Friday, 29 April 2022

Meet the Remote Work Destinations Heading to Dubrovnik for Work. Place. Culture.

April 30, 2022 - Collaboration is getting stronger, as a number of remote work destinations are heading to Dubrovnik next week for the Work. Place. Culture. conference from May 5-7.  

Around 18 months ago, few people had ever mentioned the words 'Dubrovnik' and 'digital nomads' in the same sentence. How times change... Croatia's first-ever dedicated conference for nomads, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads, followed by the award-winning Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program, changed all that, and the city has been quietly implementing its strategy to attract more remote workers. 

A sign of the progress Dubrovnik has made in the global DN story will be reflected in the very global attendee list next week as Dubrovnik's latest conference in the sector, Work. Place. Culture, which takes place from May 5-7. 

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In addition to leading remote companies eager to join - including VP People at Remote.com, CEO Butter and our keynote speakers (Gartner, RoRemote, Growmotely, Make The Leap Digital) and presenters from the ABC Travel Network, The Remote Life Podcast, a number of destinations at various  stages of their own DN journeys will be heading to Dubrovnik (either remotely or in person) to take place in a conference which will bring together a diverse and collaborative community of remote work professionals for 3 days of presentations, networking and socialising. Confirmed attendees include 3 leaders in digital nomad hubs: Bansko, Estonia and Sun & Co Coliving Spain. The conference will also feature initiatives from destinations looking to position themselves to the DN market - such as Scotland, Mostar, BiH, Venice, Central Istria, Croatia and Tirana, Albania.

Just as Dubrovnik hsa been pioneering in its efforts, so too Croatia is an early mover on certain initiatives. Only the second country in Europe after Estonia to initiate a digital nomad visa, Croatia was the first in the world to found a Digital Nomad Association. The initiative has beeen well received elsewhere, and there will be representatives of no less than 4 DNAs at the conference. 

TCN reached out to some of the conference participants and destinations ahead of Work. Place. Culture. conference (you can see the programme and buy ticktets here). 

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DNA Croatia - one of the many achievements in the early Croatian DN story was the founding of the world's first Digital Nomad Association. Why do you think countries need such an association, and what have you achieved so far?

Michael Freer, DNA Croatia

For countries like Croatia, an association can complement public efforts in trying to promote the country as a destination. It also has the luxury of working with both private and public bodies, without necessarily having to go through the red tape that public bodies do, nor have to focus on digital nomads as a customer like the private sector has to. Finally it can act as a neutral friend of digital nomads, looking to support, connect and inspire them before, during and after their experience in that country.

On the other hand, you have DNA America, which is very much about supporting DNs from the US outside of the US, rather than attracting DNs to the US (although this could also be part of their later mission). In this way they can also connect the community, and act as a digital nomad embassy providing US specific support around certain subjects like taxation or immigration when needed.

Whether a sending or receiving DNA, they are both vital for the ecosystem and building that momentum, vision and representation of DNs worldwide. 

In terms of our achievements, we're right at the beginning of our journey, and have learnt a lot and gained so much experience in the last 18 months as an association. We think DNA Croatia, along with those we collaborate with, like TCN and Saltwater, to name but a few, have to be proud of how Croatia is perceived outside of Croatia. We've created and most definitely earned an impressive global reputation. 

On a more local scale, we think it's an achievement to see all of us collaborators working together, from all three sectors, pushing forward with the same vision - to make the whole of Croatia a digital-nomad friendly and slow travel destination all year round.

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DNA Croatia, DNA Italy - two countries and neighbours with a rich history and much in common on the Mediterranean. How can we synergise to develop a Mediterranean Nomad Trail for the benefit of all?

Giovanni Filippi, DNA Italy

Digital nomadism is a global, transversal and conscious movement, in exponential growth and continuous evolution, involving people of all ages, with very different personal, professional and cultural backgrounds. People free to live and work anywhere generally choose to move to those destinations where the quality of life is better, especially seaside, in close contact with nature and with a favorable climate.

The Mediterranean coasts would be an ideal destination for many of them: encouraging synergies between the various Mediterranean countries in order to attract digital nomads represents an opportunity for Europe to foster cohesion among its members and attract people with skills useful to improve the economies of its territories.

The Associations of Italy and Croatia, and of all the others that want to be involved, could start to collaborate in the organization of a series of online and offline activities involving digital nomads and local communities to let them encounter and interact with each other, co-designing together territorial and extraterritorial events and projects that can be collected in a Mediterranean Nomad Trail.

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Bulgaria is home to one of Europe's most dynamic nomad destinations and festivals in Bansko. How is the scene developing nationwide, and how can we integrate it more into a Balkan Nomad Trail? 

Martina Mihneva, DNA Bulgaria

Digital Nomads Association of Bulgaria (https://www.linkedin.com/company/digitalnomads-bulgaria/) was officially established in February 2022 with the aim to work together with the Bulgarian government and create the right environment for the digital nomads who are choosing to spend part of their life in Bulgaria. We want to create the needed regulatory conditions that will make Bulgaria easily accessible for digital nomads from all around the world and to offer these people the right places for co-working and co-living, entertainment and learning about Bulgarian culture in several locations on the territory of Bulgaria. 

Currently, we are working on creating a proposal to the government for a Digital Nomad Visa that will ease the process of  getting permission to stay for a year in Bulgaria for digital nomads and their families. Also, we are creating an online platform that will gather the digital nomads community in Bulgaria, will include all the information needed for a digital nomad to plan a stay in Bulgaria, do the needed paperworks and will offer complete information for accommodation and co-living spaces, co-working spaces, tourist destinations and events. We are planning to create weekly meetings for digital nomads where they can meet and know each other, exchange ideas and make plans for cooperation, share stories from their journey as a digital nomad, as well as present different destinations and cultures they have visited. 

DNA USA - the first digital nomad association outside Europe! Tell us why you founded it, who are your members, and what your vision is for the association?

Erkan Munishi, DNA USA

The Americans are the largest group of digital nomads in the world and the pandemic has given a different perspective to everyone in the US and around the globe on their freedom and priorities when it comes to working remotely. The Digital Nomad Association USA (DNA USA) was founded with the goal of bringing the American digital nomads together to support each other, and sharing their stories and skills with many other Americans who are hoping to go remote. It is the only digital nomad association that is both origin-based and destination-based. We also promote destinations within the United States that cater to digital nomads and we work on growing the number of destinations that improve their infrastructure focusing on creating a better work and life environment for remote workers.

