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The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

2017 Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece

Croatia: Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Gromaca • Montenegro: Kotor, Perast • Albania: Butrint, Saranda • Greece: Corfu, Delphi, Athens

EXPLORE IN SMALL GROUPS OF 25 ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 50-PASSENGER M/V ATHENA—
OPERATED BY GRAND CIRCLE CRUISE LINE
91% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

16 Days from only $6345 including international airfare

Courtesy of Epicurious
How to Make Greek Moussaka

Creamy and savory—moussaka is Greece’s most iconic comfort food. Learn to make this traditional dish.

©2015 The New York Times
36 Hours in Zagreb, Croatia

Uncover Zagreb’s hidden gems as you follow locals to a wine shop, an atelier, and an art museum.

Courtesy Martijn Payens
Mushrooms of Concrete

Discover Albania’s concrete bunkers—sites that, though built for potential warfare, have more creative uses today.

Courtesy of Dušan Vuleković
Kotor for all seasons

From summer’s exuberant festivals to the sparkling frost of winter, enjoy Kotor in every season.

Courtesy Paul Kurti
Out of Sight

Meet four Albanian children who share their hopes, challenges, and dreams—or, in some cases, lack thereof.

FROM
$6345
16 DAYS
$397/DAY
including international airfare
15 DAYS FROM $5195 Small Ship Adventure Only
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Visit Croatia, a destination that has enchanted travelers for more than a millennium, on this Small Ship Cruise Tour. Witness turquoise lakes linked by soaring waterfalls … islands covered in lavender and myrtle … whitewashed villages perched on sun-baked cliffs. And set off on a Dalmatian Coast cruise aboard our private small ship—expressly designed and constructed for two groups of just 25 travelers each—for ten or eleven nights. Soak up the medieval beauty of Dubrovnik. Walk in an emperor’s footsteps in Split. Journey to the island that gave Marco Polo his wanderlust. And savor a warm welcome from locals who extend to us a taste of legendary Croatian hospitality. A visit to ancient Delphi and Athens rounds out your discovery on this singular journey of epic beauty.

Make It Your Adventure

Personalize your trip to meet your individual needs, from preferred flights and air routing, to “breaking away” to spend more time in a destination.

  • Did you know that you have control over the way you want to fly with us? O.A.T’s team of Adventure Specialists makes every effort to provide you with non-stop flights and acceptable connection times to and from your destination. You also have several other ways you can personalize your air itinerary, which include:

    • Choose your departure city and airline: We list the most popular gateway cities on our website, but not all of them. If you don’t see yours listed, or there’s one that better suits your needs, let us know. You can also tell us if you have an airline preference and we will try to accommodation your request.
    • Depart from one city and return from another: Just because your flight leaves from one city doesn’t mean you have to return there. Maybe you flew out of Boston and wish to visit friends in Los Angeles after your trip is over. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do our best to get you there.
    • Upgrade your seat: We’ll gladly arrange a flight upgrade to business or premium economy class if it’s available. 
    • Fly the way you want to: When you fly economy class, we’ll do our best to see that you get your choice of seating preference or even add a special meal request if you have dietary restrictions or needs.
  • You can extend your time abroad and "break away" anywhere you'd like to do more exploring on your own. Stay for a day, a week, or even a month in a favorite locale. Or consider arriving a few days early in Zagreb for a fresh start or spending more time at the end of your trip in Athens. Our Travel Counselors can provide you with information on the accommodations we will use at the beginning of your trip so that you can make your own arrangements. That way, you'll know that you will be exactly where you need to be to meet your group.

  • Many of our travelers choose to take another trip directly after their first one ends. Think about it: If you’re already overseas, why not see more of the region and avoid the expense and length of another international flight? Many of our travelers have taken two or three consecutive trips before returning home. One of the most common Small Ship Cruise Tours combined with Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece is Undiscovered Adriatic: Eastern Italy, Venice, Puglia & Malta. And now you’ll save an additional $250-$350 per person when you reserve two trips right after one another.

