Overnight Boat Trips From Italy to Croatia
With so many budget airlines operating within Europe these days, it’s fairly easy and inexpensive to get from major cities across the continent to Croatia’s touristic hubs. Still, there’s something alluring about a journey by sea and the chance to fall asleep in one place and wake up in an entirely different one as the ocean glides you along.
Particularly for budget travelers looking for good prices on 1-way travel options and people traveling with their own cars, the chance to take an overnight ferry between Italy and Croatia can be an appealing option.
It’s a pretty straightforward trajectory across the Adriatic Sea from points on the west coast of Italy to Croatia. And the most popular and well-serviced overnight route that operates year-round runs between Ancona in Italy to Split in Croatia -- a 10-hour trip that makes getting between the 2 countries as effortless as dinner and some shuteye.
Overnight Crossing: What You Need to Know
The first thing to know about making the overnight crossing between Italy and Croatia is that it isn’t the Queen Mary II. The boats servicing the destinations are utilitarian car ferries that do have cabins, but space is at a premium and the emphasis is on getting there more than on getting there in style. That said, if you book a cabin you’ll be in for a fairly comfortable -- if not entirely luxurious -- journey.
If you don’t book a cabin, count on passing the night alongside plenty of strangers during the summer months, when passengers stretch out any place there’s space in the common areas to steal a night’s sleep.
3 Trusted Boat Lines
Here are the top 3 trusted boat lines to consider when making the overnight crossing between Italy and Croatia:
Trips depart Ancona in the evenings and arrive 7 hours later in Zadar or 10 hours later in Split. The travel time between Bari and Dubrovnik is 8 hours. You’ll pay extra if you have your car onboard and also if you opt for a private cabin (berths that accommodate up to 4 people are available, as well as doubles). All cabin prices include breakfast, and you can opt for an interior or outside cabin with a private shower and toilet, or save money and opt for shared bathroom facilities. Just don’t expect anything fancy in the way of accommodations and food and you won’t be disappointed. That the ship’s seaworthy is the most important thing, right?
All of the cabins on Blue Line ferries have private bathrooms with a toilet and shower, and they can accommodate between 2 and 4 passengers. The space is cramped, you’re on a boat after all. But there are 2 restaurants, including an a la carte restaurant with basic seafood, pasta and steak dishes, and a self-service restaurant with more casual fare such as pizza and sandwiches. The ship has a small casino and free internet stations, and there’s also a small playground for children.
Last Tips for Overnight Ferry Travel
Book ahead: Particularly during the summer months, berths on overnight crossings fill up quickly. If you’ve rented a car to travel in Italy or Croatia, you’re best off leaving it there and renting anew when you arrive in your new destination. If you do have a car you want to transport between the countries, be sure to book well in advance as car berths fill up particularly fast during the summer due to increased local traffic between the countries.