The Pearl of the Adriatic. Not only is Dubrovnik the location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, while walking the streets you’ll believe you’re in the middle ages. Founded in the 7th century and architecturally master planned in 1205, Dubrovnik’s polished stone streets have never seen a bus or traffic signal.
Walking the softly lit streets at night, Dubrovnik’s charm is undeniable. On embark day we’ll meet flights arriving at Dubrovnik’s DBV airport before Noon.
The bay of Kotor is not only Southern Europe’s only fjord, it’s the only bay in Mediterranean that made UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites.
While circling the fjord, we’ll stop at the recently unearthed Roman tile mosaics, the Renaissance village of Pirast, and the legendary Lady of the Rocks pilgrimage church.
Luckily for cyclists, Kotor’s ancient city gates aren’t large enough for cars to enter the city.
On the Peljesac Peninsula, we’ll pedal traffic-free roads on the Mediterranean’s “Peninsula of Wine.” We’ll enjoy a private reception hosted at a showcase vineyard founded by America’s top rated vintner.
A relaxing lunch hour cruise transports us to Marco Polo’s birthplace on the island of Korcula. This afternoon you’ll ride around the island and experience an evening performance of the traditional Moreska Sword Dance.
The jet setters’ trendiest spot on the Aegean is the island of Hvar. Here a tunnel connects the island’s mild and wild sides—the old road up over the top affords 360 degree views of seas and islands.
Another lunchtime cruise takes us to the forbidden island of Vis where Tito set up a fortress stronghold with tunnels and submarine pens. In ancient times, you were only permitted to visit Vis if you were born there.
Our morning coastal ride links UNESCO heritage ports of Primosten and Trogir, each a sparkling jewel of the Venetian Republic.
Our afternoon cruise deliver’s us to a third UNESCO heritage site, the retirement villa of a Roman Emperor. Diocletian’s Palace became Split’s centerpiece, and would remain the world’s largest palace for 1,000 years.
The Krka Falls are some of the world’s most beautiful travertine waterfalls. They actually become slightly taller every year! After appreciating this picturesque view, our ride reaches the coast at Biograd, the coronation site of Croatia’s Kings.
When we reach Biograd we take a ferry to the bridge-linked islands of Pasman & Ugljan. After an enchanting day of cycling, another ferry delivers us back to the ship parked at the center of Zadar. The old town streets are paved in marble.
Welcome to Istria! We’ll start the day in Rick Steve’s favorite town, Rovinj. We’ll cycle through olive orchards in the midst of harvest time. The infamous “Gold Medal” olive oil family will host us in their field. We will have the opportunity to pick olives, tour their small boutique, and sample olive oil from last year’s harvest. Our inland return ride to Rovinj passes through quaint walled villages and features ancient castles.
In today’s ride from Koper we’ll visit the delightful coastal town of Piran. Next, we’ll cycle across the border to Slovenia’s slice of the Istrian Peninsula, the Germanic portion of former Yugoslavia.
In Buje we’ll sample the beers at a brewery surrounded by oak forests, where you’ll be introduced to a famous truffle hunter and her specially-trained beagle. Like all days of a cycling cruise, this ride ends with a fabulous downhill. Today we’ll re-pack bikes in the shade of La Belle.
Overnight we arrive in the majestic renaissance city of Venice for a full day of non-cycling exploration. If you haven’t yet visited Venice, the delicious food, romantic gondola rides, astounding architecture, and 16 centuries of history will keep you pleasantly busy for several more days.
Our morning disembark shuttle will get you to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport in time for a 10am flight or take you to our group’s hotel so that you can continue to explore this incredible city.
This itinerary can also be connected in a 2-Part Adriatic Adventure if you also reserve a space on our Venice to Bari cycling cruise.
Dubrovnik to Venice
La Belle de L’Adriatique
We’ve chartered “The Beauty of the Adriatic” for this Dubrovnik-to-Venice itinerary, a 110-metre (yacht-dimensioned) vessel with advanced stabilization, ultra-green powerplants and Z-drive propulsion.
