Don’t miss out on Adriatic cruises

The past couple of years I have really wanted to cruise to Croatia so like most cruises would do I began searching through all of the great Mediterranean cruise offerings. As it turns out I could have made my search easier by just searching for Adriatic cruises.

I don’t claim to be a world map expert but I at least thought I knew the cruise routes. I however had never heard of Adriatic cruises before now.Turns out that technically the Adriatic Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea which in and of itself is confusing. If its part of the Mediterranean then why not just call it the Mediterranean… anyway on to the cruise info.

The Adriatic Sea makes up the eastern coast of Italy including such ports as Venice, Ravenna and Bari while taking the western coast lines of countries such as Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Albania. Most major cruise lines sail this route as part of long 12 day cruises classified as Mediterranean. Those cruises stop or even leave from the major ports like Venice and Dubrovnik. Few big cruise lines however dedicate entire itineraries to the Adriatic Sea leaving those instead to the smaller luxury lines. No doubt this is in large part due to the lack of ports big enough to accommodate the larger mega ships.

I did however find one official 7 day Adriatic cruise offered by Royal Caribbean on the Jewel of the Seas. I’ve never been on the Jewel but I have been on her sister ship the Navigator of the Seas, which I considered to be one of my favorite ships.

The cruise leaves Venice and stops in Koper, Slovenia, Ravenna, Italy, Bari, Italy and Dubrovnik, Croatia before returning to Venice for an overnight stay on the ship. But the best part may be the price. While 7 day summer cruises in the Mediterranean can typically set you back over $1,000 a person, a balcony on the Voyager cruising the Adriatic Sea can be had for $749. That’s a super deal in my book and even helps offset the expensive flights to Venice.

Another great things about these ports are that they are all very good walking cities which means if you want to save even more money by not taking tours then you can still have a great time just walking around. Note however that some spots like Koper and Bari are within short drives of magnificent places such as Piran, Slovenia and  Alberobello, Italy so it may be worth it to grab a couple of tours or venture out own your own to these places as well.

Things to Do in Port

Venice, Italy

  • Take a Gondola ride
  • Visit St Mark’s Basilica and St Mark’s Square
  • Visit the bell tower
  • Relax at a cafe

Koper, Slovenia

  • Walk around Old Town
  • Take the bus or tour to Piran
  • Take a tour to Ljubljana
  • Visit the caves in Postojna
  • Visit Lake Bled

Ravenna, Italy

  • Walk the city
  • Take a trip to San Marino
  • Visit Dante’s Tomb
  • View Mosaics (World Heritage Sites)

Bari, Italy

  • Walk around the historic district
  • Take a trip to Alberobello to see Trulli Huts
  • Take a trip to Matera to see the cave dwellings (World Heritage Site)

Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Walk around town
  • Walk the city walls
  • Take a ferry to Lokrum
  • Visit the beach
  • Ride the cable car for great views of the city