  • Many Grand Circle travelers simply don’t want their trips to end. With an array of pre- and post-trip extensions to choose from, you have the chance to experience more of the places you’ve traveled so far to see, including Bled, Slovenia and Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens. Plus, you lower your average per-day costs because you’re taking advantage of your already included international airfare.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $845

    With its spectacular mountain scenery, a healthy sub-Alpine climate, crystalline lakes and rivers, and idyllic little medieval towns—Slovenia truly is an amazing corner of the world. Explore Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, situated in an area with infinite unspoiled natural treasures—including stunning cliffs and majestic mountains. You’ll also venture to smaller, more out-of-the-way towns and historic villages.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Fly from the U.S. to Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Arrive in Zagreb, where a Grand Circle representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your transfer to your hotel.

    Zagreb is a city of about 750,000 people and has been Croatia's capital since 1557. The city developed between the eleventh and 13th centuries from the two municipalities of Kaptol and Gradec, whose historic remnants still stand today in the Upper Town.

    This evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink before celebrating the start of your journey during dinner at the hotel.

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Zagreb after breakfast today, beginning with a stroll through the Lower Town, whose well-designed street grid was laid out in the 19th century.

    Here, you'll be introduced to many of the city's civic and historic monuments. Then, take the funicular to the older Upper Town, where you'll discover Zagreb's medieval landmarks. These include the neo-Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption and St. Mark's Church. Pay a visit to the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, dedicated to the untrained European artists of the 20th century. Many of the colorful artworks are done with a childlike simplicity, and the bulk of the intriguing collection is rooted in Croatia. Your tour ends at Zagreb's most colorful open-air market, called Dolac.

    You can seek out lunch on your own, followed by free time to pursue your own interests. Later this afternoon, we will reconvene for an exclusive Discovery Series discussion with a local expert, Croatia: Past & Present.

    Dinner is on your own.

  • Enjoy a free day to explore Zagreb independently, with lunch and dinner on your own.

    Or join our full-day optional tour to the lovely Baroque city of Varazdin. For centuries, this was the home of several aristocratic families, who built magnificent palaces and churches that continue to grace the city today. Varazdin's centerpiece is its moated castle, entered via a drawbridge, which is now a museum featuring antique furniture from different eras. Begun in the twelfth century, the castle was still used as a seat of local government until 1925, and is set in a park with striking landscaping. Lunch is included on this optional tour.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, travel overland to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, where you'll enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful region's lakes. Please note: This tour includes uneven ground and several sets of stairs (up to 300 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    This 114-square-mile national park has at its heart 16 turquoise lakes linked by a series of waterfalls and cascades. The natural wonder has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

    After an included lunch, continue to Split, which is on the Adriatic seacoast in the Croatian province of Dalmatia. When you arrive in Split, you'll embark your small ship. Meet the crew for a Welcome Drink and Briefing before dinner onboard.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning in Split, you'll discover the Imperial Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the greatest Roman ruin in Southeastern Europe.

    Built like a fortress with walls 590 feet by 705 feet, the palace was occupied by the Emperor Diocletian from AD 300-313. As you stand in the peristyle (central court) of this grand structure, its scale is sure to impress you.

    The medieval town of Split took shape within the palace walls; Diocletian's Temple of Jupiter was converted into a Christian baptistery and his mausoleum became a cathedral. The entire old section of Split, with the palace as its centerpiece, is a virtual open-air museum with the city's contemporary life bustling through it.

    Return to your small ship for lunch onboard. Then, learn how local Dalmatian villagers are preserving the traditional way of life in this region. You'll be joined by a local resident for an in-depth look at everyday life, and journey into the heart of the countryside, to the home of residents committed to honoring their ancestors' lifestyles. There, you'll enjoy a culinary demonstration featuring soparnik (a traditional savory pie) and have a chance to sample local specialties, all while discovering age-old customs and bonding with your hosts. 

