Croatia, Slovenia & The Adriatic Coast JUNE 7 â€“ 24, 2019
St. George, Montenegro
People with a passion for travel Wheel & Anchor is a community of Canadian travellers, who value the camaraderie of travelling with friends, who love to see and experience the world, and who enjoy the occasional bottle of wine. Itâ€™s not just about where we go, but who goes with us along the way.
“I wanted freedom, open air, adventure. I found it on the sea.” ― Alain Gerbault, French aviator & sailor
I have been told many a time, that the Adriatic Coast of the Balkan
Travelling through Slovenia and Croatia today, you would hardly
countries is one of the most picturesque in the world. It compares
know that a war ever happened. The beautifully restored cities
favourably to that of the Norwegian coast with its world-renowned
and charming seaside towns are as quaint as one could imagine.
fjords. Of course one of the major differences is simply the latitude
I designed this program to start in the beautiful foothills of the Alps
which is why millions of Europeans flock here during the warmer
with Lake Bled as well as the historic capitals of Ljubljana and Zagreb.
months of the year. Taking a beach holiday in what has become an
Of course our voyage up the Adriatic Coast is the pinnacle of this trip
‘in’ destination in Europe now forms part of the holiday plans for
because there is simply no better way to visit it than by small ship.
many. It is barely more than 25 years ago that the landscape here was completely different. I took my first railway journey from Austria through then-Yugoslavia to northern Greece in the spring of 1991. It was only a few months later that the horrific wars broke out that divided the nation back into the 6 original states that we all know today.
Gordon Dreger Founder
5 Ranking of Slovenia among eco-friendly countries globally, according to the EPI
20 Percent of the population of Slovenia who keep bees
1,246 Number of islands on the Croatian coast
2,715 Average hours of sun per year in Croatia
0 Number of Euro coins and notes produced in Montenegro, despite being the official currency
JUNE 7 – 24, 2019
Highlights Krka National Park
I love the ocean and most of all I love
The big cruise liners stop in Dubrovnik and
sailing on it. Growing up I spent summers in
Split, but it’s all the little ports and towns in
Northern Ontario on the shores of Georgian
between that comprise the real beauty of
Bay which has its own beautiful coastline
and archipelago. As I entered my travelling years as a teenager, I began my quest to
I often get asked about how stable the
travel by water wherever in this world that
smaller ships are. It goes without saying
that small boats are more susceptible to rough seas than larger ones. The beauty
Gordon Dreger Host – Croatia & the Adriatic Coast 2019
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of
of the Adriatic is that it is generally much
doing a great number of sea voyages from
calmer than most other bodies of water of
the Greek Islands to much of the Caribbean,
its size. A ‘rough’ day on open water might
Antarctica twice, not to mention the Arctic
mean 50cm swells… as oceans go, that’s
islands of Svalbard. With a few exceptions,
nothing. And much of the time we’ll be
I much prefer the small ship experience to
sailing behind the protection of islands. So
the behemoths that ply the oceans today.
the bottom line is, if you’re looking to try a
In the case of the Croatian coast of the
voyage on a small ship, there aren’t many
Adriatic, it’s frankly the only way to go.
better places to do it.
Šibenik Primosten Trogir Split
DAY 1 // JUNE 7
Toronto â€“ Ljubljana (via Warsaw) Depart from Canada
Board our international flight to Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Anticipated Flights: LOT Polish Airlines
9:05am (next day) Warsaw
DAY 2 // JUNE 8
Arrive in Ljubljana Dinner
On arrival in Ljubljana, we shall head straight to our hotel to get some rest or to do a bit of exploring before the eveningâ€™s welcome dinner.
Our hotel: Grand Hotel Union
A dragon on Dragon Bridge
...DAY 2 CONTINUED
Did you know... Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative centre of independent Slovenia since 1991. Its central location, transport connections, concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions, and cultural tradition are contributing factors to its leading position. In ancient times it was the location of a Roman city called Emona. Ljubljana itself was first mentioned in the early 12th century. It was under Habsburg rule from the Middle Ages until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Situated at the middle of a trade route between the northern Adriatic Sea and the Danube region, Ljubljana was the historical capital of Carniola, a Sloveneinhabited part of the Habsburg Monarchy.
FEATURE: Lake Bled
With its jewel-green water and a
From the second half of the 19th
breathtaking view of the Julian
century until the mid-1930s, the
Alps and Karavanke, Lake Bled is
Bled estate passed from one private
one of Slovenia’s most popular
owner to another. Lake Bled was
destinations. It contains the
frequently visited by hydropathy
country’s only island, which is also
enthusiasts and soon acquired a
the site of the tiny and majestic
reputation as one of the most scenic
Church of the Assumption of Mary.
health resorts in Austria-Hungary.
