Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ferries in Croatia: New Summer Timetable for Jadrolinija

Access to some of Croatia's 1185 islands is improved as the Jadrolinija summer ferry timetable comes into effect.
Ferries in Croatia: New Summer Timetable for Jadrolinija - Ante Perkovic (,_Split.jpg)
The Jadrolinija summer timetable comes into effect in Croatia on June 1, 2011, as the national ferry company expands its service to meet the increased demand of the tourist summer season.
With the bulk of Croatia’s tourism centred on its stunning Adriatic coast and 1185 islands, ferry travel is a major component of the former Yugoslav republic’s tourism offer, one of the top ten destinations for British tourists in 2011, according to ticket sales from Skyscanner.
Island Tourism Dependent on Jadrolinija
Jadrolinija is the major transport provider for connections to the main Croatian islands, which are some of the most popular destinations on the Adriatic. Islands such as Hvar, rated one of the world’s sexiest by Forbes Magazine; Korcula, birthplace of Marko Polo; Brac, whose stone quarries were sourced for the building of the White House in Washington; and Vis, former secret naval base and home to the oldest cricket club in Europe, rely on the state carrier both for vital supplies and tourist transportation.
The increased summer service will offer more choice and flexibility to travellers’ schedules and includes a peak season late night ferry to some of the islands. The 0130 crossing to Stari Grad, Hvar’s many ferry terminal, for example, will run in July and August. While the ferry time may be unsocial, it does have the benefit of guaranteeing a crossing for tourists arriving late at night, as well as reduced queues.
Car Rental in Croatia: Mainland or Island?
Despite the increased service, queuing times for crossings to the most popular islands can be long from mid-July to mid-August, a consideration for visitors hiring a car. While car hire prices tend to be cheaper on the mainland, the costs of car transportation, potential waiting times on the car ferries (never an issue for foot passengers) and more flexible short term hire options on the islands potentially outweigh the cheaper mainland hire prices.
International Ferry Routes from Italy
In addition to the extensive national network, Jadrolinija offers two international routes along its coast, from Ancona to Split and Dubrovnik to Bari, both of which are popular entry routes for the large numbers of Italian tourists who descend on Croatia in August.
SNAV, Blue Lines and Venezia Lines
While Jadrolinija is the main service provider for island travel, there are other options, including Blue Line, which runs a regular, year-round service from Ancona to Split, SNAV, which has a peak season direct hydrofoil from Pescara to Stari Grad on Hvar, and Venezia Lines, who service various destinations in northern Croatia.
International routes can be booked online although this facility does not exist on national routes, where tickets are sold on a first come first served basis, a factor to be taken into consideration when planning a trip. More details of routes and ferry times can be found on the Jadrolinija website, while the multilingual customer service support is excellent (            +385-21-338333      ).

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