Croatia may be attracting a lot of the nomad headlines in the region, but once can definitely feel the emergence of a Balkan Nomad Trail. How is the scene in Mostar, and where does Mostar fit into this new Balkan Trail?

Ana Bogdanovic, INTERA Technology Park, Mostar 

Mostar and Herzegovina have a lot to offer to digital nomads. Less than hour far from the border with Croatia, Mostar should be the next stop for digital nomads. Geographical position, beauty of nature, hospitality of people, gastronomy, safety, low living costs and great coworking space are some of the advantages of this area. When you add development of web platform for digital nomads and educational programs for key stakeholders which we plan to implement in the next few months, Mostar imposes oneself as an obvious digital nomad destination. 

Scotland - with sterotypes of noamds on laptops at the beach, Scotland can appear at first to be a little off the beaten path when it comes to the nomad lifestyle. What kinds of nomads are coming to stay, and what are the main Scottish competitive advantages?

Jemma Reid, JR Event Sales

Scotland, with its rugged landscapes, dark skies and temperamental weather, may appear off the beaten path when it comes to the typical digital nomad / workcation lifestyle. However there is a fantastic opportunity to work with and engage with likeminded people that work internationally within the food and drink sector, to consider Scotland as a workcation destination. A place to escape, a place to think, a place to taste and experience exceptional food and drink – a new place to work. We are really looking forward to attending the conference to hear from those looking for a new adventure, scenery like no other, peace, tranquillity and ensuring Scotland can be considered as the new go to place to be a remote working/ workcation destination.

And a final word from Ukraine, which will also be represented at the conference: 

Orest Zub, Ukraine

Ukraine will emerge from this war stronger and more progressive than before. The entire world has united around Ukraine embracing us into the global community. It is not the war between Ukraine and Russia only. It is a war between good and bad, between light and evil. Rarely in history the red line was so clearly visible... Currently we stand for ideal liberal values many of which have been forgotten in the West. So once the war is over we are waiting everyone who wants to join rebuilding Ukraine :-)

Looking to attend the Work. Place. Culture. conference? More details here.

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Friday, 29 April 2022

Work. Place. Culture. Dubrovnik Conference Next Week: Full Programme

April 30, 2022 - A number of movers and shakers in the global remote work industry will be heading to Dubrovnik next week - meet the full programme.

It is almost exactly 18 months since the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads. The Pearl of the Adriatic followed this up with the award-winner Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence programme in April 2021. Dubrovnik's determination to establish itself as a digital nomad destination continues with the latest initiative bringing influential players and destinations in the remote work space to Dubrovnik for next week's Work. Place. Culture. conference, from May 5-7.  The conference is part of the continued collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, Digital Nomad Association Croatia, and Total Croatia News. 

Some of the highlights:

  • There will be 50 presenters over 2 days, with over 20+ virtual, the rest in person.
  • Leading remote companies have been eager to join - including VP People at Remote.com, CEO Butter and our keynote speakers (Gartner, RoRemote, Growmotely, Make The Leap Digital) and presenters from the ABC Travel Network, The Remote Life Podcast, Expat in Croatia, DNA Croatia and more.
  • 3 leaders in digital nomad hubs: Bansko, Estonia and Sun & Co Coliving Spain.
  • Initiatives from destinations looking to position themselves to the DN market - such as Scotland, Mostar, BiH, Venice, Central Istria, Croatia and Tirana, Albania.
  • The speakers includes on of last year's Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence (and baby DNIR) joining remotely from Hvar to moderate a panel. 

The full programme is now available and can be viewed below or on the official Work. Place. Culture. website. Some tickets are still available, and they can be obtained through the website. It promises to be a stimulating few days, and it is encouraging to see such global interest from individuals and destinations which are helping to define the future of work.

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Looking to attend the Work. Place. Culture. conference? More details here.

To learn more about the destination, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide, and also visit the official Sun Gardens Dubrovnik website.  

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Work & Play in Paradise: NaviSavi Wins Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Workation

April 28, 2022 - Imagine you worked in a global startup and had never met your colleagues but had worked together for over a year. And then you won a 7-day luxury workation in the Pearl of the Adriartic at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. Congratulations NaviSavi! 

They are flying in from Nebraska, Costa Rica, Stockholm and Mumbai. Most have never met, even though they have been working intensely together for well over a year. And now, a 7-day luxury stay at the award-winning Sun Gardens Dubrovnik resort awaits. 

As part of next week's Work. Place. Culture. conference in Dubrovnik, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik generously agreed to host a 7-day workation package for the successful applicants of the conference 'Win a Workation' package. Travel app startup NaviSavi won the prize (you can see their video entry above).

CEO Sally Bunnell was more than happy to talk to TCN about what it means to finally meet some of her senior team in the flesh, as well as a fifth visit to Dubrovnik: 

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1. Congratulations on winning the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Workation competition. A week by the pool on the Adriatic coast. How did you hear about the competition, and why did you decide to apply?

I don’t know if the universe was listening, but I had just said to myself recently, "I need just one week (literally) to sit still at a pool or a beach, unwind, and preferably somewhere warm!"

I am part of a digital nomad group called the Wi-Fi Tribe and we have a very strong community in person and online. Someone from the Tribe posted about this opportunity in our Slack Channel and I thought, I would love to win that! I had it on my agenda to apply, but I’ve been so busy, I had completely forgotten. When I went back to check it out more, I noticed it was just an hour before the submission deadline! Since we were all spread out in time zones (and it was Friday evening!) I quickly applied on behalf of my entire team. So, I think this was the universe responding, when we found out we had been chosen! 

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2. According to your application video, you have never met most of your colleagues, and your team is spread across the USA, Costa Rica, India, England and Stockholm. For those of us from older generations, take us through the process of starting a company remotely and working for over a year with colleagues you have never met?

Well, I never intended to start a remote company!  I have always worked ‘semi-remote’ and traveled for my professions in the music and entertainment industry, but it was all kind of by luck. I was supposed to release NaviSavi, April 1, 2020, and guess what hit just a few weeks previous…. The Pandemic! 

