Why you should use ferries to get to your Croatia Sail

Whilst exploring Croatia and her neighbours (especially Italy!), ferry travel is an often overlooked way to make those essential connections between destinations.

For most of our travellers, Croatia will not be their only European stop off, so why take advantage of one of the best ways to get between Mediterranean countries?

Why choose the ferry?

Cheap – Ferries in Croatia are cheaper than flying and depending on the start point of your trip, there are many ferry routes that are budget friendly and fun! Travelling by ferry allows you to see parts of the coast you would normally miss if you were to fly, and they’re often quicker than by bus or train. Make sure to book in advance and avoid peak travel times to get those cheaper tickets!

Sociable – Many backpackers and solo travellers chose to travel by ferry over other modes of transport as you are almost guaranteed to find other passengers doing the same route as you, and this is a great way to make new friends or gain inspiration for new destinations from fellow travellers.

Freedom on board – Rather than being confined to a designated seat or cabin, you can grab a snack and roam about freely. Most ferries even have luxury lounges, where you can pay a bit extra and hang out in air-conditioned rooms with a freshly made meal. If the lounge isn’t for you (or your bank balance) the top deck might just do the trick! Treat yourself to a cold beer and enjoy the stunning views of the Med that drift by.

Sea breeze – Everybody loves the ocean and the ebb of the waves on your journey will lull the brain into a calm meditative state. This means a fresh-faced, rejuvenated feeling for your next destination, or your Go Croatia Sail cruise with us.

Stress free – Unlike flights where you need piles of paperwork and have to worry about luggage allowance, ferries are quick and easy to board. Just turn up to the correct port no more than 60 mins before departure, load your baggage and let the journey commence. We do recommend booking your ferries in advance, especially if travelling in high season to ensure you get a spot. At the end of this article, you can see a link to FERRYHOPPER, where we suggest booking your ferries, they make life very stress-free when it comes to finding the right route for you.

Best locations – instead of flying into airports that need an additional shuttle into the nearest city centre, most ferries take you directly to the centre of town or convenient port near the action. No traffic, no extra shuttle bus cost, no stress!

Getting to Croatia:

Arrival from Italy is the most popular way to get to your Croatia Sail, and this gives you a chance to explore some of the Italian coastline before or after your sail. There are well established ferry routes between Italy and Croatia, and they happen to fit nicely with our departure and arrival locations. Make sure you know where your Croatia Sail is departing from so you don’t hop on the wrong ferry!

Routes to/from Croatia:

  • Bari (Italy) – Dubrovnik
  • Ancona (Italy) – Split


The best way to get to Split by ferry from Italy is to hop on one from Ancona.

Ancona is a seaside city on Italy’s Adriatic coast. It is known for its famous cathedral, which lies above the city. With sandy beaches and fascinating gothic architecture, this Italian gem would be the perfect way to start (or end) your Italy-Croatia trip. Ancona also has a well-connected airport with one of the most popular routes being London Stansted to Ancona with Ryanair.

The ferry runs once every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is an overnight ferry and only costs 25 euros.


To get to Dubrovnik you can board a ferry in the southern Italian port city of Bari.

Occupying a headland between two harbours, Bari’s Old Town is popular with tourists who love history and its charming labyrinth of narrow streets. The Basilica of San Nicola is one of the most significant religious buildings in Italy, and whether or not religion is your thing, it’s a pretty spectacular sight! Not just for pretty views, Bari’s port has connections to many seaside locations all around the Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik is one of them!

Ferries from Bari run once a week from July to October, taking around 7 hrs.


Another option is to explore parts of Croatia where Croatia Sails are not so common, such as the northern coast of Istria, then take a Croatian ferry south to Dalmatia. Krilo-Kapetan Luka, the Croatian ferry company, has a route that goes from Pula to Zadar, perfect for getting from Istria to Dalmatia!

When planning your sail with us, you could also go the other way round and fly into Croatia, do a Go Croatia Sail 4, 5 or 8 day cruise, then take a ferry to Italy after your cruise.

So, when the time comes to book your Croatia Sail, keep in mind the humble ferry as an option to get to us.

We highly recommend using FERRYHOPPER to book your ferries – the app is super easy to navigate, and the team are always happy to help with bookings!

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