Guide to ferry and boat travel in Croatia

Jadrolinija ferry in Croatia
Jadrolinija ferry

UPDATED: 5.7.2023.

Croatia has over five thousand kilometers of coastline and more than a thousand islands, so ship traffic is frequent. A large number of ferries and high-speed lines (catamarans and hydrofoils) connect the islands with the Croatian mainland.

The national ferry company is called Jadrolinija, but several private companies are also operating in Croatia. Some operate throughout the year, and others only during high season. When planning your trip, be sure to consult the timetables since availability can change drastically.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

Ferry and boat travel in Croatia

Long-distance ferry lines in Croatia

Jadrolinija has one long-distance ferry line that covers the whole Adriatic coast from north to south. It is Rijeka – Split – Hvar (Old Town) – Korčula – Mljet (Sobra) – Dubrovnik. The journey lasts over 20 hours, including one night on board.

Local ferry and catamaran lines in Croatia

Local ferries and catamarans connect important ports with most Croatian islands. Jadrolinija local lines operate in 5 districts: Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Below are Jadrolinija’s local routes for each district.

#1 District of Rijeka, Croatia

Local routes that operate in the Rijeka area:

  • Brestova – Porozina (Cres)
  • Mali Lošinj – Ilovik – Susak – Unije – Martinšćica – Cres – Rijeka
  • Mali Lošinj – Srakane Vele – Unije – Susak – Mali Lošinj
  • Prizna – Žigljen (Pag)
  • Valbiska (Krk) – Lopar (Rab)
  • Valbiska (Krk) – Merag (Cres)
  • Rijeka – Rab – Novalja (Pag)
  • Rijeka – Rab – Veli Lošinj -Novalja (Pag) – Silba – Zadar

The map of local routes in the district of Rijeka is available here.

#2 District of Zadar, Croatia

Local routes that operate in the Zadar area:

  • Biograd – Tkon (Pašman)
  • Zadar – Preko
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Brbinj (Dugi otok)
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Bršanj (Iž) – Rava – Mala Rava
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Ist – Olib – Silba – Premuda – Mali Lošinj
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Ošljak – Preko (Ugljan)
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Rivanj – Sestrunj – Zverinac – Molat – Ist
  • Zadar – Mali Iž – Veli Iž – Mala Rava – Rava
  • Zadar – Molat – Brgulje – Zapuntel – Ist
  • Zadar – Rivanj – Sestrunj – Zverinac – Božava – Brbinj

The map of local routes in the district of Zadar is available here.

#3 District of Šibenik, Croatia

Local routes that operate in the Šibenik area:

  • Šibenik – Zlarin – Obonjan – Kaprije – Žirje
  • Šibenik – Zlarin – Prvić Luka – Šepurine – Vodice

The map of local routes in the district of Šibenik is available here.

#4 District of Split, Croatia

Local routes that operate in the Split area:

  • Drvenik – Sućuraj (Hvar)
  • Orebić – Dominče (Korčula)
  • Ploče – Trpanj (Pelješac)
  • Split – Bol (Brač) – Jelsa (Hvar)
  • Split – Rogač (Šolta)
  • Split – Stari Grad (Hvar)
  • Split – Supetar (Brač)
  • Split – Hvar
  • Split – Hvar – Vela Luka (Korčula) – Ubli (Lastovo)
  • Split – Milna (Brač) – Hvar – Vis
  • Split – Vela Luka (Korčula) – Ubli (Lastovo)
  • Split – Vis
  • Sumartin (Brač) – Makarska
  • Trogir (Soline) – Drvenik Mali – Drvenik Veli

The map of local routes in the district of Split is available here.

#5 District of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Local routes that operate in the Dubrovnik area:

  • Dubrovnik – Koločep – Lopud – Suđurađ (Šipan)
  • Dubrovnik – Korčula – Hvar – Bol – Split
  • Dubrovnik – Lopud -Suđurađ (Šipan)
  • Prapratno (Pelješac) – Sobra (Mljet)

The map of local routes in the district of Dubrovnik is available here.