The lake has been drawing visitors
It was finally acquired by the Drava
for centuries thanks to its rugged
Province and officially became a
beauty and reputed restorative
town in 1960.
powers. The Church of the Assumption of The earliest settlers arrived in Bled
Mary is the visual focal point of the
in the 7th century, as evidenced by
lake. Its bell, which dates back to
artefacts from archaeological digs.
the 16th century, was supposedly
In 778 the area was conquered by
provided by the pope after the
Charlemagne and later came under
original bell sank to the bottom of
German rule. Emperor Henrik II
the lake in transit. (The legend of
awarded Bled Castle to Bishop
the sunken bell is revisited every
Albuin of Brixen in 1011, which
year at Christmas.) Visitors can take
initiated 800 years of Brixen control.
a pletna, or traditional wooden
In 1803 Bled passed first into state
boat, to the island, climb 99 steps to
ownership and then became an
reach the church, and ring the bell
Illyrian province in Napoleon’s
three times to make a wish.
Empire from 1809 to 1813. 12
Aerial view of Bled Island
FEATURE: Lake Bled
Another spectacular sight is that of Bled Castle, which sits on a cliff towering over the lake. In addition to important state and diplomatic meetings, this 12th century castle has hosted several weddings. It houses a museum collection that includes a manual printing press, a cellar where visitors can bottle wine, and a restaurant. During the summer months Bled Castle hosts a series of popular archery tournaments. The culinary delights of Lake Bled are almost as legendary as its scenery and architecture. The most famous delicacy is the kremĹĄnita, or Bled Cream Cake, which is made using an original 60-year-old recipe. An estimated 12 million pieces of this famed cake have been sold in Lake Bled so far. From historic castles to modern desserts, Lake Bled has something to offer anyone who visits. 13
DAY 3 // JUNE 9
Lake Bled Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast in our hotel, we will depart with our guide and head to the town of Bled. Todayâ€™s sightseeing itinerary will include the Bled Castle, a medieval castle built on a precipice above the Slovenian city of Bled. The castle, which forms a dramatic backdrop to the romantic island and its celebrated church, has earned worldwide recognition through the centuries. The castle terraces offer spectacular views of the lake and the island, down the Dezela area with Lesce and Radovljica and over to the mountain ranges of the Karavankas and the Julian Alps.
...DAY 3 CONTINUED
Did you know... The picture-postcard Alpine town of Bled was once the preferred destination of the Austro- Hungarian Empireâ€™s elite. Its many charms include a medieval castle perched high on a rocky cliff, a scenic lake with a tiny island, and nearby Triglav National Park, which is a natural wonderland of glacial valleys, glittering peaks, Alpine forests, and cascading waterfalls. Surrounded by wreaths of the Julian Alps and Karavanke mountains, Bled overlooks the warmest glacial lake in Europe.
During todayâ€™s expedition, we will take a traditional pletna boat ride and enjoy the scenery of Lake Bled. We then make a stop at the Church of the Assumption of Mary, also known as the Church of Mary the Queen, or Our Lady of the Lake. It is located on a small island in the middle of Lake Bled. It is such a beautiful and celebrated spectacle that photographs of it are regularly found in travel magazines. The church is celebrated internationally for its bell of wishes, which was made by Francesco Patavino from Padova in 1534. According to legend, those who ring the bell and make a wish will see their wish come true.
Church of the Assumption of Mary, Lake Bled
DAY 4 // JUNE 10
Ljubljana Breakfast, Dinner
Today, we will enjoy a half-day city tour of Ljubljana that starts with a short walk to the PreĹĄeren Square and continues with a leisurely walk around the downtown area. After crossing the Triple Bridge and visiting the Farmerâ€™s Market, we will then take a cable car up to Ljubljana Castle, which stands on Castle Hill above downtown Ljubljana. Originally a medieval fortress, it was constructed in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 12th century. A former defense structure and seat for the lords of Carniola, it has been a major tourist attraction and cultural icon for decades. We will have the opportunity to climb the castle view tower and admire the view of Ljubljana basin surrounded by the Alpine peaks.
...DAY 4 CONTINUED
After leaving the castle, we will discover the old part of the town and enjoy its Renaissance and Baroque facades, decorated portals and vaulted atriums, all squeezed between the castle hill and the Ljubljanica River. We will then walk around Prešernov Trg, a majestic square that links the central district and the Old Town and is a popular meeting point for locals. One of its most popular features is the Prešeren monument (1905), which was designed by Maks Fabiani and Ivan Zajc, and erected in honour of Slovenia’s greatest poet, France Prešeren (1800–49). The plinth is covered with motifs from his poems. Today’s tour will also include visits to Congress Square, the Cathedral, and City Hall. After it concludes, we can stroll through the streets of Ljubljana before returning to the hotel for dinner.
