CRUSING THE DALMATIAN COAST ON A PRIVATE YACHT
PLUS A PRE-CRUISE PROGRAM TO BOLOGNA,
THE ITALIAN LAKE DISTRICT AND TRIESTE
October 6 to 21, 2017
THIS TOUR IS NOW SOLD OUT
A perfect combination of touring followed by a relaxing Dalmatian coast cruise onboard our own private yacht.
We start our tour in Bologna, heralded as Italy’s culinary capital….no small feat in a nation renowned for its food. Here we spend a few days in a town famous for its porticoes, towers and pallazi that create one of Italy’s finest medieval cityscapes. Then to the Italian Lake District and Lake Garda, to discover the scenic wonders of Italy’s largest lake with its ancient Roman villas, foreboding fortresses and mysterious caves. We end our first week in the well-known, but rarely visited city of Trieste. As travel writer Jan Morris once opined, ‘Trieste offers no unforgettable landmark, no universally familiar melody, no unmistakable cuisine, yet it’s a city that enchants many” … Yet, we will “discover” the beauty of this unique city.
We leave Trieste for a short ride to the Croatian port town of Porec and board our private yacht, the Adriatic Queen, as we sail along one of Europe’s most beautiful coasts. Stops will be made at well-known ports such as Zadar, Split, Havar and Dubrovnik, as well as lesser known scenic spots like Brijuni and its National Park, the Island of Olib, Kika National Park with its beautiful waterfall and the magical fairytale island of Korcula.
- Roundtrip transportation from Montauk to JFK
- Roundtrip air to Italy and returning from Croatia
- 7 nights accommodations at hotels in Bologna, Lake Garda and Trieste
- 7 nights accommodations in cabins with private facilities onboard the Adriatic Queen
- All service charges and taxes
- Breakfast every day
- 10 lunches
- 10 dinners
- Transportation in Italy by coach
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- Sightseeing entrance fees
- Optional tours
- Welcome dinner in Bologna
- Guided tour and wine tasting at a Bolognesi Hills vineyard
- Cruise on Lake Garda
- Tour Miramare Castle in Trieste, the extravagant 19th-century home of Archduke Maximilian of Austria
- Off-yacht dining at local restaurants on several of our port stops
- Optional Morning “culinary” tour of Bologna including a local breakfast, eatery stops and local lunch
- Optional Dune Buggy ride in Dubrovnik’s countryside
- Farewell dinner in Dubrovnik
1st day: Friday, October 6 – To Milan
Depart for JFK Airport where we board our non-stop flight to Milan
2nd day: Saturday, October 7 – From Milan to Bologna (D)
Arrival in Milan, where after Immigration and Customs, we board our coach for the direct ride to our hotel in Bologna. The ride is about 3 hours and faster than having to connect to a local flight. On arrival, time to relax, have a bite to eat and/or a drink on the rooftop garden before our welcome dinner at the Cantina Bentivoglio.
3rd day: Sunday, October 8 – In Bologna (B/L)
This morning we start the day with a walking tour of Bologna’s historical center. The first major attraction we’’ll see are right in Piazza Maggiore, including the Neptune Fountain (Fontana del Nettuno in Italian) that has become one of the city symbols, and the Basilica di San Petronio. The enormous church is unfinished outside, and there are some interesting features inside which our guide will point out. Our next stop is the Piazza della Mercanzia, where food stalls line side streets and we can see the colorful produce that’s in season and local to this region. Then we make our way to the Archiginnasio, which was once the home of the University of Bologna – the world’s oldest university that was opened in the 11th century. After basking in the glow of Bologna’s historic university, we continue to the Church of Santa Maria della Vita to see an impressive collection of 15th-century life-sized terracotta figures mourning the death of Christ. The final stop on our tour is at the base of the two leaning towers in the heart of historic Bologna, known as the Due Torri in Italian. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch in town, we board our coach and we are off to the countryside into the Bolognesi Hills for a guided tour AND tasting at one of the region’s local vineyards. Return to our hotel in the late afternoon where have dinner on our own at one of the city’s great restaurants.
