Croatia’s boom accelerates

SURGING interest in Croatia has helped drive a boom in coastal cruising for specialist operator Cruise Croatia, which reports a 200 per cent increase in bookings over the past 12 months.

The newcomer is a division of Beyond Travel and was launched in March last year to take advantage of a notable increase in modern purpose-built ships in the region and strong demand from travel agents and their clients over the previous four years.

Cruise Croatia’s general manager business development growth Peter Smith said the company now offered more than 100 different voyages.

“There’s no doubt interest in Croatia is increasing and while government figures show the destination welcomed 18.5 million visitors in 2017, the locals are expecting the number to climb by 8 per cent this year and reach 20 million,” Smith said.

“Aussies love Croatia as it’s an affordable holiday destination and we’re seeing customers not only going there as a stand-alone destination but combining a restful stay into a bigger European experience.”

Smith said travellers typically stayed for a week to 10 days, with seven days’ cruising between Dubrovnik and Split the most popular option.

“For around $2,500 per person, folks that love azure water, wild coastlines and rustic villages can enjoy a week’s small-ship cruising that includes ample sightseeing and lots of time to relax,” he said.