From the most turquoise blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, to the old city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of the best destinations for a European summer. And because there are so many different islands to explore, the best way to experience it all, is by sea! And it may be overwhelming to figure out ferry times to get to the different islands, managing your luggage through all the transfers, and what you should do at each individual island. The solution to all this? EF Ultimate Break’s Cruise Croatia!
Trey and I decided to finally visit Croatia with the help of EF Ultimate Break, and it made for one of the BEST trips we’ve ever taken. We got to experience a little bit of everything, from the historical walls of Split and Dubrovnik, to the National Park of Mljet, to the wild nightlife of Hvar. Not to mention, we went on this trip alongside 22 strangers, and left with friends for life!! Here is a breakdown of our EF Ultimate Break: Cruise Croatia trip!
This post is sponsored by EF Ultimate Break, but all thoughts and views are my own.
WHAT IS EF ULTIMATE BREAK?
EF Ultimate Break is a company that plans group trips all around the world for 18-35 year olds. Most of the trips will include flights, accommodations, and a nearly full itinerary, which takes all of the stress out of planning a trip. All you have to do is book and show up! You can book with a friend, a partner, or go solo, and you’ll be join a group of other travel lovers, and explore a new part of the world together.
Some of the trips are as short as a week, or as long as a month, with popular destinations like an 11 day Greek Islands Trip and a 35 day Ultimate Europe Trip! With over 65 trips all around the world, there’s truly something for everyone. Each group trip comes with a designated Tour Director who leads the entire trip, with guest appearances from local tour guides so you get information and knowledge about the destinations you’re visiting. If there’s built in free time, the directors and guides will give a ton of local recommendations as well. All of the accommodations are handpicked, and all of the transfers between airports and cities are arranged.
They offer different payment methods, including paying at your own pace, or setting up bi-weekly payments. You can pay in full, and a down payment is as low as $22.
use JULESTREY100 during your checkout for ANY EF Ultimate Break trip!
THE BREAKDOWN OF OUR EF Group
Our specific Cruise Croatia trip with EF Ultimate Break consisted of 22 people. The youngest was 19, while the oldest was 31, but I would say the average was 24-28 years old. There were 3 couples in the group (including Trey and I), 14 of 22 had been on prior EF Ultimate Break trips and returned, and out of those, 4 sets of people met on other EF trips and decided to book this Croatia trip together (8 total people!). Which to me, is a clear sign that they’re doing something right.
CRUISE CROATIA: SPLIT TO SPLIT BREAKDOWN
ARRIVAL INTO SPLIT
After booking your trip, you can download the EF Ultimate Break App which has all of the information on your tour, including flights, daily breakdown of itinerary, and you can connect with others who are taking the trip with you via a group messaging feature!
Once we landed in Croatia, our Tour Director met us at the airport and there was a provided shuttle to take us to our hotel. Since everyone comes in at different times, the shuttle runs every couple hours. Depending on what time you land, you can get to your hotel, refresh and explore, or rest before the Welcome Dinner! It was a great opportunity to get to meet everyone for the first time over a traditional Croatian meal.
The next couple days, we had a walking tour of Split with a local guide, and optional excursions to go to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit Krka Falls National Park. If you didn’t opt into the excursions, you would have free time to do whatever you wanted. Trey and I decided to do both excursions, both so worth it!
ALL ABOARD THE YACHT
After these few days in Split, we were all finally ready to board our boat and begin cruising the islands!! Our boat, the Dalmatia on Katarina Line, was chartered for our trip, but if you book with EF Ultimate Break: Cruise Croatia, you won’t necessarily get this exact same boat. To give you a general idea, our boat was a small yacht that holds 36 passengers. Because our specific trip had 22 people, some had their own rooms while others bunked with friends or partners but specific room assignments were randomized. Every breakfast and lunch was included while on the boat.
The boat has 4 floors, with the upper floor being the sundeck, perfect for tanning and reading. The main deck has a dining room, kitchen, bar, and communal area for eating, listening to music, and hanging out. Also a perfect nap spot since it’s all shaded! The bottom two floors were the bedrooms. Prior to getting on the boat, you’ll have the opportunity to buy floaties or snorkel gear, water shoes and towels! However, oftentimes the boat will already have some floaties from the previous group. Ours came with 5-6 floaties, and we all bought a couple to share.