I wasn’t happy with the current development team and since we decided to not release the app during COVID, I thought it was time to look elsewhere for help. I called up an old music industry friend, David Pears, from the UK, who had recently transitioned into Tech, and asked him for some ‘advice.’ Before I knew it, he and his two developer friends from coding school in Edinburg, were building me a brand-new app from scratch. 

We were all a bit new to this app building process, but during lockdowns we had the time and technology, in which we could all connect, and build a strong founding team. I then began hiring interns via Zoom interviews for the 2020 Summer and had eight great candidates that helped me prepare research, social media and well, try out my own leadership skills. You’d be surprised, 20-year old’s can be quick intimidating when they all sit there with their mics off! 

From there, I expanded the next Fall/Springs Semester 2020/2021 intern teams and at one point we had nearly 40 people working on NaviSavi! I had only met ONE of them in person. I had ‘interns’ who were VPs at Capital One Bank, getting master’s in business, finance, marketing, all working on NaviSavi, as everyone was stuck at home! Some of those have even stayed on and complete our C-Level team!

We even met most of our content creators and influencers at virtual conferences, where we got them signed on to help us populate the app with video content. None of them were able to travel and yet were sitting on thousands of great videos from their past travels and their own cities. 

The pandemic was the best thing that happened to NaviSavi. I’m sure not many travel companies can say that. 

A year later, I finally got the chance for meet about 10 of the interns and a handful of creators in person, and yet, still many I’ve only seen from a screen. Everyone who works with us is forever a part of our NaviSavi family. NaviSavi was built by a community of people who gave their time, energy, and hearts because they too believed in the idea.

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3. How do you encourage things such as teambuilding in such a remote environment?

I always lead with my ‘4H’s’ - Honestly, Humble, Hustle, Have Fun. 

You lead a team by being the example you want them to follow. 

Honesty - I always give it to them real. We are a startup, there is NO BUDGET for that. :) 

Humble - You are never too big or too small in this company. I may be the CEO, but I still will 'sweep the floors' so we can get a job done. Also, if you are in the wrong, acknowledge it and apologize. I do it all the time. 

Hustle - I always encourage my team to charge and take a chance, versus hesitate. It hard to find ‘drive’ and ‘dedication’ but when you do, you never want to stifle that ambition.

Have FUN - Don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are only a video travel app! It’s ok if something goes wrong. Also, it means, Happy Hours! Even on zoom call we play ’NaviSavi Bingo’ or “Caption This” parties in which we all come up with fun social media post captions. I keep doing random, crazy stuff that keeps the team wondering 'what is Rally Sally going to do next!' 

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4. You have visited 96 countries so far. Do they include Croatia? What is your experience of Croatia and Dubrovnik so far?

I’ve been to Croatia six times! Four of those times I spent several nights each in Dubrovnik! It is one of my favorite cities in the world. Amazing history, a mix of cultures, and the FOOD! I’ve been sailing up and down the coasts, parties in Hvar, and even the beautiful Plitvice Lakes national Park!

It was an absolute dream to be welcomed back with this opportunity and to be able to now share this amazing country with my own team! 

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5. Is this your first workcation? How do you envision the week from a work and play perspective? And how to get that balance right?

Technically, as a full-time digital nomad, I’m always on ‘workcation’ - but most people usually only really see it as one big vacation! 

I have spoken many times to my team about getting a ‘weeklong house’ where we can all work together somewhere amazing. This now just happens now to be the first honorary “NaviSavi Retreat Week” in Dubrovnik! What a way to start!  

I am a big work hard, play hard type of person, but I realize that can’t always apply to my team. The first time I meet a new group of my team members in person, I think it’s best over a casual drink. Break the ice a bit and people loosen up quick around each other. But, the next day, when I say we start at 10AM, I am all business and I expect the team to do the same. It’s a level of respect for everyone there. Have fun but show up ready to work. I know my team will great time this week; having some time to themselves, exploring, relaxing, but we walk away from the day of work, once we all feel accomplished. 

As for myself, I get a bit out of balance myself and just end up getting sick in a hotel for a few days, as there is no time to stop when I am jumping from work and events around the world. But as the CEO, I’m learning, taking care of myself is also taking care of my team in the long run. 

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(The winning team will stay in 2 x 2 bedroom residences. Each bedroom has a kingsize bed and ensuite with shared living area.)

6. Tell us a little about your NaviSavi video app, and how it can be used to promote Croatian tourism. Do you have a Dubrovnik addition in your plans?

NaviSavi is simple — point, shoot, and upload, phone videos of experiences and places you love. The app is free and there are no photos, no reviews, and no bullsh*t. Just unedited and unfiltered videos, that show the exact experience in 30 seconds or less. 

We verify each clip for authenticity, so users feel like they are there in the destination with the person holding the camera. We also categorize each clip by location, price and interest so our users don’t have to do any additional research. Since there is no negativity of places, you only see the hidden gems and must do’s things people recommend. Now everyone can build and book travel itineraries with videos.

Our nomads, travel influencers, and even locals are uploading videos and building ‘playlists’ of their favorite places, so others can plan trips from their positive recommendations.

We currently have 25,000 approved videos on our app covering 144 countries, including Croatia. We even brought in one of our favorites, high profile creators, with our team to upload videos of all the must-see places, and the best hidden gems. (We need your suggestions!) In fact, the entire local community can upload and create playlists of their favorite spots, so we can help bring tourists to the small businesses in the area. 

This month we plan to officially launch Dubrovnik as our newest Featured City in our ‘Where 2 Next’ campaign for this summer, to help promote tourism and nomads to the city. 

 7. Tell us about the culture of the workation as a concept. Do you see it becoming mainstream?

There is a new generation of travelers coming, and they are coming with their laptops. The digital age of travel is here, and that means hotels, cities, and businesses need to rethink all the traditional ways of how travel and work used to be. The last two years has seen an absolute boom in digital nomads and remote workers, in additional to how the younger generation craves real experiences, slower travel, and is consuming short form video at an unprecedented rate. I think after this generation has gotten a taste of the work-cation; businesses are going to have a tough time ever getting people back into a traditional job setting. 

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8. And finally, how do you plan your first evening at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, finally meeting your team for the first time after all this time?

Well, it will start with big hugs. Even though we’ve never met some of the team in person, we have been together as a ‘work family’ through the ‘screen’ now almost two years! Then, if I know my crew well, you will see us all celebrating being together with some drinks, food, and I’m sure someone will end up in the pool! Oh, and don’t forget we will be shooting videos of the amazing hotel all night on our phones for NaviSavi! :) 

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Check out the magical Old Town and Sun Gardens Dubrovnik video teaser above - why would you take a workation anywhere else?

