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Croatia — Jewel of the Adriatic

Saturday, June 28 – Saturday, July 12, 2025

Day 1: Saturday, June 28


Upon arrival at Zagreb International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your Expanding Horizons escort and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby.  We will walk a short distance to a local Zagreb restaurant for tonight’s welcome dinner. (D)

OVERNIGHT: Le Premier Hotel Zagreb (2 nights) 

Day 2: Sunday, June 29


This morning we have a guided walking tour to explore the heritage of Zagreb. In the fortified, medieval Upper Town, see St. Mark’s Church, with its multicolor tiled roof, the lavishly baroque St. Catherine’s Church, Parliament, the government palace, and many fine old buildings. The lower city is presided over by a statue of a mounted Ban Jelacic in the main square. Zagreb’s Stone Gate is a mystical place and the most significant shrine in Zagreb. Light a candle and pray for health, happiness, good luck and love. Following our walking tour, depart by coach towards Jastrebarsko, along the Plešivica Wine Road. Visit and enjoy a splendid gourmet lunch at Korak Winery, one of the most famous wineries on Croatia’s most popular continental wine region. In the cellar taste some of their delicious Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. The perfect hilltop view gives the winery a unique panorama. In the afternoon return to Zagreb. This evening is at leisure to dine independently. (B,L) 

Day 3 Monday, June 30


Following breakfast, will be heading towards Opatija. On the way we will stop for a lunch break. The famous Opatija Riviera is often compared to the charming French Riviera. Royal families, celebrities and musicians have all stayed in Opatija. Our experienced guide will tell you the magnificent history of Opatija and show you its most precious monuments. Walk the famous Franz Joseph promenade – Lungomare to the fishermen’s village of Volosko, home to some of the best seafood restaurants in Croatia and enjoy Choco bar to try exclusive chocolate cocktails, cakes or ice cream. There’s a real café-society here. Dinner in a restaurant on Opatija Riviera. Overnight in Opatija. (B,L,D) 

OVERNIGHT: 2 nights OPATIJA – Hotel Bristol (or similar) 

Day 4: Tuesday, July 1


Today you will have a full-day coach excursion and get to know the Istrian peninsula, usually called the “Croatian Tuscany”. Visit Rovinj, perhaps the most beautiful town of Istria with its unique location on a small peninsula overlooked by the St Euphemia Church, centrally located and offering amazing views of the surrounding islands. Strolling the cobbled streets among colorful buildings and passing by numerous art galleries you will feel a true Mediterranean charm and the presence of Italian cultural influence. After Rovinj you will continue to a local rural tavern where Istrian lunch with local wine, delicious olive oil and truffles will be served. Before returning to Opatija you will stop in one of Istria’s inland hilltop towns, surrounded by charming vineyards. Overnight in Opatija. (B,L) 

Day 5: Wednesday, July 2


After breakfast, departure towards the Plitvice Lakes with a stop for lunch and then continue to the most beautiful and oldest national park in Croatia under UNESCO protection consisting of 16 lakes connected by magnificent waterfalls. The park is located in the Lika Mountain region and is visited mostly on foot – however, the visit includes a boat ride across the Emerald Green Lake “Kozjak”. The visit to the park grounds takes approx. 4 hours. After the sightseeing relax surrounded by the pristine beauty of this unique area. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight in the Plitvice Lakes area.(B,L,D) 

OVERNIGHT: 1 night PLITVICE – Hotel Palcich (or similar)

Day 6: Thursday, July 3


Today we drive the scenic Adriatic coastal road, a Croatian equivalent to California’s Hwy. 1 drive through Big Sur, passing Krk, Rab, Novilja and Pag islands.  Enjoy a simple lunch en route at a picturesque seaside restaurant.  Arrive in Zadar in the afternoon.  Tonight’s dinner is arranged at Pet Bunara, a colorful local restaurant with marvelous Dalmatian cuisine. (B,T,D) 

OVERNIGHT: 1 night in ZADAR – Hotel Kolovare (or similar)

Day 7: Friday, July 4


Zadar is the oldest university town in Croatia, with an immense historical heritage. See the 1st Century Roman Forum and the 9th Century St. Donat Church, the Museum of Ancient Glass, over 30 churches, majestic family palaces and villas. The Zadar waterfront has the fascinating Sea Organ and the “Greeting to the Sun” light installations. Later visit Trogir, a UNESCO site with its own fascinating 2,300-year history. Trogir was created under the influence of ancient Greeks, Romans, and then the Venetians. This small island has numerous palaces, churches, towers and prominent fortresses. Enjoy a guided walking tour, followed by lunch featuring the traditional and delicious Dalmatian stew “pašticada”. This afternoon travel to Split. (B,L) 

OVERNIGHT: 1 night in SPLIT – Hotel Jupiter (or similar)

