Sail Croatia on the best small ship cruises
All of the small cruise ships used in Croatia have a maximum capacity of around 40 passengers.
Just a quick reminder that cruises aren’t automatically covered under all travel insurance, so please check with your travel insurer if you need special cruise insurance before you book.
If you are enquiring about private yacht or gulet charter, please see our Charter a Yacht or Gulet in Croatia page.
For extra cruise info on what to take, how to find your ship, what currency is used onboard and more, click here: Before Your Cruise
Luxury Balcony Ship (DLX SUP VIP Balcony) cruises are always on specific ships and you will be given the name of the exact ship before you book. These cruises have the word ‘Deluxe Superior’ in their name, but only on deck cabins are VIP balcony cabins (Main or Upper Deck). Lower Deck cabins are just regular cabins with portholes, the same as on all other ships. All balcony cabins are ‘on request’ only as there is very limited availability so we no longer load the prices on our website as there are so few of these cabins and they get booked out so early. They are around $200-300 more per person than a DLX SUP Main Deck cabin, but we will give you the price once we have confirmed availability. If you would like a balcony cabin, please ask us and know that you might need to be able to change your dates significantly if one is available. June and September are the most popular times and book out first.
Deluxe Superior Ship (DLX SUP) cruises are always on specific ships and you will be given the name of the exact ship before you book. These cruises have the word ‘Deluxe Superior’ in their name. These ships do not have balcony cabins.
Deluxe Ship (DLX / Elegance) cruises are always on specific ships and you will be given the name of the exact ship before you book. These cruises have the word ‘Deluxe’ in their name.
Premium Superior Ship (PRM SUP) cruises will be on specific ships and you will be given the name of the ship before you book. If you are in any doubt which ship you will be on, please check with us. Thank you.
Premium Ship (PREM) “No name/unnamed/regular/generic” cruises could be on any ship in that same category and some ships are older than others. We cannot tell you the ship name for those cruises and you will not know until the day you arrive to join the cruise.
Vintage Ensuite Ships (ENS) “No name/unnamed/regular/generic” cruises could be on any ship in that same category and some ships are older than others. We cannot tell you the ship name for those cruises and you will not know until the day you arrive to join the cruise.
Traditional Ships (TRAD) “No name/unnamed/regular/generic” cruises could be on any ship in that same category and some ships are older than others. We cannot tell you the ship name for those cruises and you will not know until the day you arrive to join the cruise.
Some ships are being newly built for the next season and therefore only have ‘artists impression’ type pictures. We will upload actual photos of the boats as they are finished and launched. Some may not launch until as late as June.
What do the different Ship Categories mean?
Ships WITH air-conditioned cabins and air-conditioned public areas (Deluxe and A+Category ships). All Deluxe, Deluxe Superior and Premium Superior are ‘Named ship’ departures where you know which exact ship you will be on before you book.
NOTE: ‘Double’ beds on DLX, DLX SUP, and PRM SUP might be ‘flex-beds’ with 2 single mattresses next to each other on a combined base. Many ‘double’ beds in Europe have separate duvets for each half of the bed, meaning that you have separate bedding even if there is one large bed or combined twin beds.
Luxury Balcony Ships (DLX SUP VIP)
There are a very small number of ‘Luxury Balcony Ships’. These Luxury ships are slightly longer and wider than a regular Deluxe Ship and have Balcony cabins on the Upper Deck. Each of these cabins has a small private balcony. The Lower Deck cabins, as on other ships, have portholes for natural light, but do not open to the outside of the ship. All cabins on all Luxury ships still have ensuites and individually controlled air-conditioning. All inside public areas are air-conditioned. Only 10 ships in the whole of Croatia have balcony cabins, so they are always in demand and can get booked out over a year in advance, even before they officially go on sale! Get in touch and we can put you on the waiting list.
The 10 balcony ships are: Adriatic Sun, Antaris, Aurelia, Ave Maria, Infinity, Markan, My Wish, Premier, Rhapsody and Symphony.
Deluxe Superior Ships (DLX SUP) – no balconies
There are a number of ‘Deluxe Superior’ ships. DLX SUP ships are minimum 47 meters in length, newly built or refurbished after 2016. These ships are slightly larger than a regular Deluxe Ship, but do not have balcony cabins. All cabins have ensuites and individual air-conditioning. All inside public areas are air-conditioned. These Deluxe Superior ships are just slightly bigger than regular Deluxe ships, and there are no balconies on board these ones at all. They do have a couple of cabins that are called ‘VIP’, but that just means they are slightly larger than the regular Main or Upper Deck cabins. The majority of Deluxe Superior ships do not have balcony cabins.
