part 2: how to see croatia by boat

Read Part 1: A Love Letter to Croatia here

A very, very long time an ice age ended, the valleys and basins between Italy and Croatia flooded and the mountaintops left formed the 1,246 islands that now belong to Croatia, some of which only take their breath at low tide and because the Adriatic is so shallow the shades of blue run from barely there to Turquoise to Tiffany, Persian to Periwinkle, and of course Adriatic Blue (thankfully immortalized by Pantone).

Croatia’s islands aren’t sprinkled along the coastline; they’re slathered. Some are known for their vineyards and others for their beaches, some for their dynamic nightlife and others for lingering sunsets. There’s even a ‘lover’s island,’ aptly named so due to it being one of the few naturally occurring heart-shaped formations on this planet and relatively unknown until 2009 when Google Earth brought it to worldwide attention just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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With that said it’s no wonder that Croatia’s tagline is ‘land of a thousand islands’ and the only way to see a land of a thousand islands is by boat. Because of the shallowness of the Adriatic Sea and the unique shapes of the islands that formed as the waters rose that very, very long time ago, I truly mean the word boat and not the words cruise ship. Cruise ships with thousands of passengers simply can’t navigate themselves into the intimate harbors on most of the islands and definitely none of the most picturesque ones.

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I didn’t even realize that the major cruise lines stopped in Croatia until the very end of our trip when as we neared Dubrovnik the sun was obscured as we drifted past what can only be described as a floating city. Everyone aboard our sleek 19-cabin charmer of a yacht fell quiet in the unnatural shade, not in awe of the floating behemoth, but silenced by our own epiphanies of what would not have been…

Had I not been aboard the MS Karizma there would have been no impromptu swims as we anchored for lunch just meters from uninhabited shorelines, I would have never found the little boutique in Bol where a father & son team created beads from the island’s primordial stone that can now be found around my wrist. The ancient square where Marco Polo once lived would have never had made such an impression on me and I wouldn’t have gotten to sip wine seaside in Korcula while pondering the riddle of just what exactly makes up Adriatic Blue.

No olive oil tasting in Hvar, no sailing past the evocative man-made caves where submarines were hidden during WWII, no happening upon a Dalmatian acapella group singing in a cappuccino café as the sun set in Sibenik, no flower market wandering in Trogir, and no ‘best meal of my life’ exclamations in all of the above.

But luckily for us aboard Karizma, the what would have beens were!

Join me each Tuesday this month to explore…

Part 1: A Love Letter to Croatia
Part 2: How to see Croatia by Boat
Part 3: Towns, Foods, Wines, and Adventures
Part 4: How to Get Married in Croatia

Croatia Cruises | Croatia Cruise Review

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While The Croatia Tourist Board sponsored our experience, I am not required to do anything in return. This review is a good one because I would never bother to write about or promote a destination or experience I didn’t care for. All opinions are my own.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

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  1. […] 2: How to see Croatia by Boat Part 3: Towns, Foods, Wines, and Adventures Part 4: How to Get Married, Honeymoon, and Have Your […]

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