Steve Cushman, Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va.

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$4,195 per person, double occupancy, land only

per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from New York or Boston. (Includes $689 airline taxes and departure fees.)

$5,584 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Washington DC. (Includes $689 airline taxes and departure fees.)

$5,784 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Charlottesville. (Includes $689 airline taxes and departure fees.)
Other gateway cities are available upon request.

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Join Professor Steve Cushman as the Democratic Croatia welcomes us as visitors eager to absorb its remarkable history and culture – and its beautiful and unspoiled Dalmatian coastline. As our small group travels from historic Zagreb and beautiful Lake Bled to the Habsburg resort of Opatija, the island of Hvar, and beloved Dubrovnik, we see why this cherished region lays such a claim on the hearts of all who visit.

Program Highlights

  • Exclusive departure for the University of Virginia
  • Small group size limited to 22 guests
  • See Historic Zagreb and Scenic Lake Bled
  • Visit Vibrant Ljubljana and Postojna Cave
  • Tour the Istrian Peninsula
  • Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • View the dramatic Dalmatian coastline and see Diocletian’s Palace, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Stroll Charming Opatija
  • Enjoy a Two-night stay on the island of Hvar and a three-night stay in Dubrovnik, in a superbly located hotel


Steve Cushman, Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va.

Steve CushmanStephen Cushman is the Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at U.Va., where he has taught since 1982. With a B.A. from Cornell and a Ph.D. from Yale, he has brought to the English Department his commitment to American literature, modern literature, poetry, literature and the environment, and the American Civil War. His teaching has been honored with an All-University Teaching Award, the first Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the Cavalier Distinguished Teaching Professorship, and a State Council of Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. A poet as well as a scholar, he has published ten books, most recently *Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War* (University of North Carolina Press) and *The Red List: A Poem* (Louisiana State University Press).


Day 1 - Thursday, September 29

Depart the U.S. for Zagreb, Croatia

Day 2 - Friday, September 30

Arrive Zagreb

DalmatiaAfter a connecting flight in Europe, we arrive in Zagreb today and transfer by motorcoach to our hotel, where there’s time to relax. Tonight we meet our fellow travelers and learn about the journey ahead as we gather for a briefing and welcome dinner.

Accommodations: Regent Esplanade
Meals: Dinner (D)

Day 3 - Saturday, October 1


This morning’s tour of the Croatian capital by coach and on foot reveals a gracious city of culture and hospitality. We visit Mirogoj Park Cemetery, known for its arcades and sculpture; then continue through Old Town with a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Our last stop is at the colorful Dolac open-air food and produce market. The remainder of the day is free for lunch on our own and to explore this delightful city as we wish. You’ll want to take in Trg Jelacica, the Austro-Hungarian style main square surrounded by restaurants, cafés, and shops; and visit Tkalciceva, the popular street where everyone in Zagreb ultimately gathers. Tonight we dine at a local restaurant.

Regent Esplanade (B,D)

Day 4 - Sunday, October 2

Zagreb/Lake Bled, Slovenia/Ljubljana

DalmatiaOur excursion this morning takes us northwest to the town of Bled, Slovenia, whose namesake lake is the stuff of fairytales. Surrounded by the Julian Alps and deep forests, and with a medieval castle perched on its shore, the almost mile-wide lake ranks as a popular tourist destination. We have free time for lunch on our own and to savor the beauty of this pastoral haven in the mountains’ foothills. Then we tour the castle with striking views of the crystalline lake below, and enjoy a boat ride on its placid waters. Late this afternoon we set off for Ljubljana, capital city and cultural center of Slovenia, arriving in time for dinner at our hotel.

Grand Hotel Union (B,D)

Day 5 - Monday, October 3


This morning’s walking tour reveals the charming heart of this friendly, mid-sized European capital with ornate façades, romantic bridges, a historic city center, and abundant parkland. Then the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration and to enjoy lunch and dinner on your own. You may wish to spend more time in Old Town, the Austrian-influenced historic city center with a pleasing mix of 3 Renaissance, Baroque and art nouveau styles and ancient Roman monuments, or perhaps visit medieval Ljubljana Castle overlooking the city. Or you may seek out some of the city’s museums, galleries, and historic houses; your Tour Director will be happy to offer suggestions.

