Traveling to Croatia at the end of April . Is it worth visiting the islands and are ferries running at that time of the year? If the ferries are not running are there smaller boat companies that go to the islands?
Croatia has many passenger and car ferry routes that are subsidized by the state.
The wearer determines if they run on time. April in the southern Adriatic would be warmer than the north.
You can check ferries to various islands like Korcula or Brac or northern islands like Cres and Losinj online.
Catamarans carry only foot passengers year round. Road traffic as in rental cars are mostly on the Jadrolihja state ships. Great.
Buses travel all year and drive on and off the ferries as priority boarding, so are well worth using. ARRIVA is now the main bus line.
Yes, there are ferries running all year. People LIVE on these islands - many of the ferries are for them. The ferries are their connection to the mainland. In vacation season, there are more catamarans for the tourists to some of the islands.
I've been to Croatia in May and October. Only been to the islands in October. You could get beautiful weather in April...but I think you should expect some rain (which I had in May). You can get nice weather in October, and it's still possible to swim in the ocean (I did).
I've visited Korcula, Hvar, Vis, and Brac in October. Hvar was the busiest of all of them; not that busy, but the other islands were less so. I'd guess it would be in April too, though surely nothing like the summer so might be quite pleasant. It appears there are still quite a few daily catamarans between Split and Hvar Town in April. You can check monthly ferry schedules here (may change for next year):
If you comfortable not having a fixed itinerary, you can play it by ear with the weather and make last-minute plans to visit the islands depending on the weather. The catamarans may not go in bad weather, but the Jadrolinija car ferries go in much rougher weather. They don't go to some of the towns like Korcula Town and Hvar town - they go to other towns Vela Luka (opposite side of Korcula from Korcula Town) and Stari Grad (Hvar), and there are buses connecting to Korcula Town and Hvar Town. So if you take the catamaran to get there but weather is too rough to leave on a catamaran, you can always make your way by bus to the town served by a car ferry instead.