Deluxe Ships (DLX) – no balconies
Deluxe DLX ships are either slightly older larger ships (before 2016) or slightly smaller ships than DLX SUP (less than 47m), or both. All cabins have ensuites and individual air-conditioning. Deluxe ships are new ships built within the last 10 years, all with spacious, bright cabins and deluxe fittings. All inside public areas are air-conditioned. All cabins have individually controlled air-conditioning. Almost of all them have a jacuzzi on board on the sundeck.
Premium Superior Ships (PRM SUP) – the newer Premium category ships with steel hulls, where you know the name of the ship when you book
All cabins have ensuites and air-conditioning. These A+ ships are newer and more spacious than the older Premium ships and usually include a few excursions in their price. All inside public areas are air-conditioned, including restaurant and cabins. These are ‘named ship’ departures and cruises have ‘Premium’ in their name.
Premium Ships (PREM) – the Vintage-style older wooden ships, but with aircon added to cabins; formerly known as APlus. You won’t know the name of the ship until the day you board.
All cabins have ensuites and air-conditioning. These Premium ships are older versions, and some were built many years ago and have been renovated by adding basic air-conditioning units to the cabins. All inside public areas are air-conditioned. Many cabins are bunk beds or twin beds.
Vintage-style Ships with no air-conditioning in the cabins, but with air-con in the restaurant/salon areas (ENS A: and TRAD B: Category ships)
Vintage Ensuite Ships (ENS) – Vintage-style older wooden ships; formerly known as A:category. You won’t know the name of the ship until the day you board.
All cabins are bunk beds, and have ensuite bathrooms. There are usually no double beds on these ships. Air-conditioning is available in the public areas of the ship such as the restaurant and/or salon only.
Traditional Standard Ships (TRAD) – Vintage-style older wooden ships with shared bathrooms; formerly known as B:category. You won’t know the name of the ship until the day you board.
All cabins are bunk beds, and have shared bathrooms only. There are no ensuite cabins on-board and no double beds. Air-conditioning is available in the public areas of the ship such as the restaurant and/or salon only. These B:Cat ships are used only for 18-35s cruises.
Each ship belongs to one category only and has only one category of cabin (even though there are different decks). A couple of ships use a different nomenclature for cabin types and this can lead to a bit of confusion.
Each ship has slightly different deck plans and number of cabins, but the maximum number of passenger cabins on any ship is 21. Therefore the maximum number of passengers is usually only 40 per ship (not including the crew and cruise staff). The crew have their own separate quarters which are not shown on the deck plans.
What do the different Cabin types and Deck levels mean?
Lower Deck cabins / Under Deck cabins / Classic cabins / Standard cabins
These cabins are all in the hull of the ship, and must be reached by an inside stairwell. These cabins have portholes only and the portholes are just above the water line. There are no opening windows in lower/under deck cabins. Some of the smaller, older boats only have lower deck cabins as the main deck is used for the public areas such as the restaurant and salon areas. These cabins have the most privacy and are the quietest, especially in the busy ports like Hvar where occasional parties can be going until late at night on adjacent ships.
On Deck cabins / Above Deck cabins (Main or Upper Deck, but deck allocation isn’t specified prior to arrival)
These are sold as On Deck or Above Deck, which means you could be in either a Main Deck cabin or an Upper Deck cabin, depending on the deck plan of the ship you are allocated. Usually this is only used for the older ships, TRAD, ENS and PREM.
Main Deck cabins
These cabins are on the deck that is closest to the water line, the deck where you board. On the new Deluxe Ships, the Main Deck is mostly used for passenger cabins. Some ships have the doors to Main Deck cabins on the inside, so only windows are on the ‘outside’ wall of the cabin, and some ships have the doors as well as windows on the ‘outside’ wall of the cabin. All walkways past the outside wall of the cabins are public areas. This deck occasionally also has the restaurant or salon area as well at the back of the boat. Not all ships have Main Deck cabins available, it depends on the ship configuration whether this deck is used just for the restaurant/salon areas.
Upper Deck cabins
These cabins are on the deck above the Main Deck, and this deck often also has the restaurant or salon area as well at the back of the boat. Not all ships have Upper Deck cabins available, it depends on the ship configuration whether this deck is used just for the restaurant/salon areas. All walkways past the outside wall of the cabins are public areas. Most of the older wooden ships (A: and B:Cats) have Main/Upper Deck cabins, but very few of the new Deluxe Ships have Upper Deck cabins available, as their Upper Deck is used for the restaurant/salon areas in most cases.
