When you think of cruising in Europe, Croatia might not be the first country that pops into your mind — but it should be. Croatia's rivers and coastlines are stunning, giving travelers a unique way to explore this beautiful country. With a Croatia river cruise, you can expect a journey that combines scenic beauty, historical treasures, and cultural deep dives. Imagine gliding along the serene rivers, with medieval castles and rolling vineyards passing by your window. The Croatian coastline is dotted with more than a thousand islands, each offering its unique charm, from secluded beaches to ancient walled towns. Onshore, you'll find a rich history that dates back to Roman times and beyond, evident in the well-preserved architecture and historic sites. Plus, Croatia's vibrant culture, with its traditional music, dance, and delicious cuisine, is just waiting to be experienced. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Croatia river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.Croatia Travel Guide
|Dec 04, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Giurgiu||Budapest||8||$3,499|
|Dec 08, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaBella||Bucharest||Prague||22||$8,998|
|Dec 11, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaBella||Giurgiu||Vilshofen||15||$6,898|
|Dec 16, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaBella||Vienna||Bucharest||14||$5,359|
|Dec 18, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaBella||Budapest||Giurgiu||8||$3,499|
|Dec 21, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaBella||Bucharest||Vienna||14||$5,359|
|Dec 25, 2023||AmaWaterways||AmaBella||Giurgiu||Budapest||8||$3,499|
|Mar 11, 2024||Viking||Viking Lif||Budapest||Bucharest||11||$4,899|
|Mar 16, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Vienna||Bucharest||14||$4,979|
|Mar 16, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Bucharest||Vienna||14||$4,979|
|Mar 17, 2024||Viking||Viking Rinda||Vienna||Bucharest||17||$5,599|
|Mar 18, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Budapest||Giurgiu||8||$2,999|
|Mar 18, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Giurgiu||Budapest||8||$2,999|
|Mar 19, 2024||Viking||Viking Lif||Bucharest||Budapest||11||$4,799|
|Mar 21, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Prague||Bucharest||22||$9,158|
|Mar 21, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Bucharest||Prague||22||$9,158|
|Mar 21, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Bucharest||Vienna||14||$5,179|
|Mar 24, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Vilshofen||Giurgiu||15||$6,998|
|Mar 24, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Giurgiu||Vilshofen||15||$6,998|
|Mar 25, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Giurgiu||Budapest||8||$3,199|
|Mar 25, 2024||Viking||Viking Lif||Budapest||Bucharest||11||$6,599|
|Mar 29, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Vienna||Bucharest||14||$5,579|
|Mar 29, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Bucharest||Vienna||14||$5,579|
|Mar 29, 2024||Viking||Viking Rinda||Bucharest||Vienna||17||$5,499|
|Mar 31, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Budapest||Giurgiu||8||$3,599|
|Mar 31, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaMagna||Giurgiu||Budapest||8||$3,599|
|Mar 31, 2024||Viking||Viking Kadlin||Vienna||Bucharest||17||$7,999|
|Apr 02, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Opal||Vienna||Bucharest||16||$17,090|
|Apr 02, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Opal||Vienna||Bucharest||20||$18,140|
|Apr 02, 2024||Viking||Viking Lif||Bucharest||Budapest||11||$4,899|
|Apr 03, 2024||Avalon Waterways||View||Prague||Bucharest||18||$6,586|
|Apr 03, 2024||Avalon Waterways||View||Prague||Bucharest||20||$7,336|
|Apr 05, 2024||Avalon Waterways||View||Deggendorf||Bucharest||18||$6,747|
|Apr 05, 2024||Avalon Waterways||View||Deggendorf||Bucharest||16||$5,997|
|Apr 05, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Prague||Bucharest||22||$8,898|
|Apr 05, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Bucharest||Prague||22||$8,898|
|Apr 05, 2024||Uniworld||River Duchess||Budapest||Bucharest||10||$4,499|
|Apr 08, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Vilshofen||Giurgiu||15||$6,798|
|Apr 08, 2024||AmaWaterways||AmaVerde||Giurgiu||Vilshofen||15||$6,798|
|Apr 08, 2024||Scenic||Scenic Opal||Istanbul||Vienna||23||$20,210|
Croatia Travel Guide
Croatia River Cruises Highlights
- Dubrovnik - Southern Croatia: The medieval walls of Dubrovnik are as stunning from the sea as they are up close. Known as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic,' this port offers a rich history and breathtaking architecture. It's a short walk from the dock to the old town, where you can wander marble streets, visit the ancient city walls, and grab a gelato in the bustling Stradun.
- Dubrovnik's Ancient City Walls: These impressive fortifications surround the old city and offer stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Walking atop these walls is like stepping back in time.