DAY 5 // JUNE 11
Ljubljana â€“ Zagreb Breakfast, Dinner
This morning, we will have the option of exploring Ljubljana at our leisure before departing for Zagreb, Croatia in the afternoon.
...DAY 5 CONTINUED
Did you know... Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The oldest settlement located in its vicinity was the Roman Andautonia, in today’s Ščitarjevo. The name “Zagreb” was recorded in 1134, in reference to the foundation of the settlement at Kaptol in 1094. Zagreb became a free royal town in 1242.
As soon as we arrive in Zagreb, we will transfer to our hotel, where we will enjoy some free time before dinner and end the day.
Our hotel: Hotel Dubrovnik
DAY 6 // JUNE 12
After breakfast, we will meet our guide for a half-day tour of Zagreb. The tour will commence with some sightseeing of the spectacular and historically rich downtown. After visiting the Mirogoj cemetery, we will travel to the upper region of Zagreb and stroll to the Cathedral. After visits to St. Mark’s Church and St. Catherine’s Church, we will walk through the Stone Gate and conclude the tour with a stop at Dolac open-air market and the Cathedral. Upper Zagreb is the oldest part of the city. It dates back to the 11th century and reflects its ancient heritage with red tile roofs and cobblestone streets. Its picturesque beauty has given it the reputation of being the most romantic part of Zagreb. Here we will see the Zagreb Cathedral, Ban Jelačić Square (Trg bana Jelačića), and Lotrščak Tower (Kula Lotrščak), in addition to other attractions.
...DAY 6 CONTINUED
Zagrebâ€™s Lower Town is devoted to business, art and spacious parks. Unlike the Upper Town, streets are mostly wide and airy and the layout is designed to give a sense of grandeur. Here we will find a number of museums, parks and shopping places. We will also visit the Botanical Garden, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the calm, peaceful atmosphere in this part of the city. Once the tour concludes, we have the option of Zagreb Botanical Garden
continuing to explore Zagreb on our own before going back to the hotel for dinner.
DAY 7 // JUNE 13
Samobor Breakfast, Dinner
Today’s agenda will begin with a drive to visit the town of Samobor. Only 25 kilometers away from Zagreb, Samobor is famous all over Croatia for its gastronomy, natural surroundings, medieval atmosphere, and for crystal cutting, a local industry with a very old tradition.
Did you know... Samobor is located west of Zagreb in the Sava River valley, between the eastern slopes of the Samobor hills and the eastern part of Žumberak Mountain. It is part of the historical region of Croatia proper. Samobor has existed as a free royal town since 1242, according to a document of endowment by King Béla IV.
The Quaint town of Samobor
...DAY 7 CONTINUED
After the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, Samobor was part of the Habsburg Monarchy, which changed when the Kingdom of Slavonia and the Kingdom of Croatia were merged in 1868. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Samobor was a district capital in the Zagreb County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.
Our day will be spent tasting local wines we won’t find anywhere else. After a filling traditional lunch, we will visit the ruins of the medieval fortress originally erected between 1260 and 1264 by the supporters of Czech king, Ottokar II of Bohemia, who was then at war with Hungarian king Stephen V. Nowadays, it is just a picturesque ruin above Vugrinščak creek in Samobor city centre.
Samobor Castle ruins
DAY 8 // JUNE 14
Zagreb – Dubrovnik – Embarkation Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast, we will head to the airport to catch our flight to Dubrovnik.
Anticipated Flight: Croatia Airlines Departs
Upon arrival we shall head to the pier to board the M/Y Callisto and enjoy a scenic trip to Split, Croatia. The night will be spent at sea.
OUR SHIP The Motor Yacht Callisto is true to her name: elegant & classic. She was fully built in 2000 and was thoroughly renovated in 2015-16. M/Y Callisto complies with the latest SOLAS regulations – safety at sea – for International Voyages and state of the art stabilizers allow for safe and comfortable voyages. This classy Motor Yacht has experienced several Atlantic Ocean crossings, and has also sailed along the most interesting coastal sites of Europe, North and West Africa. The M/Y Callisto is of the “boutique” category of cruiser, and offers the highest standard of accommodation, comfort and safety. The yacht’s public areas are cozy and generous, decorated with rich fabrics, handsome woodwork, gleaming brass, antiques and fine works of art. • Launched/Rebuilt: 2000/ 2005 • Renovated: 2015-2016 • Length: 50.00 meters • Breadth: 8.00 meters • Draft: 3.80 meters • Crew: 16 - 18 persons • Cruising speed: 10.00 knots • Cabins: 17 • Guests: 34
LIFE ONBOARD During the day, life on board centres around the indoor and outdoor areas including the Uupper deck, indoor and outdoor lounge/bar, and dining areas, as well as the cosy library located on the sun deck. The lounge/bar and dining room on the upper deck are connected by the gallery, displaying exquisite art and adding to the overall feeling of elegance and style. In the evening you can relax in the shipâ€™s lounge, enjoy a drink overlooking the stars, or relax with a book in the library with its wraparound windows. The spacious lounge and bar area on the upper deck is surrounded by large picture windows and opens onto the outdoor dining area. The yacht features a broad sun deck for sunbathing, and the swimming platform on Callistoâ€™s stern enables you to swim off the ship when in sheltered bays. Service on board is provided by your Captain, the Cruise Coordinator and your experienced Marine and Hotel crew members.