    This evening, after a Port Talk from our Program Director, enjoy your Captain's Welcome Dinner, followed by traditional folklore entertainment onboard—an exclusive Discovery Series event. Then, your night cruise will take you to your first Dalmatian island, Hvar.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Ride through this luxuriantly green island's patches of lavender, rosemary, and heather to Hvar town, whose Venetian flavor reflects its long history of rule by that city-state.

    After a brief orientation, you'll have free time here to explore on your own. Next, journey to the quaint seaside village of Vrboska, which lies in a picturesque cove surrounded by pinewood forests and lovely beaches, where you'll enjoy a wine tasting at a small, privately owned winery nearby.

    After lunch aboard the ship, cruise to Korcula, the largest island in the archipelago and home to a picturesque medieval town. You'll also enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion with a local resident, who will reveal the highlights and challenges of life on the island. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, soak up the history of Korcula which, among other things, has been the center of a proud musical tradition.

    You'll visit the spot believed by many historians to have been Marco Polo's birthplace (only one stone wall of the house remains). You will also get acquainted with Korcula town's history, which included centuries of rule by Venice, with a visit to its local museum. Learn about the historical importance of the Roman Catholic Church here when you visit St. Mark's Cathedral and the Treasury of the 14th-century Abbey Palace. Then, cruise on to grand Dubrovnik, where you'll dock after dinner this evening, enjoying an exclusive Discovery Series Croatia Today discussion along the way.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    With its old section, the Stari Grad, surrounded entirely by white stone walls, Dubrovnik gleams like the proverbial City on a Hill. Regarded today as one of the world's most exquisite walled cities, Dubrovnik's character reflects its storied past as an independent city-state that rivaled Venice. Also known by its Latin name, Ragusa, this was a fortress city that served as the base for a fleet of ships that carried trade between much of Europe and the Middle East. The city-state's period of autonomy extended from 1358 to 1808. In the early 1990s, some of Dubrovnik's historic sites sustained damage during the Balkan conflicts, but the city has been peaceful for more than 15 years and largely restored under UNESCO supervision. This restoration work has been supported with a donation from Grand Circle Foundation.

    You'll discover the highlights of this historic gem during today's city tour, which features visits to the Rector's Palace and a Franciscan monastery housing one of Europe's oldest pharmacies. 

    Later in the afternoon, experience Gromaca, a village near Dubrovnik. Here, you'll meet some local people and experience their way of life. Then, join these local residents for a Home-Hosted Dinner, an exclusive Discovery Series event.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Cruise into Kotor Bay this morning. After enjoying a brief discussion about this waterway's strategic importance, you'll go ashore in Montenegro to discover the perfectly preserved historic center of Kotor on a walking tour. In the Middle Ages, this natural harbor on the Adriatic coast was a walled city and an important artistic and commercial center, with well-known schools of masonry and iconography. Here, you'll visit the maritime museum that preserves the rich seafaring heritage of this region. Please note: This walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 50 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Following an onboard lunch, depart for Perast. There, you'll take small boats to visit the baroque Our Lady of the Rocks shrine on a man-made islet. The shrine contains 68 paintings by local 17th-century artist Tripo Kokolja, while its greatest treasure is the icon of Our Lady of the Rock, painted by the Dubrovnik artist Lovro Marinov Dobricevic. This evening, enjoy dinner onboard.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Enjoy the morning at leisure. Or, you may join an optional tour to Montenegro's cultural heart and one-time capital, Cetinje. Along the way enjoy a scenic uphill ride that culminates in a spectacular view of Kotor Bay.

    Then, stop in the village of Njegusi, famous for their smoked ham and a local cheese. Sample a few of Njegusi's home-grown delicacies before continuing on to historic Cetinje, nestled at the foot of Mount Lovcen and encircled by steep hills. After a guided tour of the palace of King Nikola, you'll have free time to explore the cultural treasures of this ancient royal town. Please note: This optional tour includes a drive along a steep, narrow mountain road.

    You'll then reunite with your fellow passengers for lunch onboard, followed time to explore as you please before your ship sets sail for Saranda, Albania.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Arrive early this morning in Saranda, Albania. Then travel overland to visit the ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint was the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric of the Byzantine Empire. Following a period of prosperity under the Byzantines, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city's development.

