Exploration of the Adriatic Sea and the picturesque islands of Croatia is best experienced from the deck of the luxury SeaDream yacht. Here are our 10 favorite things about sailing with the crew of this ultra-exclusive and ultra-indulgent ship.
There are as many different cruise lines as there are destinations, ports and high-seas adventures; contemporary class, premium class and luxury class ships all offer varying cruising experiences. However, the SeaDream is part of a small niche market known as the yachting class. There are 110 guests onboard the SeaDream at any given time and a crew of 95 -- a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of guests to crew members. That kind of math equals unparalleled service. Every location on the ship, from the staterooms to the top deck to the dining room and bar, have top-notch attendants whose sole responsibility is providing 5-star service.
Nearly 2,000 years ago the Greeks claimed this spot as one of their favorite relaxation destinations. This heavenly island is the SeaDream's first port of call, where cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques and cafes. This quaint, scenic town is one photo opportunity after another. It's also rumored to be the home of one of history's most famous explorers, Marco Polo.
Back on board the ship, guests can relax after a day of portside exploration in the yacht's luxurious staterooms. Each and every room offers an ocean view, flat-screen TV, internet access (the ship will even provide a laptop upon request), Belgian linens, 24-hour suite service and Bulgari bath amenities. There is one Owner's Suite onboard, a 447-square-foot private master bedroom and bath suite complete with guest quarters and private living and dining rooms.
Less than 40 nautical miles from Korcula, Hvar is another of Croatia's beautiful sun-drenched islands. When you're traveling on the SeaDream, the crew organizes one of the best ways to appreciate the stunning coastline views -- by sea kayak. The kayak's small size and maneuverability allows you to explore every aspect of this amazing island paradise. Dock in the port between the many yachts and explore the large public square in the main town. On the south side of the island, vineyards produce Croatia's famous red wines derived from the Plavac Mali grape.
The bustling city of Split is the largest city in Croatia. The city's core is a residential and commercial center consisting of over 200 buildings that was once a 4th-century Roman palace. The Emperor Diocletian was famous for splitting the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western halves, and it was his palace that is now downtown Split. After 17 centuries of restoration, remodeling and renovation, this town is a unique architectural landmark where the line between the past and present is delightfully blurred.
We've already covered the 5-star service and amenities -- now it's time for the 5-star cuisine. This yacht club is famous for what they call Cuisine a la Minute, which describes the fresh preparation of each dish, and unlike other mass cruise lines, each plate is made to order. A vegetarian menu and calorie-conscious spa menu are available at each meal. Take your meal topside with SeaDream's wonderful dining al fresco experience; the setting sun and first sprinkling of stars provide the perfect atmosphere for your dinner.
The main resort area of this Croatian island is rich with medieval architecture, however the outskirts of town are thick with Mediterranean pine forests. The setting is perfect for a bike ride, and the cycling excursion provided by SeaDream is led by the ship's captain. The paths and tracks winding through Rab's 37 square miles of vegetation are perfect for exploring one of the Adriatic's greenest islands.
Water Sports Marina
At the back of the SeaDream, the Water Sports Marina allows guests to enjoy the crystal waters of the Adriatic. There's a swimming platform and jet skis, kayaks, water skis, banana boats all available for guests' use. For those who simply want to soak in the sun, Balinese beds are located on top of the deck. These incredibly luxurious 2-person beds face out over the ocean and take the comfort of sunbathing to a whole new level.
Venice is a water city; its landscape defined by ports and canals. SeaDream yacht's smaller size allows for a more intimate view of this magnificent city. SeaDream's 5-star service includes an Activities Director who will make private arrangements to tour this ancient romantic city in a style befitting a SeaDream guest.
In Rovinj, Croatia, guests of the SeaDream can explore the history, culture and tradition of family wine-making. In addition, you can hunt for some of the most rare and expensive delicacies in the culinary world -- black truffles. With a team of dogs, guests head into the Croatian countryside and hunt the grounds of a successful family-owned business. The dogs are integral in smelling the distinctive aroma of the black truffles, which grow completely underground. This adventure is reserved strictly for guests of the SeaDream, and it's an incomparable look into Croatian culture and the world's most exclusive cooking ingredient.