Do they give you a day to explore Mljet National park? Because if you are not going to the park but just sleeping there, not much point. The sea temperature will be perfect, people are still swimming in November.
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Old Dec 11th, 2021, 11:31 PM
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"So does early or late September make a difference?"
For sure!
The first days of September may still look like summer, after that it can get rainy and windy. September can get dry too (especially in Southern Dalmatia), but there is no fine weather guarantee at all.
Seawater in the Adriatic Sea will be warmer during the whole month of September than that of the the Eastern Mediterranean in early May. But don't expect Caribbean Sea water temperatures.
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 01:59 AM
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climbing over boats is pretty normal part of much boat life especially when a country doesn't want to ruin the view with marinas. Early Sept makes sense to me.
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rialtogrl View Post
I have never done one of these cruises but I have spent a lot of time on the islands and have seen hundreds of them.

I would avoid Sail Croatia as they appear to be more booze cruises for younger people. Unless you just want to party all the time, I’d go with Katarina lines or one of the other companies that spend more time in port and less parked somewhere to swim and guzzle cocktails.

in some ports the boats dock next to each other, and you have to climb over one boat to get to the other. Probably not the quietest way of living, especially if you have a Sail Croatia boat next to you.

There is always the chance of bad weather, but maybe a bit less in early September. However that is still uber high season and there will be a lot more people. Things start quieting down mid month. Last year there were a lot of storms the last week of September. But in other years the weather was perfect!

Check to see how much time you get in each port. Do they give you a day to explore Mljet National park? Because if you are not going to the park but just sleeping there, not much point. The sea temperature will be perfect, people are still swimming in November.
None of these operators really advertise in NZ so i wasn't aware that there were more than one LOL. Sail Croatia does have a number of different of styles of cruise - I wasn't looking at the cheaper/younger/more "social" version LOL

I assumed climbing from boat to boat - that's what happens in Asia anyways - I suspect Europe may even provide some slightly more secure gangways.

Last edited by lissie45; Dec 12th, 2021 at 02:56 AM.
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
"So does early or late September make a difference?"
For sure!
The first days of September may still look like summer, after that it can get rainy and windy. September can get dry too (especially in Southern Dalmatia), but there is no fine weather guarantee at all.
Seawater in the Adriatic Sea will be warmer during the whole month of September than that of the the Eastern Mediterranean in early May. But don't expect Caribbean Sea water temperatures.
That's worth knowing re the weather - I don't want to do very early September as we will have just got off a 5 week cruise to Europe - maybe over boats at that point! Looking at mid-September at this stage
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 05:55 AM
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We just traveled in Croatia, from the north (Rovinj) to as far south as Dubrovnik, leaving mid-September through early October. During that time, we had one full day of rain in Zagreb (mid-September) and a few days with a tiny bit of rain and some overcast skies in Rovinj. After that, the weather was positively glorious and the temps were mild enough for people to swim.

Given that you will be cruising for such an extended period of time, I would think it might be a welcome change to base yourself in a few places. Taking the ferries in Croatia is easy and fun. We stayed a few nights in Split, using it as a base to visit Hvar and Trogir. Then we took a ferry to Korcula, a very pretty island, where we stayed for 2 nights. We then traveled to Dubrovnik, where we ended the trip. We hired a driver to take us there, but it’s easily done by ferry. There are many options, but I recommend staying in one or more places to use as a base to visit the towns and islands, if that’s what you’re interested in. Also, we found travel throughout Croatia remarkably easy by car, if that is something you’d consider.

I’m currently writing a TR with lots of photos, so you might want to check it out.
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...oatia-1703021/

Last edited by progol; Dec 12th, 2021 at 05:58 AM.
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lissie45 View Post
That's worth knowing re the weather - I don't want to do very early September as we will have just got off a 5 week cruise to Europe - maybe over boats at that point! Looking at mid-September at this stage
mid September should be nice. progol has a point about taking a break from cruising, but just in case check out the website for Katarina lines. Their boats seem really nice, but I have no first hand experience.

for me ferries and catamarans are not exactly fun, they are public transportation, but they are fairly easy to figure out and use.and in September, with the exception of Vis, you can totally do an island hop using the catamarans (Vis is possible but catamaran service is way more limited.)
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Old Dec 12th, 2021, 11:09 AM
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for me ferries and catamarans are not exactly fun, they are public transportation, but they are fairly easy to figure out and use.and in September, with the exception of Vis, you can totally do an island hop using the catamarans (Vis is possible but catamaran service is way more limited.)”

rialtogirl, very true. I don’t want to give the impression that the ferries are anything other than public transport, but they are easy enough to use and you have a lot of choices, especially from a place like Split.


