MV Adriatic Princess II

(12:35 p.m. EST) -- River cruise line Emerald Waterways today announced its first foray into ocean cruising with a brand-new yacht and sailing itinerary along Croatia's Dalmatian coast in the Adriatic Sea.

Scheduled to launch in 2019, the 36-passenger MV Adriatic Princess II will sail on the eight-day "The Islands of Dalmatia" cruise between Trogir and Dubrovnik. Highlights will include the island of Brac -- famous for its white limestone that was used in the building of the White House -- and a visit to Krka National Park with its spectacular waterfalls. Other ports of call will feature the island of Hvar, noted for its lavender fields, and mainland Split, the largest city on the Adriatic coast with the Roman Diocletian's Palace.

The yacht, which has been designed to navigate the Dalmatian coast and its many small ports, will include an open-plan restaurant for flexible dining, bar and lounge terrace, and sun deck outfitted with loungers and deck chairs. Pool ladders at the rear will offer passengers easy access to the sea for a swim or snorkel while the yacht is stationary.

David Winterton, global brand curator at Emerald Waterways, said: "As our first ocean cruise, we're sailing in to new, uncharted waters for the brand. Yet it's an exciting new opportunity that we feel our guests will love. They are constantly looking for new destinations to explore with us, and Croatia offers the perfect combination of culture, history and beauty."

Cruise Critic named Croatia as one of its hot destinations for 2018.

Emerald Waterways will be offering 22 sailings from April through to October 2019, and is currently accepting pre-bookings.

--By Jeannine Williamson, Cruise Critic contributor