Looking to attend the Work. Place. Culture. conference? More details here.

To learn more about the destination, check out the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide, and also visit the official Sun Gardens Dubrovnik website.  

For more news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Recent Herzegovina Earthquake Causes Damage in Dubrovnik Area

April the 28th, 2022 - Several days have now passed since the strong earthquake which had its epicentre in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina also rocked parts of Croatia. Damage in the wider Dubrovnik area has been reported.

As Morski writes, the Herzegovina earthquake was felt across parts of Croatia, particularly in Dalmatia but also in the more continental regions of the country. In the wider Dubrovnik area, damage to residential and other buildings is very much visible. Seismologists have been busy touring the Dubrovnik area's hills and setting up mobile seismographic devices.

Only twenty kilometres from the epicentre of the earthquake in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, lies the town of Trnovica on the wider Dubrovnik area's coast, and the earthquake damage on the hundred-year-old houses in the village can be easily seen.

''You could hear how stones were falling, you didn't know if the houses themselves were entirely collapsing, it's dark, you can hear old dry stone walls collapsing and you can't know if everything around you is caving in or not,'' Pero Groseta, a resident of Trnovica, recalls.

''Everything that could have been broken has been broken, our wall has cracked,'' said another local Trnovica resident, Antonija Broketa.

The church of St. Hilarion (Sv. Ilar) in Mlini, just south of the City of Dubrovnik, now needs a new roof as a result of the recent Herzegovina earthquake. The recently renovated interior of the church is now full of cracks, HRT reports.

Cracks also occurred in the walls of the building of the kindergarten in Trsteno, but fortunately the statics of the building haven't been endangered.

''At no time were any of the children endangered, but due to the damage to the facade, and in agreement with the founder, we decided to move the children to a facility in Zaton,'' explains Dijana Brkic, the director of Pcelica (Little Bee) Kindergarten in Trsteno..

Seismologists now have their hands full once again, much like they did back in March and December 2020. They're travelling around the wider Dubrovnik area and setting up new, mobile instruments that they brought with them from Banovina, now synonymous with earthquakes.

''The importance of these devices is to obtain records of all these subsequent earthquakes and tremors that happen every day, even the weakest ones that aren't felt by humans,'' explained Kresimir Kuk, a very well known Croatian seismologist.

''We need to find the quietest possible location, which means that we need to be away from places where there is strong human activity, traffic and so on, so we're looking for a such a place, but we still need quality electricity and a good internet signal to be able to send information to our centre in Zagreb,'' pointed out Snjezan Prevolnik, another seismologist.

The tremors of the ground are still being felt from time to time, and as much as the people of the wider Dubrovnik area are used to tremors, they hope that this situation will calm down quickly.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

23 Eurowings Croatia Lines from Germany in May!

April 28, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 23 Eurowings Croatia lines from Germany will run next month!

The German low-cost airline, Eurowings, a member of the Lufthansa Group, is resuming traffic on a number of seasonal routes to several Croatian airports in May this year. These are lines from Germany to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik, reports Croatian Aviation.

Eurowings is already present in Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb, and next month it will resume traffic to Pula, Rijeka, and Zadar. These are a significant number of routes that will have a smaller number of weekly flights to most airports, while increases are expected in June and July.

Lines to Pula:

Dusseldorf, from 07.05, once a week, on Saturdays, from 24.05., twice a week, additionally on Tuesdays,

Cologne, from 22.05, 2 times a week, Thursdays and Sundays.

Lines to Rijeka:

Dusseldorf, from 21.05, once a week, Saturdays,

Stuttgart, from 21.05, 2 times a week, Thursdays and Saturdays,

Berlin, from 22.05, 2 times a week, Thursdays and Sundays,

Hamburg, from 22.05, 2 times a week, Wednesdays and Sundays.

Lines to Zadar:

Berlin, from 21.05, once a week, Saturdays,

Cologne, from 21.05, once a week, Saturdays,

Dusseldorf, from 21.05, once a week, Saturdays,

Hamburg, from 21.05, once a week, Saturdays,

Stuttgart, from 22.05, once a week, on Sundays.

Lines to Split:

Dusseldorf, 6 times a week, except Tuesdays, from 23.05 on a daily basis,

Stuttgart, 5 times a week, except Mondays and Wednesdays,

Hamburg, 4 to 5 times a week, except Wednesdays and Fridays,

Cologne, 4 to 5 times a week, except Mondays and Wednesdays,

Dortmund, 2 times a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Lines to Dubrovnik:

Berlin, from 01.05, once a week, on Sundays,

Dusseldorf, once a week, Saturday / Sunday,

Hamburg, from 08.05, once a week, Sundays,

Stuttgart, once a week, on Saturdays.

Lines to Zagreb:

Cologne, 6 times a week except for Saturday,

Dusseldorf, 3 times a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays,

Stuttgart, 5 times a week except for Tuesdays and Saturdays.

According to current announcements, Eurowings will have more than 50 weekly flights on 23 international routes to 6 Croatian airports in May. Although the number of rotations to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, and Dubrovnik will be relatively small, which is expected at the beginning of operations, the airline plans to increase the number of flights in June, which will certainly depend on demand for all flights in the coming weeks.

Eurowings is planning A319 and A320 aircraft on the routes to Croatia, which have a capacity of 144 to 180 seats in the passenger cabin.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Strong Demand for United Airlines Dubrovnik Route this Summer

April 28, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the United Airlines Dubrovnik route is seeing strong demand from Newark Airport, connecting the US with the Adriatic Pearl from May 27 this year.   

United Airlines will continue flights between New York's Newark Airport and Dubrovnik this year, resuming operations on May 27 with a planned four-weekly rotation. Furthermore, the American carrier has expanded its flight program to Dubrovnik with services until the end of the 2022 summer season, which is October 26. 

“We have not seen any softness in terms of demand [to Croatia]”, said Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of International Network and Alliances. He added that the first flight of the season is already sold out in business class from Newark, reports Ex Yu Aviation.

However, Quayle commented that some connections in further east in countries like Poland and Romania, served by United’s partner Lufthansa, could see an impact on demand. 