Commissioned by CroisiEurope in 2007, this unique Belgian-flagged cruiser has just fewer than 100 soundproofed staterooms in five categories.
All have private bath, spacious floor plans, king-width beds that can covert into separate full-width twins, individually-controlled A/C, and large view windows.
The cuisine is exceptional. Breakfast includes bountiful buffets created by our 5-star chef. Each evening your waiter will present a new five course menu—listing an array of choices for you to select from.
Is beer & wine included with dinner? Of course!
The Lounge has seating for all our guests and is a great place to relax, mingle with your fellow cyclists, catch up on emails, or read a nice book. The bar, located on the Sun Deck, enjoys breathtaking 360-degree views.
Onboard wi-fi is included, as is expert wash-and-fold laundering of your valuable cycling wear.
Dubrovnik to Venice
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the exact dates?
A: September 30 to October 9, 2021. 10-Days/9-Nights.
Q: Why September/October?
A: Croatia & Italy are too hot and crowded in the summer. By September & October the crowds have thinned and the cycling weather is perfect. Mornings in the mid 60s and afternoons in the low 70s. Plus, most of us reach peak cycling fitness in the early fall.
Q: What’s the cost?
A: Due to the current strength of the dollar our first-in per-person pricing for this 10-day cycling cruise starts at $3,699 per-person. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE. Our reservations page shows pricing of available staterooms.
Q: What’s “Early-In” Pricing?
A: To manage the risk of chartering entire cruise ships, couples who commit early are rewarded with discounts of up to $2,000 per stateroom. Lowest pricing in every category is limited to the first few rooms. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE.
Q: What about tipping?
A: Jan and I don’t accept tips. A comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $400 per person includes a long list of port fees, off-ship activities, admissions, interpretive guides, sight fees, and ride support (gps route files, morning shuttles to give casual riders a head start, and an SOS van driven by a pro mechanic). Note that this is less than the average cruise passenger pays for week of “deluxe excursions.” Shipboard gratuities of $150 per person includes wash & fold laundry and valet bike handling.
Q: Are all staterooms the same?
A: The efficiently-scaled La Belle de L’Adriatique has 100 double occupancy staterooms in five categories (sorry, no singles or triples). Launched in 2007 and refurbished in 2017, all rooms in all categories feature exterior view and private bath. Instead of suites and/or balconies La Belle has large public areas and lots of deck space. Four of the five categories have full-width twins that convert to a king width double.
Q: How are staterooms assigned?
A: In any sub-category all rooms are identical. Using the PayPal timestamp, those who reserve earliest get the conveniently located staterooms closest to the front of the ship. If friends desire a pair of adjacent staterooms the timestamp of the first reservation determines the location of both rooms. In short, out of fairness to all our guests, we will not take requests for specific room numbers. Those who book early obtain prime positioning.
Q: Are rental bikes available?
A: Yes. If you own a nice bike that fits, however, bringing it with you is relatively easy and inexpensive. More info on this in Bill’s Travel Tips. Single bike rental rates are about $450 per person for the event, includes delivery to embark and retrieval at disembark.
Q: How do we get to and from the tour?
A: Detailed info by November ’19. Those who arrive and leave on the embark and debark days will receive FREE Airport transfers.
Q: How many miles each day?
A: In addition to our daily pair of zero-mile options (cruising on the ship or grabbing a seat on our Panoramic-Window coach), every day has multiple cycling routes. Anyone who can ride 40 flat miles will be able to enjoy all eight days of cycling. If you prefer hills or want to ride up to 80 miles a day, we’ve got you covered. At each morning’s breakfast you’ll get a map charting the day’s cycling routes and recommended stops. During a brief route talk you’ll hear about each route’s grades and difficulty. Santana’s vets have learned to love and rely on their handlebar-mounted gps unit. Costing as little as $200, these touch-screen marvels prevent the age-old problem of getting lost or riding unplanned miles. Santana supplies free electronic mapping and route files. Simply select the route and follow the highlighted map.