International boat lines from Croatia

International shipping lines are exclusively linked to Italy and its major ports. Jadrolinija’s international ferry boat lines connected to Italy are:

  • Dubrovnik – Bari
  • Split – Ancona
  • Split – Bari
  • Zadar – Ancona

Istria and other Croatian islands are occasionally connected with Italy (Trieste, Venice, Cesenatico, Pesaro) by other shipping companies. Ports connected to Italian destinations are usually Rovinj, Poreč, Pula, Mali Lošinj, Rab, and Novalja (Pag).

How to find boat timetables and price lists

Schedules for local boat lines are usually divided into 3 seasons:

  • Peak of the season – July 1 – August 31
  • Before and after the season – June 1 – June 30 and September 1 – September 30
  • Out of season – October 1 – May 31

The list of Jadrolinija local lines, their schedules, and prices is available here.

The list of Jadrolinija international lines, their schedules, and prices is available here.

The price list for transporting goods on ferry and ship lines is available here.

View more information on shipping line timetables and connections here:

View more information on international shipping line timetables and connections here:

Taxi boat in Starigrad on the island of Hvar
Taxi boat in Starigrad on the island of Hvar

Where to buy boat tickets in Croatia?

Jadrolinija tickets can be bought online here.

Most tickets can also be purchased at the local branch offices of Jadrolinija or the private ferry company for which you have chosen the service. Jadrolinija’s branch offices or booths are usually at ferry ports or marinas.

Some smaller carriers may allow buying tickets directly on the boats.

Are there any ferry discounts in Croatia?

Some groups have the right to privileged boat transportation discounts, including:

  • Croatian citizens with residence (prebivalište) on Croatian islands and the Pelješac peninsula
  • EU/EEA citizens with a permanent stay on Croatian islands and the Pelješac peninsula

[Read: How EU/EEA citizens can transition from Croatian temporary to long-term residence]

The discounts are valid for all lines with public service obligations. Third-country citizens no longer hold the right to discounts.

Tips for buying boat tickets and departure

Speedboat tickets are usually sold on the day of departure. It is recommended to arrive early at the harbor during the high season to purchase a ticket or buy it earlier online.

During summer, you may be unable to buy a ferry ticket online due to high traffic. In this case, tickets are sold according to the first in – first out method. Come to the harbor earlier to board the ship.

If you intend to ship a personal vehicle, you must count on the summer crowds and understand there will be an additional charge. During the high season and weekends, the time it takes to board may take several hours, so arrive as early as possible.

[Read: How to import your car and belongings to Croatia]

Prices vary according to the season. During the peak of the season, prices are the highest. During the winter, there are fewer boat lines than during summer since the number of tourists is lower.

Ferries are very rarely late, regardless of the season and crowd. Departures may be late or canceled during lousy weather. Strong winds like jugo and bura often occur on the coast. This usually happens in autumn, winter, and early spring when winds produce strong waves that may endanger safe travel. Ferries are bigger and more stable than speedboats, so the catamaran and speedboat lines will likely be canceled.

[Read: Why Wind is Important – Bura vs Jugo]

Tickets for Jadrolinija lines are valid for one day. If you miss the first departure, you can use the ticket for the next one. Other carriers apply their own rules, and their tickets are usually valid only for a specific departure.

Pet transport rules depend on each carrier, but it is usually allowed. For pets and bikes, an additional cost is charged.

[Read: How to bring your pet to Croatia (and care for them once you arrive)]

Regarding international transport, Jadrolinija connects Italy and Croatia all year round. The trip should be booked in advance. Other off-season companies have a significantly smaller number of international lines toward Croatia.

View our other transport guides

View our airport transport guides

View our city transport guides

Ferry Croatia

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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