DAY 1: ZAGREB
Arrive in Zagreb and transfer to the Hotel Westin Zagreb. Enjoy the day at your leisure and a welcome dinner at the hotel or local restaurant. Meals | Dinner
DAY 2: ZAGREB
After breakfast, we will take a walking tour of Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. Beginning in Lower Zagreb, we ascend by cable railway to the Lotrscak Tower and historical Upper Zagreb. Visit St. Mark’s Square and St. Mark’s Church, the Croatian Parliament, and more. Explore the local Dolac farmer’s market and Ban Jelacic Square, the central square of the city. Walk uphill to Kaptol, where you will find the Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to spend as you choose. Take this opportunity to visit one of Zagreb’s many museums, such as Mimara Art Museum, Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, or the Museum of Broken Relationships, dedicated to failed love. For dinner, experience local Croatian cuisine at one of Zagreb’s many restaurants or cafes. Those who want to see the city after dark may join the tour director for a pub-crawl tour through the local microbrewery and pubs. Meals | Breakfast
DAY 3: ZAGREB / PLITVICE
We depart Zagreb after breakfast for a panoramic drive to Plitvice Lake National Park, known for its chain of 16 natural lakes, myriad waterfalls, and limestone caves. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, the park is home to bears, wolves, and several rare species of birds. Enjoy lunch on your own, followed by a ferry ride on the park’s largest lake, Kozjak. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel Jezero or similar. Meals | Breakfast | Dinner
DAY 4: PLITVICE / MOSTAR / DUBROVNIK
After breakfast, we depart Plitvice and travel to Dubrovnik via Bosnia and Herzegovina. This panoramic drive through the Bosnian countryside provides spectacular views of the mountains, green hills, and the rivers of Oriental Bosnia. We’ll stop for a walking tour in the city of Mostar in southern Bosnia along the Neretva River. Visit the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque, the 17th-century Turkish House, and Stari Most, a reconstructed medieval bridge. Destroyed during conflict in the 1990s, the bridge and much of the Old Town were restored with the assistance of UNESCO. We’ll have lunch within view of the historic bridge, then depart for Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” Arrive in the late evening for dinner and overnight in Hotel Valamar or similar. Meals | Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
DAY 5: DUBROVNIK
After breakfast, we explore the Old Town of Dubrovnik. Upon arrival, we will board a cable car for a bird’s eye view of the entire city. Following the cable car, we enter the Old Town of Dubrovnik for a walking tour. Encircled by monumental stone ramparts, the old town is a labyrinth of short, narrow stone streets, palaces, towers, monasteries and houses, all over 300 years old. Visit the Stradun main street, Onofrio Fountain, Orlando Column, 16th-century Sponza Palace, and the Old Port. Enjoy lunch at your leisure before departing through Pile Gate, the 15th-century traditional entrance to the town, for Gruz Harbour, where we will board our ship and enjoy a welcome dinner. Meals | Breakfast | Dinner
DAY 6: KORCULA
The walking tour of this magnificent town starts as soon as the ship docks in port. Our guide will explain why the Old Town of Korcula is a masterwork of urban planning and architecture. The layout of the town streets, reminiscent of a fish skeleton, takes advantage of the surrounding winds to clear the air, like a natural air-conditioning system. Korcula is also known as the birthplace of Marco Polo, whose alleged birth house stands in the heart of the Old Town. After the tour, return to the ship for embarkation and an overnight sailing to Bar, Montenegro.
DAY 7: BAR
Once we disembark, we will leave the town of Bar and drive along the beautiful Montenegrin coastline, passing beach resorts, towns, and picturesque countryside. Our professional guide will tell us about daily life in Montenegro today, as well as its impressive history and predictions for the future. Upon arrival in Budva, a metropolis known for its beautiful beaches and active nightlife, we will take a short walk to the Old Town, situated on a small peninsula. It is surrounded by ramparts dating back to the 15th century, including a medieval fortification system with city gates, defense walls, and towers. Inside the walls, the town is a combination of narrow streets and squares, and rich in historical monuments. Today, Budva is a center of tourism and a city of theater, festivals and celebrations. At the end of the tour, enjoy some free time to explore independently or take a refreshing swim at a nearby beach. On our way back to Bar, we will stop for a panoramic view of luxurious St. Stephen island, a former fishing village transformed into a modern resort. Return to the ship for an overnight to Paxos, Greece.
DAY 8: PAXOS
After a short stop in Corfu for clearance, we continue towards the small Ionian island of Paxos. Sail into the nearby bay for a refreshing swim stop in the crystal blue water and enjoy a BBQ lunch onboard. Arrive in port this afternoon. One of a cluster of small islands, Paxos can only be reached by boat, which has spared it from a significant influx of tourists. Free of large hotel complexes and other aspects of modern tourism, Paxos retains a gentle, old world charm. Visit a local tavern, walk ancient paths under the shade of gnarled olive trees, or relax on one of the blindingly white beaches. Return to the ship for an overnight in port.
DAY 9: CORFU
Early morning sailing to Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian Islands and the greenest island in Greece. We will disembark in port for a 20-minute drive to the Achilleion Palace, built by empress Elizabeth “Sissy” of Austria in 1891, and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Explore the interior halls, the terrace, and the gorgeous gardens, offering spectacular views over the Ionian Sea. The gardens, full of exotic flora from around the world, are adorned with classical statues reflecting Greek history and mythology. The tour continues with a photo stop at the picturesque Mouse Island, the most photographed site on the island. We make our way to the historic center of the remarkably preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk along the most elegant quarters and narrow cobble stone streets, pass the old cricket grounds- a tradition left over by the British- and the Royal Palace of St. George & St. Michael, an imposing building built entirely of yellow Maltese. Passing by the arcades of the Liston Piazza, built by the French, we reach the heart of the old town to visit the 300-year-old Church of St. Spiridon, with its priceless collection of icons and gifts. Explore the colorful flea market on our way to the busy shopping district, where we will enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. Overnight in port.
DAY 10: SARANDA / KOTOR
Early morning sailing to the charming town of Saranda, Albania, which boasts the most attractive waterfront on the Albanian Riviera. From the port, we drive to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint. Situated on the Straits of Corfu and surrounded by a picturesque lagoon, Butrint was an important port from Hellenistic to Ottoman times, and is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the Adriatic region. The Greeks, Byzantines, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, and many others wanted to own this little peninsula for its strategic position as well as its stunning beauty. The site and its museum contain ruins and artifacts from each period of the ancient settlement, making it a fascinating place to explore. Return to the ship in the afternoon for embarkation and an overnight sailing to Kotor.
DAY 11: KOTOR
Early morning navigation into the Bay of Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean. Our walking tour will take us through Kotor’s medieval quarter and bustling market, past beautiful Renaissance buildings. The well-preserved, fortified walls of Kotor were built by the Venetians in 1420 and continuously strengthened until the 18th century. Encapsulating the whole of Old Town, the 5-km-long walls form a fortress which could resist attacks from the sea and survive long sieges. Visit the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, constructed in 1166 and built on the remains of a former 9th century temple. See the remains of 14th century frescoes and the valuable treasury, containing both local and Venetian golden works. After sightseeing, walk back to the pier or enjoy free time before embarkation. Overnight in port.
DAY 12: DUBROVNIK
Early morning sailing to Dubrovnik. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for you return flight.