    After lunch at onboard, you'll visit a local children's shelter supported by Grand Circle Foundation. Here, you'll meet the principal and spend time getting to know the children, including insights into their daily lives and hobbies. Many of our travelers have cited this experience as one of the highlights of their trip; an emotional and fulfilling moment that stayed with them long after they returned home. 

    Tonight, enjoy dinner, as well as traditional music and dance, at a family-owned tavern.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Today, enjoy a fairy-tale excursion to Achilleion Palace, the 19th-century villa of Elizabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.

    In her time, she was known by the nickname “Sisi” and was as popular as England's late Princess Diana. Uncomfortable with the constraints of court life in Vienna, Sisi retreated to Corfu in her later years and immersed herself in the world of the ancient Greeks. Today, you'll tour the palatial villa she had built in Corfu between the years 1890-1892, which she named the Achillion. The large Neo-classical building and the vast gardens surrounding it are lavishly decorated with artwork, including two notable statues of Sisi's favorite Greek hero, Achilles. Please note: This walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 90 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    After lunch, enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion on Greece and the European Union before departing for our overnight cruise to Itea, the port from which you will explore Delphi.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, disembark in Itea for about a 40-minute ride to start Delphi tour. Here you'll enjoy a half-day of discovery, including the Temple of Apollo, where the oracle once prophesied. This ancient sanctuary is beautifully set in a landscape fit for a god, at the foot of a mountain with a vista over olive groves to the Bay of Itea.

    Those entering this place in ancient times first purified themselves at the nearby Sanctuary of Athena, where the enigmatic Tholos—a round building of unknown purpose—stands as it has since the fourth century BC. As we approach the Temple of Apollo, you'll walk the Sacred Way used by ancient Greeks, such as the historian Plutarch, who was a priest of Apollo at Delphi. You'll see treasuries built here by the Athenians, the Thebans, the Corinthians, and the Syracusans—the great societies of their day—and enter the theater, built to seat 5,000 people, from which it's possible to get an amazing view if you climb to the top row.

    Then enter the nearby Delphi Archaeological Museum. The unmatched holdings here include the larger-than-life bronze Charioteer, dating to about 470 BC, one of the finest surviving works of antiquity. The museum is filled with other masterpieces from the Archaic, Classical, and Roman periods, including scenes of the gods watching the Trojan War, a nine-statue family monument from the fourth century BC, and a sculpture of Roman Emperor Hadrian's son Antinoos. Please note that this walking tour includes steep ground and several sets of stairs (up to 150 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Return to the ship for lunch, followed by a free afternoon. After dinner on your ship, cruise through the legendary Corinth Canal on your way to Athens.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Arrive in Athens today and enjoy a tour of this lovely historic city. Ride past the historic Panathenean Stadium, originally constructed in 330 BC and restored for the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896, the Greek Parliament building, where the ceremonial guards in traditional Greek dress watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Neo-Classical Presidential Palace. You'll also enjoy a city center walking tour. 

    This afternoon, you'll savor lunch at a local restaurant, followed by free time to make further discoveries on your own.

    This evening, gather for a cocktail and Farewell Dinner.

    • Meals included:

    Depart for the airport to catch your flight back to the U.S.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Ancient Glories: Olympia, Nafplion & Athens

    5 nights from only $1195

    Journey far back in time to the Peloponnese, a peninsula south of mainland Greece steeped in ancient myths and enveloped in rugged scenic beauty. Discover the Neo-classical splendor of Nafplion, the Bronze Age culture of ancient Mycenae, and the sanctuary of Zeus in Ancient Olympia, home of the first Olympian Games. Conclude your exploration of the ancient Greek world with a two-night stay in Athens.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 5 nights from only $1195

    Journey far back in time to the Peloponnese—a peninsula south of mainland Greece steeped in ancient myths and enveloped in rugged scenic beauty. Discover the Neo-classical splendor of Nafplion, the Bronze Age culture of ancient Mycenae, and the sanctuary of Zeus in Ancient Olympia, home of the first Olympian Games. Begin your exploration of the ancient Greek world with a two-night stay in Athens.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • Fly from the U.S. to Athens, Greece.

