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Written by Jenni from Cruise Mummy

There are two methods to take pleasure in a Balkans cruise – both by ocean or by river. An ocean cruise can take you to numerous ports of name within the Adriatic and Aegean Seas, permitting you to expertise the highlights of gorgeous coastal locations similar to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Koper, and the Greek Isles.

A river cruise, then again, will take you alongside the Danube river, crusing proper into the guts of port cities and cities similar to Vukovar, Belgrade, and Ruse.

Ocean Cruise Or River Cruise

Previous City Kotor

Ocean cruises and river cruises have markedly totally different choices, and every has its benefits, so it’s a good suggestion to analysis each forms of cruises earlier than deciding which can go well with you greatest.

What Are Ocean Cruise Ships Like?

Inside ocean cruising, you’ll discover many alternative sorts of cruise ships. These vary from 6,000-passenger mega-ships, that are filled with family-friendly services like water slides, zip strains, and go-kart tracks, to small luxurious cruise ships accommodating 500 – 1000 passengers on adult-only voyages.

Most of the cruise ports within the Balkans are very small. Which means that they’re solely accessible by small to medium-sized ships. The Balkans will not be a vacation spot the place you’ll discover mega-ships.

What Are River Cruise Ships Like

River cruise ships typically have fewer than 300 passengers. Cruising alongside the waterways of Europe, the ships must be comparatively small in measurement to have the ability to go by locks and below bridges. Most river cruises are adults-only, though you’ll find some household river cruises, particularly within the college summer season holidays.

On this article, I’ll present you which ones Balkans cruise ports you may go to on an ocean or a river cruise, and aid you to determine which is the only option to make should you’re considering of reserving a Balkans cruise.

Balkans Ocean Cruises

Cruising The Balkans - Greece -

There are a lot of international locations to discover on an ocean cruise to the Balkans. These are Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia, and Herzegovina.

While some longer cruises might go to all of those international locations in a single journey, most might solely go to one or two, together with different Mediterranean ports in neighboring international locations similar to Italy, Malta, and Cyprus.

Let’s take an in depth have a look at the favored Balkans cruise ports:


Balkan Flags_Croatia 1

Croatia has 16 cruise ports:

  • Cres
  • Dubrovnik
  • Hvar
  • Komiza
  • Korcula
  • Krk
  • Mali Losinj
  • Opatija
  • Pula
  • Rab
  • Rijeka
  • Rovinj
  • Sibenik
  • Break up
  • Trogir
  • Zadar

Cruises To Dubrovnik

The primary cruise port in Croatia is Dubrovnik, and that is the one Croatian cruise port the place you may embark on a cruise – the others are ports of name that are visited throughout a cruise.

Between Might and October in 2020 and 2021, the Marella Celebration cruise ship will provide seven-night round-trip cruises from Dubrovnik, calling at ports all through the Balkans. There are a number of totally different itineraries to select from, both heading south to Malta, Greece, and Sicily or north alongside the Croatian coast to Venice.

The traditional metropolis of Dubrovnik is extremely fashionable with cruisers due to its UNESCO world heritage standing and sumptuous medieval metropolis partitions. These partitions go the all the way in which across the metropolis, and, should you’re match, it’s doable to stroll the complete 2 KM alongside the partitions and admire the fantastic views over the glowing Adriatic Sea.

Katarina Line Cruises

Three-day Crusing


Balkan Flags_Greece 2

A nation of islands, Greece has 55 cruise ports, which is excess of every other nation within the Balkans. The Greek cruise ports are:

