March 29, 2018
(2:30 p.m. EDT) -- River cruise line Emerald Waterways has opened booking for its first ocean sailings, weeklong itineraries along Croatia's Dalmatian coast. The 22 trips are being offered between April and October 2019.
Passengers will sail aboard the newly-commissioned, 18-cabin Adriatic Princess II, which has a sun deck, an open-plan dining restaurant, and pool ladders offering easy sea access for swimming or snorkeling when the ship is stationary.
The line's "Islands of Dalmatia" itinerary will travel the Adriatic Sea between Dubrovnik and Trogir, Croatia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a medieval town center.
Highlights 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 vineyards, and mainland Split, the largest city on the Adriatic coast with the Roman Diocletian's Palace.
Passengers can also book a three-day extension in Zagreb, or a seven-night extension, which, in addition to Zagreb, includes three nights in the seaside resort town of Opatija and two nights in Lake Bled, Slovenia, at the foot of the Julian Alps.
The line says it can also accommodate passengers who want to combine the trip with one of its Danube River cruises. Prices for the Dalmatian Coast sailings start at $2,995 per person, double occupancy.
Emerald Waterways, the lower-priced sister of luxury river cruise line Scenic, has won praise for its affordability, earning Cruise Critic Editors' Pick for Value several years in a row. Cruise Critic also named Croatia as one of its hot destinations for 2018.
--By Larry Bleiberg, Cruise Critic contributor