Please Help! Ferries between Dubrovnik Hvar Korcula and Split

First trip to Croatia and feeling very overwhelmed. Am having a lot of trouble finding ferry information between these locations. Advice please, oh seasoned travelers!

Desired ferry/catamaran/boat/seagull (just kidding, I'm way to big to be carried by a seagull :) plan:

Wed 9/3 early! ferry Dubrovnik to Hvar
Day in Hvar
Evening ferry to Korcula

Thursday 9/4 Korcula

Friday 9/5 early! ferry Korcula to Split

Is this possible?

Thank you to anyone who takes pity on me and responds!

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
183 posts

This might help:

http://www.korculainfo.com/ferries/rijeka-split-hvar-korcula-dubrovnik-bari-ferry-summer.html

Note that some ferries/catamarans go into Vera Luka on Korcula and not Korcula Town (quite a ways away) so make sure you know where you actually want to go!

Besides ferry service a few days a week between Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar and Split, there is daily catamaran service between Korcula-Hvar-Split. And there is daily bus service between Dubrovnik and Korcula Town. Going from Dubrovnik to Hvar for just a day then back to Korcula might not work out logically, because you would be going south back to Korcula - and then the catamaran you'd probably take north to Split would stop in Hvar on the way...

Posted by susan s
7 posts

Thank you, Andrew! I will check out the link. Might need your help again but hopefully this will point me in the right direction. :)

Posted by Lynda
Lumbarda, Korcula, Croatia
5 posts

Andrew is correct regarding backtracking to Korcula.
There is a catamaran everyday from Korcula-Hvar-Split starting at 6am... they have added another one to the schedule for the summer which I am not so familiar with, but I believe it leaves at 9:30.
Dubrovnik to Korcula not so easy, as there is not a catamaran everyday. Check the catamaran schedule and the boat schedule, 2 different options and run on different days.
Not sure when you actually arrive but I think your best bet is to catch the afternoon bus from Dubrovnik to Korcula, leaving at 3pm.
You arrive around 6:30pm. Your ticket will say Vela Luka but you will stop in Korcula first and then the bus heads to Vela Luka.
Then you have the next whole day in Korcula, stay the night in Korcula and would leave for Hvar the following morning. Stay in Hvar for the day and night and then head to Split the following morning.
Those would be your best logisitics :)
Good luck,
Lynda

Posted by Jacqueline
Bend, Oregon, USA
10 posts

Hi I am overwhelmed too! Our trip is in September. We will be starting in Venice, Italy and I thought it would be easy to catch a ferry to Dubrovnik. Then I wanted to work our way up the coast. But I don't think that is possible. Susan please share what you did and what you would recommend!
Thanks,
Jacqueline

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6488 posts

Some additional ferry web sites you may find useful: www.aferry.com and www.jadrolinija.hr. Ferries from Venice run summer only and only to the northern end of Croatia. Other ferries from Italy run Ancona-Split or Bari-Dubrovnik.

Posted by cjbinroch
3 posts

Trying to go Split to Korcula Town in the Afternoon. I've seen references to a 16:00 departure for a fast cat. Has anybody seen the actual schedule from a line. Not sure if it is Jadrolinja or another. I DO see early departures.

Posted by susan s
7 posts

Thanks to all who responded! Really appreciate it! :) Per your rec's, restructuring our trip from Dubrovnik-Hvar-Korcula-Split to Dubrovnik-Korcula-Split. Will only stop at Hvar in between Korcula and Split if we can figure out a way to fit it in.

Tried to do my due diligence, scoured through links but some info. seems outdated (old schedules and such). Can't find direct ferry/catamaran from Dubrovnik to Korcula sooooo . . . Here's what I've come up with:

9/3 - Dubrovnik to Korcula - considering these two options

1 - Korkyra Travel Agency - shared mini van door to door leaves 14hr and 17hr - travel time 2hr15min - cost 20E

(if I win the lottery or find some other folks to share the expense would consider the private transpo at 150E which stops at the wineries and Ston and leaves Dubrovnik whenever we want)

2 - Bus/Ferry - leaves DBV 1x per day 15:00 arrives 18:15 - 100 Kunas (roughly same as 20E, I think?)

9/5 - Korcula to Split - ONLY option I'm finding is JADROLINA
6:00am depart Korcula - 8:00 Hvar - 9:05 Split
or
2:15pm depart Korcula - 4:55 Split

Looks like there are two afternoon ferries from Hvar to Split 1:45-3:25 and 3:50-4:55. Reasonable to take the 6:00am ferry from Korcula to Hvar then take either the 1:45 or 3:50 ferry on to Split? That way we'd get at least a few hours bumming around Hvar.

Am I on the right track now? Mucho thanks again!

