The Futura Cruise for a Special Occasion
by Ranko and Maja Zunic
The Futura alongiside at Hvar harbor
You’ll need more than one trip to discover the 101 delights of Dalmatia - the rugged coastline of Croatia, protected by a gorgeous Adriatic archipelago and backed by the dramatic mountains.
We have sailed earlier on the northern route, leaving the central area hopefully for another occasion. This summer we took the southern route, and asked our good friends Rita and Massimo Brandinali, from Bologna, Italy, to be our guests.
Starting from Split, where Maja and I traveled to on the day we married in Dubrovnik, 50 years ago - well dressed, spending the first wedding night in deck chairs on a coastal liner. Now we are in jeans, having deluxe accommodations and service for 7 days.
Nearly 2,000 years ago the Riva, one of Europe’s finest seafront promenades, won the heart of Roman Emperor Diocletian who hoofed it to Split after he abdicated. A guided tour takes us in his footsteps, visiting his palace, a lavish colossus with vaulted basements and a graceful colonnaded courtyard, Peristil, is the town’s most remarkable man-made attraction. Walking out through the Old City, you squeeze down the narrow Pusti me da Prodjem (Let me Pass) streets.
Captain Damir Naranca did us a favor and passed by the Zunic family home in Sumartin on the Island of Brac, and we sent our greetings by the ship's horn and a wave.
On the visits to Split, Korcula and Trstenik, Pelješac we met with our old friends, while in Dubrovnik, for a day and two nights, it was too short a time to greet all the friends and Maja’s family.
Maja with Rita and Massimo, talking (probably) about Dubrovnik's history
The highlight of the cruise was the visit to Palmizana Island; an exciting taxi boat ride on Mistral waves from the town of Hvar, and dining on fresh local seafood and wine. Captain’s dinner followed on the last night of the cruise, while the vessel was resting alongside at Bol, island of Brac. At the table, Captain Naranca is the first on the right, then Massimo and Rita, tour manager Tanja, myself and Maja, and Spanish guests, Ana and Tomas.
One of the topics at the table was our common satisfaction with the cruise: a variety of destinations, from the Mljet National Park, the vineyards and wineries of Grgic and Milicic on the Pelješac Peninsula to historic and cultural centers like Split and Dubrovnik.
According to Massimo and Rita "... the Futura is an elegant yacht; everything was spotless and shiny, a welcoming and courteous crew, spacious cabin with two picture windows made it very bright, good food Mediterranean style, generous buffet breakfasts ...". Since 2003, Massimo and Rita have booked with us at Maris five long roundtrip voyages on freighters, including an around-the-world cruise:
Mr. and Mrs. Brandinali on the CMA CGM Utrillo, World Cruise 2005
Neptune blessing passengers and cadets on crossing the Equator for the first time,
and dining with fellow passengers and officers
What attracts them to freighters is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere among passengers, officers and crew, similar to what we found here on the Futura in a small group of 27 guests, coming from Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and the USA. On larger cruise ships, by contrast, this quality is lost, as is the intimacy with the sea and nature.
Early in the morning, before the vessel sailed from Bol back to Split, Maja and I disembarked to spend a couple of days in Sumartin with relatives and friends, and a night at the Hotel Osejava in Makarska, where we lodged 50 years ago following the night traveling at sea and sleeping in deck chairs.
Thanks to the support received from our customers, as well as from the steamship lines and media, including the following comments, today's Maris is one of the leading independent freighter cruise specialists:
"Maris is sailing with fair winds and following seas under your command."
"Q: It has always been my dream to take a long voyage on a cargo ship. Can you tell me if this is possible any more? - A: Maris in New York offers such voyages on a daily basis."
"Maris Freighter Cruises website, as well as the newsletter which illustrates itineraries, ships, prices etc., is a good place to learn about this type of cruise and travel."
New York Times
"We are very appreciative of the work you have undertaken on our behalf for many years and the effort you have put into making our passenger service a success ... Our sincere and grateful thanks."
"As a faithful reader of your Seaworthy News publication, I wish to compliment you and your staff on the informativeness and thoroughness, setting forth in honest and detailed manner descriptions of this means of travel."
Retired Manager Passenger Services,
American President Lines - Feb/07
"I just wanted to send you my thanks for the beautiful news publication you produce all these years. I hope you'll keep freighter travel as your primary focus always, as it sets you apart."
(Member since '95)
New Lisbon, NJ
"Truly appreciate your resourcefulness. Thank you for your assiduousness in working through this with me."
Thomas T. McMahon
Gig Harbor, WA
"Since 1971, when my three young children and I travelled up the West Coast of Africa, I have had the pleasure of occasional freighter voyage. A wonderful way to see, and enjoy the peace of the watery parts of, our world. Thank you so much and your family for choosing to run your freighter cruise agency."
San Diego, CA
Become a member of Maris Freighter Travel Club Int'l -
or give a gift membership
Take advantage of the knowledgeable advice that comes from our vast experience, starting by reviewing the recommended pages. Find the freighter and voyage that's right for you and, for each booking, you will receive a discount of up to $800, depending on the steamship line and voyage. Please see the Special Discounts page.
To subscribe simply pay the fee by credit card.
You'll also receive our online newsletter called Seaworthy News, featuring passenger firsthand stories and news, issued periodically as it happens. It's a well-illustrated e-mail publication often being the only one available anywhere for many of these voyages.
The same low price (in USD) is valid internationally.
By placing your order, you agree with our Terms
MARIS of Westport, CT Freighter Travel Club Int'l (Since 1958) Freighter & Specialty Cruises (Since 1993)
1 203 936-7447 / 1 800 99-Maris
Maris USA 84-1320 State Route 9
Champlain, NY 12919 (USA mail)
Maris Int'l 2203-350 de Maisonneuve Blvd W
Montreal, QC H3A 0B4
Canada (Int'l mail)