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article imageStorms in Dalmatia: Croatia's island of Hvar without ferries

By Paul Bradbury     Nov 20, 2013 in Travel
Hvar - As the stormy weather in southern Europe hits Dalmatia, a temporary suspension of ferry services to the tourist island of Hvar.
On a second day of severe stormy weather on November 20, 2013, Croatia's premier island of Hvar was temporarily deprived of its travel arteries to the mainland as the 08:30 ferry from Split to Stari Grad returned to the mainland halfway through its scheduled journey due to adverse weather conditions.
While it is not unusual for the island's catamarans, which service Jelsa and Hvar Town, to be cancelled, it is an extremely rare occurrence for the more robust Stari Grad ferry not to make the two-hour journey. A phone call to ferry operator Jadrolinija confirmed that the connection on the east of the island - from Sucuraj to Drvenik - had also been suspended, leaving the island effectively cut off.
The Split waterfront as seen from Diocletian s Palace on November 20  2013
The Split waterfront as seen from Diocletian's Palace on November 20, 2013
Ivica Profaca
The timing of the cancellation was somewhat ironic, in that two of the passengers on the 08:30 crossing were Klaus Dieter Martin and Jan Albers, CEO and Sales and Marketing Director of European Coastal AIrlines, a company which plans to revolutionise travel on the Adriatic with the introduction of hydroplanes in 2014 (Digital Journal recently interviewed Albers - click here for the interview).
The pair were travelling to Hvar to meet one of the island's mayors to work on the detail of the new year-round passenger service, which is due to connect Hvar with Vis, Split town and airport, Korcula and Dubrovnik - a meeting which would have happened had their service already been operational, as Albers explained to Digital Journal by phone from the returning ferry:
"Most people underestimate the fact that planes need wind to fly. In case of stormy conditions one can say that wind is actually the friend of the pilot. Especially for seaplanes where the pilot can choose individually the landing and take off area - which basically means he/she can choose the most suitable location for landing and take off.
The flexibility of the hydroplanes allows landing in weather which affects ferries and catamarans
The flexibility of the hydroplanes allows landing in weather which affects ferries and catamarans
European Coastal Airlines
Due to this fact wavy conditions are not as bad as they might get for boats. A boat has to dock at a particular location, whereas we can decide on the location where it is the best and safest for our passengers. All destinations have at least one alternative location for bad weather conditions.
On a day like today we would have probably increased the number of flights to the islands due to higher demand."
Scheduled ferry services are expected to be reinstated later today.
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