- Split - Central Dalmatia: Split revolves around the impressive Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The port here is lively, with cafes, shops, and market stalls lining the promenade. It's a gateway to island hopping but also a cultural hub with numerous museums and galleries showcasing the region's history and art.
- Diocletian's Palace in Split: A massive Roman palace that's now intertwined with the city, its ancient cellars, and peristyle provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
- Korcula - Southern Dalmatia: Korcula's port is smaller but charming, with a walled old town thought to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. Here, you can enjoy quieter streets, beautiful beaches within walking distance, and local wine tasting in nearby bars and restaurants.
- Hvar's St. Stephen's Square: The main square of Hvar is a lively and beautiful space surrounded by historical buildings, including the Cathedral of St. Stephen.
- Rijeka - Northern Croatia: As a 2020 European Capital of Culture, Rijeka's port is your entry to Croatia's cultural heartbeat. The city is less touristy, offering an authentic feel with its bustling Korzo promenade, diverse museums, and the Trsat Castle overlooking the port.
- Krka National Park: A bit inland but accessible on some river cruise itineraries, this park is famous for its cascading waterfalls and natural swimming spots.
- Pula's Roman Amphitheatre: One of the best-preserved Roman arenas in the world, this amphitheater is a testament to Croatia's ancient heritage.
- Rovinj's Old Town: With its cobbled streets and distinctive, Venetian-influenced architecture, Rovinj is a picturesque fishing port that feels Italianate in spirit.
- Mljet National Park: Known for its two saltwater lakes and the 12th-century Monastery of Saint Mary, it's a tranquil escape into nature.
- The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this cathedral is renowned for its remarkable architectural features, including a fusion of Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Croatia River Cruises Travel Tips
- When withdrawing money from ATMs, try to use the ATM of an official bank, next to a bank's branch location.
- Most everybody in the country will speak some English. Therefore, you don't have to worry about any language barriers.
- The local currency is the Croatian Kuna, not the Euro, so make sure you've got some on hand for small purchases, although cards are widely accepted.
- The peak time for travel is July and the first two weeks in August. However, the preferred time to travel is June or September, as these times are not as crowded and the prices are less expensive.
- Bring comfortable shoes for walking on cobblestone streets. Pack light layers; the weather can be warm during the day but cooler in the evenings, especially in the water. Swimsuit for those inviting Adriatic waters and a smart outfit for dining onboard or in upscale restaurants.
- Invest in lightweight luggage so you can meet weight limits and luggage restrictions.
- Carry photo equipment (with lots of extra batteries) as well as adapters and converters. Binoculars for bird watching, and perhaps a good book to enjoy while lounging on deck. Croatia uses type C & F plugs, and a 220V, 50 Hz frequency.
Croatia River Cruises Things To Do
Located in south Croatia, Dubrovnik sprawls along the Adriatic Sea. It is especially known for its Old Town section, which is surrounded by stone walls, built during the 1500s. The walker-only Stradun features restaurants and shops, which line a limestone pavement. See the Baroque St. Blaise Church, the Sponza Palace, and the Gothic Rector's Palace, which now serves as a local history museum. The River Ombla area is beautiful and is a must-see spot if you like the great outdoors.
Best Time To VisitEnjoy warmer and pleasant temperatures without the crowds in September.
You Should KnowGame of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik. The terra cotta roofs in Old Town and the medieval architecture made the city the ideal spot to produce the television show. Guided tours provide insights into how the show was shot and take tourists to some of the filming locations.
The town of Ston is close to Dubrovnik, being part of the county of Dubrovnik-Neretva on the Peljesac Peninsula. The locale is known for three things – its impressive and preserved walls, its mussels, and its salt works.
Best Time To VisitSee Ston in June or September when the weather is sunny and there are fewer tourists.
You Should KnowThe salt works of Ston were founded during the 1200s, although the harvesting of salt is believed to go back further in history. Today, salt harvesting is still done following traditional practices. The town is well-known for its Old Walls, which were built during the 14th and 15th centuries to defend Dubrovnik – known as the Republic of Ragusa at the time.
The second-largest city in Croatia, Split sits on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea. The city is known for its beaches, so if you like beach activities, you won't want to miss a chance to enjoy the sands, sun, or watersports in Split.
Best Time To VisitYou can enjoy the sights more if you go when it is less crowded, preferably during June or September. If you want to visit the beach and swim, choose September, as the water will be warmer.
You Should KnowVisit Diocletian's Palace in Old Town, built in the 4th century. It features the villa where Diocletian, the Roman emperor, retired. St. Dominus Cathedral, in Split, is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world You can view the city by climbing up to the bell tower. However, don't go when they are ready to ring the bell (which happens on the hour), as it can be an ear-splitting experience.