4th day: Monday, October 9 – In Bologna (B)
A full day at leisure on your own in this town that is home to the oldest university in the world and the food capital of Italy, which is the food capital of Europe, thus accounting for its two main nicknames: Bologna la Dotta (Bologna the Learned) and Bologna la Grassa (Bologna the Fat). Perhaps most interesting is that Bologna boasts miles of incredibly preserved Medieval streets and porticoes. This gives it a distinct feeling compared to Rome the ancient superpower, Florence the birthplace of the Renaissance, or Venice the maritime jewel, to name a few. It was situated at an important crossroads during the Middle Ages, meaning that in addition to an intellectual hub, it was a trade and finance center with hundreds of artisans weaving silk and producing other fine goods. So fuel up with a cornetto and a cappuccino, and then hit the streets
Optional Morning Gourmet Tasting Tour that includes an Italian breakfast with coffee (or tea) and a croissant at one of the best coffee bars in town, a full lunch, glasses of local wine and of course an ice cream tasting.
5th day: Tuesday, October 10 – To Verona and Lake Garda (B/L)
We leave Bologna this morning with our first stop being in Verona for a tour exploring the streets of Verona’s historical center, taking in the churches and palaces that have helped make this town a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. After some meandering and learning about the history of the town, make our way over to see the gem of Verona: the ancient Roman arena. Built in 30 AD….the arena is very well preserved for being 2000 years old.. After taking some photos of the arena, we head to the former home of famed opera singer, Maria Callas. Afterwards, we continue to Juliet’s House (La Casa di Giulietta), the structure that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We wander back to Piazza Bra where the tour ends and we have lunch at the Restaurante Maria Calles. After lunch, we board our coach for the drive to our hotel located on the banks of Lake Garda for our stay and dinner on our own
6th day: Wednesday, October 11 – At Lake Garda (B/L/D)
Today, it’s a full day of touring the Lake region. After breakfast, we leave for our cruise around the lake that incorporates the magical combination of turquoise water and the surrounding land praised by poets over two thousand years ago. We will see where the poet Catullus wrote his poems while staying in the Roman villa known as the “Grotte di Catullo“. Then we continue towards Garda, where there once stood a castle of such importance that the lake changed its name from “Benacus” to the current “Lake Garda”. Here we will stop for some local touring on land before re-boarding our boat as we pass in front of Punta San Vigilio, a small promontory around the Gulf of Garda made famous by Sir Winston Churchill’s visits. Our next arrival will be at Gardone, which attracted the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, and where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we will visit the well-known villa called The Italian Vittoriale, with its beautiful botanical gardens, created by the Russian Arthuro Hruska, who imported plant species from around the world. The garden and the Venetian villa were later bought by the artist, André Heller, who proceeded to create daring compositions of nature and art, including works by Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein and Mimmo Paladino. As we return to our hotel, we pass in front the Isola del Garda, known in the past as “Isola Borghese”. It ‘s the largest spot on the lake with a view of its magnificent Venetian Gothic style villa, that incorporates reminders of the Doge’s Palace in Venice. Return back to our hotel in the late afternoon followed by dinner at a local restaurant and overnight.
7th day: Thursday, October 12 – To Trieste (B/D)
Morning departure by coach for Trieste. Upon arrival, we have the rest of the afternoon off for some independent exploration to discover the many facets of the soul of the city. Trieste, historically combines the Latin, Slav and German worlds, and has been able to tap the richness of these countries and stands out as the most diverse of Italian towns. Trieste’s main bright period is closely linked to the Austrian empire. Under Charles VI, it became the kingdom’s Port of the Adriatic Sea and the main hub for maritime exchanges between Orient and Mittel-Europe, attracting immigrants from around the world. Trieste’s cosmopolitan, inter-cultural and inter-religious nature continued throughout the 19th century, when the city had enjoyed its greatest period of economic fortune and cultural growth thanks to its climate of tolerance and freedom. In the evening, we meet for dinner at a local Trieste restaurant. Trieste may throw a curve at what you assume all Italian food to be…. with its famous pork knuckle and sauerkraut that reveal Trieste’s history. This is not “typical” Italian food as you’d know it … it’s Trieste.