THE CABINS All 17 exterior cabins resemble guest rooms in a fine home - beautifully furnished, comfortably arranged, and complete with the amenities one would expect from a thoughtful host: large windows (portholes on lower deck), twin or double beds, generous storage space, climate control, mini-fridge, safe, telephone, flat screen TV, and marble bathroom with shower. Wi-Fi is available in the cabins and throughout the ship.
DAY 9 // JUNE 15
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We will arrive in Split, Croatia in the morning. After disembarking we will enjoy a morning walking tour through Split, which dates back to the 4th century and is the former imperial residence of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Did you know... Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula. An intra regional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is linked to the Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula. Split is best known as the site of Diocletianâ€™s Palace, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
...DAY 9 CONTINUED
The city was initially founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in the 2nd or 3rd century BC. It became a prominent settlement around 650 CE, when it succeeded Salona as the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. After the Sack of Salona by the Avars and Slavs, the Palace of Diocletian was settled by Roman refugees. For much of the High and Late Middle Ages, Split enjoyed autonomy as a free city, caught in the middle of a struggle between Venice and the King of Hungary for control over the Dalmatian cities.
As we begin our walking tour from the pier, our guide will share the history of Split — especially Diocletian’s Palace, which has been continuously inhabited for more than 1,700 years. Today it is home to more than 3,000 people who shop at the local market, and watch their children play among ancient, marblelined streets and alleyways.
...DAY 9 CONTINUED
The tour will begin in an underground
occupied by spectacular stone houses,
substructure so well-preserved that it
palaces, churches, monasteries, and
has helped archaeologists understand
the construction and many uses of ancient palatial buildings. The
We then will visit the main attraction
highlight of our tour is the Peristyle,
in Trogir - the Cathedral of St.
which features the Emperor’s private
Lawrence. This 13th century building
quarters, the mausoleum, and several
is probably the finest example of
sacral architecture in Croatia. The regal building with three naves and
Upon completion of our tour, we will
three semicircular apses dominates
have some free time in Split before
the whole town. Its main portal was
enjoying lunch on board. Afterwards,
carved by the celebrated local artist
we’ll take an afternoon excursion to
“Radovan” in the 13th century.
the coastal town of Trogir. Other fine buildings on the itinerary This outing will start with a scenic
include the Town Loggia, the Town
drive along the Riviera of Seven
Hall, and the Cipiko Palace.
Castles (locally known as Kastela) until we reach a small island between
After the tour ends, we will have some
the mainland and the larger island of
time to explore Trogir at leisure before
Ciovo. The tiny island is connected to
returning to Split. Later in the day, we
the mainland by a bridge. Except for
set sail for Rab.
the green parks, the entire island is
The Dalmatian Coast 32
FEATURE: The Dalmatian Coast
Croatia has 3,600 miles of
Dalmatia was divided and fought
spectacular coastline, but
over by the Croats, Serbs, and
few stretches are as famous
Slovenes until after World II, when
or appealing to tourists as
the Socialist Federal Republic of
the Dalmatian Coast. With its
Yugoslavia took over the region.
picturesque islands, majestic limestone cliffs, and centuries-old
Today, Croatia has lived down its
towns and villages, it is a popular
tumultuous history and become
destination for photographers,
one of Europe’s premier travel
historians, and those who value a
destinations, a distinction that’s
unique travel experience.
due in part to the Dalmatian Coast. Its pristine beaches overlook the
The Dalmatian Coast derives its
Adriatic Sea and its cities and towns,
name from the Dalmatae, an Illyrian
especially Dubrovnik, are a scenic
tribe who lived in the region until it
reminder of the country’s rich
became a Roman province. When
the Croats began arriving in the
Kornati National Park
8th century, their language and
With its well-preserved buildings,
culture took hold and never left,
modern shops and restaurants, and
even during years of conquest
quaint pebbled beaches, Dubrovnik
and occupation during the Middle
attracts tourists from across the
Ages. Between 1815 and 1918, it
globe every year. Its distinctive Old
was an Austrian province called the
Town is encircled by 16th century
Kingdom of Dalmatia, a distinction
stone walls, preserving the past
lost after the Austro-Hungarian
so successfully that the city has
Empire fell in World War I.