Just giving suggestions, having just had a wonderful trip to Croatia.
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Old Dec 13th, 2021, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post

Iím currently writing a TR with lots of photos, so you might want to check it out.
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...oatia-1703021/
Wow that's a superb report and you are a great photographer. I'm really looking forward to Croatia!

Funny you see being on a cruise as moving around - I see it as a relaxing way to travel and unpack and that's it. Its also a repositioning cruise so we have many sea days. I 'm thinking of timing this after 3 weeks where we will (Covid willing) fly into Budapest (from Barcelona) and then overland to Serbia, N Macedonia, maybe Albania and Montenegro - which should be quite an interesting trip on trains and buses.

After this cruise we'd head north to Istria (your pictures just convinced me) and Zagreb then Slovenia and Venice flying back to Barcelona to leave 10 Oct.

I know we could do it using public ferries - but I also like the idea of cocktails on the deck and jumping off the ship into the sea. WE did a similarly sized ship (about 50 pax) last summer in NZ to the Southern Ocean- and we did swim off the ship - but it was a little cold! Even the Russian captain thought so!

I just hope we get the same weather as you did!
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Old Dec 13th, 2021, 11:38 PM
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I cannot imagine that you will go to North Macedonia without visiting Bitola and Ohrid. Once at Ohrid, the easiest way to Montenegro goes through Albania, either directly to Elbasan - Tirana or via Korce - Girokaster to the Albanian Riviera at Saranda.
The alternative would be Skopje - Pristina - Prizren - Tirana.
Fans of Serbian monasteries might prefer the itinerary via Pristina/Gracanica - Decani - Pec/Studenica - Berane, however.
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 03:57 AM
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lissie45,
I’m glad you enjoyed my TR and photos!

I appreciate that you enjoy the experience of a cruise so my suggestions probably wouldn’t work for you. It sounds like you have a lot of ideas but you have time to sort it out.
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
I cannot imagine that you will go to North Macedonia without visiting Bitola and Ohrid. Once at Ohrid, the easiest way to Montenegro goes through Albania, either directly to Elbasan - Tirana or via Korce - Girokaster to the Albanian Riviera at Saranda.
The alternative would be Skopje - Pristina - Prizren - Tirana.
Fans of Serbian monasteries might prefer the itinerary via Pristina/Gracanica - Decani - Pec/Studenica - Berane, however.
I vaguely have an itinerary of Budapest-Subotica-Novi Sad-Belgrade-Skopje-Qhird-Tirana-Berat-Kotor-Dubronvnik But I'm also heard good things about the Belgrade/Bar railway route!
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 06:57 PM
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I vaguely have an itinerary of Budapest-Subotica-Novi Sad-Belgrade-Skopje-Qhird-Tirana-Berat-Kotor-Dubronvnik But I'm also heard good things about the Belgrade/Bar railway route!
I visited a number of those places as part of a longer trip in 2011, with a tour of Bulgaria between Serbia and Macedonia. Absolutely loved Subotica, but I'm a big Art Nouveau fan. This is the trip from Skopje onward (links at the top of the page):

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...sed-by-skopje/
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Old Dec 15th, 2021, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
I visited a number of those places as part of a longer trip in 2011, with a tour of Bulgaria between Serbia and Macedonia. Absolutely loved Subotica, but I'm a big Art Nouveau fan. This is the trip from Skopje onward (links at the top of the page):

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...sed-by-skopje/
Thank you - I'll read up your reports! I love Art Noveau too
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Old Jan 6th, 2022, 07:49 PM
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We spent 4 weeks in Slovenia and Croatia in August/September, 2019. Both countries are incredibly beautiful and we loved this trip. One week of our trip was a bike and sailboat trip. If you like to bicycle, it is a great way to see the islands. We were on the Harmonia, a beautiful 16 cabin sailboat. Bikes (including ebikes are included). We embarked in Split, were on a different island each day (Mljet, Korcula, Lastovo, Hvar and Brac) where we would ride 15-20 miles each day and we debarked in Dubrovnik. Here is a link with more information. https://www.inselhuepfen.com/en/ship.../item/harmonia

We flew into Zagreb and rented a car. Our itinerary was Zagreb, Llubljana, Lake Bled, Triglav National Park, Kobarid, Rovinj, Plitvice, Split, Island cruise, Dubrovnik.

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