Last year, United Airlines flew from June 2 to early October and offered more than 22,500 seats in both directions on its four-weekly flight between New York and Dubrovnik. This year, all flights will be operated by a Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

On the other hand, Delta will not continue flights with the Croatian coastal city this summer, after launching flights from New York's JFK Airport last year. A similar scenario happened with American Airlines, which introduced seasonal flights from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik in 2019, and was due to return in 2020 with additional services and capacity. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the airline postponed the route indefinitely.

“Flights from the US performed well above our expectations. These incoming tourists stay in Dubrovnik, which serves as a base for them to explore other places - nearby islands and Dalmatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, these flights are important as they have enabled cargo transport to the United States. As a result, each aircraft departs with around ten tons of exportable goods to the States," Dubrovnik Airport General Manager, Frano Luetić, said last year for Ex Yu Aviation.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

24 Hours in Dubrovnik: Good Things Come in Small Packages

26 April 2022 – For a city of just 21 square kilometers, it’s sure packed full of activities and surprises. Come with me as I showcase the best ways to spend 24 hours in Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic!

A (very) brief history of Dubrovnik

Dating back to the 7th century, Dubrovnik was once a town known as Ragusa, founded by refugees from an ancient Greek colony – Epidaurus. Since then, Dubrovnik has changed hands several times, having been part of the Byzantine Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, and the Kingdom of Dalmatia within the Austrian Empire.

More recently, Dubrovnik became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Banovina of Croatia upon its creation in 1939. During World War II, it was reincorporated into Croatia as part of Yugoslavia prior to Croatia’s independence in 1995.

Right, with that in mind, let’s begin a full day of activities in Dubrovnik!

9.00 a.m. - 10.00 a.m.

What better way to start your day in this rich, historical city than treating yourself to a lush breakfast with an amazing view. While there are a number of restaurants in Dubrovnik, a personal favorite is the breakfast “Orlando” at Gradska Kavana Arsenal, situated in the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old City.

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Located in the very heart of Old Town, overlooking the former medieval shipyard. Image: Management/Tripadvisor screenshot.

Think crispy bacon, eggs, grilled mushrooms, and toast, finished off with a well-made latte (big plus, they have milk alternatives like oat, soy, and almond) to power you through this busy day.

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Can't think of a better way to fuel the day. Image: Tripadvisor/Screenshot.

10.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.

With your bellies filled and the caffeine flowing through your veins, time to explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town, housed within its famed city walls that date back to the 9th century. You can either choose to join one of the free walking tours (2-2.5 hours), take a game of thrones tour, or as I highly recommend, head off on your own adventure. For those who are a choose-your-own-adventure type, here are some not-to-miss spots.

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Famed for its terracotta roofs and stunning architecture, Dubrovnik has been the setting for many international films over the years. Image: Pixabay.

While it’s still early, head to Gndulić Square which hosts the Gunduliceva Poljana Market to pick up souvenirs and treats like small jars of honey, jam, and lavender products before it winds down around noon.

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The market is busiest between 8.00 - 11.00 a.m., so get there early! Image: Sab5859/Tripadvisor screenshot.

Criss-cross the famous Pile and Ploce gates located on opposite ends of the city, and flit through the 300-meter-long pedestrian street called Stradun, whilst ticking numerous monuments off your checklist.

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Stradun, the main pedestrian vein of Dubrovnik's Old Town. Image: Pixabay.

Visit the landmark Bell Tower that’s a rebuild of the 1444 original, the famed Dubrovnik Cathedral and Onofrio Fountain that’s been providing the city with fresh spring water since 1438. Then there’s the St Ignatius Church at the top of Jesuit Stairs; St. Blaise, a Venetian Baroque-style church; Sponza Palace where great minds of the past discussed literature, science, and art; the Rector’s Palace built in 1435 but has not lost any of its former grandeur; before finishing off this exploration at the Franciscan Church and Monastery.

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In the Onofrio fountain, built from 1438 to 1440, each of the sixteen sides has a unique stone-carved design of a masked face. Image: Pixabay.

12.30 p.m. - 1.00 p.m.

All that walking is guaranteed to make you peckish, so head down to Pekara Glavinić and pick up some delicious pastries like the forearm-sized burek, a flakey filo pastry stuffed with cheese and/or meat.

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Nothing like a light, flakey, cheesy snack to keep you going. Image: Recipe 24/Screenshot.

Looking for something sweet? Head down to Slasticarna Ana for an assortment of kolači (sweet pastries) such as a slice of apple strudel, krempita, or a delectable cream puff.

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Do try to get your hands on a luscious, creamy vanilla slice (krempita) when wandering the Old Town. Image: Recipe 24/Screenshot.

1.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m.

While locals would grab a yogurt or coffee to wash all that deliciousness down, I suggest seeking out one of the cliff bars that are unique to Dubrovnik. Buža bar is my star pick as one of the original cliff bars, so well hidden that if you blink, you’d probably miss it. While not a fancy place, think worn metal furniture and curt service, the ice-cold drinks and panoramic views more than makeup for it.

So, sit back, enjoy a drink, and watch the cliff divers leap off a rock beside you to the turquoise waters below (not for the faint of heart).

buza_bar_-_tripadvisor_screenshot_1.jpgThe bar has literally been built into the side of the cliff walls. Image: Tripadvisor/Screenshot.

From here, there are two alternatives for afternoon itineraries.

OPTION 1

2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.

24-hours in Croatia would not be complete without time on the beach to work on that tan. Banje Beach is just a few minute away from the city, boasting views of the Old Town and Lokrum Island. Alternatively, a 20-minute walk from Old Town will bring you to Sveti Jakov, boasting some of the clearest waters along the Dubrovnik Riviera.

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Time for a quick dip in the Adriatic. Image: Pixabay.

4.00 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

2 minutes from Sveti Jakov beach lies the skeletal remains of Hotel Belvedere. Opening its doors in 1985, this once epitome of luxury even had its own helipad and private marine to welcome the well-heeled. Guests could lounge around the pool, and dine at several of its restaurants before dancing the night away at the hotel’s in-house nightclub. Sadly, during the Homeland War (1991-1995), the hotel was bombed and unlike the Old Town of Dubrovnik, has since been left in ruin.

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Go on a slight detour and explore the haunting ruins, scars from a devastating past. Image: Pixabay.