Susan

P.S. Good luck, Jacqueline! Hope you enjoy Italy. Andrew and Jacqueline - I see you're in the PacNW, my old home. I just moved from the Portland area to South Carolina! Love them both. :)

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
183 posts

I'm not sure that the Korkyra service is automatic - you may have to contact them and schedule it (contact them ASAP or as soon as you have firm plans for Dubrovnik dates). I tried using them but it was October and they either weren't running or didn't respond when I tried to contact them (I don't remember anymore), so I took the public bus - same one you list above (looks like about the same time).

100 Kuna is closer to 13 euros - but the Korkyra would probably be well worth the extra 7 euros to get in an hour earlier by taking the 14:00 shuttle (and cut an hour from the travel time) plus avoid taking a bus from the center of Dubrovnik to the Dubrovnik main bus station, which is a mile or two from the center as I recall (so I took a local bus to get there, quick but still one more connection). Otherwise, the public bus was fine - clean and comfortable. (may cost a few extra Kuna for luggage under the bus FYI, so have some cash on hand). There are a few stops for breaks, one at a local restaurant where you can use a bathroom or get snacks (or chat with the driver as he takes a smoke break). The ride along the peninsula to Orebić is nothing amazing to take in (not a scenic coastal drive or anything) but it's not bad. The bus simply waits in line for the local ferry at Orebić to Korcula along with the cars.

Posted by susan s
7 posts

Thanks, Andrew! Your details are really helpful and I agree the few extra euros are well worth it to shave an hour off the travel time between Dubrovnik and Korcula as well as the convenience of a minvan over a bus. Contacted Korkyra folks on Wed, still waiting to hear back. Guess taking the bus will be our back up plan. Unless you can recommend any other minivan type drivers? Good to know the drive on the peninsula between DBV and Kor is nothing special. Rick described the wineries and the town of Ston as just "maybe" worth while to see. I don't think we're going dally there. BTW did you (or anyone else out there!) take any day trips out of Dubrovnik that you'd recommend. Rick touts Mostar and my sister is eager to see it. I'm on the fence, it looks like a long bus to see another town that just looks a lot like Dubrovnik. Maybe I'm wrong, won't be the first time. :) Cavat looks interesting though. Any thoughts on these two day trips? Any others you'd recommend? Thanks again to you and everyone who responded! Hope I can return the favor someday.

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
183 posts

I don't know of any other mini-van/shuttle services besides the one you already have. I seem to recall that I too tried to contact them and got no response to my email. I finally called them while I was in Dubrovnik, I think, and was either told they had nothing at that time or didn't talk to anyone. I get the idea that that travel agency runs shuttles in high season when there might be a lot of demand. September may not be busy enough for them to do it.

I rented a car in Zagreb and drove to Dubrovnik over several days, and I stopped in Mostar for a night on the way. I'm really glad I did - it added an extra dimension to my Croatian experience; Mostar is very different. But it is quite touristy now especially during the day. It's not a huge town and doesn't require a lot of time to see - a few hours is really plenty - but like many popular towns, it feels more authentic at night after the day trippers have left. If you think it's worth it as a day trip (which many people do), keep in mind it might be crowded walking around.

I didn't do any other excursions from Dubrovnik; by the time I got there in October, I think many high season excursion options weren't available. In September you'll have more choices than I did.

Posted by Jacqueline
Bend, Oregon, USA
10 posts

Hi Susan and Andrew - Greetings from Bend, Oregon!
I realized I was doing this the wrong direction. I need to be working my way from north to south since ferries are limited from Italy. So now I booked a ferry from Venice to Rovinj and we will spend 2 nights there.
How does this sound?
Venice to Rovinj by ferry. Spend 2 nights
Rent a car and drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Spend 1 night somewhere near there. Ideas?
Drive to Split. Drop off car and spend 1 night.

Take ferry to Hvar and Korcula - 2 nights.
Ferry to Dubrovnik for 3 nights - sounds like from your conversation that this is not so easy?

Fly to Zagreb to catch flight home (flights are only $57!)
Any advice on this?
Many Thanks,
Jacqueline

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
183 posts

Jacqueline, the last time I priced one-way car rentals within Croatia, it cost somewhat more for short rentals (just a few days). The last time I rented (2009, via Auto Europe), there was a minimum 4 day rental period to avoid an extra cost, to rent in Zagreb and drop in Dubrovnik. Perhaps that's changed - but keep that in mind; it may cost a bit more for renting a car only 2-3 days.

Instead of saying near Plitvice, you might stay IN Plitvice. There are several hotels right in the park. They are slightly overpriced for what you get, but they are super convenient. Moreover, if you arrive later in the day from Rovinj, you could see the park first thing the next morning - arriving before big tour groups arrive is highly recommended - then head off to Split. You could even see the park part of two days, like I did. If you stay at a park hotel, you can walk right into the park, and they will stamp your ticket from the previous day at the hotel front desk so you can avoid paying a park entry fee the second day (at least that's how it was in 2009).