OUR EVERY DAY BOAT SCHEDULE
6:00AM – Sailing
9:00AM to 10:00 AM – AYCE Breakfast Buffet (traditional breakfast with eggs, toast, veggies, fresh fruit, pastries)
10:00AM to 12:00PM – swim break
1:00PM – lunch (often with Croatian portion), and continue sailing
3:00PM – dock at new port, walking tour
5:00PM – 5:00AM – Free time to explore, adventure, eat, night clubs
This sailing schedule operates pretty much the exact opposite of a standard cruise schedule, where you sail all day and arrive in the ports in the early afternoons. During the day time, the captain will always stop by in a secluded and safe area to swim around in! You’ll get the chance to float, tan, swim, and enjoy the warm sun!
In the afternoons when we docked, there would be a guided walking tour to better understand and learn more about the islands, followed by free time into the night. Our local guide would give suggestions on the best bars and nightlife, as well as dinner spots and photo opp’s! A lot of our group oftentimes would split after the walking tour as everyone had their individual preferences on what to do, but everyone met up at the bars and night clubs in the evening–especially the super popular Croatian ones!
Keep in mind that during this trip, a lot of the traveling schedule is reliant on both Port Authority and the weather, so stay flexible and go with the flow. There were some days we had to switch islands, or leave later/stay earlier, but it’s totally out of anyone’s control! It’s all part of the experience, so have fun with it!!
EXPLORING THE ISLANDS
Our island explorations consisted of visiting Hvar, Mljet National Park, Korcula, Makarska, Sipan, and then we had a longer stay in Dubrovnik. Each island had their own charm, and this was the perfect way for us to experience a little bit of everything that Croatia had to offer!
- The Old Fortress– I would recommend paying the admission fee to get inside the actual fortress when you hike to the top. You can stop at the view point, but the view is nicer from within the city walls.
- Carpe Diem Night Club– One of the most famous night clubs in all of Europe. A little pricy at $30USD admission fee. There’s an entrance in Hvar around 11PM by the docks, and a boat from Carpe Diem will take you over to a small island where the club is.
- Get lost within the alley ways– It’s such a beautiful island with so many little nooks and crannies to explore.
- Renting Bikes: You can rent bikes and bike around the lake!
- Go for a Swim
- Take the ferry to the monastery in the middle of the lake
- Watch the sunset from the Massimo Rooftop Bar
- Explore the winding alleyways
- Eat dinner by the water
Sipan is a fisherman’s island and a more of a local Croatian destination, which I found so charming. We were one of the only boats docked there and didn’t see very many tourists! We went for a nice evening walk on this day and returned back to the boat early.
Dubrovnik is an absolute must and just a day and a half is certainly not enough, but it is certainly enough for you to know that you have to go back! Our schedule allocated the longest amount of time in Dubrovnik.
- Buza Bar I & Buza Bar II – great for cliff diving, swimming, enjoying drinks by the water
- Walls of Dubrovnik – walk the city walls (as soon as it opens before it gets too hot and crowded)
- GOT Walking Tour – so much of Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik, and so they host plenty of walking tours!
- West Harbor – grab an Aperol Spritz and hang out by the harbor!! You can also swim there if you get too hot!
WRAPPING UP THE EF TRIP
Our last day sailing was back to Split, where we enjoyed a farewell dinner, and some last minute free time to grab any souvenirs and get ready for our flights home. EF Ultimate Break also does trip extensions, where you can join another EF trip immediately after, stay longer in your current city, or just fly to another for your own leisure.
I highly recommend that if you plan on going to Croatia, you give EF Ultimate Break’s Cruise Croatia a try. It was such a unique experience and nothing like I’ve experienced before. Surely you can go to Croatia on your own, but you’ll miss the opportunities to go on secluded swim breaks, meet new people of similar age and interests, travel solely by boat, have all of the complex logistics planned out for you, and so much more!
Don’t forget to use JULESTREY100 for any EF Ultimate Break trip!