Normally, I’d give an experience like the one provided by Unforgettable Croatia high marks, but in this age of Covid, their trips and the planning that go into them are simply crucial to travel, and thus deserve a 5 star rating.
A small group trip is essential to an exceptional travel experience because large groups must take extraordinary measures, perhaps unnecessarily so, to confront the Covid challenge. I spoke with a passenger aboard a Viking ship, in port during a stop we made. They said this was the first stop that they were allowed to go maskless while OUTSIDE. They endured frequent PCR tests onboard and were unable to stray from the group in town. None of these measures were required with our small group.
Our cruise manage took precautions of course, taking temps daily and testing anyone with symptoms, but the group was small and manageable, and the crew and passengers were all vaccinated- not like the challenge facing the big ships with hundreds of passengers.
Also, this ship (Markan) could go into ports and dock at local marinas- an easy walk to downtown. We only saw the large boats in Split and Dubrovnik. Staying overnight in towns that come alive at night is a special treat. I will forever treasure life aboard yacht class ships and the nightlife we experienced.
A special treat were the swim stops included most days. What an experience that brought us all together! The clear, cold water of the Adriatic was a wonderful addition to the days activities!
More than anything else, I think the appeal of an intimate group is the real purpose of travel. To meet and discuss experiences with others who share a love of discovering new places and cultures is not only rewarding, it is the essence of why we travel.