Valentina Silovic

Guide to Ferries Tickets in Croatia

Croatia boasts a magnificent stretch of over 1,800 kilometers of mainland coastline, along with numerous captivating islands and islets.

It is a true haven for boating enthusiasts, water sports aficionados, and those seeking captivating island hopping, cruises, and sails.

Croatia has an extensive ferry network that offers connections to popular destinations like Hvar, Korčula, Brač, and many others.

The ferries serve as a vital transportation link, especially during peak tourist seasons when demand is high.

Do I need to buy ferry tickets in advance in Croatia?

Photo credit: Jadrolinija

With its picturesque coastline and enchanting islands, Croatia has become a sought-after travel destination for millions of visitors each year.

To explore the beauty of this Mediterranean gem, one often relies on the efficient ferry network that connects the mainland to the numerous islands scattered along the Adriatic Sea.

A pressing question arises as travelers consider their options: Should you book ferries in Croatia in advance?

Advantages of booking ferries in advance:

  • Guaranteed Availability: One of the primary benefits of booking ferries in advance is securing your spot on a specific departure. During peak season, especially in July and August, ferries can quickly reach capacity due to high demand. Booking in advance ensures you won’t be stranded or forced to adjust your travel plans.
  • Peace of Mind: Planning your itinerary allows for peace of mind and reduces potential stress associated with last-minute arrangements. Knowing you have a confirmed reservation can enhance your travel experience and help you make the most of your time in Croatia.
  • Preferred Seating and Amenities: Advanced booking often allows selecting preferred seating, such as a comfortable cabin or a seat with a scenic view. Additionally, some ferries offer premium services like onboard restaurants or VIP lounges. Booking in advance increases the likelihood of availing of such amenities.

How do you travel between Croatian islands?

Photo: Mljet island

Ferries are the most popular and frequently used means of transportation for traveling between Croatian islands.

But let’s delve into the various modes of transportation available for island hopping in Croatia, highlighting their features, advantages, and potential challenges.

Ferries and catamarans provide a reliable and efficient way to navigate the archipelago, offering passenger and vehicle services.

Jadrolinija, the state-owned ferry company, operates an extensive network connecting numerous islands, while Krilo – Kapetan Luka offers extensive years of expertise in navigating the open seas. Specializing in sea transfers, they cater to various ferries and high-speed boats.

  • Ferry Services: Ferries in Croatia are generally larger and can accommodate vehicles, making them an ideal choice for those traveling with cars, motorcycles, or bicycles. The schedules may vary depending on the season, and some routes operate year-round, while others are seasonal. It’s advisable to check the timetables in advance and make reservations during the peak tourist season to secure your spot.
  • Catamaran Services: Catamarans are smaller, high-speed vessels mainly catering to passenger transportation. They offer a faster and more comfortable journey between islands but do not accommodate vehicles. Catamarans are ideal for travelers focusing on island hopping without needing private transportation.

Private boat charters offer a more personalized and flexible island-hopping experience, providing an excellent option.

Renting a yacht, motorboat, or sailboat allows travelers to create their itinerary and explore the Croatian islands at their leisure.

Private boat charters offer the freedom to visit remote and less-frequented destinations, giving a sense of exclusivity and adventure.

  • Skippered Charters: For those without sailing experience, skippered charters are an ideal choice. A professional skipper is provided, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey. Skippers also serve as local guides, sharing their knowledge about the islands, hidden coves, and cultural sites.
  • Bareboat Charters: Experienced sailors can opt for bareboat charters, where they can independently navigate the waters. This option requires a valid sailing license and offers complete autonomy in designing the route and exploring the islands.

Water taxis are a convenient mode of transportation for short trips between islands or to access secluded beaches and attractions.

These services are particularly useful for quick transfers or day trips, saving time and offering flexibility. Water taxis can be easily hired at major ports and are often available on demand.

