Four U.S. Operators Return to Tour Croatia's Dalmatia Region

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Reed Travel Features

NEW YORK -- Four U.S. tour operators -- General Tours, Blue Heart, Travcoa and Atlas Travel -- will visit Croatia's Dalmatian region this year, one of Europe's most popular coastal resorts before war broke out in Yugoslavia in 1990.

General has not offered Croatia itineraries since 1990; Blue Heart and Travcoa returned last summer, close on the heels of the war's end in November 1995, and Atlas, Croatia's largest travel firm, greatly enhanced its product in anticipation of a post-war rebound.

General's program also will be available through Delta Dream Vacations.

Helena Novak, director of sales and marketing for General, said Dubrovnik was always a top seller for the company, "similar to Prague [the Czech Republic] in its reputation for beauty but with a resort atmosphere because it's on the Adriatic."

Novak acknowledged that it probably will take a couple of seasons before Americans returned in great numbers to Croatia.

"People still think in terms of Yugoslavia and the war. It's hard just to get the name Croatia known," she said.

General's eight-night tour spends two nights in Dubrovnik before traveling by ferry to the islands of Hvar and Korcula.

The escorted tour, with first class accommodations, is priced at $1,999 per person, double. It includes roundtrip air from New York, daily breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner.

General also added Dubrovnik, Zagreb and Medjugorjie, a religious shrine, to its city packages for independent travelers.

To book, call (800) 221-2216.

Last year Blue Heart combined Croatia's Istria and Dalmatia, but this year, executive Neeta Helms said, "We decided that Dalmatia was so beautiful we could only do it justice by having a tour devoted exclusively to the region."

Blue Heart's Croatia tour attracted 35 clients last year, which is better than Helms expected so soon after the war.

This year, she said, she expects several hundred travelers to opt for Blue Heart's six-night escorted tour.

Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian coast program overnights in Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar and Split.

It is priced at $1,399, double, with first class hotels, roundtrip air from New York and daily breakfasts and dinners.

Additionally, Blue Heart now includes Dubrovnik in its 10-night central Europe program, which visits Prague; Vienna, Austria, and Budapest, Hungary.

For reservations, call (800) 882-0025.

Travcoa will feature Dubrovnik, Korcula and Hvar in Albania and the Adriatic, a tour it offered last year.

The three-week program, priced at $7,495, land-only, includes all meals and is scheduled to depart on Sept. 8.

For details, call (800) 992-2004 or (714) 476-2800.

Among Atlas' new offerings are wine tours, ecological plans and fly-drive packages. The ecological plans spend a week on one of Dalmatia's well-protected islands; wine tours focus on the Dalmatian coast.

To book call, (800) 528-5275.

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