  • Agios Nikolaos, Crete
  • Amorgos
  • Argostoli (Kefallinia)
  • Chalki
  • Chania, Crete
  • Chios
  • Corfu
  • Corinthos
  • Delos
  • Elafonisos Island
  • Fiskardo, Cephalonia
  • Gythion
  • Hydra
  • Igoumenitsa
  • Ikaria
  • Iraklion
  • Itea
  • Ithaca
  • Kalamata
  • Kamares, Nisos Sifnos
  • Karpathos
  • Katakolon (Olympia)
  • Kavala
  • Kos
  • Milos
  • Monemvasia
  • Mykonos
  • Myrina, Nisos Limnos
  • Mytilene
  • Nafplion
  • Naousa, Paros
  • Naxos, Nisos Naxos
  • Nisos Megisti
  • Nisos Symi
  • Nydri
  • Parga
  • Paros
  • Patmos
  • Patra
  • Piraeus (Athens)
  • Poros
  • Pylos
  • Rethymnon
  • Rhodes
  • Sami, Cephalonia
  • Samos, Nisos Samos
  • Santorini
  • Skiathos, Nisos Skiathos
  • Skopelos
  • Skyros
  • Spetses
  • Syros
  • Thessaloniki
  • Volos
  • Zakinthos

Discover extra about Greece right here

Cruises to Athens

The primary cruise port in Greece is Athens, which is situated in Piraeus, on the southern fringe of town. From right here, you may cruise to locations throughout the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea and go to most of the Greek Islands.

Cruise strains with cruise ships departing from Athens embody MSC Cruises, Celestyal Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

From Piraeus cruise port, most vacationers head into Athens, which is simply 10 KM away and a straightforward journey by bus or metro railway. One of many main sights in Athens is the Acropolis, a collection of temples that date again to round 400BC. The biggest of those temples is the Parthenon, which is symbolic of the Classical Age of Greece.

Different notable locations to go to embody Plaka, which is a fairly space with a maze of pedestrian streets, The Roman Discussion board with its eight-sided tower, and Syntagma Sq., the place you may see the troopers dancing of their distinctive uniform of skirt and tights.


Balkan Flags_Slovenia 2

Slovenia has two cruise ports – Koper and Piran.

Koper is the most important of the 2 and is visited between April and November on cruises departing from ports similar to Venice, Valletta, Corfu, and Barcelona. Cruise strains with ships calling at Koper embody Viking Cruises, Marella Cruises, MSC Cruises, Superstar Cruises, and Azamara.

Piran, in the meantime, is just visited by small luxurious cruise ships, yachts, and sailboats. This picturesque city has been dubbed ‘the Dubrovnik of Slovenia.’

Cruises to Koper

In Koper, the cruise terminal is only a brief stroll from the historic Previous City, the place you’ll enter through the spectacular Muda Gate. Koper has a gorgeous primary sq. that’s house to the 12th Century cathedral, St Mary of the Assumption, the place you may climb the 204 steps to the highest of the bell tower for a terrific view over the city and the Adriatic Sea.

Discover extra about Slovenia right here


Balkan Flags_Montenegro 2

Montenegro has three cruise ports:

You’ll be able to’t begin a cruise in Montenegro, however you may go to on Balkans cruises from Venice, Valletta, Rome, and Barcelona. The primary cruise port in Montenegro is Kotor, which a reasonably busy port.

Cruises to Kotor

Kotor is a characterful city that’s situated on the foot of some very steep cliffs, which implies that it’s usually described because the ‘Mediterranean Fjord.’ Kotor has an impressive metropolis sq. known as the Sq. of Arms, which has an imposing clock tower that dates again to the 16th century.

Discover extra about Montenegro right here


Balkan Flags_Albania 2

Albania has three cruise ports:

These are all comparatively small cruise ports. Sarande is visited most weeks between April and November by MSC Orchestra on seven-night cruises from Venice.

Discover extra about Albania right here

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Balkan Flags_Bosnia-Herzegovina 1

Bosnia solely has a small stretch of shoreline, however it does have one cruise port, which is Neum. The port is just visited by SeaDream II, a small luxurious cruise yacht that accommodates simply 110 friends.

Discover extra about Bosnia-Herzegovina right here

Balkans River Cruises

Subsequent, let’s check out a number of the ports you may expertise on a Balkans river cruise.

Balkans river cruises sail alongside the River Danube. The Danube is Europe’s longest river, and it passes by ten international locations alongside a 1,770-mile journey from its supply in Germany till it reaches the Black Sea in Romania.

