From Venice to Athens: dream cruise on the Adriatic

Waking up in the morning lulled by the waves as the sun rises outside. Open the cabin curtains and contemplate a different corner of the Adriatic every day: small ports, solitary beaches, islands, even fjords.

Sailing the familiar, but always new and surprising, waters of this arm of the Mediterranean, between the Italian, Slovenian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Greek coasts, from north to south, from Venice to AthensPassing by Ravenna, Hvar, Kotor, Brindisi, THE Salento, and then perhaps follow the reverse route, from south to north, from the Hellenic capital to the Serenissima.

It’s the journey of discovery and relaxation aboard the ship Explora I by Explora Journeys, luxury brand of MSc Groupwhich sails – literally – against the tide of traditional business standards.

The Explora I ship of the Explora Journeys fleet

From Ravenna to Hvar

You leave the lacy horizon of the Venetian lagoon towards Ravennawith the feeling of being on board a floating boutique hotel.

We visit UNESCO protected churches decorated with Byzantine mosaics, from the mausoleum of Galla Placidia to the basilicas of San Vitale and Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and en Classe.

On the other side, the Croatian island of Hvar this is the opportunity to venture hiking on the coast, stopping along the beaches overlooking a bottle-green sea. But you can also fill up on colors in the lavender fields of Brusjethe western plateau where flowering is spectacular this season.

More to the south Kotora Montenegrin town made of white stone, is one of the surprises of the trip, located at the end of Boka Kotorskathe southernmost fjord in Europe, with its stone streets framed by Venetian palaces.

The more sporty can venture out on kayak excursions in the bay, floating on water as placid as that of a lake.

Explora I, the luxury ship of Explora Journeys

No crowds on the Explora I, the first of six ships in the group expected in the coming years. The 461 suites have private balconies and terraces, to always stay in contact with the sea.

The design of the interior spaces – where there is no shortage of icons from great masters like Gio Ponti – combines with that of the exterior terraces, between poolside cabanas and sofas with a view of the sunset.

On board, in each of the 18 corners dedicated to aperitifs and cooking, small theatrical events are staged, such as the cascade of pink flowers above the tables of the Sakura restaurant (which means cherry blossom in Japanese). , or the chef's kitchen for an intimate experience, reserved for a maximum of 12 guests, among the flavors, colors and ingredients of the different gastronomic traditions encountered during the navigation.

Deckchairs on the terrace by the pool

From Lecce to Athens

In the evening, the boat leaves for Toasts: from there you can get there in half an hour Leccecapital of Apulian baroque and pasticciotto filled with cream and baked in the oven.

Arrival in Greece is announced by the beaches of Lefkadaembraced by white cliffs, it is then the coast of the Peloponnese which punctuates the navigation, up to Athens.

It's the last day of the trip: on board you can relax on the cabanas and sofas by the pool, but you can also book a dinner at the restaurant in your suite with balcony or private terrace, so you never miss the enchantment of the sea.

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Erri De Luca wrote that “journeys are those by sea with boats… The horizon must be empty and must separate the sky from the water. You must have nothing around and the immensity must weigh on it, so it’s a journey.” How can you blame him?


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