OPTION 2

2.00 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Without a doubt, Lokrum island is one of the most beautiful spots just a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik. Hop on a ferry (€20 return) that runs every hour from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. from the Dubrovnik harbor, and just 15 minutes later, you’re in a different world. One where peacocks strut around without a care in the world, weaving around the luscious greenery of the island.

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Just a short 10/15 minute ferry ride from the Dubrovnik harbour. Image: Pixabay.

While there, try to visit the Botanical Gardens, Royal Fort, and the former Benedictine monastery, or take it easy by lounging on one of the island's many picturesque beaches. Just remember to pack enough food and water as the offerings on the island are quite underwhelming.

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Lokrum is known for being a lush, green jewel. Image: Dubrovnik Tourism Board/Facebook screenshot.

5.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Head back to your accommodation to wash that salt off your skin, recoup, refresh, change into your evening's finest, and get ready for a night out in Dubrovnik.

6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.

Since 1969, visitors have been able to take a short ride aboard the Dubrovnik Cable Car (€22 round-trip) up Mount Srđ that transports you 1350 feet above the Old Town. From the top, you’ll be able to gaze down on the Dalmatian coast and get a bird’s eye view of the terracotta rooftops that are a Dubrovnik icon.
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Alternatively, you can also choose to hike up Mount Srđ. Image: Dubrovnik Tourism Board/Facebook screenshot.

While at the top of Mount Srđ, indulge in a bottle of wine or cocktails, paired with a sensational cheese plate whilst watching the sunset at Panorama Restaurant. As you can imagine, this will be a pricey experience but again, the atmosphere and views here are second to none.

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Panaroma Bar offers an unparalleled bird's eye view of Dubrovnik and the stunning sunsets. Image: Management/Tripadvisor screenshot.

8.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.

Cheeks flushed, bellies half-full, now’s the perfect time to round out the evening with some good, hearty cuisine. There’s only one place for you: Pantarul. Housing a simple, modern, and cozy interior, Pantarul’s food is creative, honest, and absolutely delish. With a seasonal menu, all dishes are prepared using ingredients sourced from the surroundings of Dubrovnik such as the regions of Župa and Konavle. The tender braised ox cheeks and vegetable risotto are the stand-out dishes that I would not hesitate to get again and again.

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Expect high-quality seasonal ingredients and creative presentations in a warm, intimate setting. Image: Alajandra G/Tripadvisor screenshot.

At this point, you might want to call it a night but for those night owls looking for more, here are some spots to check out.

10.00 p.m. - the sun comes up

There’s something for everyone when it comes to nightlife in Dubrovnik. For those looking for an intimate setting to sit, chat and relax at the end of this busy day, D’Vino Wine Bar is the perfect place to be.

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Do try some of the domestic Croatian wines (e.g. Plavac Mali, Debit, Prošip), you'll be in for a wonderful surprise. Image: Pixabay.

If dancing the night away is your thing, there are several places to choose from. You might want to head down to Culture Club Revelin, built inside a medieval fortress or Lazareti, a club set in an old stone ex-quarantine barracks. If a beach party is more of your thing, check out Banje Beach Club, with its stunning views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.  For electronic dance music lovers, give Skybar Dubrovnik a go.

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Nothing like dancing under the stars with sand between your toes at Banje Beach Club. Image: Pixabay.

8.00 a.m. - 9.00 a.m.

Whether you’ve partied till the sun came up or just looking for a good cup of coffee in the morning, ring in the final hours of this 24-hour whirlwind trip of Dubrovnik at some of these spots.

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Some of the best artisan coffees can be found at Cogito Coffee. Image: Kaleb F/Tripadvisor Screenshot.

Cogito Coffee is my top pick, serving quality coffee with beans roasted at their HQ in Zagreb. 

Alternatively, let's finish where we started with a prime spot on the Stradun, Café Festival is where you can sit back, watch the buzz along the street, and reflect on your wonderful time in this marvelous city.

And that's a wrap! A packed 24 hours in Dubrovnik, hoping to show you just a fraction of its uniqueness and beauty.

Monday, 25 April 2022

Ana Hrnic, Dubrovnik Tourist Board Director, on Nomads, Work. Place. Culture. Conference

April 25, 2022 - Dubrovnik's enthusiastic embracing of the digital nomad revolution continues. Ahead of net month's Work. Place. Culture. conference, an in-depth look at progress with Ana Hrnic, Dubrovnik Tourist Board director. 

Back in October, 2020, Dubrovnik hosted the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia, Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads. This was followed in April 2021 with the award-winning Dubrovnik Nomads-in-Residence program, the first of its kind in the world where digital nomads and a destination co-created a strategy for the destination's nomad offer. 

Croatia's most famous tourist destination is continuing its push towards more sustainable tourism and building on its early digital nomad success with a range of new initiatives. Next up, the Work. Place. Culture. conference next month, a collaboration between the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Saltwater Nomads, and Total Croatia News. Ahead of this latest conference, TCN catches up wth Dubrovnik Tourist Board director, Ana Hrnic.  

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1. Dubrovnik is Croatia's most famous tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year, but it is also emerging as a regional leader in the digital nomad/remote work revolution, which has surprised some. Tell us a little more about the background of that initiative. 

One of our strategic goals is certainly to extend the season. In this context, we have recognized the potential of positioning the city of Dubrovnik as a digital nomad-friendly destination, that digital nomads will choose for their stay, especially in periods outside the main tourist season. We can also say that the Covid crisis prompted us to turn to this fast-growing segment, which we recognized as a great potential.

2. You held the first digital nomad conference in Croatia back in October 2020, followed by the world's first Digital Nomads-in-Residence program a year ago. What were the key takeaways for you, and how did it help you define your future planning?

Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik have been successfully implementing a project aimed at diversifying the tourist offer and intended for digital nomads for two years now. Faced with pandemic challenges and the stagnation of tourism, we decided to focus on the fast-growing digital nomad market. The first event was held in October 2020, entitled "Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads" as part of the European Freelancers Week 2020 and was aimed at presenting Dubrovnik as a year-round destination for digital nomads, which helped the future positioning of our city in this modern world way of doing business. The positive echoes of the conference were the motive for an extremely successful project - a program called "The Dubrovnik digital nomad-in-residence". Through a series of activities, workshops and excursions, the participants explored the city and its surroundings in detail, got familiar with the way of life of the local population, cultural events and other offers. With their experience, they helped create a better atmosphere for future nomads who will choose Dubrovnik as their place of work, but also contribute to the global promotion of the destination.