8th day: Friday, October 13 – In Trieste (B/L)
We start the morning exploring the city. To discover the roots of Trieste, we’ll reach the hill of San Giusto, site of ancient Roman ruins, the medieval Castle and the Cathedral of San Giusto, which preserves stunning Byzantine mosaics and medieval frescoes. Then to the Lower Town, as we stroll along an elegant seafront and the Theresian District and be impressed by the beauty of Trieste’s palaces and buildings, including the Teatro Verdi Opera House, the Stock Exchange Palace, the Greek and Serbian Orthodox chapels, and the imposing church of St. Anthony near the Grand Canal. Our morning tour will conclude in the splendid Piazza Unità d’Italia, Italy’s largest square overlooking the sea, where you can enjoy an Italian gelato, cappuccino or espresso before we head off for lunch scheduled at the charming Tavernetta del Molo followed by our afternoon touring that starts at the Miramare Castle the extravagant 19th-century home of Archduke Maximilian of Austria (later Emperor Maximilian of Mexico) and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium. Built in 1860, Miramare Castle, known in Italian as Castello di Miramare, is as rich in history as it is in beauty – its surrounding gardens and commanding position on the promontory above the Gulf of Trieste having served the Hapsburg family until the mid-20th century. Designed by Austrian architect Carl Junker, Miramare Castle is unlike any other in the region, its white stone towers and Gothic, Medieval and Austrian-inspired architecture at once contrasting against and blending into the Mediterranean landscape. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon for dinner on our own at some of the exciting restaurants throughout the city.
9th day: Saturday, October 14 – To Porec and board our Yacht to start cruise (B/D)
After breakfast, we have a little bit of free time for independent exploration and an early lunch on our own before we leave for our 90-minute drive to the Croatian port city of Porec to board our yacht, the Adriatic Queen. Time to unpack and relax as we start our cruise. Dinner this evening onboard the Adriatic Queen.
10th day: Sunday, October 15 – Cruising and touring in Rovinj, Brijuni and Pula (B/L/D)
As you sail along the Istrian Peninsula, stop in the romantic town of Rovinj. Feel its past times as you walk around the Old town’s cobbled narrow streets, winding at the foot of the Church of St. Euphamia, the favorite gathering place of artists from around the world. Continue sailing to the Brijuni National Park, once the personal State Summer Residence of President Marshal Josip Broz Tito. Arriving to the island, a part of heaven discloses in front of your eyes in the unique harmony of flora, fauna and heritage. Following the visit, lunch aboard, before we reach Pula, arguably one of the most beautiful of Istrian cities. Our guide will share some exciting stories of antiquity, as we walk the footsteps of the ancients and visit the amphitheater. Late at night, depart Pula and overnight cruise towards our next destination, the island of Mali Losinj.
