the Princess Eleganza is a small ship with only 36 passengers on board offering a comfortable seven night cruise from opitaja to dubrovnik. this formed part of our three week exploration of croatia.
friday 9th June: Board MS princess eleganza in opatija
At the end of our two night stay in the Hotel Bevanda which is in the port area, we boarded the vessel and were shown to Cabin 1 which was very comfortable and well appointed. We looked around the vessel to familiarise ourselves with facilities and attended a safety briefing. The welcome drink was appreciated and dinner was excellent.
Overnight alongside in Opatija.
saturday 10th june: opatija and sail to rab (52 miles)
The other pasengers went on a walking tour of Opatija but we remained on board as we'd explored the area during the days before we boarded.
We sailed late morning and cruised through the Kvarner Gulf between Krk, the largest island in Croatia, and Cres. After lunch we were lucky enough to see dolphins close to the ship which was a real treat.
We explored the old town area of Rab before dining ashore at Dock 69 where I enjoyed a pizza whilst Yolande opted for duck, it hadn't been easy to find a restaurant willing to feed a coeliac with gluten free requirements.
We remained overnight alongside in Rab.
Rab is often thought of as the best tourist destination on the Adriatic.
Sunday 11th june: rab and cruise to zadar (55 miles)
We sailed from Rab after breakfast and cruised out past the island of Pag and arrived in Zadar late afternoon. Just before berthing we passed a small rowing boat crossing the narrow harbour entrance. The Boatmen of Zadar have been providing this service since the 14th century in all weathers and dodging frequent marine traffic to reach the other side.
The small rowing boat wasn't included in the walking tour so we went solo across the bouncy swell to the other side and explored Zadar by ourselves, I even climbed the tower which provided great 360 degree views of the area.
Dinner on board and the vessel remained alongside overnight in Zadar.
We enjoyed an evening stroll, after dinner, through the old town and past the corniche sea organ affter dinner.
Zadar is the ancient capital of Dalmatia and combines ancient and medieval heritage with a bustling cafe and night life.
Monday 12th june: zadar and cruise to sibenik (50 miles)
We left our berth before breakfast and headed out to sea, passing the Boatman of Zadar on the way. Following the coastline we entered St Anthony's Channel, protected by the St Nicholas Fortress and into Sibenik.
After lunch, a short coach ride took us into the Krka National Park to view the spectacular waterfalls.
Dinner was served on board and we remained alongside overnight in Sibenik.
Sibenik is a real gem in the Croatian Adriatic and one of the oldest Croatian towns, dating back to before 1066 during the reign of King Kresimir IV.
tuesday 13th june: Sibenik and cruise to split (48 miles)
Declining the Sibenik shore tour, we walked over to the fascinating and colourful local market before getting a taxi up to the St Michael's Fortess high above Sibenik before walking back to the berth and heading out to sea before lunch.
Late in the afternoon we berthed in Split and walked into the old town to look at the Heritage Suites Hotel to where we'd return after disembarking in Dubrovnik.
Dinner was not included today so we enjoyed a picnic for tea with wine purchased from the bar on board.
We remained alongside overnight in Split.
Split dates back to Roman times when the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his huge palace here.
Wednesday 14th june: split and cruising to vis (34 miles) and korcula (50 miles)
I watched us sail from Split at 0500 from the comfort of our cabin and then went back to bed.
Arriving in Vis after breakfast we enjoyed a scenic (2 hour) coach trip around this isolated but historically important island. Key sites visited were the old RAF base, the small seaside village of Komiza for an hour before returning to Vis to look at Fort George, built by the British after the Battle of Vis in 1811.
Back on board, we sailed soon after to Korcula and a short walking tour of this medieval walled city which is located on a peninsular into the Peljesac Channel.
We joined the walking tour through the narrow street, alleged birthplace of Marco Polo, through the main square and passed St Mark's Cathedral to the Ravelin Tower where the tour ended.
Just beyond the Ravelin Tower and to the left we found a fabuolous local restaurant which we can highly recommend: 'Restoran Planjak' where we had a great dinner surrounded mostly by local people.
We remained alongside overnight in Korcula.
thursday 15th june: korcula and cruise to dubrovnik (55 miles)
We sailed before breakfast into an overcast and rainy open section of the Adriatic Sea. There was some vessel movement due to a moderate swell from the south and heavy rain persisted until our arrival in Dubrovnik.
We declined the walking tour as we'd have four nights in Dubrovnik after disembarking tomorrow so stayed on board and relaxed for the day but did take a short walk along the jetty towards the ocean liner terminal.
The farewell dinner that night was an opportunity to say goodbye to the crew and our fellow passengers. Live music followed by a couple of musicians and dancing followed later on.
Alongside overnight in Dubrovnik.
friday 16th june: Disembark in dubrovnik
Our final breakfast was as good as all the others and we put our tips into the collection box and said goodbye to everyone before disembarking and taking a taxi to the Hilton Imperial Hotel for the next four nights.
Yolande and I have never really undertaken a cruise before, apart from the Hurtigruten coastal ferry from Bergen to Kirkeness where we offloaded and drove home to Wales, a Nile cruise and a short cruise across the channel in a very large cruise ship with friends.
We both very much enjoyed our week on the MS Princess Eleganza and thought the Cruise Director (Rafaela Perisin) and Captain Marin and his crew really looked after us well so many thanks to them.
Following on from retirement, more time will be available for hill and mountain walking on a personal basis with friends.