Croatia has a lot going for it. Your country has the ability to be the next Greece or Ibiza if you play your cards right. From beaches to culture and ridiculously awesome food, the country is quickly taking the traveling world by storm. However, your Jadrolinija ferries are standing in the way of spurring vast economic success across your Adriatic nation.
Let’s start with the booking system. No tourist wants to wait until we get at the port to buy our tickets. Especially, when most likely when we get there, tickets to the island of our choice from Split will be sold out for five hours if not sometimes even five days. I just flew half way around the world to get here; let me buy my tickets in advance online and at least know that I will make it to my final destination. I was lucky- I only had to wait five hours for the next available ferry to Hvar. And that was the slow ferry, the fast ferries were already sold out for the day. Not to mention, that was during the low season. What happens to travelers who visit the Croatian islands in the middle of July? I really don’t even want to know.
Even if you work the booking system out to let travelers book tickets ahead of time, and I know it’s a stretch, but even at a port other than the one they are departing from let’s talk about the times you offer trips to the islands. While I understand the need to get workers to and from various islands early in the day, no tourist wants to take a 06:15 ferry that arrives at the next island by 06:45. What hotel do you think I’m checking into at that time? Or where am I even grabbing a coffee? Everything is closed until at least 09:00. Basically, thanks to your time schedule, I’m left sitting on the side of the curb with my luggage like a hobo with no where to go. And going back to workers moving across the islands to start the work day. When exactly do they (or us for that matter) get to go home? With only one ferry a day and sometimes even only one or two a week on many routes it seems they’d be stuck on whatever island for the whole summer. You may be asking if I have a problem with the way things are set, why don’t I hire a private boat transfer. Well, that would be because there is no government regulation and a twelve mile trip between Hvar and either Brac or Vis can cost up to 300€ per person. No thanks.
Alternatively, how about you charge tourists $30 for the ride instead of $7 and let us actually visit more than one island on our weeklong trip to Croatia. Maybe we will even stay at your cousins hotel in Bol which probably doesn’t get too many occupants because no one can actually get there without their own boat, and ergo their own built in accommodations. It’s no wonder everyone says Yacht Week is the time to go to Croatia. It’s the only time people can actually get around the islands and even make it there from Dubrovnik. By the way, what’s with that? How have you not thought about connecting your country’s biggest tourist attraction with the other islands people want to see?
Croatia, you’re great. Jadrolinija, you need some work. Think about it.