been a production site for several
View of Diocletian’s Palace, Split
FEATURE: The Dalmatian Coast
Game of Thrones episodes. Other well-preserved structures include the Gothic-style Rector’s Palace and the Baroque St. Blaise Church. The Dalmatian Coast is also renowned as the location of Split, the second-largest city in Croatia and the largest city in the Dalmatian region. In 1979 its historic centre, which includes the 4th century Diocletian’s Palace, was included into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Split is one of the strongest centres of Croatian culture, with a literary tradition that dates back to medieval times. A smaller but historically significant coastal town is Zadar, where Alfred Hitchcock witnessed what he later described as “the most beautiful
sunset in the world”. Its history encompasses
There are hundreds of small islands off the
The Dalmatian Coast is already being called the
three millennia, a staggering timespan reflected
Dalmatian Coast, but few of them are as
next Riviera, and it’s easy to see why. Its towns
in several works of architecture, such as the
celebrated as Hvar, otherwise known as “the
offer modern attractions and a buzzing nightlife
9th century Church of St. Donatus. Other local
Island of wine.” Hvar’s towns and settlements are
in the shadow of 500-year-old walls and churches,
religious structures from different eras of
full of wine shops, wineries, and restaurants, all
creating a blend of past and present that appears
Dalmatian history include St. Mary’s Convent and
of them serving indigenous grape varietals such
to be the hallmark of Croatia today.
St. Anastasia’s Cathedral.
Aerial view of Rab
DAY 10 // JUNE 16
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After arriving in Rab in the morning and having breakfast, we will enjoy a walking tour of this historic town, which was established in Roman times. The cultural and historical monuments on the itinerary include the Church of Justina, the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Princeâ€™s Palace.
Did you know... Rab is a town on an island of the same name located just off the northern Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea. The island is 22 km (14 mi) long and has approximately 9,400 inhabitants. The northeastern side of the island is mostly barren while the southwestern side is covered by one of the last oak forests of the Mediterranean.
...DAY 10 CONTINUED
The island of Rab was originally known as ‘Arba’ by Greek and Roman geographers circa 360 BC. Arba was also the name of the Liburnian settlement in the modern city of Rab. The Illyrian-Liburnian word Arb meant ‘dark, obscure, green, forested’, which is likely a tribute to the rich pine forests that once grew on the island.
Our guided walking tour will show us some of the finest features of this historic town, such as the Cathedral, a three nave basilica that dates back to the 12th century, and the church of Justina. Along the walk we will also have the opportunity to see the Church of St. John the Baptist and ruins of the ancient basilica, the Prince’s Palace, and the sculptures of Draga and Kaliforni in the town’s main square. Later in the afternoon, we will sail south, passing between the beautiful Kornati Islands to reach Šibenik.
Aerial view of Rab
DAY 11 // JUNE 17
Šibenik Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We will reach Šibenik via a spectacular fjord. Our full day excursion will take us to the Krka National Park which is home to abundant indigenous flora and fauna, including over 200 bird species, before exploring the seaside city of Primosten and Šibenik old Town.
Did you know... Šibenik is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. It is the political, educational, industrial and tourist centre of Šibenik–Knin County and also the third-largest city in Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea.
...DAY 11 CONTINUED
Unlike other cities along the Adriatic coast, which were established by Greeks, Illyrians and Romans, Šibenik was founded by Croats. Excavations of the castle of St. Michael have since proven that the place was inhabited long before the actual arrival of the Croats. It was first mentioned under its present name in 1066, in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV, who also had his royal residence here. For that reason, Šibenik is also called “Krešimirov grad” (Krešimir’s city).
After leaving Šibenik, we will ride by coach through the karst hinterland towards the famous Krka river waterfalls. Located in the lovely Krka National Park, the falls cascade over 17 natural barriers. Krka is one of the seven national parks in Croatia. The Krka River is also distinctive due to its specific biogenesis and formation of gypsum barriers. Thanks to strong natural preservation laws, this extraordinary area has been preserved in its original form.
...DAY 11 CONTINUED
After some free time in the National Park, we will board the coach and continue towards Primosten. This small town is situated on the islet close to the mainland. During the Turkish invasions in 1542 the islet was protected by walls, towers and a drawbridge that connected it to the mainland. When the Turks retreated, the drawbridge was replaced by the causeway which actually gave the name to the town. Primosten is also famous for its huge and beautiful vineyards. A photo of the vineyards is even located in the UN centre in New York. Upon return to Šibenik, we will enjoy a guided walking tour of the town. Šibenik is famous for its ancient fortresses
Cathedral of St. Jacob, as well as the narrow streets and numerous churches scattered around the town. This guided walking tour will take us through the old part of the town, where we will see the Cathedral of St. Jacob, the City Hall, the Baroque Orthodox Church, and the commercial and crafts centre.
