Jadrolinija Ferries

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Ferries are a lot more comfortable than buses, though considerably more expensive. Year round big white and blue international Jadrolinija car ferries operate along the Rijeka to Dubrovnik coastal route (22 hours), stopping at Dugi Otok, Zadar, Split and the islands of Hvar (Stari Grad), Korcula and Mljet.

Prices on the Jadrolinija ferries are at least 10% cheaper from October to May and on certain boats there is a surcharge of 10% on weekends to/from Rijeka. There is no reduction if you buy a return ticket. Children under three travel free and there's a 50% reduction for kids aged between three and 12. The ferries operate almost daily to the big cities during summer but service is greatly reduced in winter. The most scenic section is from Split to Dubrovnik, which all of the Jadrolinija ferries cover during the day. The Rijeka to Split trip (13 hours) is usually overnight in either direction.

With a through ticket, deck passengers can stop at any one port for up to a week, provided you notify the purser beforehand and have your ticket validated. This is much cheaper than buying individual sector tickets. Cabins should be booked a week ahead, but deck space is usually available on all sailings.

Deck passage on Jadrolinija is just that: reclining seats (poltrone) are about 58KN extra and four-berth cabins (if available) begin at 506KN (Rijeka-Dubrovnik). Cabins can be arranged at the reservation counter aboard ship, but advance bookings are recommended if you want to be sure of a place. Deck space is fine for passages during daylight hours and when you can stretch out a sleeping bag on the upper deck in good weather, but if it's rainy you could end up sitting in the smoky cafeteria which stays open all night. During the crowded midsummer season, deck class can be unpleasant in wet weather.

Meals in the restaurants aboard Jadrolinija ships are about 100KN for a fixed-price menu of somewhat mediocre food. All the cafeteria offers is ham and cheese sandwiches for 25KN. Coffee is cheap in the cafeteria but wine and spirits tend to be expensive. Breakfast in the restaurant costs about 30KN. It's best to bring some food and drink with you.

Local ferries connect the bigger offshore islands with each other and with the mainland. The most important Jadrolinija car ferry routes include: Baska on Krk Island to Lopar on Rab Island (twice or more daily, May to September); Zadar to Preko on Ugl-jan Island (up to 12 daily); Split to Stari Grad on Hvar Island (three or more daily); Zadar to Mali Losinj (four times weekly, June to September), Zadar to Dugi Otok (twice or more daily), Split to Rogac (up to five daily, June to September); Split to Vis.

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