Kotor, Montenegro

Aug 26, 2018 - Sea Cloud


During our overnight sail from Dubrovnik, National Geographic Sea Cloud experienced a dramatic thunderstorm out on the Adriatic Sea with plenty of lightning bolts, thunderclaps, and rain. Yet the ship sailed smoothly on. At daybreak, we arrived in the Bay of Kotor for clearance into Montenegro and disembarkation for the full-day excursion.

Because of the possibility of rain this morning, we took a scenic drive along the narrows and around the inner bay to arrive to the old town of Perast by coach. Half the group visited the fine Maritime Museum located in an old mansion on the water. The other half embarked a local boat for the short ride out to Our Lady of the Rocks, an island built up over centuries by the sailors of Perast who dropped rocks from their boats onto an old rocky reef so that a church could be built to house and honor the Virgin Mary who was sighted there. The two halves of our group traded places after the initial visits, though at one point the heavens opened and a biblical downpour ensued!

Perhaps a little wet, but enthusiastic nonetheless, we continued by coach to the end of the Bay of Kotor and began our slow, careful climb up the 27 switchbacks that eventually brought us some 3,000 feet above sea level. By the time we stopped for photos, the day had almost cleared, and we enjoyed beautiful views as the sun dissolved the remaining clouds. In the village of Njeguši, we were treated to a deliciously simple lunch of locally produced smoked ham, cheeses, fresh bread, vegetables, and lamb. Guests perused the handicrafts at roadside stands before we boarded the coaches.

We descended the switchbacks and, once back to sea level, participated in a walking tour of the Old Town of Kotor. We visited the main square, the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, and the Orthodox church.

By evening, National Geographic Sea Cloud was away from the pier, sailing calm, beautiful weather while we enjoyed fresh oysters and champagne on the Spanker Deck. After a wonderful BBQ dinner, our staff historian gave a presentation on the Ottomans to prepare us for our upcoming two days in Albania.

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About the Author

John Frick

Expedition Leader

Although he didn’t set out for a life of travel, John has combined his passions for education and exploring the world and turned them into a successful career leading trips around the globe. 

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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