I'm not sure how two nights in Hvar AND Korcula (two for both?) would work. The daily catamaran service, if it's on the same schedule as it was in 2009, leaves Split late in the afternoon or early evening and stops in Hvar then on to Korcula. It may not be practical to try to see both with only two nights. You might pick one or the other, and Korcula is probably going to be easier. (I didn't visit Hvar, only Korcula).

Whether it's hard to get from Korcula to Dubrovnik by ferry depends on the time of year. In the summer, I believe there is daily catamaran service, but not off season - then you'd be limited to a ferry once or twice a week going up and down the coast, so you'd have to time it right with your departure day to Dubrovnik. Otherwise, I think there's a daily bus early from Korcula Town to Dubrovnik all year. On Sunday(?) there may even be two buses.

Another option would be to keep the car longer and drive from Plitvice to Split, then to Korcula via ferry. If you catch the daily car ferry right from Split on the right day you could do that, or you could drive south from Split and take two short ferries across the peninsula via Orebić (look on a Google map of Croatia). Then after Korcula you could take the ferry back to the mainland in the same way and drop the car in Dubrovnik. (I'm not aware of a similar path via car to Hvar - maybe there is.) Having the car adds some extra cost and inconvenience if you have to park it, but it gets you off of the rigid ferry/catamaran/bus schedules that can be inconvenient especially outside of summer.

Flying to Zagreb might work fine in your case. Croatia Airlines might have direct flight out of Dubrovnik to western Europe without a connection in Zagreb, maybe just once or twice a week, if you can time it right - then you could skip the connection in Zagreb. I had a direct flight on Croatia Airlines from Split to Paris; unfortunately it was canceled at the last minute and I had to take a (very early!) connecting flight via Zagreb anyway. But if there's a chance to avoid the stop in Zagreb - unless you really want a night there - maybe best to try and put that extra night somewhere else.

Posted by Jacqueline
Bend, Oregon, USA
10 posts

Andrew you are very helpful! Your idea of keeping the car until Dubrovnik sounds like a good option. I also agree that we should skip Hvar as it sounds just too touristy for us. Are you suggesting that we take the car to Korcula or leave it on the mainland while we are on Korcula? And if we take the car ferry, should we make reservations before we leave the US?

Thanks for the great advice to stay in Pitvice! I like the idea of staying in the park. I just didn't know where there were hotels. Its a lot to read about and I have watched Rick Steve's video on Croatia several times now.
Thanks for all your help!
Jacqueline

Posted by Jacqueline
Bend, Oregon, USA
10 posts

Trying to figure out the ferry is a bit overwhelming. But this is what I think I know - There are many more options for ferries leaving out of Orebic (car plus foot traffic). I don't know why but I can only find the time table for foot passengers Korcula to Orebic but I assume that there are lots of time going out to the island: http://www.korculainfo.com/ferries/orebic-korcula-passenger-only-service.html

There is only one ferry per day leaving out of Split.
The bottom line is that I don't think we will have any trouble getting a ferry on any given day in September getting to and back again to Korcula. Please correct me if I am wrong!

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
183 posts

Don't worry about feeling - planning my Croatia trip in 2009 was by far the most difficult one I've ever planned! As you are finding out, there are so many details for ferries etc. that you normally don't have to deal with elsewhere in, say, western Europe, where you may need only to book a train. I think the reason I still remember all the details five years later is that they were a challenge to figure out!

I didn't take a car to Korcula - I took the bus from Dubrovnik. That bus drives up the peninsula from Dubrovnik to Orebić and takes the car/passenger ferry like everyone else. I don't know if people are making reservations for it or not - I kind of doubt it. I assume it was first come, first serve. It's a ferry that seems to run a lot during the day; if you don't get on this one, you'll get on the next one.

(There's another ferry you have to take across from the mainland to the peninsula and then drive across the short distance to Orebić right? I think both of these are local ferries not requiring advanced reservations.)

If you have a car in Korcula, you would have the option of seeing more of the island than just Korcula Town - which is your default option when you don't have a car. I think there's a car parking lot near the bus stop/ferry stop. You might expect to walk to your lodging from the parking lot, something you would probably do anyway without a car. Maybe you leave the car in the parking lot most of the time while in Korcula unless you explore some of the rest of the island.

Could you park the car on the mainland or in Orebić while you are in Korcula? Perhaps - not sure if that's an option, but you'd have more flexibility having the car in Korcula for exploring as noted above. It might cost a little more. Probably worth it.

