the state-owned company that
runs nearly all ferries in Croatia, helped
by a few private ferry companies. Local
Jadrolinija ferries connect all islands to the mainland and there is
a summer coastal
ferry from Rijeka to Dubrovnik.
Ferry services from one island to another are much spottier. Don't
assume that there "must be" a ferry from one island to
another. Service is year-round on most routes although a few are
summer only. Ferries are generally much more frequent in
runs a summer catamaran between Trogir, Slatine and Split.
operates local and international services from Zadar.
Reserving Local Ferries
Passengers can always get on board but reserve
ahead if you're bringing a car, especially in the busy
summer season. Unfortunately you cannot reserve local ferries
online; You reserve most local car ferries at a Jadrolinija outlet or
at a local travel agency. (See detailed advice about booking
local and coastal ferries in Croatia)
The only time you can't
reserve ahead are on the shuttle car ferries that connect the mainland
with several island ports such as:
Show up at least 1/2 hour in advance (1 1/2 hours in the summer),
park your car in the queue, collect your ticket from the nearby stall
and wait. On the above routes, ferries run from four to eight times
a day, depending on the season, and cost about 80HRK for a car and
driver for the 30-minute run. See more about booking
local and coastal ferries in Croatia.
About local ferry schedules
Check the local
ferry schedule carefully! Many routes from the coast to the
islands are designed to bring islanders to coastal cities to
work which means that they leave the island early in the morning
and return late afternoon. That's exactly the opposite of what
tourists are looking for to make a day trip to an island.
Services on board
Jadrolinija's ferries vary wildly depending on the boat. I've taken
1/2 hour trips on modern, well-equipped boats and suffered through
seven-hour trips on dreary and aged buckets. The best idea is to
plan ahead: bring something to eat and drink and a very absorbing
book for longer ferry rides! See more about Jadrolinija onboard services.