11th day: Monday, October 16 – Cruising and touring in Mali Losinj, Susak and Olib (B/L/D)
Morning visit of Mali Losinj, located on the island with the same name. Thanks to its mild climate, pinewoods and delightful air, the island of Mali Losinj is an ideal place to “refurbish” our body and spirit. Lunch aboard, while continuing our journey towards Susak for some leisure time or swimming. In the afternoon, cruise towards the sandy island of Olib, overgrown by black pines…and no cars on the island. Olib has a lovely little fort, the remains of the monastery and the Church of the Assumption of Mary, where we can see a document written in the Glagolitic script – the alphabet in which Croatian was first written. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. After dinner, we set our compass south for Zadar
12th day: Tuesday, October 17 – Cruising and touring in Zadar, Vodice, Krka National Park and Sibenki (B/L/D)
After breakfast, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Zadar, a city of exceptional history and rich cultural heritage. Zadar’s historical center is a compact pedestrian zone, perfect to explore on foot. We set out on a walking tour and admire the old walls built in 16th century by Venetians as a defense from Turks. We’ll also see the 16th century Port Gate where the Venetian lion still guards the entrance, the Square of the Five Wells, the Church of St. Donat, the Roman Forum and the largest cathedral in Dalmatia, St. Anastasia. Return to the ship and enjoy our lunch, while sailing to Vodice and Krka National Park, with its magnificent waterfalls. After our visit here, we board a coach to Sibenik where your yacht is anchored. Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant in Sibenki
13th day: Wednesday, October 18 – Cruising and touring in Split and Hvar (B/L/D)
Early morning arrival in Split where we start the day with a walking tour featuring the historic inner city built around the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Here we will see the remnants of Split’s Roman heritage, its Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter’s Temple and the Cathedral. Board our ship for lunch and cruise towards Hvar, Croatia’s sunniest island. Hvar is a favorite holiday destination for international celebrities and yachters. Hvar town is a charming seaside resort with 8 centuries of architecture waiting to be explored. On a walking tour, we breathe in the pine-scented breeze and absorb vistas of the old town with its picturesque little streets and the first public theater in Europe. The rest of the day is for independent exploration, but keep the theater as your point of reference before exploring the labyrinth of the town’s backstreets with craft shops, cafes all tucked into old Venetian palaces. Tonight, after dinner at a local restaurant, we board our yacht and sail the clear waters of the Adriatic bringing us to our next destination in the morning, Korcula.
14th day: Thursday, October – 19 – Cruising and touring in Korcula and Mljet (B/L/D)
Wake-up on the magical island of Korcula and its fairy-tale like walled town bearing the same name, believed to be the birthplace of the explorer Marco Polo. Enjoy breakfast on board, before we discover the walled city with our local guide. The walking tour takes us through narrow, cobbled streets and includes a visit to the majestic Gothic-Baroque Cathedral of St. Mark, before returning to the boat for lunch. As we dine, we set sail for Mljet Island. Mljet National Park features five types of forest, many species of birds, and two beautiful lakes. Captain’s dinner tonight with live entertainment.
15th day: Friday, October 20 – In Dubrovnik (B/L/D)
We arrive early in the morning in Dubrovnik. After breakfast, we will have a morning walking tour of Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of Adriatic” and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll visit the Rector’s Palace and Franciscan Monastery’s Pharmacy. Return for lunch on board and the rest of the day enjoy at leisure to discover this lovely city at our own pace, or take an Optional Mountain Dune Buggy Safari. Tonight, a special Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. Return to our cabin for the last night onboard our cruise.
Afternoon Optional Dune Buggy Safari Tour that takes us outside Dubrovnik on a 3-hour dune-buggy ride. First, we ride up to the top of Mt Srd and stop to admire its incredible views of Dubrovnik. The we get into our 2-seater buggies and get ready for an action-packed ride through the countryside cruising through local forests and past bucolic villages. Return to Mt Srd for a cable ride back to the Old Town where our tour ends (See pricing details below).
16th day: Saturday, October 21 – Cruise Ends. Return to NYC (B)
After breakfast, we disembark our yacht and transfer to the Dubrovnik Airport for our connecting flights home. Upon arrival, back to Montauk.
HOTELS (or similar)
Bologna: The Hotel Aemillia for 3 nights
Lake Garda: The Grand Hotel Gardone for 2 nights
Trieste: The Hotel Savoia Excelsior Palace for 2 nights
Note: Tour itinerary correct at time of printing and subject to change and conditions beyond our control.
Please see tour costs and the terms and conditions for this tour on a separate sheet.
THIS TOUR IS NOW SOLD OUT