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3. Rather than just tick a box - event completed - Dubrovnik has implemented, and is implementing an impressive set of initiatives based on recommendations. Give us an overview of those.

So far, we have launched a series of activities, inspired by all previous knowledge and experiences from the previous two years. Let's mention just a few - we have organized a coworking space in Lazareti, we are finalizing a special website dedicated to digital nomads and all those who plan or have been staying for a long time in the area of the city of Dubrovnik. We are also launching special profiles on social media, where we will be available for all questions. We have created a special visual identity, as well as other materials and content. Our info office in Pile will be a special DN Checkpoint where all digital nomads will be able to get all the useful information they need. We are also working on a special DN card, which will include various benefits and offers. I also consider it important to emphasize that we have introduced the local community with the needs and expectations of digital nomads, because we can say that before these activities for most people this was a completely new and unexplored topic. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we are going in the right direction.

4. And so to 2022, and the Work. Place. Culture. conference from May 5-7. What is it, and why should people attend?

From 4 to 7 May, the second conference entitled "Work.Place.Culture" is organized by the Tourist Board of Dubrovnik and the City of Dubrovnik, created by Saltwater Nomads. The conference aims to strengthen the position of Dubrovnik as a globally recognized work environment. It is a conference that will bring together about 100 participants from around the world, with distinguished lecturers and workshop leaders, aimed at professionals working remotely and decision-makers.

5. You have obviously worked hard to position Dubrovnik in the remote work scene. Are you happy with progress so far, and what are the short to medium-term goals?

We are very pleased with what has been done so far, but as I have already mentioned, there is still a lot of work ahead of us. In the short term, the goal is to complete a new website, successfully complete the conference, launch the Dubrovnik DN card ... We will continue to work on animating the stakeholders of the tourism sector to get involved in projects related to digital nomads - from private accommodation to restaurants and shops, and transportation...In the long run, I believe that we will position ourselves as one of the globally most desirable digital nomad destinations.

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6. And finally, there is much more to your beautiful city than remote work conferences. What can people expect from Dubrovnik this year?

Every season in Dubrovnik brings something special. Dubrovnik is a magical city, which after two years of pandemics is finally returning to normal. Optimism is felt at every step, and all our visitors will surely have an unforgettable and unique experience when visiting Dubrovnik. Welcome!

Tickets are still available for Work. Place. Culture. - more information about the conference on the official website

Learn more about the Pearl of the Adriatic in the Total Croatia Dubrovnik in a Page guide.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 25 April 2022

SAS Split Flights Return, Dubrovnik and Pula Flights Launching in June

April 25, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as SAS Split flights officially launched over the weekend, with their return to Dubrovnik and Pula scheduled from June. 

On Saturday, SAS Scandinavian Airlines started regular seasonal operations between Split and Copenhagen, and at the beginning of May, it will resume traffic on the routes from Stockholm and Gothenburg to Split. Lines to Dubrovnik and Pula have been announced from June, reports Croatian Aviation

Namely, the well-known Scandinavian airline began regular operations between Copenhagen and Split on Saturday, which currently runs once a week. However, the number of rotations will increase to two in early May.

From May 7, there will be regular lines from Stockholm and Gothenburg, and from May 21 from Oslo to Split. The number of rotations will increase significantly in June and July, i.e., during the peak summer season.

SAS will operate to Dubrovnik on three lines - from Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm. However, the start of traffic on these lines is expected from the end of June.

The same is true for Pula Airport, according to which four lines have been announced. In addition to the mentioned lines to Dubrovnik, Pula should be connected with Gothenburg, also from the end of June this year.

SAS will use different types of aircraft on the 11 mentioned routes to three Croatian airports, from the smallest, CRJ900, to aircraft type A321, with a capacity of up to 200 seats.

Recall, TUI recently announced it is planning 15 international seasonal routes to these three Croatian airports, too. 

Lines to Dubrovnik:
Birmingham, from 05.05. to 30.10., from one to two flights a week, Thursdays and Sundays,

Bristol, from 12.05. to 30.10., from one to two flights a week, Thursdays and Sundays,

Cardiff, from 12.05. to 27.10., once a week, on Thursdays,

Doncaster, from 12.05. to 27.10., once a week, on Thursdays,

Glasgow, from 05.05. to 27.10., once a week, on Thursdays,

London, from 05.05. to 30.10., twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,

Manchester, from 05.05. to 30.10., twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,

Newcastle, from 12.05. to 27.10., once a week, on Thursdays,

East Midlands, from 12.05. to 27.10., once a week, on Thursdays.

Lines to Pula:
Manchester, from 10.05. to 08.10., twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

London, from 10.05. to 04.10. twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays,

Birmingham, from 11.05. to 08.10. twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays,

Doncaster, from 14.05. to 08.10. once a week, on Saturdays.

Lines to Split:
London, from 09.05. to 14.10. twice a week, Mondays and Fridays,

Manchester, from 09.05. to 14.10., from one to two flights a week, Monday and Friday.

Various types of aircraft have been announced on routes to Croatia, from B737 and A320 to wide-body B767 and B787. In total, in the peak summer season, TUI will have up to 24 weekly flights from the UK market alone.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 25 April 2022

Excellent 2022 Cruiser Season in Croatia Expected from Rijeka to Dubrovnik

April 25, 2022 - The 2022 cruiser season in Croatia officially launched at the beginning of April in Dubrovnik and will end on November 21 in Split. 

The cruising season in Croatia started very early this year, or at the beginning of April, when the first MSC cruise ship of this year, MSC Fantasia, sailed into the port of Dubrovnik. This ship, which can accommodate up to 4,300 passengers, will visit Dubrovnik on Thursdays until the end of the season, scheduled for September 8, reports Novi List

In addition to Dubrovnik, MSC Cruises will visit Split, Zadar, and Rijeka and record 63 Croatian ports this season, which will end on November 21 in Split. Dubrovnik, the first and strongest Croatian port for large cruisers, expects to achieve 70 percent of 2019's traffic, which means that the city should reach about half a million passengers on large cruisers, or about 340 large ships. However, the number of cruisers and cruise passengers in the city is limited to two berths, or 4,000 passengers at a time.