Korčula is the sixth-largest island
Today, Korčula is a rich repository
in the Adriatic Sea. Visitors are
of Croatian culture and history.
both awed and inspired by its
Tourists are regularly treated to
majestic old town, small villages,
spectacular examples of ancient
and flourishing vineyards and
folk music, dancing, and religious
olive groves. The island is also
ceremonies. Its primary settlements
covered with dense pine forests
are Korčula Town, Vela Luka and
that inspired Greek settlers to call it
Lumbarda, although smaller towns
Korkyra Melaina, or Black Korčula.
and villages are scattered across the island.
After centuries of rule by the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom and
Korčula Town, which is also known
other groups, Korčula was absorbed
as ‘Little Dubrovnik’ because of its
by the Venetian Empire in 1420.
well-preserved historic buildings,
After this empire fell in 1797, the
reflects the island’s history in its
island was once again controlled
architecture. The statues of St.
by various nations, including the
Mark, elegant loggias (covered
Austrians, French, and Russians.
exterior galleries) and arched
From 1815 until 1918 it was part of
bridges are all reminiscent of the
the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Italian Renaissance era. The lanes
After a brief spell under the Italian
and alleys in the old quarter are
flag (1918-1921), Korčula became
so narrow that an enterprising
part of Yugoslavia, only to be
pedestrian could cross the town by
occupied by the Italians again in
jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
Road around Korčula old town walls
1941 and the Germans in 1943. 41
Ornately decorated wood door in old town of Korčula
One of the island’s most famous cultural traditions is the Moreska sword dance, a weekly summer event which depicts the epic battle between the Moors and the Christians. Today the struggle is portrayed as being between a White King and the Black King who has kidnapped his bride. After a ‘battle’ accompanied by music, the Black King surrenders. Korčula claims major historical significance as the birthplace of traveller and merchant Marco Polo. There is a small stone house with a watchtower that allegedly belonged to his family. Whether this is actually where he was born is up for debate, as records from that era are meagre, but one thing that cannot be disputed is the island’s sheer beauty. When Rebecca West, the renowned English writer, visited in 1937, she described it as “a goldsmith’s toy, a tortoise made of precious metals, sitting on its peninsula as on a showstand.” Judging from the photos of Korčula that regularly appear on travel websites, nothing has changed at all. 42
Sunset view of Korčula Old Town
DAY 12 // JUNE 18
Šibenik – Hvar – Korčula Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After an early morning sailing and arrival in Hvar, the longest of the Croatian isles, we will take a morning tour to discover the island’s Venetian flavor. The itinerary includes a fascinating array of sights, including the Cathedral of St. Stephen with its treasury and bell tower, and the Arsenal, which was built in 1611 and houses Europe’s oldest theatre.
View of Hvar town and harbour from the fortress
...DAY 12 CONTINUED
Did you know... Hvar, the longest of all the Croatian islands, is home to three towns. The largest of these, also named Hvar, served as an important harbour for Veniceâ€™s Adriatic fleet from the late 12th century until the end of the 18th century. It sports a thickwalled fortress overlooking the harbour and, in the very heart of the port, a large Arsenal, which was built in 1611 and houses Europeâ€™s first community theatre. The streets and people of Hvar converge onto an expansive Piazza, the largest in all of Dalmatia, which connects the older part of town to the more modern section. A popular pastime is taking an evening promenade up to the Renaissance Cathedral, walking round the town, passing the Arsenal with its striking portal, and heading over to the dock, where sailboats and fishing boats bob and sway in the evening breeze.
...DAY 12 CONTINUED
We will walk through narrow streets to the 15th century Franciscan monastery, where we will visit the impressive Renaissance cloister, the old refectory that now houses a collection of lace, manuscripts and books, and see the church with its remarkable collection of paintings. We will then return to our ship for an early afternoon sail to KorÄ?ula.
Picturesque harbour in Kor훾ula
DAY 13 // JUNE 19
Kor훾ula Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning, we will depart for an excursion in Kor훾ula Town and wine-tasting session in Lumbarda Village. We will also have the opportunity to stroll through Milina-Bire family vineyards before visiting their house.
Did you know... Kor훾ula is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. With over 15,500 inhabitants, it is the second most populous Adriatic island and the most populous Croatian island not connected to the mainland by a bridge.