Day 8: Saturdays, July 5


Split is another historic Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an abundance of Roman architecture.  Of special interest is the magnificent Diocletian Palace, once home to the Roman Emperor.  At 2pm board the vessel AURELIA for check-in, followed by welcome cocktails and lunch on board. Leaving Split, depart for Hvar, the longest and sunniest island in the Adriatic, known for lush lavender fields and breath-taking beauty. Arrive in the afternoon for a guided tour of the town’s historical landmarks, including the Renaissance cathedral and the oldest community theater in Europe, founded in 1612. Hike up to the fortress along the zig-zag path that overlooks the harbor with dramatic scenic views of Pakleni Islands. Hvar has ample nightlife and entertainment including plentiful restaurants, bars and clubs. Many are open long into the night. (B,L) 

OVERNIGHT: 7 nights aboard motor yacht AURELIA

Day 9: Sunday, July 6


Early morning cruise toward the small island Biševo to visit the Blue Cave, a stunning natural phenomenon.  Visiting is subject to weather conditions. If the cave is accessible an entrance fee must be paid – approx. 10-15 euro.  Later continue to the island of Vis, once a strategic and secretive Yugoslav naval base. Decades of isolation left a special charm here. On the island’s northern side lie the ruins of ancient Issar. Stroll through the Roman Thermal Palace, the City Museum or along the lovely waterfront. Vis Island has marvelous small restaurants and cafes. This evening is at leisure for independent dining. (B,L,T) 

Day 10: Monday, July 7


Sail to the island of Korčula, the birthplace of Marco Polo, stopping for lunch in one of the secluded bays. Arrive in Korčula this afternoon. This enchanting town is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the Mediterranean. Korcula’s streets were paved in a fishbone pattern, providing a natural cooling effect.  Later journey a short distance to a small hilltop village to experience a typical Dalmatian lifestyle with dinner, cooked over wood coals at Benin Restaurant.  (B,L,D) 

Day 11: Tuesday, July 8


Venture south to the Island of Mljet. Legend has it that the epic Greek hero Odysseus spent years on this island when he was captured by the nymph Calypso. Mljet Island is the site of numerous ancient shipwrecks.   After our swim stop, stroll to the famous salt lakes in the Mljet National Park, followed by a boat ride to St. Mary Isle to visit an ancient Benedictine Monastery, Abbey and 12th century church.  Alternatively, kayaks, bicycles, scooters or convertible cars can be rented to roam the national park or explore the island on your own. Beware of the nymphs!  There are great seafood restaurants ashore on Mljet. This evening is at leisure for independent dining. (B,L) 

Day 12: Wednesday, July 9


Leaving Mljet, sail to the small mainland village of Slano, a peaceful fishermen’s village.  This is also the starting point for Ston, another fortified small village renowned for its high-quality oysters. Explore the town’s medieval ramparts, followed by a special oyster tasting in the village of Mali Ston. Afterward there is a short walking tour of Ston town.  See the famous Salt Works here.  This was the source of much of Dubrovnik’s wealth during the Renaissance years. Enormous walls protected the town from invaders coveting salt, a precious commodity before refrigeration.  Tonight a light dinner is served on board. (B,T,D) 

Day 13: Thursday, July 10


Early morning departure to Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities. Before tying up at the Gruž Harbor, enjoy a cruise alongside the old Dubrovnik city walls while lunch is served on deck. After docking, transfer to the old town for the guided walking tour of this magical city. Board the cable car from Dubrovnik Old Town to Srđ Mountain for scenic views of the city and Elaphiti Islands. Meander through narrow streets lined with buildings displaying Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.  Walk along the massive city walls before returning to the ship. Tonight is the Captain’s Dinner with live entertainment. (B,CD) 

Day 14: Friday, July 11


After breakfast today is free to discover the Old Town Dubrovnik on your own. The cruise manager can arrange these optional excursions:

  • Visit of the old mill and lunch
  • Wine tasting and lunch and visit of Trsteno Arboretum
  • Full day excursion to Kotor, Montenegro

This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner on board.(B,D) 

Day 15: Saturday, July 12


After breakfast, transfer to Dubrovnik Airport for onward flights.


Due to specific mooring conditions and requirements in some Croatian ports, Katarina Line ships are moored side by side, making it necessary for the clients to cross from one ship to another with gaps in between ships in order to get to the shore. In such cases clients need to take special care when crossing and do this at their own risk. Crew assistance will be given to those needing and requesting it.  

Cruise is not recommended for clients in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. This vessel does not have an elevator however all decks are accessible via forward & aft staircases.

Katarina Line and the captain of the vessel reserve the right to change and modify the route due to weather conditions as well as conditions in the ports visited. The order of visits may be different than published in case of ports being overly crowded and too busy and with the intention to give the customer a better experience overall.


Expanding Horizons reserves the right to amend the program and provide alternative arrangements without notification.