  • Arrive in Athens, where a Grand Circle representative meets you at the airport and assists with your transfer to our hotel. Travelers on the Ancient Glories pre-trip extension will join you today. This afternoon, enjoy a short orientation walk with your Program Director in the vicinity of the hotel.

    This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, enjoy a tour of the lovely historic city of Athens. Ride past the historic Panathenean Stadium, originally constructed in 330 BC and restored for the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896; the Greek Parliament building, where ceremonial guards in traditional Greek dress watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; and the Presidential Palace. Designed in Neo-classical style, the three-story Presidential Palace elegantly combines elements of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance architecture. Then enjoy a city center walking tour.

    You'll then depart for Mikrolimano and enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant before embarking your ship. As you cruise, meet your crew for a Welcome Drink and a briefing before dinner on board. Begin your Dalmatian Coast cruise with a passage through the Corinth Canal after dinner, and then arrive in Itea, a port town near Delphi, where you'll overnight onboard in the port.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, disembark in Itea for about a 40-minute ride to Delphi. Here, you'll enjoy a half day of discovery, including the Temple of Apollo, where the oracle once prophesied. This ancient sanctuary is beautifully set in a landscape fit for a god, at the foot of a mountain with a vista over olive groves to the Bay of Itea.

    Those entering this place in ancient times first purified themselves at the nearby Sanctuary of Athena, where the enigmatic Tholos—a round building of unknown purpose—stands as it has since the fourth century BC. As you approach the Temple of Apollo, you'll walk the Sacred Way used by ancient Greeks such as the historian Plutarch, who was a priest of Apollo at Delphi. You'll see treasuries built here by the Athenians, the Thebans, the Corinthians, and the Syracusans—the great societies of their day—and enter the theater, built to seat 5,000 people. If you climb to the top row, you're rewarded with an amazing view.

    Then, enter the nearby Delphi Archaeological Museum. The unmatched holdings here include the larger-than-life bronze Charioteer, dating to about 470 BC, one of the finest surviving works of antiquity. The museum is filled with other masterpieces from the Archaic, Classical, and Roman periods, including scenes of the gods watching the Trojan War, a nine-statue family monument from the fourth century BC, and a sculpture of Roman Emperor Hadrian's son Antinoos. Please note that this walking tour includes steep ground and several sets of stairs (up to 150 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Later, return to the ship for lunch, after which you can explore the city of Itea and make your own discoveries.

    Tonight enjoy a Captain's Welcome Dinner as your ship cruises through the night to Corfu.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, you'll enjoy a fairy-tale excursion to Achilleion Palace, the 19th-century villa of Elizabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.

    In her day, Elizabeth was known by the nickname of “Sisi,” and was as popular as England's late Princess Diana. Uncomfortable with the constraints of court life in Vienna, Sisi retreated to Corfu in her later years and immersed herself in the world of the ancient Greeks. Today, you'll tour the Achillion—the palatial villa she commissioned in Corfu between the years 1890-1892. The large Neo-classical building and vast gardens surrounding it are lavishly decorated with artwork, including two notable statues of Sisi's favorite Greek hero, Achilles. Please note: This walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 90 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    After enjoying lunch onboard, the afternoon is yours to discover Corfu at leisure. Then tonight, enjoy dinner, as well as traditional music and dance, at a family-owned tavern.

    Return to the ship this evening, where you'll enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion on Greece and the European Union. The ship remains moored through the night at Corfu.

    p>
    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Cruise this morning to Saranda, Albania, then travel overland to visit the ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint was at various times the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric of the Byzantine Empire. Following a period of prosperity under the Byzantines, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city's development.

