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Barbara Cirkva Schumacher, executive vice president for fashion at Chanel in New York, recommends the White Heather, a 113-foot ketch from Yara's Yachting that she and five friends hired for a 12-day cruise from Dubrovnik to Venice. "The thrill of this particular trip was that nothing seemed programmed," says Schumacher, whose group handpicked each stop. Among their choices: a reading by an Hvar astrologer, a visit to the studio of Croatian sculptor DusÆan DzÆamonja, and "dinner on Palminzana, a tiny island reached via water taxi from Hvar, where we had a local version of bouillabaisse served in a iron vat so huge that it took two men to carry it." $ Boats range in size from 50 to 400 feet and cost $15,000 to $700,000 per week. For information: 212-864-0654; 301-718-4357.



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