Grand Hotel Union (B)

Day 6 - Tuesday, October 4

Ljubljana/Postojna/Opatija, Croatia

DalmatiaEn route to Opatija today, we stop to explore Postojna Cave, the almost 13-mile long karst cave system where an electric train takes us deeper than is possible in any other cave in the world. Then after free time for lunch on our own, we continue on to Opatija, the Croatian seaside resort where princes once vacationed. Considered the quintessential Habsburg holiday spot, Opatija saw its glory days in the early 20th century as a seaside escape for royalty and their hangers-on. Today the former fishing village offers up its charms to local sun-seekers and international visitors. This afternoon our Tour Director brings us on a short orientation walking tour of the area surrounding our hotel before we enjoy dinner together.

The Bristol Hotel (B, D)

Day 7 - Wednesday, October 5

Opatija/Istrian Peninsula

We embark this morning on a daylong tour of the Istrian Peninsula, a scenic region that still reflects its diverse cultural roots. At various times throughout its history belonging to Venice, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Fascist Italy, the Yugoslav Federation, and now, Croatia, Istra, as it is known, boasts an interesting history, a mild Mediterranean climate, lovely scenery, and good wines. We stop in the ancient port of Pula to visit the well-preserved remains of a Roman amphitheater (circa 177 BCE), once a site of gladiator spectacles. We continue on to Rovinj, the “blue pearl” of the Adriatic and a charming old Venetian port, where you have free time to explore on your own and perhaps enjoy lunch at an outdoor café. After returning to Opatija late this afternoon, we dine together tonight at a local restaurant.

The Bristol Hotel (B, D)

Day 8 - Thursday, October 6


DalmatiaWe explore the “Opatija Riviera” this morning, beginning here with a walking tour in the former Habsburg vacation retreat – and modern-day resort town – nestled between green forested hills and the cobalt Adriatic. Then we continue on to nearby Moscenicka, a former fishing village that now draws visitors to its tranquil por and beautiful pebble beaches.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we return to Opatija where the remainder of the day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 9 - Friday, October 7

Opatija/Plitvice Lakes/Trogir

We travel south this morning for an excursion to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Famed for its string of 16 turquoise- colored lakes connected by a series of waterfalls and cascades, separated by distinctive travertine deposits, and surrounded by dense forests, Plitvice counts as one of UNESCO’s first natural sites and Croatia’s largest national park. Late afternoon we depart for Trogir, arriving early this evening in time for dinner at our hotel. (B,D)

Day 10 - Saturday, October 8


DalmatiaThis morning we travel by motorcoach to Split, the main city of the central Dalmatian Coast and home of Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we see on our guided tour, the palace, and eventually its ruins, formed the historic heart of picturesque Split. Construction began in 295 CE and continued for 10 years; the Emperor’s extravagance resulted in a massive structure sprawling over seven acres, with walls as high as 72 feet. Here you’ll have time for lunch on your own before we board our ferry for the two-hour cruise to the beautiful Mediterranean island of Hvar, “queen” of the Dalmatians and one of several islands forming “The Hvar Group.” Strategically located in the midst of several major Adriatic sea routes, Hvar boasts cultural influences left behind by centuries of invaders including Greek, Roman, Venetian, Turkish, Austrian, and French. Today Hvar is both a popular holiday spot and well known for its wine, lavender, and honey. Upon arrival we travel by coach to lively Hvar town, where we spend the next two nights. We dine tonight at a local restaurant just a short walk from our hotel.

Adriana Hotel Hvar (B, D)

Day 11 - Sunday, October 9


With captivating natural beauty of rich vegetation and peaceful coves and islets, and a strategic Adriatic location, Hvar has prospered since antiquity. We discover some of its charms this morning, first on a walking tour of Venetian-tinged Hvar town then with a walking tour of nearby Stari Grad, one of Croatia’s oldest cities. Nestled between fragrant fields of lavender and the sea, Stari Grad dates to 385 BCE, when it was founded by Greeks from the island of Paros. After some free time for independent exploration, we return to our hotel for lunch together followed by an afternoon and evening at leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Adriana Hotel Hvar (B, L)

Day 12 - Monday, October 10


We continue our journey south today, leaving Hvar for the mainland via ferry then traveling via coach along the scenic Dalmatian coast to popular and beloved Dubrovnik. After reaching our hotel late afternoon, this evening is at leisure for us to get our first look at this medieval gem and for dinner on our own.

Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik (B, L)

Day 13 - Tuesday, October 11


Today’s exploration of Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town starts with a walking tour, beginning with the ancient city walls. Dating to the 12th and 13th centuries, the stone walls and ramparts have protected Dubrovnik from both invaders and the sea for hundreds of years. We stop to visit the stately Cathedral, designed in 1672 but not completed until 1731; the Treasury, whose historic relics sit atop gilded shelves; and the 14th -century Franciscan Monastery complex whose cloister boasts decorative arches topped with sculptures of animals and human heads. We also see the Franciscan pharmacy, Europe’s oldest – it was established in 1317 and still operates today. Returning to our hotel, we have an afternoon at leisure or time for independent exploration, with lunch and dinner on our own.

Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik (B)

Day 14 - Wednesday, October 12


Today is at leisure to explore and enjoy Dubrovnik as you wish. Dubrovnik offers discoveries aplenty, including the tiny synagogue dating to the 15th century, historic Sponza Palace, the Maritime Museum, Luza Square, and the Rector’s Palace. Your tour director will be pleased to offer suggestions, or you can simply return to Old Town for strolling, shopping, museum-going, or watching the theater of daily life from a sidewalk café along pedestrian-only Stradun. Late this afternoon we set out to enjoy a small group highlight: a farewell dinner with a local family whose home overlooks Dubrovnik. Our menu features produce from their garden, homemade olive oil, and local wine.

Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik (B,D)

Day 15 - Thursday, October 13

Return to U.S.

This morning we transfer to the airport for our return flights to the U.S.



This trip involves considerable walking: uphill, on uneven or cobblestone streets, and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy this trip to the fullest.

We will do our best to adhere to our printed itinerary. Occasionally, though, unexpected obstacles – or opportunities – may arise that will force us to deviate from the itinerary as written. We would ask you to be open-minded and flexible should we vary the itinerary slightly. In addition, please note that airline schedules are subject to change. We will provide you with updated flight information closer to your departure.

For Land Only Guests

When you purchase Pearls of Dalmatia as “land only,” airport transfers and luggage handling at the arrival and departure airports at the beginning and end of the tour are not included. However, should you be at the arrival airport concurrent with the group of arriving Odysseys Unlimited travelers and see the signs for our motorcoach transfer, you are welcome to transfer with the group at no charge, providing additional seating is available. However, please note that the motorcoach cannot wait for you; you must be aboard when the coach is leaving. Similarly, when departing from the last hotel for your flight home, you are also welcome to take advantage of the group transfer, provided there is room and you are on board when the coach is leaving.

It is important to note, however, that a motorcoach may not be used for transfers in all cases. Depending upon the number of guests arriving or departing, we may utilize taxis or smaller vans. At such times, space restrictions will preclude your joining the group transfer and you will be responsible for your own transportation to or from the airport.

For Guests Taking the

DAYS 15–17 – October 13-15

There’s no need to go anywhere: you’re right at home for the next three nights at the Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik, your base for exploring the “Pearl of the Adriatic” as you please. If you wish to soak up the Mediterranean sun seaside and bathe in the warm waters, head to Banje, the city beach, or Sveti Jakov, a bit further down the coast. Or if an island excursion suits your fancy, board a boat to Mljet, hailed as the greenest island off Dubrovnik’s coast and where legend has it that Odysseus spent seven years as Calypso’s captive; here you’ll find abundant natural beauty with a national park and several saltwater lakes, along with Roman ruins and quaint villages. You may choose to take a day cruise to the picturesque and sparsely inhabited Elafiti Islands where the pace of life slows amidst pine forests, stone houses, citrus orchards, and olive groves. For stunning views of Dubrovnik and its coastline, take the cable car to the summit of Mount Srd and marvel at the panorama from the heights. And of course, you have no shortage of options in this city replete with history and charm: atmospheric Old Town with its medieval architecture, shops and cafés on the Stradun, museums …

Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik (B)

DAY 18 – October 16
Return to the U.S.

