Croatia is an increasingly popular European summer vacation destination. This country on the Adriatic Sea is famous for crystal clear waters, beautiful traditional towns, and breathtaking views.
Though you won’t find the best scuba diving liveaboard trips here, it is a fantastic location for combining snorkeling with sightseeing. The available liveaboards are more like cruises which gives you extra luxury at an affordable price.
10 Best Croatia Liveaboard Snorkeling Trips
It’s time to grab your best dry snorkel. If you are looking for some of the best snorkeling destinations, you have come to the right place. Check out our top 10 for the best snorkeling liveaboards in Croatia and start dreaming about your next trip with the help of these Croatia small boat cruises reviews.
1. Most Family-Friendly: Aurora Cruise Ship
Planning your next family vacation? Then look into the beautiful Aurora Cruise Ship with plenty of on-board entertainment for the kids on this Croatia cruise small ship.
On offer are 8 day/7 night cruises that start off either in Dubrovnik or Split which gives you easy access to the harbor. From there you will be sailing along the Dalmatian coastline with several snorkeling stops and opportunities for day trips onshore.
There are lower deck and upper deck cabins, each of them amenable to fit a double or twin beds. Every room has its own en-suite bathroom and a television.
Each booking includes half-board meals but there is also a special Captain’s dinner with live entertainment. The chef also offers both vegan and vegetarian dishes so this is a great choice for those with special diets who want to cruise Croatia.
- TV in each cabin
- Family-friendly activities
- Organized land excursions are pricey
- No triple family cabins
2. Best for Vacation with Friend Groups: San Antonio
For summer trips with friends, the San Antonia should rank high on your shortlist of Croatia cruises small ships. This option not only has double and twin rooms but also single rooms so it is much easier to organize the sleeping accommodations for groups with an odd number or want a Croatian cruise on your own.
This is also one of the newest additions of Croatia cruises small ships to the Mediterranean waters built-in 2017. The design is simple and modern with great indoor and outdoor lounge areas including a bar and formal dining areas.
There are two 7-day itineraries available; the Dalmatian Paradise and One Way Wonder. The first brings you back to where you embarked while the second pick you up in Split and drops you off in Dubrovnik , a perfect choice of the small ship cruises for Dalmatian coast.
Both trips take you along incredible beaches and islands like Brac Island with Golden Horn Beach. There is a tender boat big enough for 10 people so you can still access the places where the larger cruise ship could not go.
- Tender ship available
- Single room available
- Limited free drinks assortment
3. Best for Charter Liveaboard: Avangard
The Avangard is available as a charter so if you are planning a liveaboard snorkeling trip with a big group this is a great option for you. The ship has 18 fully air-conditioned en-suite cabins, both on the main and lower deck fit for 2 people each.
The itinerary takes you along the Dalmatian coast in 7 days visiting some of the most wonderful Croatian sights and traditions. Enjoy a truly local experience with wine tastings, a special dinner in Kuna (included in the package), and of course plenty of water activities including kayaking.
The very friendly crew consists of both local and international staff that caters to your every need. They will be cleaning your room daily and attending to you in both the indoor and outdoor lounges, bar, and formal dining space.
This is another new boat, built-in 2017, with a bright and airy modern design. There is plenty of open communal space so you can have a great social time with the group on these Croatia small boat cruises.
- Available for private groups
- Plenty of day trips onshore
- Great reviews for food
- Certain twin rooms are a bit cramped
4. Most Luxurious: Black Swan
Enjoy a deluxe cruise ship experience aboard the Black Swan another one of the small ship cruises Croatia style, impeccably designed to meet all modern needs. This liveaboard gives you the most stunning ocean views right from your room since there are cabins with big windows on both the main deck and upper deck.
You can spoil yourself on board with a massage or in the hot tub for a truly relaxing experience. Jump into the exceptionally clear waters for snorkeling or get some upper body exercise in with the kayaks that are available on-board.
The crew takes great care of you with a beautiful cocktail room, organized walking tours, and a special Captain’s dinner with live music. During this 7-night cruise, you will always have something fun to do and a space to relax.
Guests rave about the top quality delicious meals served by the chef – the package includes half-board. They are also left in awe by the organized day trips onshore with Korcula island being one of the favorite stops during the trip.
- Panoramic views from the main deck and upper deck cabins
- Well-organized activities onboard and onshore
- Great food
- Package includes a welcome party with cocktails
- Kayak rental costs extra
- No views from lower deck cabins
5. Best Budget Choice: Moonlight Cruise Ship
Though you cannot categorize the Croatian liveaboards as backpacker-friendly, there are several options for a more low budget vacation on the Croatia small boat cruises, for example aboard the Moonlight. For its affordable price, you get surprisingly more than you would expect.
Included in the package are half-board meals, welcome cocktails, a special dinner, and fun island-hopping trips. You get to visit the Mljet National Park, salt lakes, and several small towns where you can capture the beauty of the historical buildings and winding roads.
