The Postira Ferry: Sea Kayaking Croatia
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Adriatic Sea Kayaking Blog: Croatia and Montenegro

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The Postira Ferry: Sea Kayaking Croatia


All our daily tours to the Elafite islands start by boarding a small ferry called Postira. This old member of the Croatian state fleet is the only daily line for the three inhabited Elafite islands: Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan. Built back in 1963, the ship is the only one of its class still alive and running, and over the years Postira has become part of Elafiti islands tradition in many ways. It was built in times when convenience and comfort did not matter, when ships were simply built to last. While some might find Postira a little unattractive, it is surely sturdy and functional. Croatians love tradition more than modern, charm more than comfort, and Postira keeps the tradtional way of life on the islands going, even on board. Elegant food and beverage service - inside on the second level, a small cafe bar serves drinks and snacks. Order a beer or a coffee, and you will be served with a glass or china cup – no plastic or styrofoam here. Reminders of war - behind the bar, a small medal and graduate comemorates Postira for its service in the Homeland War because the ferry served both the islanders and the navy and sustained heavy damaged while doing so. Everyones's business is everyone's business - in the high season of July and August, when large number of tourists join the locals and fill up the ferry, it is hard to find a comfortable place to sit on the open topside passenger deck, but it is easy to hear people speaking Croatian, German, English, French, and other languages because private conversations are impossible.

Early in the morning, Postira starts on Sipan (having spent the night at there at the end of the pervious day) and ferries the islanders to work and the children to school in Dubrovnik and brings them back later in the day (its daily schedule is definitely geared to locals, not tourists). It carries the mail and, most importantly, all the necessary ingredients and materials for households, restaurants, and hotels. In Dubrovnik, all the cargo is manually loaded onto the ferry's large cargo deck, and at each island stop, the islanders work together quickly to unload their supplies. Everything is so well coordinated that, regardless of the size of the cargo, the ferry is rarely late for another island port. Those who travel regularly know the habits of the two crews, especially the captains: one captain always seems in a good mood and the other in a bad one; one captain is an excellent docker while the other often scrapes the ship against the pier and becomes an object of laughter for the islanders; one captain will wait for passengers who are late and run towards the ship while the other leaves the dock a minute before the departure time (everything in Croatia can be so contradictory).

In the last couple of years, even AKT guides and kayaking groups have become a part of the Postira tradition as our backpacks, paddles, and bikes (and once in a while even kayaks) have joined the rest of the cargo. Morning coffees, evening beers, and plenty of kayaking and biking stories together with outstanding views make the Postira ferry a perfect way to start and end our tours.


I would just like to endorse what has been said about the MV.Postira which is the Jadrolinija ferry serving the Eliphites and connecting them to Dubrovnik. 
I very much hope that Jadrolinija consider this historic ferry as a tourist attraction in its own right! I certainly look forward to sailing on her again. Her canvass-covered open top-deck seating offers a cooling breeze and excellent viewing for the passengers. 
I think that they will persevere with her. She is still smart and treated with TLC by crew and locals alike. She is also a very seaworthy vessel and the largest boat able to dock at Kolocep or Lopud - so she is a vital link for the local population. No modern vessel design could be better for the purpose she still performs on time - almost every time! 
TRher are phot-s of her on my and I also wrote a published article ( with photo) about the Postira in the December 2008 issue of the magazine - "Shipping Today & Yesterday" 
The Postira may now be the oldest vessel (in Europe) still serving the same company who built her! 
Long live the Postira! 
Nick Staveley Stanley, Coventry,UK.
Posted @ Saturday, December 25, 2010 10:11 PM by Nick Staveley Stanley
I forgot to add that I first sailed on the Postira in 1964 when she was just over 1 year old and I was a lad of just 12 years. The Master actually let me take her wheel for about 20 minutes but he stood closely by my side. Never-the-less this was a memorable event for me and, sadly, an act which would never be allowed these days! 
I last sailed upon her in 2008 and I hope to sail upon her again in 2011 as a treat on my 60th birthday!
Posted @ Saturday, December 25, 2010 10:23 PM by Nick Staveley Stanley
I completely disagree about the aesthetic qualities of the Jadrolinija ferry MS.POSTIRA ! 
She is a traditional and elegant design with her long open foredeck, proportional superstructure and general silhouette! 
No modern passenger-only ferries (often plastic-hulled) can match the Postira! Yes, they may look modern, even futuristic, but they are made purely to cram as many passengers in as possible into a sweaty, plastic and almost claustrophobic cabin and there may be only one small place, at the stern, where a few passengers are allowed to get a breath of fresh air. The fast ferry running from Korcula to Hvar is just one such awful example. It looks great from the quay-side - but you just try travelling inside the horrible thing in hot weather! 
It isn't even that fast either! A ship from which you are very pleased to get off! Wheras the Postira is a "Classic", allowing any passeger the room and space to move around, breath the pure non-industrialised air and take wonderful unobstructed views (360 degrees) of the beautiful surrounding islands and coast that make Croatia so popular for tourists. 
The Postira has indoor and wonderful upper-deck outdoor seating. You can even walk the full lenth of the ship (at main deck level) fron bow to stern on both port and starboard sides whilst it is underway. 
She is a wonderful, historic, traditionally (and very strongly) built ship! 
Please note: part of my own published article, about the Postira have been incorporated into the text above ( which I am pleased about) but the spelling and grammar errors are not mine. 
Long live the Postira! 
Nick Staveley Stanley (UK).
Posted @ Saturday, March 05, 2011 10:11 AM by Nick Staveley Stanley
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