If you’re planning to explore the Dalmatian Coast or visit one of the many picture-perfect Croatian islands that include Brač or Hvar, then you need to get to know Jadrolinija, Croatia’s major ferry operator.
Croatia’s national shipping company Jadrolinija (meaning ‘Adriatic Line’) offers the widest coverage of catamaran and car ferry routes along the Croatian coastline, including two international lines to Italy.
Pronounced ‘yadroleeniyah’, Jadrolinija services are subsidised by the Croatian government and have a reputation for being safe, comfortable and air-conditioned. On some routes (like Ploče to Trpanj, the historic fishing village on the Pelješac peninsula or Drvenik to Sućuraj town on Hvar island), it’s the only ferry company available.
What are the boats like?
Jadrolinija vs other operators
Popular Croatia ferry routes and schedules
How much does it cost?
How do I book?
Checking in and travel information
What if my ferry is cancelled?
Italy to Croatia ferry routes?
Scenic ferry destinations include the island of Brač with Zlatni Rat beach near Bol, popular Hvar island, the historic walled city of Dubrovnik and the idyllic island and medieval town of Rab.
Read on to find out how to get there.
- Trajekt (Croatian for ferry) refers to car ferries
- Katamaran (Croatian for catamaran) refers to faster, smaller foot-passenger ferries
The boats are generally similar, carrying anywhere from 150–1,200 passengers and 30–200 vehicles, with toilets, deck space, air-conditioned salons and snack bars selling drinks, sandwiches and sweets. International lines offer sleeping cabins, a restaurant and cafe bar. Younger staff generally speak good English, while older generations tend to be more fluent with Italian or German.
Most private operators are equally as reliable as Jadrolinija. The main difference is that Jadrolinija offers the highest frequency of services and ferry lines, regardless of demand. Jadrolinija boats will only cancel their trips due to technical issues or severe weather conditions (high-speed winds such as the northeastern Adriatic wind called bura). Most private ferry services are specialised in popular local routes or certain districts of the coast, and reserve the right to change timetables and services without prior notice.
If you’re transporting a vehicle, Jadrolinija should be your first point of research as it offers the largest number of car ferries along the Adriatic. Privately-owned companies mainly offer foot passenger transit (hence their more frequent departure times and faster journeys).
Why would I pick a private operator over Jadrolinija?
There are two main reasons:
1. If the service offers a faster journey by speedboat/catamaran
2. If the service offers a more suitable departure time
How often do the boats sail?
Each route has a different sailing schedule, with the more popular lines offering an average of two to three boats per day in peak season.
Find all Jadrolinija lines and schedules here
Popular routes by area:
Šibenik – Zlarin – Prvić Luka – Šepurine – Vodice
Popular car ferry routes:
From mainland to Brač island
Split – Supetar
From mainland to Pelješac peninsula
Ploče (seaport town) – Trpanj
Latest 2018 ferry schedule information can be found on the Jadrolinija website.
The price depends on the length of your route, as well as the time of year and the type of boat. Catamarans (fast boats) are usually double the price of ferry services.
Price lists for each line are available on Jadrolinija’s website, according to local and international lines:
Children up to three years old travel on Jadrolinija for free. On catamarans, children aged one year and below must sit on their parent’s lap. Children aged 1–3 receive their own ticket and seat. Tickets for children aged 3–12 are 50% cheaper than the regular prices.
Book Jadrolinija ferries online and pick your ticket up at the ferry booth at the port, or purchase tickets directly at the port’s ticket offices. You can use debit/credit cards for either option. Online tickets cannot be purchased on the date of travel for high-speed (catamaran) lines.
An alternative online option is to book through Direct Ferries.
There are no multi-day Jadrolinija ferry passes; you’ll need to book each trip separately.
- If you’re transporting a car during peak season, purchase your tickets in advance and get in line with your vehicle two to three hours before departure
- If you’re travelling on foot during peak season, be at the port 90 minutes prior to departure
- If you’re travelling on foot during off-peak season, be at the port 40 minutes prior to departure
- Arriving at the port earlier does not mean that the crew will let you on board before boarding begins
What documents do I need?
- International ferries: valid passport and ticket
- Local (domestic) ferries: valid ferry ticket
What amenities are there?
|Seating, amenities and services|
|Seating options||Yes (only indoors on catamarans), inside and outside (ferries)|
|Tables||Yes (indoors mostly on ferries)|
|Deck space||Yes (ferries)|
|WC||Yes (both ferries and catamarans)|
|Snack bar||Yes (both ferries and catamarans)|
|Restaurant||Only international-line ferries|
|Pets||Yes, in travel boxes (additional fee, depending on route)|
|Luggage amount||Maximum 20kg (free of charge)|
|Bike transportation||Yes (car ferries only, additional fee – approximately 30 kuna)|
If your departure is cancelled due to bad weather or technical issues and you are not provided a substitute trip, you are entitled a full refund at the original ticket booth.
Can I cancel my Jadrolinija ferry trip and how can I get reimbursed?
Yes, you can cancel your trip at Jadrolinija ticket booths up to 6 hours before your scheduled departure and get the full amount of the ticket price back – less 10%.
When travelling from the Croatian coast (Zadar, Split or Dubrovnik) to the Italian coast (Bari or Ancona) or vice versa via Jadrolinija, ticket prices differ according to the type of seating/accommodation, high/low season and day of the week.
You can either pay for your food in advance (when buying your ticket), or on board. It’s always advisable to carry cash, although Jadrolinija generally accepts cards.
Children up to 3 years of age travel on Jadrolinija’s international lines for free if they don’t need their own beds. Tickets for children aged 3-12 are 75% cheaper than adult prices. Travel with your dog for an additional €5. Guide dogs are free of charge.
WiFi is available on international lines, and the ferries have a coffee bar, restaurant, kids corner, small chapel and vehicle garage.
Jadrolinija Croatia ferry guide: What you need to know was originally published 19 November 2017.