The cruise ship I am working on stopped in Dubrovnik, the capital city of Croatia. As this was my first time in Dubrovnik I was very excited to see the ancient city that has so much hype around it. A lot of recommendations had been made to me on things to do while in the city. A group of crew members had booked a Kayaking tour around the city walls, and as this was something I had never done in any place it seemed like a brilliant way to get a unique view of the city.
From the cruise terminal, there is a bus (provided by the cruise line) that will take you to the centre of Dubrovnik in 20 minutes, with traffic.
We wandered into the old town to grab a bite to eat before making our way down to the ocean. I was taken aback when entering the old town at how beautiful it all was. We stopped off at a little bakery, where we each purchased a pastry to keep us going till after the excursion. Wandering through the streets I noticed all the stunning flowers that brought life the beige stone walls. The sun reflecting off the limestone gave the city a beautiful glow.
After pushing through the crowds we eventually came to the starting point for the kayak tour. We were given a brief safety talk and then instructed to change into our swimwear. The group of 16 split into pairs and selected a kayak. Initially, the boat was very rocky as Louis and I got in but, the deeper we got, the more stable it became.
Once out in the open water, we had a spectacular view of Dubrovnik. The instructor sped past all of us and waved us on. It took a while for me to get the rhythm of my paddle stroke in sync with Louis, so consistency we weren’t going in a straight line. Gliding past the city walls it was incredible to see Dubrovnik from the water. Our guide pointed out where Game of Thrones was filmed which got us all excited. The enormous limestone walls were enchanting.
After about 1 hr of kayaking, we came to a cave where we all parked our kayaks, got out and had a snorkel. The crystal water was filled with multicoloured fish gathered around the rocks which were wonderful to see. The coral was also very colourful and exciting, but far enough down so I didn’t have to worry about catching my foot on it. The 16 of us swam really far out so we could bob about in the sea and marvel over the beautiful city above us. Coming back into the cave we were all given a banana and a bottle of water to munch on as we walked around the cave.
After the cave, we got back in the kayaks and had a little trip across the sea to the next island. I say little as it was probably 2 miles in which we raced amongst each other. Everyone was chanting and sweeping their paddles through the sea, building momentum. There were screams of excitement coming from the kayaks as we got closer to the to a small island, which was solitary in the middle of the sea. Louis and I gave it a good go but we came 4th, which considering there were 8 groups of two wasn’t too bad. The closer we got to the island we realised, “ah.. its a nudist island”. We all cracked up laughing as we saw the many men standing proudly, with one hand on their hip letting it all hang out, and I could see just one woman amongst all the males, tanning herself. Oh, I had to laugh. It just seemed so random. A small island in the middle of the sea, with loads of naked locals on it.
We kayaked around to the other side of this small island to find a rock where (if we wanted to) we could jump off. I decided to stay in my kayak as my arms were so tired and I thought ‘if I get out, I ain’t getting back in.’ A few of the boys from our group opted to give it a go and there were a few Croatian’s up there already. You could tell who had jumped off this cliff edge before. The Croatians jumped in a perfect streamlined pencil shape compared to the Brits, who were tuck jumping with flailing arms until they hit the water with a great smack. It was funny to watch though, and credit to them, the cliff was about 40 ft high, so even if my arms weren’t hurting, I doubt I would have jumped.
From here, we had a continuous 2 hours kayak back to the city. My arms were so tired and we were all shattered, so to take our minds off the aches Louis and I started singing ‘Freaky Friday’ by Chris Brown. I didn’t think anyone would be able to hear us over the sound of the waves crashing against the kayaks, but after receiving a few odd looks we figured we could be heard, so we then started to sing louder.
When floating back into shore some people turned to look with the sound of us singing, and we finally could stop paddling. Everyone showered in the outdoor shower, and put their dry clothes on over their swimwear. We walked up to the hill towards the old town already for one thing – Food. We found a wonderful Mexican restaurant where I had empanadas. It was brilliant. Half the group was made up of Mexicans, so if they thought the food was good, it must be right
After filling our stomachs, half the group went back to the ship so that they had time to have a nap before they started work, which left 5 of us who decided to go to a bar. We went into a small pub called The Beer Factory in the old town and, you guessed it, drank beer. After a few beers and many laughs later we made our way back to the ship.
It was such a wonderful day in Croatia. If you are a water baby like myself I would highly recommend getting a group of friends together and doing the kayak tour. It’s a great way to see the city, and if you are with a good group of people its a real laugh.
How much was the tour
£26 each (which I thought was a great price for the length of time)
What to take for the tour
Money (for food and the tour)
How long is the tour