While southern Croatia has opened the cruising season for large cruisers, Kvarner has started a new season this year with small cruise ships. Over the weekend, the ID Riva tours Alpha and Vita set off on a seven-day cruise from Rijeka with a group of guests from Switzerland who rented the boat for three weeks at the beginning of the season and three weeks at the end of the season and go on a bike tour. This is around 70 guests. Mario Konta, head of the port of Rijeka in ID Riva tours, said that this year's season started six weeks earlier than last year and that booking is incomparably better.

"This year, if all goes well, we should have a better year than 2019. I have been working here for 20 years, and this is the first time we are leaving in mid-April. It had never moved this early, always towards the end of April. And that's a very good sign. Today we are on board the ‘Alpha,’ which was sold in 13 charters this year before the season even started. So we have a lot of old guests coming back to us, and also a lot of guests who were there during the pandemic and who came back to us precisely because they said we were one of the few who asked for hand sanitizers, disinfection, wore gloves and masks and carried out all epidemiological measures. And the guests remembered that," said Konta, adding the last tour should be done on October 22, before the proper off-season begins. 

"The ships will sail for six months, which is a huge improvement compared to the last two years, so we are delighted. Next week we already have six ships departing from Rijeka, which is also a great indicator considering that it has not happened to us that we already have six full ships at the beginning," said Konta and explained that the route goes through the Kvarner islands, visiting Krk, Rab, Pag, Zadar, Kornati, Lošinj and Cres, before returning to Rijeka.

The captain of the motor yacht 'Alpha', Marin Tomaš, pointed out that he has had a boat with ID Riva for more than half a year.

"You know how much that means to us in these circumstances. This ship, 'Alpha,' is sailing for its third season, so the first was during the 2020 pandemic, and that year was unknown to everyone. ID Riva was on the front line of cooperation with the Croatian Institute of Public Health, the German health authorities, and others. And we found a balance, and, in addition, we all joined the Ministry's "Safe stay in Croatia" program. The complete ID Riva fleet is under this program, and we all adhere to epidemiological rules. This season we are starting to work also with epidemiological measures. For example, when leaving the kitchen, waiters must wear masks when receiving guests, during room service, and, therefore, during contact with the guest. Because, above all, we want our guests here to continue to feel safe. The entire crew has, of course, been vaccinated," said the young captain, adding that for the past two years, they have been driving at reduced capacity, on the verge of profitability. But the banks, he says, have met the needs of shipowners and approved a moratorium on loans for shipbuilding, and all that has been balanced so that those two critical years ended well.

"As for this year's bookings, it is phenomenal. We plan to sail for 26 weeks, and we are already at a good 80 percent occupancy. I must say that when the situation with Ukraine arose, there was a great fear of how it would develop and what would happen to the season; however, fortunately, it turned out very quickly that the situation with booking, despite everything, is excellent," said Tomas. Yesterday, another small luxury cruiser, 'Vita' with guests from Germany, set sail from the port of Rijeka.

His captain Silvestar Vukovic, doyen of the ID Riva cruise, also pointed out his satisfaction with this year's announcements and the fact that after two pandemic years, he is starting two months earlier.

"This is the success of our ID Riva agency and its entire team led by Selimir Ognjenović. The past two years have been challenging, but thanks to the Government's help, which provided the minimum wage to our employees, and thanks to the banks that approved the moratorium on loans, we managed to survive those two difficult years," said Vukovic.

He added that this year the old guests are coming back. Still, new ones are coming who have the opportunity to enjoy this unique vacation, beautiful towns, and small coastal and island places, but also the kindness of the hosts and very important gastronomy. This long-time sailor who has been with ID Riva since the very beginning of the cruise pointed out the excellent cooperation through all those years with the Port of Rijeka Authority, whose employees, he pointed out, he can always count on.

MB 'Morena' and MB 'Kalipsa' sailed from Opatija over the weekend. There were over 60 Austrian guests on these cruises in total. 

"Today is an important day for the Katarina Line agency. Although these are not our first departures this season, since we already had American guests who set out on a cruise from Split, three ships will set sail from the port of Opatija today. More precisely, two today, and another tomorrow morning. This is not what we had in 2019, but it is still a good start in 2022 and an indicator that, as it looks now, our business will be much better than last year. However, it should be said that all this together is still with a lot of ‘holes’ and uncertainties.

Reservations exist, but they can be canceled at any time, and we must not be deceived, but work intensively to offer as much as possible around the world and in the domestic market. For domestic tourists to also be able to enjoy cruises, I announce that we will have special offers for them," said the owner and director of the Opatija agency Katarina Line Katica Hauptfeld.

Cruises in various categories, from traditional to premium and deluxe quality ships along the Croatian coast, are their specialty. Of their three boats, two will be stationed in the port of Opatija.

"We have been to Croatia many times, we are a small agency from Villach and our guests love the combination of sports and relaxation on board. We always do it out of season and spring is ideal for that, because the islands are still fresh now, nature is waking up, everything is quiet, there is very little traffic, no crowds, which is very good for cyclists.

With the Katarina Line agency, we create exciting routes for our guests because they love cycling and cruising. The boats give us flexibility in terms of weather conditions, our departure today is from Opatija, and after a seven-day cruise, we will return to Opatija. Our guests are all from Austria, except for one Frenchman, there are 24 of them on the cruise, and they did not come to swim in the sea, but for active rest, relaxation, health, and enjoy excellent food. We sail to Krk, Rab, Pag, and Mali Lošinj and Cres, and then return to Opatija," explained Elke Neuhuber, owner of the agency from Villach, who sailed on the MB 'Morena'.

As Katica Hauptfeld pointed out, there are six more sailing on Katarina Line in Kvarner in addition to the already mentioned ships. 

This is the year of great cruisers to Rijeka, given that the pandemic essentially reduced their arrivals to zero. Nineteen ships are expected to arrive, slightly less than the record in 2019 when there were 24. Eight shipping companies have announced their arrival in Rijeka, and according to the current plan, the first ship to arrive in Rijeka is Marella Explorer 2 from Marella Cruises. Its first arrival was announced on May 7. The ship comes to the port of Rijeka for the first time, and it will be the first of its eight arrivals this season. In addition to Marella Cruises, ships of Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, TUI Cruises, MSC Cruises, Crystal Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and Noble Caledonia will arrive in Rijeka in 2022. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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