Former soldier, war correspondent and author Martin Bell is a former BBC correspondent, MP and Unicef Ambassador who has reported from Vietnam, the Middle East and Northern Ireland as part of a wide-ranging career as a journalist. As well as his distinguished reporting, he is the author of The End of Empire: Cyprus - A Soldier's Story, a poignant memoir recounting his national service in the 1950s during the EOKA rebellion in Cyprus.
Join Martin Bell in Dubrovnik and sail the Dalmatian coast
To visit Croatia today is a very different experience from 25 years ago, when the Balkans war ended. Martin Bell, the celebrated BBC war reporter, knows this more than anyone as he once dodged bullets in the country and was injured by shrapnel in neighbouring Bosnia. This year Martin is set to return to Croatia to give an exclusive talk about his experiences there.
With more than a thousand beautiful islands to explore, the best way to do so is on this eight-day small-ship Adriatic cruise on an intimate boat. You'll spend time with Martin in Dubrovnik, with its labyrinth of limestone streets and picturesque piazzas, and visit the cultural capital of Split. You will also sail to the beautiful green island of Mljet, Korcula and Hvar, the sunniest of Croatia's 1,200 islands.
"I greatly look forward to returning to one of my favourite countries. I was there, of course, during darker times and I intend to provide an illustrated perspective on Croatia's war for independence in the 1990s."
- Martin Bell
Telegraph Subscriber Exclusive Offer
Subscribers to The Telegraph will receive a free copy of Martin Bell's book In Harm's Way: Bosnia: A War Reporter's Story and will receive a discount of £200 per couple*.
Reasons to book
A private charter
Expert walking tours
The Dalmatian coast
Your stylish chartered ship
Exclusive talk and Q&A by Martin Bell
Your expert guide
- Return flight from London to Split
- Overseas transfers to and from the airport to boat
- Seven-night cruise on the MS Yolo on an exclusive charter
- Exclusive talk and Q&A with Martin Bell
- Walking tour of Dubrovnik with Martin Bell
- Subscribers receive one copy of In Harm's Way: Bosnia: A War Reporter's Story per booking
- Daily breakfast, four lunches and three dinners served on board
- Tea and coffee, fresh fruit and snacks available each day
- Free WiFi on board
Day1Arrive in SplitSplit, Croatia
Transfer from Split airport to the harbour to board MS Yolo. The afternoon is free for you to relax and explore at your leisure before a welcome drinks reception and dinner will be served on board. Stay overnight in Split.
Day2Split, Hvar and KorculaSplit, Croatia
Known as Croatia's cultural centre due to its numerous museums, churches and archaeological sites, Split is the country's second biggest city, with the ancient part of town classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site. It's also famous for appearing in Game of Thrones. You can choose to join a fascinating walking tour of the centre including highlights such as Diocletian's Palace. Later you'll set sail for Hvar, Croatia's sunniest island, for a walking tour through Hvar with a local guide who will introduce you to its culture and history. Later, sail to Vela Luka, Korcula.
Day3Mljet and SlanoMljet National Park, Croatia
After breakfast with views of Korcula, set sail for the National Park in Mljet. There will be ample time to explore the national park and its lakes, including Saint Marie's Isle and its 12th-century Benedictine monastery. You will spend your evening then stay overnight in the small fishing port of Slano on the mainland, which was once a favourite summer resort of Dubrovnik sea captains and their families.
Day4Ston and DubrovnikSton, Croatia
Near Slano is the fortified town of Ston, where you have the option to join a Taste of Dalmatia tour, which will explore Ston's strong wine, ancient salt production and oysters. You'll make a swimming stop off Lopud Island as you cruise towards Dubrovnik. Martin Bell joins your group today for a casual welcome drink on board. You'll stay overnight in Dubrovnik.
Following breakfast, you will enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town. Martin Bell will join you for part of your tour and will be on hand to explain how much the country has changed since he was there in the 1990s during the Balkans conflict. In the evening, he will give a fascinating talk on board as well as answering your own questions during an exclusive Q&A session. You will stay overnight in Dubrovnik.
This morning you will head for the pristine Elaphiti Islands. Stop at one of the three inhabited islands for a stroll and a swim before lunch is served on board. You'll arrive in the Venetian stronghold of Korcula this afternoon. Explore on your own or take a walking tour through the town, the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo. Highlights include the winding alleys and baroque St Marc Cathedral. You'll stay overnight in Korcula.
Day7Brac and OmisOmis, Croatia
You'll set sail early this morning for Pucisca on the exquisite island of Brac, with a swim stop on the way. Pucisca is the island's biggest village and is known for its white stone façades and authentic Mediterranean architecture. The village owns the only stone sculpture school in Croatia. Pucisca's stone quarries were used to build the White House and the Austrian Parliament Building. Enjoy an optional visit to a stonemasonry school. After a stop at your final port, Omis at the mouth of the Cetina River, you can explore and perhaps enjoy a final dinner in a local restaurant. You'll stay overnight in Omis.
Day8Return to the UKSplit, Croatia
Breakfast will be served on board. You will disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
This impressive cruise ship is perfect for exploring the coastline and islands of Croatia.
The modern small vessel MS Yolo set sail in April 2019. Designed to cruise the Adriatic waters in style, with its passengers' needs in mind, life on-board the ship is relaxed and comfortable, from the 18 spacious en-suite cabins to the exterior lounges and dining room. Mornings could be spent on the sun deck with Jacuzzi and loungers, in the shaded outside lounge, or dipping into the clear waters from the swimming platform before you explore the next island port of call.
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