...DAY 13 CONTINUED
According to legend, the island was founded in the 12th century BC by Trojan hero Antenor, who is also famed as the founder of the city of Padua. The island was first settled by Mesolithic and Neolithic peoples. The second wave of human settlement was by Illyrians. It is believed that the Illyrians arrived in Balkans in approximately 1000 BC. They were a semi-nomadic tribal people who subsisted mainly on agriculture. There are several old stone buildings and fortresses left behind by the Illyrians.
The Old Town of Korčula is a masterwork of architecture and urban planning. The layout is shaped like a wishbone in order to take advantage of the different wind directions, creating a natural air conditioning system. Korčula is also known as the birthplace of the famous world traveler Marco Polo whose alleged birth house is right in the heart of the Old Town.
Aerial view of Korčula old town
...DAY 13 CONTINUED
After enjoying a pleasant walk, we will board a coach and continue to the village of Lumbarda, which has been home to the Milina-Bire family for centuries. In the beginning they produced wine for their own needs, but half a century ago the family decided to profit from their knowledge of grape and vine production and started their own small winery. Upon arrival, we will go to the production area to see how the wine is produced before coming to the wine cellar, which is decorated with the wine production tools used in the past. Our host, the owner of the winery, will provide the history of the Milina-Bire family and their craft. We will enjoy some winetasting, a snack, and sampling of local liqueurs. In the evening we set sail for an overnight trip to the coastal town of Kotor in Montenegro.
Cannon in Lumbarda
Sunrise over the Bay of Kotor
DAY 14 // JUNE 20
Kotor, Montenegro â€“ Dubrovnik, Croatia Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The dayâ€™s itinerary will begin in Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean. We can join one of two morning excursions to the well-preserved Old Town, which features stunning relics such as the 10th-century city walls and the Baroque church of St. Blaise.
View of Kotor Bay and old town
...DAY 14 CONTINUED
Did you know... Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. It is located on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southernmost fjord in Europe, but it is a ria, or a submerged river canyon. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and LovÄ‡en, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive landscape. The town was settled during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium, Ascrivium, or Ascruvium and was part of Dalmatia. Kotor was included in UNESCOâ€™s World Heritage Site list in 2017.
...DAY 14 CONTINUED
Option 1 - Montenegrin Hidden Gem: This walking tour is perfect to get to know Kotor's medieval quarter, its bustling market, and beautiful Renaissance
preserved fortified walls of Kotor were built by a Venetian in 1420 and continued being strengthened until the 18th century. They formed a powerful defense that could resist attacks from
Fortification walls of Kotor in Kotor Bay
the sea for months and survive long sieges. Our tour will include a visit to Cathedral of St. Tryphon, which was constructed in 1166 and built on the remains of a former 9th-century temple. We will see the remains of 14th-century frescos and the treasury that contains both local and Venetian golden works. After the sightseeing tour we can walk back to the pier or enjoy some free time in the town.
Perast town in the Bay of Kotor
...DAY 14 CONTINUED
Option 2 - Delicious Panorama: We will leave Kotor and continue along steep slopes to Lovcen Mountain. This is an area of powerful contrasts. On one side are the cold Montenegrin Mountains while one of the world’s most beautiful bays sits on the other. We will stop in the picturesque village of Njegusi to visit the “smokehouse” showroom,whichdisplays Montenegrin artefacts, and see tasty hams drying from the rooftop, spreading the smell of delicious prosciutto. We will also be offered a taste of prosciutto, cheese, homemade bread and wine. After lunch we will leave Kotor after sailing through the stunning fjord of Kotor Bay. We will arrive in Dubrovnik late in the evening and spend the night at the port.
Cable car view of Dubrovnik
DAY 15 // JUNE 21
Dubrovnik Breakfast, Dinner
After enjoying our last breakfast on board the ship, we will head to the newly open Cable Car Station near the Old Town of Dubrovnik and enjoy a panoramic view of Dubrovnik from the surrounding hill.
Did you know... Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea. In addition to being a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, it is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The cityâ€™s prosperity originally derived from maritime trade - as the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, it became renowned for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
...DAY 15 CONTINUED
De Administrando Imperio (c. 950), Ragusa was founded in the 7th century by refugees from Epidaurum (Ragusa Vecchia), a Greek city destroyed in the Slavic incursions. Excavations in 2007 revealed a Byzantine basilica from the 8th century and parts of the city walls. The size of the old basilica clearly indicates that there was quite a large settlement at the time. There is also evidence for the presence of a settlement in the pre-Christian era.
