7 Night Cruise from Dubrovnik to Dubrovnik with Katarina Line
After an early morning flight from Manchester to Dubrovnik, I boarded our ship, the Pape Privia which was to be home for the next 7 nights.
I had cruised on a much larger ship with over 5000 passengers but this was considerably smaller…. just 20 fellow sailors and a crew of 6. I really wasn’t sure what to expect.
We were welcomed aboard and shown to our cabins. I was pleasantly surprised. Mine was a spacious twin cabin with private bathroom, mid deck so close to the bar, kitchen and breakfast/lunch room. There’s some lovely lounge areas and the top deck has sun-beds for those who want to soak ups the rays.
We all met for a welcome drink, introduced to the crew followed by a lovely 3 course dinner. There’s a nice mix of nationalities but all English speaking, with people from Australia, the States, South Africa and the UK.
After a goodnight’s sleep, the boat left Gruz port at 7am. Apart from the noise of the engine, you wouldn’t even know you were moving. The sea-sickness pills weren’t required.
After a Croatian breakfast, most moved to the upper decks to enjoy the scenery. We followed the coastline north passing a few islands to our left. It was so peaceful, warm in the sun and but rather cool water. The chef then cooked us a gorgeous fish meal. The boat then docked at the picturesque island of Mjlet.
Mljet is one of the most seductive of all the Adriatic islands. Much of the island is covered by forests and the rest is dotted with fields, vineyards and small villages.
Half Mljet island is a pristine National Park with very few residents. People come for the hiking, biking, swimming, stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere that reign everywhere. The lushly forested island is so seductive, it's said that Odysseus came and stayed for seven years. You can even visit the Odysseus cave. It's really a large and beautiful grotto where the peripatetic traveller allegedly met the nymph, Calypso, who nursed him back to health on the island.
The waters around Mljet are a treasure trove for scuba divers. A recent excavation around a 10th-century shipwreck revealed several hundred artifacts including bottles, amphorae and decorated glass.
Mljet Island National Park
The highlight and most unusual feature of Mljet National Park is the two inland salt water lakes--Malo Jezero and Veliko Jezero--connected to the sea by a narrow canal.You can stroll along the lakes on paths shaded by pine trees, bicycle through the park, rent a kayak to paddle the lakes or simply swim the clear, blue water. In the middle of Veliko Jezero is the tiny islet of Sv Marija which contains a former Benedictine monastery dating from the 12th century. It's now a restaurant, accessible by regularly scheduled small boats. This is included in the entrance ticket to the National Park which is 70-100 kuna depending on season.
The boat remained moored up for the night so there was a choice of eating at the restaurants on the island or a BBQ on board. Most opted for the BBQ and enjoyed the fabulous sunset across the bay.. The evening ended with a singson then.we all retired to bed around 11pm