VIP Balcony cabins
(Very limited; only a few ships have balcony cabins; can get booked out up to a year in advance):
A few of the Deluxe Superior (DLX SUP) Ships now have VIP BALCONY cabins available. Most of the VIP Balcony cabins will be on the Upper Deck instead of the Main Deck. Only a few ships have Balcony cabins and there are only a few on each of those ships. First come, first served as they are quite popular and fairly limited. Please book early (up to a year in advance) if you want a Balcony cabin.
Please see our Luxury Balcony Cabin Ships page for more info.
The Upper Deck (under the Sun deck) often has no cabins at all and the space is used for the Restaurant/Salon area and outside shaded public seating.
The Sun Deck (uppermost deck on any ship) has no cabins at all. Most cruises will let you sleep on the sun deck on the sun lounges/deck chairs provided for relaxation purposes, though there are no real beds on the sun deck. Some Deluxe ships have a small jacuzzi on the Sun Deck, and provide shaded areas. The older A: and B: ships do not have shade on the Sun Deck, though shade is provided in the public salon areas on the main or upper decks.
If you are in doubt, please ask for the Deck Plan or look in the Ship Descriptions as the deck plan is usually in with the ship photos.
What is half-board? What meals are included on my cruise?
Half-board (HB): (Breakfast and lunch on all cruises)
This means that 2 meals a day are usually provided, mostly it will be breakfast and lunch on cruises (B,L). Each cruise will have meals listed on the daily itinerary, so that you will know exactly which meals are included. Some lunches or dinners are swapped occasionally, so that you may enjoy a wonderful gourmet experience with your fellow travellers, such as a Welcome Dinner, or Captain’s Dinner (D) on a cruise. For the remainder of your meals you will be able to dine anywhere you choose and you will be responsible for the cost of those meals. Your Cruise Director will be happy to recommend a good value and trusted eatery nearby at every location, or you can explore on your own.
This is occasionally offered on cruises as an optional extra, but we do not recommend you take the full-board option unless you are really sure about it. A lot of the joy of the cruise and tour experiences is to dine in local restaurants, ‘konobas’ (traditional pubs) and bars, so that you can meet the people who live and work there. Why come all the way to Croatia only to eat on-board for every meal? There are so many fabulous (and even some famous!) eateries. Get out there and taste them!
All our Croatian Island Hopping Cruise ship photos are here:
If you have been quoted a cruise with a particular ship name, then that is the ship that you will be on (bar any unforeseen emergencies). If you are booked on a generic/standard (PREM) or (ENS) or (TRAD) ship, then you will not know the ship name until the day of the cruise. All of these standard ships are in the photos database under their correct category, but we cannot tell you the exact ship name due to operational requirements as they are often interchangeable depending on the size of the group on that departure date.
Please take photos or videos of the cabins, crew or ship and send them to us if you have any issues on the boat. Without this evidence, there is little we can do to support you with any claims.
All ship descriptions on our website are sent to us by the end suppliers and we are not liable for any discrepancy in the listed features or services. We are not the producers of the marketing materials. We don’t take the photos of ships used on our website, nor do we produce any brochures and our ship descriptions are those provided to us by the operator. We rely on the information provided to us by the end suppliers. Your contract is between you and the end supplier (the cruise company or owner/operator). By making payment to us, you are deemed to have read and understood and terms and conditions on our website and agree that the contract is between you and the owner/operator and you acknowledge that we are acting as an agent only (on your behalf), and that we are not the end supplier. We cannot visit every cabin on every ship (there are literally thousands of ships in Croatia) to check every single feature before every departure, so you must make your own decision based on the operator’s marketing materials that they provide to us. Any claims you make will be against the operator, as Discover Croatia is not responsible for any advertising discrepancies. Please see our full Terms and Conditions here.
All departures on specific ships are subject to any unforeseen incidences occurring before your departure. If that ship cannot be provided due to accident, emergency repair or similar, then a similar ship will be provided if at all possible, but please understand that there are few spare ships as they are all also being used for other cruises. We cannot guarantee any departure as the cruise companies themselves do not guarantee every single ship on every single departure as very, very occasionally there are issues that require repair or there’s been some ‘force majeure’ beyond their control. This is why we recommend you have proper travel insurance to cover you for all events.