Exploring the Croatian islands with ferries

Photo: Komiža on Vis island
  • Efficient Ferry Network: Croatia’s well-developed ferry network makes island hopping convenient and accessible. The major ports, such as Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik, and Rijeka, serve as gateways to numerous islands. Jadrolinija, Croatia’s leading ferry company, operates a comprehensive network connecting the mainland with most inhabited islands. With regular ferry schedules and a range of ticket options, travelers can plan their island exploration according to their desired itinerary.
  • A Multitude of Islands: Croatia boasts an impressive archipelago consisting of more than 1,200 islands, each with its own distinct character and allure. There’s an island for every taste and preference, from the popular and bustling islands of Hvar and Korčula to the secluded and serene gems like Vis and Lastovo. By opting for ferry travel, you can visit multiple islands, immersing yourself in their unique atmospheres, landscapes, and cultural offerings.
  • Island Connections: Once you reach your desired island, local transport options such as buses, taxis, or car rentals are usually (not always!) available to help you navigate and explore further.
  • Scenic Journeys: Embarking on a ferry journey in Croatia is a treat for the senses. As you sail across the Adriatic Sea, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the coastline, the azure waters stretching as far as the eye can see. The gentle sea breeze and the warm sun on your face create an ambiance of pure relaxation. The ferry routes often traverse narrow straits, showcasing dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, and charming coastal towns. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the awe-inspiring scenery that unfolds before you.

Each Croatian island has its own set of highlights waiting to be discovered. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Hvar: Known for its vibrant nightlife, luxurious resorts, and lavender fields, Hvar is a popular destination for those seeking both relaxation and entertainment.
  • Korčula: With its medieval old town and rich history, Korčula is often called “Little Dubrovnik.” Explore the narrow streets, visit Marco Polo’s alleged birthplace, and indulge in the island’s famous wines, Grk and Pošip. Check our ultimate guide to Korčula for more information.
  • Vis: As one of the furthest islands from the mainland, Vis offers an authentic and unspoiled experience. Discover hidden beaches, explore ancient ruins, and savor the island’s exquisite seafood and indigenous Vugava wines.
  • Brač: Home to Croatia’s most famous beach, Zlatni Rat, Brač attracts sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Enjoy the turquoise waters, go windsurfing, or hike to Vidova Gora for panoramic views.
  • Mljet: This tranquil island is largely covered by a national park, boasting lush forests, two saltwater lakes, and an idyllic Benedictine monastery on an islet within the larger lake. It’s a paradise for nature lovers.

How do you take ferries in Croatia?

Photo credit: Jadrolinija, Online tickets

Booking your ferry tickets:

  •  Online Booking: Both Jadrolinija and Krilo Kapetan Luka offer online booking options, allowing you to secure your tickets in advance. This is highly recommended, especially during the peak tourist season, to avoid last-minute disappointments.
  • Ticket Outlets and Agents: If online booking is not feasible, tickets can be purchased at the ferry terminals, travel agencies, or authorized ticket offices located in major cities. However, availability may be limited during busy periods, so booking in advance is advisable.

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.

Tips for booking ferry tickets and ferry departure:

  • Speedboat tickets are usually sold on the day of. 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. So, you have to 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 high season and on the weekends, the time it takes to board may take several hours, so arrive as early as possible.
  • 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 bad weather like strong winds, including jugo and bura that 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.
  • Tickets for Jadrolinija lines are valid for one day. This means that 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.
  • Regarding international transport, Jadrolinija connects Italy and Croatia all year round and the trip should be booked in advance. Other off-season companies have a significantly smaller number of international lines towards Croatia.

Practical tips for efficient ferry planning

  • Research and Timetable Analysis: Conduct thorough research on ferry timetables, routes, and operators. Official websites, travel forums, and local agencies provide valuable information to help you plan your journey effectively. Pay attention to frequency, duration, and available amenities.
  • Peak Season Awareness: If you decide to travel during peak season, it is advisable to book your ferry tickets well in advance to secure your preferred departures and avoid any unexpected disruptions to your travel plans.
  • Ticket Reservation Channels: Croatia offers multiple channels to book ferry tickets, including online platforms, travel agencies, or directly at the ferry terminals. Evaluate the advantages and convenience of each option and choose the one that suits your needs.
  • Flexibility for Contingencies: Despite your best planning efforts, unforeseen circumstances may arise. It is essential to have contingency plans in case of cancellations, delays, or changes in ferry schedules. Building some flexibility into your itinerary can help mitigate potential travel disruptions.

How expensive are ferries in Croatia?

Photo credit: Jadrolinija

Whether you’re looking to island-hop or reach the mainland, understanding the cost of ferry travel in Croatia is essential for budget-conscious travelers.

Let’s get into the factors that influence ferry prices and provide insights to help you plan your Croatian adventure wisely.

