From Venice, we set sail for Croatia and its many hidden treasures. Le Lyrial slips effortlessly through the turquoise Adriatic Sea, wending her way between necklaces of islands dotted here and there off the Dalmatian Coast.
There are cities which thrive on their legend and Venice, the City of Doges is one of these with its many offshoots lined with multi-colored stonework and its black gondolas.
If Dubrovnik is the Pearl of the Adriatic, Split is its beating heart. A UNESCO World Heritage site, The centre of Split is built into the remains of Emperor Diocletian’s Palace and now mixes the ancient remains of thermal baths, alleyways and courtyards with restaurants, cafes and shops.
Kotor Bay is known as the largest Fjord in the Mediterranean (strictly speaking it is a ria, a flooded river valley, not a fjord) and its dramatic steep sides maintain a peaceful calm over the waters, studded with tiny islands (see below).
On our way back to Venice, we stop at Hvar, known as one of the Adriatic’s most beautiful islands, and Pula and Rovinj, Croatia’s Riviera.
The beauty of small ship cruising is that the luxurious Lyrial can get to places that the large liners cannot, without foregoing any of life’s creature comforts.