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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. 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 the summer.
runs a summer catamaran between Trogir, Slatine and Split.
runs catamarans from Zadar to nearby islands and also the Nona Ana which runs from Dubrovnik to the Elaphiti Islands, Mljet Island, Korcula and Lastovo. Service to Mljet, Korcula and Lastovo are summer only.
runs a useful passenger ferry all year between Split, Milna, Hvar Town and Vis (see the schedule) and a seasonal passenger ferry between Split-Milna-Hvar-Korcula-Dubrovnik (see schedule). Krilo also runs a passenger ferry that connects Rijeka with Cres and Mali Losinj.
operates a few local catamarans from Zadar.
Following are all ferries running between Split and Dubrovnik. Click for the 2017 schedules
Car Ferries (All run by Jadrolinija)
Dubrovnik-Mljet-Sipan Korcula GV-Line
Split-Hvar-Vela Luka-Lastovo Jadrolinija
You can now buy tickets for local ferries online at the company website or at a Jadrolinija outlet or at a local travel agency. Passengers can always get on board but reserve ahead if you're bringing a car, especially in the busy summer season. Even if you buy a ticket in advance you must still wait in line to board. The wait can be up to three hours in the summer.
[See detailed advice about booking local ferries in Croatia ]
For shuttle car ferries that connect the mainland with several island ports such as:
Jablanac to Misnjak (Rab Island)
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 (if you don't already have your ticket) and wait. On the above routes, ferries run from four to eight times a day, depending on the season, and cost about 80Kn for a car and driver for the 30-minute run.
[See more about booking local ferries in Croatia.]
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.
Split-Dubrovnik Catamaran 2016 02/17/2016
The new timetable is finally here for the Split-Brac-Hvar-Korcula-Mljet-Dubrovnik seasonal catamaran. More.
BREAKING: Pescara Ferries Cancelled! 02/05/2016
A spokeswoman for SNAV just confirmed to Croatia Traveller that the passenger ferry that connected Pescara, Italy with Croatia will not run this summer. But there are alternatives! More.
Online Booking for Car Ferries 06/16/2015
This is really big news. Jadrolinija and other ferry companies began online booking for catamarans last year but a spokeswoman told Croatia Traveller then that online booking for car ferries posed technical issues that would take time to resolve. Here's what you need to know: More.
Gazenica: Zadar’s New Port 04/02/2015
It was years in the making and isn't quite finished but Zadar's new port at Gazenica is now receiving its first car ferries. Located 3km southeast of the Zadar's Old Town, the new port sprawls over nearly 1.5km of coastline and can accommodate large cruise ships as well as ferries. More.
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