The Croatian capital of Zagreb is known for its Austro-Hungarian buildings, which were built during the 1700s and 1800s. In the city's center, the Gothic Zagreb Cathedral and St. Mark's Church (built in the 1200s) are must-see attractions in the Upper Town section. If you would like to enjoy a relaxing repast, head over the Tkalciceva Street, home to several outdoor cafes. Ban Jelacic Square, in Lower Town, features parks, shops, and museums.
Best Time To VisitPack your bags for a river cruise trip to Zagreb in June or September.
You Should KnowThe Museum of Broken Relations received the Kenneth Hudson Award in 2011 for being the most innovative museum in Europe. It displays artifacts from failed love relationships. St. Mark's Church can be easily recognized because of its vibrant tiled roof showing the coats of arms of Zagreb City, Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia. The 13th-century church also displays a Gothic door and Romanesque windows.
- Belgrade, Serbia
The capital of Serbia, Belgrade is home to the Beogradska Tvrdava, a fortress that stands where the Danube and Sava rivers meet. The fortification was important, strategically, to the empires of the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Serbians, and Austrians. Today, it houses several museums and is home to a large park known as Kalemegdan.
Best Time To VisitYou will enjoy sightseeing more if you go when there are fewer crowds during June or September.
You Should KnowThe heartbeat of Belgrade is its green markets. While the largest market is Kalenic, Zeleni Venac offers a unique architecturally styled building as well as a central location. The markets feature a section of fresh produce that includes specialties such as pickled chilies, kajmak, honey, and ajvar. If you visit cafes and markets, it helps to know a bit of the Serbo-Croat language. For example, dobar dan means "good day," while hvla translates to "thank you." If you are having trouble with pricing, a vendor or store owner will usually write down the cost.
- Iron Gates Gorge
The Iron Gates Gorge lies on the Danube River and creates the border for the two countries, Romania and Serbia. The Romanian side of this natural site includes Iron Gates Natural Park while the Serbian side is made up of Derdap National Park. In July 2020, a large protected area on the Serbian side was given the designation of a UNESCO global geopark.
Best Time To VisitA nice time to pass through the area is during June or September, both of which are more temperate times of the year.
You Should KnowThe site is about 3K or 2 miles long and 530 feet (162 meters) in diameter. With its towering cliffs, Iron Gates Gorge is one of the most impressive natural wonders in Europe. Until the building of the Sip Canal in 1896, a huge rock reef of the gorge nearly barricaded the width of the Danube River.
- Vidin, Bulgaria
Situated on the Danube's southern shore, Vidin is a port town that lies in northwest Bulgaria. It is near the borders of Serbia and Romania and serves as the administrative sector of the Vidin Province. The town connects to the town of Kalafat, located in Romania, by ferry. It is considered a resort town because of its abundance of mineral water.
Best Time To VisitPlan a visit to Vidin during June or September when temperatures are not too hot or too cool.
You Should KnowVidin is one of the oldest towns along the Bulgarian bank of the Danube River. The Baba Vida fortress was constructed from the 9th through the 10th centuries. It is one of the few completely preserved Bulgarian medieval castles. Its construction was started at the site of an ancient Roman watchtower, known as Bononia.
- Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest is the capital of Romania and serves as the country's center for commerce. An iconic landmark of the city is the Palatul Parlamentului government complex, which was built during the Communist era. The massive structure features 1,100 rooms.
Best Time To VisitJune or September are always good times to visit Bucharest, Romania, as the weather is moderate and you can get a lot of sightseeing done. The historic Lipscani district features a vibrant nightlife scene.
Croatia River Cruise Packages
- Getting There
Heading to Croatia for a river cruise is an adventure in itself. You'll likely fly into Zagreb, the capital, or directly to coastal cities like Split or Dubrovnik if you're coming from overseas. From there, you can take a short ride to one of the main ports like Split, Dubrovnik, or Rijeka. These ports are well-equipped to welcome international visitors, serving as gateways to the Adriatic Sea and its many islands, as well as the starting points for river cruises.
Croatia's coastline stretches over 1,700 kilometers, with ports accessible to cruise ships of all sizes. River cruises usually kick off from smaller, more intimate docks that are located along the country's network of rivers, bringing you closer to the heart of Croatia's charming riverside towns and lush landscapes.
- The Perfect Time for a Croatia River Cruise
If you're thinking about a river cruise in Croatia, timing is pretty important. The summers here, from June to August, are sunny and hot—perfect for enjoying the coast and taking a dip. But it's also when Croatia is busiest with tourists. For a more laid-back trip, try May or September when it's still warm but less crowded.
Winters, from November to February, can be chilly and wet, especially inland, so it's not the best time for cruising. However, the shoulder season, which is April to early June and September to October, strikes a nice balance. You'll get milder weather and fewer people, which can also mean better prices and more time to explore without the rush.