  • Ferry routes and operators: Croatia boasts an extensive network of ferry routes connecting various islands and the mainland. The cost of ferries depends on factors such as distance, demand, and the operator. Croatia’s most prominent ferry operators include Jadrolinija, Krilo Kapetan Luka. Jadrolinija operates on almost all major ferry routes, while Krilo Kapetan Luka primarily focuses on high-speed catamaran services.
  • Types of Ferries and Ticket Pricing: Car Ferries: If you plan to explore Croatia with your own vehicle, car ferries are a convenient option. Prices for car ferries are generally higher than foot passenger ferries due to the additional space and service required to accommodate vehicles. Foot Passenger Ferries: Foot passenger ferries are ideal for travelers without vehicles. These ferries are generally more affordable, and their prices depend on the distance traveled and the duration of the journey.
  • Seasonal Variation: Croatia experiences a significant influx of tourists during summer, particularly July and August. As a result, ferry prices tend to be higher during peak season due to increased demand. Traveling in the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September and October) can often lead to more affordable ferry fares.
  • Island hopping costs: Island hopping is popular in Croatia, allowing visitors to explore multiple islands. The cost of island hopping depends on the number of islands visited, the distance covered, and the type of ferry used. Planning a well-structured itinerary and considering multi-ride or island-hopping tickets offered by ferry operators can help reduce costs.
  • Booking in advance vs. on-site: Booking ferry tickets in advance can often lead to more affordable prices, especially during peak season when demand is high. Online platforms like the ones we covered offer the convenience of pre-booking.

Ferry prices and ferry routes in Croatia

Photo credit: Krilo – Kapetan Luka

For Jadrolinija, check ferry prices here.

For Krilo Kapetan Luka, check catamaran prices here.

It’s important to note that fares can vary depending on the ferry operator, time of year, and other factors.

Local ferries and catamarans connect important ports with most islands.

Jadrolinija has one long-distance ferry line that covers the whole Adriatic coast from north to south.

It is the line for Rijeka – Split – Hvar (Old Town) – Korčula – Mljet (Sobra) – Dubrovnik.

The journey lasts over 20 hours (including one night on board).

Jadrolinija lines also operate in 5 districts: Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Below are Jadrolinija’s local routes for each district.


Local ferry routes that operate in the Rijeka area:

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


Photo credit: Jadrolinija, Local ferry routes map in the district of Rijeka


Local ferry routes that operate in the Zadar area:

  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Ist – Olib – Silba – Premuda – Mali Lošinj
  • Zadar – Preko
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Ošljak – Preko (Ugljan)
  • Biograd – Tkon (Pašman)
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Rivanj – Sestrunj – Zverinac – Molat – Ist
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Brbinj (Dugi otok)
  • Zadar (Gaženica) – Bršanj (Iž) – Rava – Mala Rava
  • Zadar – Molat – Brgulje – Zapuntel – Ist
  • Zadar – Rivanj – Sestrunj – Zverinac – Božava – Brbinj
  • Zadar – Mali Iž – Veli Iž – Mala Rava – Rava
Photo credit: Jadrolinija, Local ferry routes map in the district of Zadar


Local ferry routes that operate in the Šibenik area:

  • Šibenik – Zlarin – Prvić Luka – Šepurine – Vodice
  • Šibenik – Zlarin – Obonjan – Kaprije – Žirje
Photo credit: Jadrolinija, Local ferry routes map in the district of Šibenik


Local ferry routes that operate in the Split area:

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


Photo credit: Jadrolinija, Local ferry routes map in the district of Split


Local ferry routes that operate in the Dubrovnik area:

  • Dubrovnik – Koločep – Lopud – Suđurađ (Šipan)
  • Dubrovnik – Lopud -Suđurađ (Šipan)
  • Prapratno (Pelješac) – Sobra (Mljet)
  • Dubrovnik – Korčula – Hvar – Bol – Split
Photo credit: Jadrolinija, Local ferry routes map in the district of Rijeka


Taking ferries in Croatia is an excellent way to explore the country’s enchanting islands, allowing you to discover island gems and enjoy the beauty of the Adriatic Sea.

With careful planning, selecting the right routes and operators, and making timely ticket bookings, your island-hopping adventure will surely be memorable.

Whether you seek relaxation, historical exploration, or natural beauty, Croatia’s ferries are the gateway to a world of breathtaking destinations waiting to be discovered.

So, embark on this maritime adventure, immerse yourself in the stunning Croatian archipelago, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Write a comment