A nice feature is that the rooms are comfortably spacious, even more so than some of the pricier options on this list. Each double or twin amenable cabin has its own AC unit, en-suite bathroom, and plenty of storage space including a safety deposit box.
The guest reviews mention how much they enjoyed the trip to Mljet National Park and Korcula island, both unique Croatian destinations that you do not want to miss out on. There is an on-board guide at the ready to help you plan out your day trips onshore and to provide you with all the information that you may need for an unforgettable time.
- On-board guide
- Great value for money
- Spacious rooms
- Limited itineraries available
6. Best Reviewed: Markan
Markan is one of the most popular liveaboards Croatian cruise small ships despite also being one of the newest on the seas. Their guests write rave reviews with special mention of the amazing snorkeling and swimming locations, friendly staff and modern facilities.
The Markan has exceptionally large rooms with comfortable twin or double beds and ensuite bathrooms. You feel the extra attention paid to luxury details such as bathrobes and slippers for everyone and even a balcony for the VIP cabins.
There are plenty of stops for snorkeling but you also get to experience Croatian culture through a special dinner cruise in Dubrovnik, local wine tasting in Bol, and a dinner party with delicious local dishes. on-board you can sunbathe on the lounge chairs or get comfortable in the hot tub.
The design is modern, spacious, and fancy with lots of soothing white and light brown tones. There is a full bar for some socializing with the other guests and comfortable indoor and outdoor lounge areas so you have a communal space no matter the weather.
- Luxury interior design
- Spacious rooms
- Private balcony with certain cabins
- Available for charter
- Food selection could be better
- Alcoholic drinks are pricey
7. Most Options Available: Katarina Line Premium Class
The Katarina Line consists of several premium class liveaboard ships. In this fleet, you find the biggest cruise ships on our list with some fitting up to 45 guests in en-suite cabins.
This larger fleet also gives you more freedom in the itinerary with a choice between 7 different cruises along the Dalmatian coast. You can embark on 3 different ports, Dubrovnik, Split and Opatija, and spend the rest of your day’s onboard island hopping.
The crew organizes several activities that let you explore the clear waters, relax onboard or get a taste of the culture with afternoons and evenings docked in quaint towns and quiet islands. Think of wine and olive oil tasting in Brac, and cycling to get a different viewpoint of the islands.
You get all this flexibility and planned activity for a very affordable price, in fact, this is one of the lowest budget options in our top 10.
- Very affordable
- Bicycles available
- Outdated indoor dining room
8. Best Itinerary: Diamond Cruise Ship
One of the perks of booking a cruise is that you have your entire vacation planned out and organized for you while still having the freedom to explore for yourself. That is one of the reasons why guests of the Diamond recommend spending your visit to Croatia with them.
On the itinerary is a visit to the Blue Cave on Bisevo island, a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik historic quarters, and snorkeling on Korcula island. You will get a chance to visit all the must-see sights in Croatia.
The Diamond is one of the largest ships on this list with a capacity of up to 40 people in 20 cabins. The rooms are simple but comfortable with a television in each one.
Guests were very pleased with the half-board meals provided but the crew also suggests you dive into local Croatian cuisine during the evening stops in historic towns.
- Stops at all top sightseeing spots
- Nice bathrooms
- No sea-view cabins available
9. Best Design: Aquamarin
The Aquamarin is one of the most beautiful ships on our list with lush seating in the common rooms and a cozy interior in the cabins. Each room is amenable to a twin or double bed and has all the basic amenities and a modern en-suite bathroom.
Guests fell in love with the snorkeling and swimming spots in the Adriatic Sea. The Adriatic cruises small ships also take you to a long quaint town where you can try local dishes each night.
The available itineraries are all 8 days and 7 nights which take you to all the best spots to visit along the Dalmatian islands. Experience a combination of luxury amenities with fun social activities.
Included in the package is breakfast and 4-course lunch, welcome cocktails, day trips on land, and snorkeling gear. You can also request additional drinks and alcoholic beverages at an extra charge.
- Great design
- Organized excursions
- Snorkel equipment included
- Rooms with balcony available
- Only free soft drinks during meals
10. With on-board Pool: Ave Maria Cruise Ship
Of course, one of the main reasons to visit Croatia is the Adriatic sea but sometimes it is also okay to want to stay on-board. In this case, you can still cool off thanks to the mini-pool that is on the deck of the Ave Maria.
This is one of the more luxurious options with beautiful marble en-suite bathrooms and cozy rooms with a sofa. The cabins are family-friendly with the option to expand into a triple.
Guests of the Ave Maria appreciate the design of the ship and how the crew organized fun trips while still allowing plenty of time for relaxation. In short, it is everything that you want from a summer vacation.
- Great design
- Family cabins available
- Upper deck cabins with large window available
- Tender ship
- Shorter sailing season compared to other cruises