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Cruises to Hvar

Hvar (Photo:Xenia Chowaniec/Shutterstock)
Hvar (Photo:Xenia Chowaniec/Shutterstock)

About Hvar

The glittering coastline of Croatia -- known as the Dalmation Coast -- is rapidly being revealed as one of 21st-century travel's greatest treasures.

Many cruisers know the iconic town of Dubrovnik, but fewer realize just how many equally stunning and less crowded ports the magical Dalmation Coast region has to offer.

One such spot is Hvar town, on the island of the same name. Overlooking a large, very beautiful bay -- and an archipelago of smaller islands bearing its name -- Hvar's "modern" history starts in the 12th century, when it was a key base for the Venetians' Adriatic fleet.

They retained the town and developed it in their own inimitable style until the 18th century. You'll see that influence everywhere, from the grand square at the heart of the town to its ancient arsenal, which once prepared galleons for trade or war, and the fortifications which overlook the harbor.

Present-day Hvar is a delightful place, increasingly popular but still charmingly uncommercialized, an island that has kept its soul and style. You'll see it in the boutiques and bustling cafes around St. Stephen's Square and in the smart but affordable restaurants that line the waterfront.

Cruise passengers who visit for one day -- and have to tender from their ships to do that -- will probably want to spend their precious time ashore simply exploring the meandering alleys and glittering waterfront of Hvar town, particularly if this is their first visit.

But if you've been to Croatia more than once, plan a taxi or self-drive tour of the island. Its fragrant, lavender-and-rosemary smothered interior and its oldest settlement, Stari Grad, are well worth exploring. Another good choice: a boat trip around the pine-covered Pakleni Islands, where you can swim in sparkling seas and feast on their bounty at beachfront restaurants.

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DAY 1: Venice

7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Hvar, Kotor ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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DAY 1: Athens

11 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Mykonos, Rhodes ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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DAY 1: Barcelona

24 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Barcelona
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Marseille, Monaco ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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DAY 1: Venice

12 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Split, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Opatija, Zadar ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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24 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Split, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Opatija, Sibenik ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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10 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Rovinj, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Dubrovnik
Visiting:
Korcula, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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4 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Malta
Visiting:
Kotor, Dubrovnik ...
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Cruise Line:
Ponant
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Dubrovnik
Visiting:
Korcula, Neum ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Zadar, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Zadar, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Zadar, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

20 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Hvar, Kotor ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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24 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Katakolon, Athens ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Rome
Visiting:
Sorrento, Taormina ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Korcula, Sibenik ...
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Cruise Line:
Ponant
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Rovinj, Sibenik ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Zadar, Hvar ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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11 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Mykonos, Santorini ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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7 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Hvar, Dubrovnik ...
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Cruise Line:
Ponant
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11 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Syros, Corinth ...
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Cruise Line:
SeaDream Yacht Club
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24 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Katakolon, Athens ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Hvar

Leaving:
Monaco
Visiting:
Florence, Sorrento ...
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Cruise Line:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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Why go to Hvar?

Pros:

Hvar is beautiful, charming and delightfully non-commercial

Cons:

Area beaches are small and can get crowded quickly

Bottom Line:

Historical sites and tantalizingly fresh (yet affordable) seafood abound in Hvar, which is easily explored on foot

Hvar Cruise Port Facilities?

Get off your ship's tender and you're right in the thick of it. Turn right for the Franciscan monastery and a pretty cove where families swim; head left for the main harbor and town and St. Stephen's Square.

Good to Know?

Hospitable restaurateurs doling out fruit brandy (rakija). There are many variations, including sljivovica (mades from plums), travarica (herbal) and kruskovac (pear). But they're all strong enough to send you back to your ship cross-eyed. Sip slowly, and enjoy them with water.

Nudist beaches stud the more secluded parts of the Pakleni Islands. They're great if you want an all-over tan, but check before disrobing.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Hvar is very easily explored on foot. Head right from the tender drop-off, and just a minute or two away, you'll find a pretty cove where the locals bathe and, just beyond it, the Franciscan Monastery. (See Don't Miss.) Or turn left for the ferry office and ATM, lots of waterfront restaurants and -- about ten minutes' walk away -- a pretty park and, just to the right, St. Stephen's Square.

By Water Taxi: It's easy to book a water taxi to the Pakleni Islands from one of the operators who tout their business along the waterfront. (See Been There, Done That section below.)

By Rental Car: If you have time and want to go further afield, you can rent a Fiat Punto for up to three days for around 550 Kuna (E72). Local agencies include Luka Rent (Riva 24, Hvar, Croatia, Tel +385 21 742 946) and Suncity Rent a car (Vlade Stosica 5 Hvar, Croatia, Tel +385 98 178 9678)

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Currency is the Croatian kuna, which replaced the Yugoslav dinar in 1994. For currency-conversion rates, check www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Most shops accept euros and credit cards.

ATMs abound along the Riva (the street along the waterfront); the first one you'll come across is to the left of the main tender station, next to the Jadrolinija ferry office.

Language?

Croatian is the language of Hvar, but on this sophisticated and tourist-friendly island, you'll find most of the residents speak at least a smattering of English.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships generally drop anchor in the bay near Hvar town and tender passengers to shore.


Hvar Cruise Reviews

Marella Celebration
Muttly
Sail Date: Oct 2019
A good excursion should you wish to try some local wines.... Read More
ZZRLAD
Sail Date: Mar 2019
arbitrary score as stayed on board. The weather was very very very wet !!!! So we stayed dry... Read More
darthonian
Sail Date: Mar 2019
Can’t rate due to weather... Read More
Queen Elizabeth
gordon jones
Sail Date: Oct 2018
Tender - very smooth operation. Tourist Info office again very handy. Small town/village, but pleasant and enough to see for the time there (ie until mid afternoon), including climb up to fortifications (entry fee)... Read More
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