A day on board a Croatia small ship cruise

Although the itinerary on a Croatia small ship cruise differs from day to day, you will spend the week sailing through the turquoise waters of the Dalmatian coast, swimming in crystal-clear waters off the back of your luxury ship, and enjoying time exploring one of Croatia’s many beautiful islands or towns.

With a maximum of 38 passengers on board, our Croatia cruises are intimate and unforgettable in every sense. Few cruises offer the chance to experience so many different islands and meet so many new and like-minded people. Featuring 19 luxury cabins and several lounge areas across the three decks, our ships are spacious and allow you to relax throughout the day in comfort as you sail from one island to another.

If this is your first cruise, welcome on board! This blog will guide you through an average day on board a small ship cruise. Please note that times are approximate and will differ depending on your cruise and the weather locally.

Mornings on board a Croatia cruise

Split Croatia
Croatia Korcula

Each morning you’ll wake up in your private cabin, equipped with an en-suite bathroom. The ship will depart from the port in the morning – usually around 6am to 8am – to which may hear or feel movement. The captain and sailors will then sail smoothly along the Dalmatian coast, navigating to your next destination.

Whether you are on the lower or upper deck, in the morning you’ll be invited to make your way to the restaurant area to enjoy a buffet breakfast, served between 8am and 10am. This will include fruits, cereals, and hot breakfast foods, served with complementary hot drinks like tea and coffee. Depending on which ship you are on, you can enjoy your breakfast in the main restaurant or in the decks with outdoor seating.

After breakfast, and most likely during the morning sail, there will be a swim stop. The crew will find a beautiful spot, close to an island or the mainland, to safely put down the anchor. Although swim stops are dependent on the daily weather conditions, it is very likely you will get at least one swim stop a day, potentially two. The sailors will lower steps off the back of the ship (or on some ships – a platform is lowered down), for you to use to get in and out of the sea.

Swim stops are usually an hour and are a great way to fully appreciate the picture-perfect setting of the Dalmatian Coast; the water is sparkling with an abundance of deep shades of blue. Most of the ships have water toys on board, which may include noodles, stand-up paddle boards, flippers and masks or jet skis.

Lunch on board a Croatia cruise

Croatia cruise
Split Croatia2

Lunch is served every day around noon and is inclusive of a three-course meal. Whether you are sat on the outdoor deck seating area or inside the main restaurant, tables will be set up for around six to eight people. This is a great way to get to you know everyone on board the cruise – often arriving as strangers, and leaving as friends. Each morning, the cruise director will display the lunch menu on the notice board of the ship, so you’ll get a chance to see it before hand.

Enjoy a leisurely lunch for an hour or so, taking in the breath-taking views as you continue to cruise to your next destination. In the afternoon, you’ll either have another swim stop, or cruise straight to your destination.

Afternoon excursions and evenings on board a Croatia cruise

Hvar Croatia

It varies depending on the route you are doing, but you will most likely arrive to your destination anywhere between 3pm and 5pm. In the summer months, especially July and August, this is a nicer time to arrive and explore the island as it is slightly cooler than the midday heat. As the ship docks, you will be asked to meet at the front of the ship on land. At this time, you will enjoy your planned excursion if included. Some of the included excursions including guided walking tours (in Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik) and wine tasting. Our signature cruises also include a visit to Krka National Park. Please speak to your travel specialist to find out which excursions are included in your Croatia cruise.  

After your excursion, you are free to explore the island or destination at your own leisure. The ship will be docked in the port all night and you will be allocated a set of key cards (one per person) which will allow you to get into your room at any time. So if you’d like to get back on board to freshen up before dinner for example, this is possible.

Your cruise director will recommend best things to do or places to eat. We also provide a Croatia restaurant guide, which is a collection of our most recommend restaurants on each island and city. You can get back onto the ship whenever you like, but please note the bar will be closed from around 10-11pm and if you come back later, please be respectful to others while getting back to your cabin on board.

Our ships usually set sail early morning, around 6am – 7am, so wake up in paradise, and spend the day on board a luxury yacht all over again.

FAQ: A day on a Croatia cruise

Croatia flag
Bol Croatia

Your Croatia cruise may be your first time on a small ship, so we understand you may have questions about the logistics, excursions and timings of the week. We hope this blog will help to give you a bit more of an idea into a day on board a Croatia cruise, but we have also included a few of the most frequently asked questions below.

Can you get off as much or as little as you like on the cruise?

Each of our Croatia cruises have a scheduled route along the Dalmatian Coast, with some cruises that start from Split and others from Dubrovnik. Once the ship is docked (from late afternoon), you can get on and off the ship as much as you like, as you will be given your own key card for your cabin. Some of the included excursions (dependent on your cruise) are guided walking tours (in Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik) and wine tasting. After your excursion, you are free to enjoy the evening at your own leisure and you can go back to the ship at a time that suits you.

Do the small ships in Croatia sail at night?

No our ships do not sail at night. Once the ship has arrived into port, it remains docked until morning. You are free to come back to the ship at any time in the evening. The ship will set sail around 6-7am, on route to the next destination.

Do we get Wi-Fi on board?

Yes the ships do have Wi-Fi and it is complimentary.

How much free time will I have on board a Croatia small ship cruise?

The ship will dock in port around late afternoon and from there, you will be able to explore at your own leisure. Depending on your cruise and itinerary, you may have an excursion planned. This excursion – such as a walking tour or wine tasting – will be done as soon as you dock in the afternoon. Although we highly recommend doing the excursion, it is important to note it is an optional excursion and if you prefer to explore on your own, you are of course free to do so. After the planned excursion, you can explore the island or destination at your own leisure into the evening. We will provide you with a Croatia restaurant guide which includes some of our local recommendations for each destination.

How many meals are included on a Croatia small ship cruise?

Our ships include a buffet-style breakfast which is served every morning between 8am and 10am. We also include daily 3-course lunches, accompanied with salad or cheese bars. Our cruises include two dinners – a welcome dinner and a Captain’s dinner. Other dinners are excluded which gives you an opportunity to enjoy a local restaurant in each island or destination.


Although it varies depending on which ship and route you are cruising, life on board a Croatia small ship cruise undoubtedly offers the utmost comfort and adventure in one. Cruising the Dalmatian Coast is truly picture-perfect and your week on board will fly by, so make sure to take in every view and activity to the fullest! Please note that timings may differ depending on the cruise you are on, and the weather locally. If you have any other questions please ask your travel specialist.

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