In Plitvice, I stayed at the "Hotel Plitvice." Read the reviews on Trip Advisor - I think that is the "middle of the road" hotel among the three(?) there, one being cheaper one being more expensive. This hotel didn't have WiFi in 2009 at all, but its more expensive sister nearby, the Hotel Jezero, had free WiFi in the lobby. That's how I checked my email one night. Don't expect any of the park hotels to be that great. Hotel Plitvice felt like it hadn't been re-modeled since Tito was around, but it was sort of a kick. A commie hotel! It felt a bit overpriced for what you get (you can eat there, but I think I drove to a little pizza place/bar in the tiny town nearby.)

Posted by dhammer53
13 posts

We came back from Croatia last month. I was under the impression that there were issues with the catamaran and the Croatian government. Better check.

Also check the schedules. The fall/winter schedule starts sometime in September. Our trip involed the June And the July schedule. Oye.

For the record, we flew into Dubrovnik, then took the ferry to Korcula. We spent 2 days and 2 nights here thanks to the advice of the RS Guidebook. We then took the ferry Korcula/Hvar and spents 2 days and nights there. Truth be told, both islands could have used a 3rd day and night. We ended up in Split.

Ferry cost:

DUB/KOR ~USD$25 for a one way adult ticket - 4 hours. Snack bar is coffee, candy and booze. There is a restaurant. Across from the dock in Dubrovnik, you can load up on food.

KOR/HVAR ~USD$12
HVAR/SPLIT ~USD$9.50

FYI, they don't announce when you're arriving in port; so if you're napping, you'll miss your stop.

Posted by Jacqueline
Bend, Oregon, USA
10 posts

Sounds like you really liked the islands. I am worried that I am trying to pack too much in and just don't have the time. This is what I have so far:
Ferry from Venice to Rovinj - 2 nights in Rovinj
drive to Plitvice Lakes - 1 night there
drive to Split or Ston or somewhere to take the ferry to Korcula with the car - 1 night on Korcula
drive to Dubrovnik for 3 nights
I have already booked the Rovinj, Plitvice and Dubrovnik nights.
Here is my question - would it be better to add a night to Dubrovnik and do a day excursion to Korcula with a tour group? The ferry with a car sounds time consuming and difficult.

Posted by susan s
7 posts

Thanks, DHammer53! I will be sure to not nap on the ferry and miss the Hvar stop. :)

Jacqueline - wish I could give you advice on your timing question but since this is my first time there I don't know. I will say the older I get the more I want to slow down a little more and savor what I see. Good luck and have a fab trip! Would love to know what you decide.

BTW - I arranged the Korkya mini van/ferry from Dubrovnik to Korcula town. 20E per person. Korkya travel is apparently right in old town Dubrovnik and they will take you to your hotel (or as near as possible) in Korcula town. I've been emailing with Goretti and (he/she?) has been very responsive and friendly. Sounds like Andrew didn't have as good experience with them.

Leaving in a few days! Here I go! :)

Posted by Andrew H.
Portland, Oregon
183 posts

Glad to hear you got in touch with Korkya and they are able to accommodate you, Susan. That will be much more convenient than the bus I took (which was OK but could have been better). In regards to my "experience" with them: to be fair, you are going still "in season" and I was trying to go in October. I never got any response to my email messages - but perhaps that's because they were done for the season by then, who knows? Some of these places may partly or completely shut down out of season. And this was five years ago...

Posted by susan s
7 posts

Yes, things can change a lot in five years! And like you're saying, they may just shut down during the off season. We sure found that was the case when we were researching our trip to Greece a few years back. Thanks again for all your help! Enjoy the NW summer! :)

Posted by janwac
1 posts

Hi there - Have been reading about ferries (and trying to interpret the schedules) from Dubrovnik to Korcula and wanted to verify whether or not we'll be able to catch one on either May 9th or May 10th - or whether we need to take a mini-van/bus to Orebic and then the ferry to Korcula?

Second question then is whether there are regular ferries from Korcula to Hvar and to Split between May 11th and 12th?
Appreciate the help!

Posted by susan s
7 posts

Hi Janwac

We traveled from Dubrovnik to Korcula in late Aug/early Sept. (can't remember the exact dates now). Wound up using service listed above (Korkyra?). Arranged it directly with them on line, they have an office right outside the Dubrovnik city gates. Took minivan then very short ferry ride. Worked out great, not an exciting ride in particular but reasonably priced and was on time. Not sure what's available in May. The ferry from Korcula to Hvar/Split (again, at least in Aug/Sept) was available once or twice a day but you needed to get your tickets the day before to guarantee you had a seat. This was our first time in Croatia and we had a great time BUT the transpo in general took more attention/arranging then say, the ferries in Greece or trains in western Europe. Hope this helps! Have a wonderful trip! :)