Arrive in Venice. Embark Le Soleal between 4:30 and 5:30 PM. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
In the heart of central Dalmatia, Sibenik is proud of its purely Croatian architecture, unlike that of neighbouring cities founded by the Romans. Along the steep narrow streets behind the city walls, the old town retains a prestigious ensemble of churches, palaces and public buildings most built in the 15th and 16th centuries. You won't want to miss seeing St James Cathedral, a sparkling white jewel of a building, its dome standing proudly under the Dalmatian sun above the clear blue waters of the sea.
An ancient cosmopolitan city and former imperial residence, Split is justifiably proud of its 1700 years of history and fame, acquired thanks to the palace built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Within the impressively preserved walls, the Imperial Mausoleum today serves as the cathedral, and Gothic and Renaissance palaces are supported by the vaults and columns of ancient buildings. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Diocletian’s Palace reveals thermal baths, alleyways and courtyards in the heart of a labyrinth where Pharaonic Egypt, Ancient Rome and the Renaissance exist side by side in perfect harmony.
Vineyards, olive groves, and aromatic woodlands are dotted all over Korcula Island, in between hidden coves of limpid blue water. Built on a peninsula and perched on a promontory the island’s coastal fortress of the same name is like an open-air museum. The navigator Marco Polo was born in Korcula, a city of ancient honey-colored stone redesigned to create unusual medieval architecture. The old town is a checkerboard of marble-paved streets polished by time and lined with impressive monuments, such as the 15th century St Mark’s Cathedral.
On the southern tip of Croatia, the walled-in city of former Ragusa reveals its secrets. Beautifully preserved, the architectural riches of this imperious town dazzle in the sunlight that illuminates the ochre-red roof tiles. Palaces, elegant buildings, cloisters and fountains are in perfect harmony in this unique setting, protected from the sea by its impressive city wall. Take your time as you stroll round the white marble paved streets, discovering a thousand years of history in one place. Long considered as a rival to Venice, this city’s illustrious past has earned it UNESCO World Heritage site status. Whether this is your first visit to Dubrovnik or not, the unique aura of the “Pearl of the Adriatic” always inspires the same emotions.
Choose from two optional excursions departing from this Montenegro port city. You can join an all-day excursion to explore Montenegro by coach, stopping at towns such as Budva, Cetinje, and Njegusi where you can encounter relics of the long Montenegrin history. Alternatively, take a half-day tour of Perast, a town with almost as many churches as inhabitants. Take a 15-minute boat ride to the man-made islet of Our Lady of the Rocks. The stone plateau in the middle of the sea with a church on it is the result of the enduring efforts of generations of mariners “… to leave there, in the very heart of the Bay of Boka Kotorska, a testimony of their Christian faith and culture…”
A mild sunny climate has earned Hvar the epithet as “Croatia’s Madeira” and is one of the most beautiful islands on the Dalmatian Coast. Protected from the wind by Mount Saint Nicolas, the town is encircled by ramparts and offers travelers many remarkable monuments such as the elegant cathedral. Be enchanted by the low white-washed houses as you stroll along the waterfront, where traditional fishing boats and leisure yachts line the quays.
A passage between two worlds, Italian and Slav, the hills of Istria roll down to the sea. In Pula, a worthy heir to the Roman Empire, discover a culture that dominated Europe for five centuries. Here more than anywhere else time seems to stand still in the town’s symbol, the Roman amphitheater. The clash of gladiators’ swords and the roar of 20,000 spectators may have fallen silent, but the terraces of this theatre are still very impressive.
Built on a rocky outcrop on the west coast of Istria, Rovinj has only been connected to the coast in the last three centuries. Legend has it that the port was founded by the inhabitants of a submerged island city called Cissa. Once a peaceful fishing village of narrow winding streets, today it is a cultural center and seaside resort, although the old town is a harmonious blend of urban architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Venetian influence and a rich cultural heritage are in evidence everywhere in the architecture of the tall, red-roofed houses. The highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the Church of St Euphemia, a revered treasure dating back to the 8th century.
Following breakfast on board, disembark in Venice. Transfer to the airport to continue your travels.