The moment you spot red tile-roofed Dubrovnik from your Holland American Line ship, you’ll understand why the UNESCO-designated Old Town is called the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” A Mediterranean cruise with Holland America Line introduces you to Croatia’s many other charms as well, from the Roman-built Diocletian’s Palace in Split — another UNESCO World Heritage Site — to the lavender-scented island of Hvar and Rijeka for tours of the 13th-century Trsat Castle and a family-owned olive oil estate.

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Zadar, Croatia

It may sound like the name of a distant planet, but the only things out of this world about Zadar are its seaside views, delicious Croatian-Mediterranean cuisine and the warm welcome when you arrive in this Croatian town. Perched on a peninsula extending into the Adriatic, Zadar was a crossroads in the ancient world and a cornerstone of the Venetian Empire. Layers of history and art are everywhere. While some 60 percent of the city was destroyed in World War II, it has been meticulously restored. From the new tourist port, Gaženica, to the cobblestoned streets of the old town, Zadar dazzles visitors once again.