    Then return to Saranda, where you'll enjoy an onboard lunch, followed by a visit a local children's shelter supported by Grand Circle Foundation. Here, you'll meet the principal and spend time getting to know the children, including insights into their daily lives and hobbies, before cruising toward Kotor, located in the tiny Republic of Montenegro.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Cruise into Kotor Bay this morning. After a brief discussion about this waterway's strategic importance, you'll go ashore in Montenegro to discover the perfectly preserved historic center of Kotor on a walking tour. In the Middle Ages, this natural harbor on the Adriatic coast was a walled city and an important artistic and commercial center, with well-known schools of masonry and iconography. Here, you'll visit the maritime museum that preserves the rich seafaring heritage of this region. Please note: This walking tour includes several sets of stairs (up to 50 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Following an onboard lunch, depart for Perast. There, you'll take small boats to visit the baroque Our Lady of the Rocks shrine on a man-made islet. The shrine contains 68 paintings by local 17th-century artist Tripo Kokolja, while its greatest treasure is the icon of Our Lady of the Rock, painted by the Dubrovnik artist Lovro Marinov Dobricevic.

    This evening, enjoy dinner onboard.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Today, you may spend the morning relaxing onboard, or choose our optional tour to Montenegro's cultural heart and one-time capital, Cetinje.

    Along the way, you'll enjoy a scenic uphill ride that culminates in a spectacular view of Kotor Bay. Then, stop in the village of Njegusi, famous for its smoked ham and a local cheese. Sample a few of Njegusi's home-grown delicacies before continuing on to historic Cetinje, nestled at the foot of Mount Lovcen and encircled by steep hills. After a guided tour of the palace of King Nikola, you'll have some free time to explore the cultural treasures of this ancient royal town. Please note: This tour includes a drive along a steep, narrow mountain road.

    You'll then reunite with your fellow passengers for lunch onboard, followed by time to explore as you please before your ship sets sail for Dubrovnik.

    Prior to dinner this evening, enjoy an informative discussion about daily life and politics in contemporary Croatia, an exclusive Discovery Series event.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    With its old section, the Stari Grad, surrounded entirely by white stone walls, Dubrovnik gleams like the proverbial City on a Hill. Regarded today as one of the world's most exquisite walled cities, Dubrovnik's character reflects its storied past as an independent city-state that rivaled Venice. Also known by its Latin name, Ragusa, this was a fortress city that served as the base for a fleet of ships that carried trade between much of Europe and the Middle East. The city-state's period of autonomy extended from 1358 to 1808. In the early 1990s, some of Dubrovnik's historic sites sustained damage during the Balkan conflicts, but the city has been peaceful for more than 15 years and largely restored under UNESCO supervision. This restoration work has been supported with a donation from Grand Circle Foundation.

    You'll discover the highlights of this historic gem during today's city tour, which features visits to the Rector's Palace and a Franciscan monastery housing one of Europe's oldest pharmacies. 

    Later in the afternoon, experience Gromaca, a village near Dubrovnik. Here, you'll meet some local people and experience their way of life. Then, join these local residents for a Home-Hosted Dinner, an exclusive Discovery Series event.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, embark on an included tour of Korcula. Visit the spot believed by many historians to have been Marco Polo's birthplace (only one stone wall of the house remains). You'll also get acquainted with Korcula town's history—which included centuries of Venetian rule—with a visit to its local museum. Learn about the historical importance of the Roman Catholic Church here when you visit St. Mark's Cathedral and the treasury of the 14th-century Abbey Palace.

    Return to your ship for lunch onboard, and in the afternoon, you can continue your individual exploration of Korcula island or just relax on the Sun Deck of your ship. This evening, you'll enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion with a local resident, who will reveal the highlights and challenges of life on the island. Then, following your nightly Port Talk, join your fellow travelers in the ship's dining room for dinner. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, ride through this luxuriantly green island's patches of lavender, rosemary, and heather to Hvar, whose Venetian flavor (like Korcula's) reflects its long history of rule by that city-state.

    After a brief orientation, you'll have free time here to discover more on our own. Then, ride to the quaint seaside village of Vrboska, which lies in a picturesque cove surrounded by pinewood forests and lovely beaches. After, you'll enjoy a wine tasting at a small, privately owned winery nearby.