This morning you’ll transfer to the airport and board your return flight to the United States.



  • Regent Esplanade
    Dating to 1925, the iconic art nouveau Regent Esplanade is one of Zagreb’s best known buildings. Hotel facilities include two restaurants, bar, and lounge; casino; health club with fitness center, sauna, and massage; internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.
  • Grand Hotel Union
    Opened in 1905 following the Great Earthquake and now a city landmark, the art nouveau Grand Hotel Union stands in the heart of Ljubljana. The 194-room hotel offers three restaurants, bar, and café; fitness center with indoor swimming pool, saunas, and massage treatments; beauty salon; jeweler; gift shop; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, TV, and phone.
  • Hotel Bristol
    Well located in the center of Opatija just steps from the Adriatic, the historic 78-room Hotel Bristol reflects its former imperial glory with an elegant façade, Habsburg-era décor, wrought iron moldings, and large windows. The hotel, which was built in 1906 and recently renovated, features such amenities as a restaurant, Viennese-style café, and bar; fitness center, sauna, and spa treatments; Wi-Fi internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning services,. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.
  • The Trogir Palace Hotel
    Opened in 2008, The Trogir Palace Hotel is located on the island of Čiovo a short walk from Trogir’s historic town center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 36-room boutique hotel’s amenities include a restaurant with terrace, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Each air-conditioned guest room has a balcony with sea view, private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.
  • Adriana Hotel Hvar
    Croatia’s only hotel belonging to The Leading Small Hotels of the World, the 59-room Adriana enjoys a prime location: it sits on the main Promenade, facing the old city center and within sight of the yacht harbor and bay, the Cathedral, Arsenal, and Venetian piazza. Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, rooftop terrace with heated indoor and outdoor seawater pools, fitness center with spa, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone. Please note that the rooms here are less spacious than elsewhere on your tour as the hotel is in the center of the waterfront district.
  • Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik (also used for Optional Post-Tour Extension)
    Well located just outside the Pila Gate entrance to Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town, the Hilton Imperial offers views of the Adriatic and Old Town. Hotel amenities include restaurant and bar, fitness center with jogging track and sunlit indoor pool, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, gift shop, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.


24 meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners

Program Fees

$ 4,195 per person, double occupancy, land only.
A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $995 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Price includes:
Exclusive departure for University of Virginia Alumni & Parent Travel
• Small group size limited to 22 guests
• 13 nights’ accommodations in listed properties
• 24 meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners
• Extensive sightseeing as described in day-by-day itinerary, including all entrance fees
• Services of a dedicated Tour Director
• Private motorcoach transportation throughout the trip
• Luggage handling for one bag per person
• Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Does not include:

    Gratuities for the Tour Director (left to individual discretion but suggested gratuity: $10-$15 per day per traveler)
    Anything that is not specifically listed as included.

$ 5,384 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from New York or Boston. (Includes $689 airline taxes and departure fees.)

$ 5,784 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Charlottesville. (Includes $689 airline taxes and departure fees.)

Other gateway cities are available upon request.

Dubrovnik extension- On Your Own (4 days/3 nights) – $545 per person, double occupancy.
Extension single supplement – $395.
Includes 3 nights accommodations at the Hilton Imperial Hotel Dubrovnik (Superior First Class); 3 breakfasts; Transfer to the airport.

General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as a payment of a $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (June 26, 2016) before departure.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare when purchasing a land only tour package; costs of passports and visas, if required; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a land only tour package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuity: $10-$15 per day per traveler); travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline prior to departure.

Cancellation and Refunds: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge; Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price; Cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price; Cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund. If a guest makes any changes between 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.

Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchase transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in fairly good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. If you require the use of a wheelchair or have other personal needs, you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information: Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities and contracts with those airlines they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air scheduled approximately 2 ½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and departure fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, land only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservation, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.