Q: What’s the next step?
A: To lock-in availability and the lowest pricing on a RISK-FREE basis, reserve your space through our PayPal portal. PayPal’s secure website is open 24 hours per day, accepts all major credit cards, and automatically adjusts for remaining stateroom availability.
Q: What do you mean by RISK-FREE?
A: When you use your credit card and book through PayPal, we’ll give you 14 risk-free days to think it over and clear your schedule. If you change your mind, send an email to Matt@SantanaAdventures.com within two weeks to cancel the PayPal transaction and obtain a full refund. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: What if we change our minds after 14 days?
A: Because full-boat charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-through-PayPal commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out—for any reason. This is no different than the clear written policy that existed for all except one of Santana’s prior chartered-ship cruises (this charter will be our 54th!). While preparing for our 2009 Danube event I neglected to include the following proviso. That’s the year a group of friends, after verbally agreeing to pay in full and then stringing Jan along for many months, decided to cancel their plans. Lesson learned! Here it is (again) in writing:
Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on rallies and tours, Santana’s cruises are non-cancelable and non-transferable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard trip insurance. For the past 20 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without complaint. An informative application will be mailed with your invoice; and further information is available online. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: Have you ever relaxed your refund policy?
A: Jan and I have willingly resold a number of fully prepaid staterooms for a fee of $500 per person—which was waived when a vacating couple found someone to take their place. When there has been more than one pending resell request, those who paid-in-full earliest had their space resold next. Using this non-guaranteed method (which is grossly inferior to trip insurance) Jan and I have cheerfully refunded over $250,000 in otherwise non-refundable and non-transferable cruise fares. Here is a full listing of Santana Adventures’ Terms & Conditions.
Q: What’s the difference between a SAG-wagon and Santana’s SOS/treasure vans?
A: Most tour companies use SAG-wagons that haul luggage and “sweep” the route between overnight stops. The drivers refill water-bottles, fix flat tires, and retrieve riders who can’t manage the easiest route between the widely spaced hotels. The problem, of course, is that the roving vans tend to be annoying until you actually need help. At that point it’s common to wait for two or more hours until one shows up. Although SAG drivers can fix a flat, they don’t have the tools or know-how to handle serious mechanical problems. Instead, they drive you to a bike shop (which explains why SAG-wagons disappear for hours at a time). This tour’s SOS van is driven by a pro bike mechanic who brings tools and spares. When you phone him with the coordinates from your GPS, he’ll arrive in a flash to get you back in the saddle. Because Santana expects participants to fill their own bottles, fix their own flats, and choose a ride they can finish, our SOS drivers are underworked, and have time to retrieve your shopping treasures.
Q: Are beverages included?
A: Beer & Wine are included at dinner. Other alcohol is not included but can be charged to your room. Soft Drinks, Coffee, Espresso Drinks, and Juice are all complimentary at meal times.
Q: Which meals are included?
A: During Santana’s earlier charters of Croisi cruises the culinary staff appreciated our appetites as much as we appreciated their multi-course gourmet meals. Croisi’s 5-star chef will curate a new menu for each meal, and will always include a surprising selection of local fruits and produce, regional specialties, the freshest-possible seafood, vegetarian options, and grilled-to-order meats. A changing assortment of desserts and pastries are produced aboard each day. Breakfast and Lunch are served buffet style, perfect for active cyclists. Dinner is a plated multi-course menu with plenty of gourmet options for all of our participants.
Q: Does La Belle have free WiFi? Does the ship have an elevator?
Will there be menu selections for vegetarians, vegans and picky eaters?
A: Yes to all of the above.
Q: What if we have more questions?
A: The easiest way to get help is by phoning or emailing Matt, who is happy to help answer your questions.
+1 (949) 677-7896 Matt@SantanaAdventures.com
Q: What if I run into problems with Reservations or PayPal?
A: The easiest way to get help is by phoning or emailing Matt, who is happy to help guide you.
+1 (949) 677-7896 Matt@SantanaAdventures.com