    After lunch aboard the ship, cruise to Split, where you'll dock and take a short orientation walk of the area. Then enjoy dinner, followed by traditional folklore entertainment onboard.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning in Split, you'll discover the Imperial Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the greatest Roman ruin in Southeastern Europe.

    Built like a fortress with walls 590 feet by 705 feet, the palace was occupied by the Emperor Diocletian from AD 300-313. As you stand in the peristyle (central court) of this grand structure, its scale is sure to impress you.

    The medieval town of Split took shape within the palace walls; Diocletian's Temple of Jupiter was converted into a Christian baptistery and his mausoleum became a cathedral. The entire old section of Split, with the palace as its centerpiece, is a virtual open-air museum with the city's contemporary life bustling through it.

    Return to your small ship for lunch onboard. Then, learn how local Dalmatian villagers are preserving the traditional way of life in this region. You'll be joined by a local resident for an in-depth look at everyday life, and journey into the heart of the countryside, to the home of residents committed to honoring their ancestors' lifestyles. There, you'll enjoy a culinary demonstration featuring soparnik (a traditional savory pie) and have a chance to sample local specialties, all while discovering age-old customs and bonding with your hosts.

    After a Port Talk from your Program Director, you'll enjoy a Captain's Farewell Dinner onboard this evening.

  • This morning, disembark your ship and travel overland to the Plitvice Lakes region, stopping for an included lunch en route. Afterwards, enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful region's lakes. Please note: This tour includes uneven ground and several sets of stairs (up to 300 stairs, uphill and downhill).

    Here, a 114-square-mile national park has at its heart 16 turquoise lakes linked by a series of waterfalls and cascades. The natural wonder has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

    Continue to Zagreb and check in to your hotel. This evening, dinner is on your own in Zagreb.

  • This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Zagreb, the city that has been Croatia's capital since 1557. Your tour begins with a stroll through the Lower Town, whose well-designed street grid was laid out in the 19th century.

    Here you'll be introduced to many of the Zagreb's civic and historic monuments. Then, take the funicular to the older Upper Town, where you'll be introduced to the city's medieval landmarks.

    This oldest part of the city developed between the eleventh and 13th centuries from the two municipalities of Kaptol and Gradec, whose historic remnants you can still see today. Here you'll see the Neo-Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption and St. Mark's Church. You'll also pay a visit to the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, dedicated to the untrained European artists of the 20th century. Many of the colorful artworks are done with a childlike simplicity, and the bulk of the intriguing collection is rooted in Croatia. Your city tour ends at Zagreb's most colorful open-air market, Dolac.

    You will have some free time for shopping and lunch on your own, followed by free time for independent discoveries. Later this afternoon, we will reconvene for an exclusive Discovery Series discussion with a local expert, Croatia: Past & Present.

    This evening, dinner is on your own in Zagreb.

  • Enjoy a free day to make your own discoveries in Zagreb, with lunch on your own. Or join our full-day optional tour to the lovely Baroque city of Varazdin.

    For centuries, this was the home of several aristocratic families, who built magnificent palaces and churches that continue to grace the city today. Varazdin's centerpiece is its moated castle, entered via a drawbridge, which is now a museum featuring antique furniture from different eras. Begun in the twelfth century, the castle was still used as a seat of local government until 1925, and is set in a park with striking landscaping. The cost of this optional tour includes lunch.

    This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner.

    • Meals included:

    Depart for the airport to catch your flight back to the U.S. Or begin your post-trip extension in Bled, Slovenia.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Bled, Slovenia

    3 nights from only $845

    With its spectacular mountain scenery, a healthy sub-Alpine climate, crystalline lakes and rivers, and idyllic little medieval towns—Slovenia truly is an amazing corner of the world. Explore Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, situated in an area with infinite unspoiled natural treasures—including stunning cliffs and majestic mountains. You’ll also venture to smaller, more out-of-the-way towns and historic villages.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece

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