Story by Bob Schulman, Photos by Rich Grant
Attention yoga fans: Imagine doing your downward dogs, side cranes and other poses in an ancient village on the Dalmatian coast, or atop a cliff with a spectacular view of the Croatian mountains. It's all part of a new, week-long cruise mixing island-hopping on the Adriatic Sea with frequent yoga sessions.
During shore stops you'll get a chance to do your lotuses, cobras and the like in ports such as Korcula, Hvar, Trstenik and Sipan. After rolling up your mats you'll have time to wander around palaces and forts left behind by Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and French invaders over the centuries.
Packaged by Universal Travel Systems (UTS), a 41-year-old tour operator based in Santa Monica, Calif., the cruises will depart on Sundays from May 6 through Oct. 21 from Dubrovnik on the eastern shore of the Adriatic. Sailings will be on air-conditioned yachts and gulets (traditional Turkish twin-masted wooden ships) sleeping up to 40 passengers in cabins with private bathrooms and showers.
Prices start at $1,995 per person including breakfast and lunch on the ship. Dinner is on your own ashore where local dishes typically feature freshly caught seafood and organic home-grown vegetables.
Included in the tab are three daily yoga sessions with a professional instructor and a guided tour of Dubrovnik. Airline tickets, ground transfers to the dock and gratuities aren't included.
Biking the Adriatic
Perhaps your spiritual insights and tranquility come from biking, not yoga. The folks at UTS have a new cruise for you, too. It costs the same as the yoga tour, but some of the stops are on different islands and at different ports. Also, the cycling cruises leave from Split, the second largest city in Croatia and one of the oldest, dating back to the 6th century B.C.
A particularly popular stop on the cycling tour is at Makarska, a resort city in the center of the 40-mile-long Makarska Riviera. Here, visitors enjoy meandering around a palm-fringed promenade dotted by fashionable cafes, bars and boutique shops.
Bikes are provided for guided rides of from 15 to 50 miles a day. Like the yoga cruises, breakfast and lunch on the ships are included in the cruise price, but you'll have to shell out for dinner at restaurants ashore.
Getting there: International flights from New York-JFK, Chicago-O'Hare, Atlanta, and other major U.S. gateways land at European hubs such as Frankfurt, Munich and Istanbul, from which domestic flights continue to Dubrovnik and Split.
More info: Visit www.uts-travel.com.
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