- Experience the Flavors of Croatia on a River Cruise
Taking a river cruise in Croatia isn't just about the sights; it's a chance to dive into some delicious local cuisine. Croatian food is a feast for the senses, with a mix of Mediterranean flavors and Balkan zest. Make sure to try 'peka,' a mouth-watering dish of meat and vegetables slow-cooked under a bell-like dome. Seafood lovers are in for a treat with the freshest 'riba' (fish) grilled to perfection, often served with a drizzle of local olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Don't miss 'cevapi,' small grilled meat sausages that are a staple in the region. For a truly Croatian experience, pair your meal with a glass of 'rakija,' a strong fruit brandy, or sip on some of the local wines, which are gaining international praise.
For a unique dining experience, ask the locals or your cruise staff for recommendations on where to eat. Waterfront restaurants are plentiful, offering both stunning views and an array of fresh, locally sourced dishes. Street food markets are also a must-visit for a quick and tasty bite. Whether you're seated in a charming old-town eatery or on the deck of the cruise ship, the flavors of Croatia are sure to be a highlight of your journey.
- Immerse Yourself in Croatian Culture
Croatia is a place where culture spills out onto the streets and fills the air with music and festivity. Get ready to experience a vibrant mix of history and modernity. Croatians take pride in their heritage, with traditional music and dance still a big part of local life. Keep an eye out for ‘klapa' singing events – a form of a cappella singing that's been recognized by UNESCO.
Local customs are deeply rooted in family and community, and you'll notice this warm social culture as you explore. Festivals are a big deal here; if you're lucky, your visit might coincide with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival or the Split Summer Festival, which showcases live theatre, music, and dance.
To really understand Croatian culture, join in the festivities or simply enjoy a ‘kava' (coffee) in a bustling local café. Croatians cherish their leisurely coffee culture – it's the perfect way to soak in the atmosphere and maybe make a new friend.
- Why Book a River Cruise in Croatia?
Booking a river cruise in Croatia isn't just about the ease of travel; it's a smart choice if you're looking to get a bang for your buck. Imagine unpacking once but waking up to a new view of Croatia's stunning coastline each morning—without the hassle of checking in and out of hotels. Cruises offer this seamless experience with added perks like meals and activities included in the price.
Plus, the views from the water are unmatched; you'll see parts of the country that you just can't from land. Many cruises also offer exclusive stops to little-known spots, giving you a taste of the local life without the crowds. It's these little exclusives that can make your trip extra special. Whether it's accessing a secluded beach only reachable by boat or docking at a quaint village for a night of traditional Croatian music and dance, these are experiences that road travelers might miss out on.
The convenience of having your transportation double as your accommodation means you can spend more time enjoying your holiday and less time worrying about logistics. It's clear a river cruise in Croatia offers a unique and hassle-free way to soak up the coastal charm and rich culture this beautiful country has to offer.
- Ready to Book Your Croatia River Cruise?
Booking a Croatia river cruise is your ticket to an unforgettable journey through one of Europe's most scenic and vibrant destinations. Imagine gliding along serene rivers, docking at historic ports, and stepping out to explore medieval towns, pristine beaches, and lush landscapes. You'll get a unique perspective of Croatia's stunning coastline and have the chance to dive into its rich culture and mouth-watering cuisine.
A river cruise here is hassle-free travel at its best, with every detail handled so you can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of Croatia. Whether you're soaking up the sun on deck or discovering hidden gems in each port, the memories you make will last a lifetime. So, why wait? Secure your spot now and get ready to set sail on a Croatian adventure that combines the best of relaxation and exploration.
Croatia River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
- What Are Croatia River Cruises?
Croatia river cruises normally include trips of about 11 days that cover major Croatian ports and cities. A highlight of the river cruise includes sailing through the Iron Gates Gorge, a spectacular natural wonder. River cruises normally begin in Dubrovnik and end in Bucharest, Romania. Popular Croatian cities and ports-of-call on the river cruise include Split and Zagreb, the capital. Stops in Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria are normally part of the itinerary.
- What Is Included on Croatia River Cruises?
Croatia river cruises permit you to sail through Croatia and the Balkans, visiting natural sites and historic structures. You receive guided tours, free meals, complimentary beverages, luxury accommodations, and Wi-Fi.
- What’s the Best River Cruise of Croatia River Cruises?
You will find the best river cruise for you when you locate a river cruise package that meets your interests and budget. One of the best river cruise lines to consider is Avalon Waterways, as it offers Croatia river cruises that cover most, if not all, of the aforementioned attractions and more.
- How Much Do Croatia River Cruises Cost?
If you want to go on a 14-day river cruise, expect to pay around $4,000 per person during the month of September, which is a preferred sailing month. Plan your trip several months in advance, and you may be able to reduce the price by $500 to $1,000.
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