Our hotel: Valamar Argosy Hotel
Ancient walls of Dubrovnik
...DAY 15 CONTINUED
Upon our return to the main station, our tour guide will lead us on a walking tour of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, which is encircled by monumental stone ramparts. We will be awed by the labyrinth of short, narrow stone streets,
each of which is over 300 years old. Dubrovnik was the bridge and diplomatic liaison between the east and west. It has been subject to fires and catastrophic earthquakes, but has always risen again like the proverbial phoenix. The tour will take in buildings such as Onofrio’s Fountain, St. Blaise’s Church, and Sponza Palace. We will also be able to visit the Franciscan Monastery, which hosts Europe’s oldest pharmacy, and the Cathedral with its famous Treasury.
DAY 16 // JUNE 22
Dubrovnik Breakfast, Dinner
Today, we will continue exploring the city of Dubrovnik by heading back to the Old Town and visiting the Rector’s Palace, the former seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa between the 14th and 19th centuries. It was also the seat of the Minor Council and the state administration and housed an armoury, the powder magazine, the watch house and a prison. The rector’s palace was built in the Gothic style, but also incorporates Renaissance and Baroque elements. After the tour concludes, we can spend some time on our own before ending the day with a dinner at our hotel.
A café-lined street in Dubrovnik
DAY 17 // JUNE 23
Dubrovnik Breakfast, Dinner
On our last day, we have the option of exploring and enjoying Dubrovnik one last time on our own. In the evening, we will enjoy a farewell dinner before ending our sojourn in the stunning Adriatic coast.
A local dish of Octopus
DAY 18 // JUNE 24
Depart Dubrovnik Breakfast
After breakfast we shall drive to the airport for our flight home.
Anticipated Flights: LOT Polish Airlines Departs
Sunset over the coast from Dubrovnik
Pricing & Inclusions
PACKAGE PRICE (AIR & LAND) PER PERSON Twin Occupancy
CAD $8,910 per person
CAD $11,670 per person
CAD $9,320 per person
CAD $12,330 per person
CAD $10,410 per person
CAD $14,720 per person
CAD $10,620 per person
CAD $15,070 per person
INCLUSIONS • International airfare and air tax for flights on LOT Polish Airlines for Toronto to Ljubljana, and Dubrovnik to Toronto • Local flight airfare and air taxes for flight on Croatia Airline for Zagreb to Dubrovnik • Services of a Wheel & Anchor host from arrival until departure
...INCLUSIONS CONTINUED Before and after the cruise • 3 nights accommodation in Ljubljana with daily breakfast • 3 nights accommodation in Zagreb with daily breakfast • 3 nights accommodation in Dubrovnik with daily breakfast • Tours and transfers with English speaking local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary • Meals as per itinerary with water and coffee/tea included • Porterage at hotels • All gratuities for local guides and drivers Cruise Portion • Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private Shower/WC & air conditioning • Cruise shore excursions as per itinerary (except optional tours) • Full-board: Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a local Theme Evening, fun BBQ (weather permitting) and Captain’s Dinner • Regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water free all day • Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability) • Port charges • All gratuities to the ship crew, and guides and drivers for shore excursions
• The above rates do not include travel, health, accident or other insurance
• Beverages (except those mentioned above)
The first portion of the tour involves sightseeing which will mainly be accomplished
• Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
by walking through the old towns which are partially inaccessible by motor vehicles.
• Wi-Fi (available at charge)
Sidewalks and walkways can be uneven, but generally the walking distance will not exceed 1km at any one time. Stairs will be encountered along the way that may not be avoidable.
DEPOSIT AND PAYMENT At time of booking:
$1,200 per person
During the cruise, the excursions to shore will partially be on foot (as above) or
$1,200 per person due on January 5, 2019
by motorcoach. Similarly there is generally not more than 1km of walking at any
remaining balance due March 5, 2019
one stretch. Some towns, like Dubrovnik, are perched on the side of a mountain and there may be times when moderately steep up or downward inclines will be encountered. There is no elevator onboard the ship and so it is unfortunately not
Between time of booking & Jan 04, 2019:
$1,200 per person
Members participating in this tour should be in good physical health and able to
Between Jan 05 & Mar 04, 2019:
$2,400 per person
walk somewhat lengthy distances unaided or with some assistance from a travelling
Between Mar 05, 2019 & date of departure:
100% of total cost
30 days or less prior to departure:
100% of package cost This tour is subject to our complete terms and conditions which are available upon request and will be automatically provided at time of booking.
Croatia, Slovenia & The Adriatic Coast JUNE 7 â€“ 24, 2019
WHEELANDANCHOR.CA +1 (416) 628-2800 EXT. 250 INFO@WHEELANDANCHOR.CA
All tours are sold through New Sky Travel, 2900 Warden Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M1W 2S8 TICO Reg. No. 1817786. Bookings are subject to our standard terms & conditions, all of which are available from our office upon request or automatically at the time of booking.