A British woman was miraculously saved after spending 10 hours in the Adriatic Sea at night after she fell from a cruise ship.

The woman, who has not been named, fell into the sea from the Norwegian Star ship which was sailing from Port of Vargarola near Pula, Croatia.

The woman, whom The Sun named as "Kay", 46, was taken to a hospital on Sunday in the town of Pula and is believed to be out of danger, reports news.com.au.

She fell from the Norwegian Star cruise ship, about 95 kilometres off Croatia's coast shortly before midnight on Saturday (8am AEST).

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A desperate search was launched and the Croatian Coast Guard patrol ship "Cavtat" and a PC-9 search plane were scrambled to save the woman.

She was found swimming in the water on Sunday morning not far from where she was believed to have fallen.

The Star: The guest was reported overboard as the ship returned to Venice. Photo / Norwegian Cruise Line
The Star: The guest was reported overboard as the ship returned to Venice. Photo / Norwegian Cruise Line

Speaking after the incredible rescue, the "Kay" told The Sun newspaper: "I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for about 10 hours. These wonderful guys rescued me."

A hospital official confirmed: "The British woman brought to the hospital and her life is not endangered."

Croatian authorities are set to examine CCTV footage from the ship said it still remains unclear whether the woman accidentally fell into the water.

David Radas, the spokesman from Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs told The Sun: "It is still not confirmed whether the British woman has fallen off or jumped from the cruising ship.

"Norwegian Star will examine their CCTV cameras."

A spokesman for the cruise company said: "A report was made that a guest aboard Norwegian Star had gone overboard while the ship was returning to Venice.

"As soon as the report was made the ship began a search and notified the appropriate authorities.

"The ship will be delayed on her return to Venice."

Ship captain Lovro Oreskovic added: "The British woman was exhausted when we pulled her out of the water.

"We were extremely happy for saving a human life."

The circumstances of the incident are being investigated and the British Embassy in Croatia was informed.