The Balkans international locations which the Danube flows by are Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.


The River Danube enters japanese Croatia briefly because it flows from Hungary to Serbia.

There are seven river cruise ports in Croatia:

  • Aljmas
  • Osijek
  • Batina
  • Ilok
  • Slavonki Brod
  • Sisak
  • Vukovar

River cruise ships cruising on this part of the Danube will name at Vukovar, the place the River Danube meets the River Vuka. The Jap Croatian metropolis of Vukovar has a wealthy and engaging historical past, most notably it’s destiny in the course of the battle within the early 1990s within the former Yugoslavia. Make a journey to Vukovar’s museum which is situated contained in the baroque Fort Eltz.


The subsequent nation to go to on a Daube river cruise is Serbia, the place you may go to historic Belgrade.

There are seven river cruise ports in Serbia:

  • Bezdan
  • Belgrade
  • Golubac
  • Veliko Gradiste
  • Kostolac
  • Novi Unhappy
  • Donji Milanovac

Serbia’s historic capital is Belgrade, which is located on the level the place the Suva and Danube rivers meet. One of many oldest cities in Europe, Belgrade, has numerous attention-grabbing sights to go to, such because the imposing Kalemegdan Fortress which lies inside an expansive park by the identical identify. The Church of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist St Mark is one in all Belgrade’s most stunning buildings, and there are additionally numerous attention-grabbing museums such because the Nikoli Tesla Museum.


After leaving Serbia, the Danube flows on to create the border between Bulgaria and Romania.

There are eight river cruise ports in Bulgaria:

  • Lom
  • Oriahovo
  • Tutrakan
  • Svishtov
  • Ruse
  • Silistra
  • Vidin
  • Nikopol

River cruises by Bulgaria usually name at Ruse, which is Bulgaria’s fifth-largest metropolis. Ruse is affectionately generally known as ‘Little Vienna’ due to its spectacular Viennese-inspired Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic and Rococo type monuments. Ruse is undoubtedly probably the most elegant and enchanting cities on the Danube.

From Ruse, you may as well take an tour by coach to go to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi.


On the opposite aspect of the Danube from Bulgaria is Romania, the place the Danube finishes its journey to its outlet into the Black Sea.

There are 16 river cruise ports in Romania:

  • Harsova
  • Turnu Magurele
  • Crisan
  • Orsava
  • Tulcea
  • Drobete Turnu Severin
  • Giurgiu (for Bucharest)
  • Sfantu Gheorghe
  • Galati
  • Braila
  • Sulina
  • Oltenita
  • Cernavoda
  • Fetesti
  • Cetate

Proper throughout from Ruse, on the opposite aspect of the river in Romania is the port of Giurgiu. From right here, many cruisers take an tour 62KM north to Bucharest, Romania’s capital metropolis.

Probably the most putting of all Bucharest’s landmarks is the large Palace of Parliament, which is among the largest buildings on the planet when it comes to usable house. You’ll be able to take a strolling tour of this unimaginable constructing which has over a thousand rooms. Different key locations to go to embody Bucharest’s Revolution Sq., the Triumph Arch, and the Romanian Athenaeum.

Which River Cruise Strains Cruise The Balkans

Serbian National Parks_River Danube entry in National Park Djerdap in Serbia

For those who’re trying to ebook a Danube River cruise to the Balkans, you’ll discover a big selection of river cruise strains to accommodate you. These embody APT Touring, Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, CroisiEurope, Viking River Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Scenic Excursions, and Emerald Waterways.

Every river cruise line has a unique providing, from budget-friendly no-frills river cruises to luxurious five-star ships with all the things included.


Taking a Balkans cruise is a unbelievable strategy to see a lot of the Balkans in only one journey. There’s a myriad of choices to select from with quite a lot of river and ocean cruises to go well with each style and finances. I’d advocate doing all of your analysis about which ports you most need to discover after which seeing what are one of the best cruises to take you there.



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