Dubrovnik Declared Best Cruise Destination in Eastern Mediterranean

Lauren Simmonds

As Dubrovnik battles with the realities of its cruise ship problem, it seems the adoration for the Peal of the Adriatic from the nautical tourism world just keeps on flooding in…

Dubrovnik residents have long since had enormous issues with cruise ships. There are too many. There are too many at once. They harm the environment. They’re too big. They take up too much space. The list goes on and on. 

It’s hard to come across anyone in Croatia’s southernmost destination with nothing to say about the cruise ships docked in Gruž, offloading and then taking away thousands upon thousands of day trippers eager to get a short but sweet taste of Croatia’s most celebrated and by far most famous tourism gem. Unfortunately, while this does bring in quick cash, it also causes enormous traffic problems, a lack of stock on local shop shelves, a lack of space in the city, and several wagging fingers from UNESCO, to whom Dubrovnik’s glorious Old Town owes its protection.

The prestigious UNESCO title that Dubrovnik loves to use in its promotional CV has been under threat for quite some time, with numerous rather depressing warnings coming from the very top of the internationally respected organisation owing to Dubrovnik’s bizarre love/hate relationship with unbridled tourism. 

As the masses pour in, typically from passing cruise ships, the mighty medieval walls suffer, as does the city’s entire infrastructure which was simply never designed or constructed to be able to take and deal with such massive volumes of people. While Dubrovnik chokes under the pressure of mass human traffic, and its residents are forced to question whether or not they’re able to leave the house today, the love from the cruise ship world just keeps on pouring in. 

Mato Franković, the current mayor of the city, has attempted to tackle this pressing issue in several ways for while now, by limiting the amount of people allowed to be in the city’s historic core at any one time, and even going as far as to write to cruise companies, asking for their understanding. Despite trying to avoid the explosive relationship with cruise tourism that Venice recently took up, it doesn’t seem like Dubrovnik’s magnetism for giant vessels is going to fizzle out any time soon.

As Morski writes on the 25th of July, 2018, according to the top cruise portal “Cruise Critic”, Dubrovnik has been declared the best cruise destination in the Eastern Mediterranean category for the second consecutive year, as was reported by the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ).


The significance of the Cruisers’ Choice Destination Award is all the more important given the fact that the individual voters from this popular web portal are seasoned cruise travel enthusiasts, who described Croatia’s southernmost city as a destination of exceptionally rich cultural and historical heritage. Behind Dubrovnik in the aforementioned category, lie Kotor (Montenegro), Venice (Italy), Santorini, and Rhodes (Greece).

The specialised cruising oriented portal “Cruise Critic” is otherwise known as one of the key places for the sharing of related information and knowledge on all things cruising and cruise tourism. It is the most popular world cruising portal launched way back in 1995 by The Independent Traveler, a subsidiary of the well respected travel giant TripAdvisor.

The portal is intended for fans of this segment of tourism in particular, boasting more than 350,000 cruise reviews and hosting the world’s largest online cruise community where travelers share information, their experiences, and their varying opinions on particular cruising trips.


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