Jarolinija, Croatia’s largest liner shipping company, made a great achivement this year – the company welcomed their 12 millionth passenger in 2017! This number was reached for the first time in history yesterday in the Split City Port, which at the same time celebrated the number of 5 million passengers in 2017.
-We have a record number of passengers. We drove 12 million passengers and three million vehicles, and we are grateful that all this has been done in accordance with the highest safety standards - said David Sopta, managing director of Jadrolinija, as Tportal reports.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Maja Markovcic Kostelac recalled that about ten years ago in Split Port there was only 1.6 million passengers a year, while Jadrolinija with three million passengers a year jumped to 12 million. She believes that this is proof of need to go ahead with fleet strengthening and infrastructure development.
Split City Port Director Vice Mihanovic pointed out that in the last 20 years, the Port of Split has an increase of more than 300 percent.
Vesna Kurtic as the five millionth passenger of the Split City Port and Alfredo Dominis as the 12 millionth Jadrolinija passenger won prizes. They arrived to Split from Brač.
One special music event will complete the Christmas atmosphere of the fourth Dubrovnik Winter Festival. Dubrovnik Christmas Concert will delight many and it's prepared by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (DSO), in cooperation with the City of Dubrovnik and the Valamar group. The event will take place at the Hotel Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik, on Friday, December 22nd at 8 pm.
Dubrovnik Christmas Concert was presented yesterday at the press conference by the Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic, the director of Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra Damir Milat and the conductors – Delo Jusic and Marc Tardue.
An American conductor of Italian-French roots, Marc Tardue, is an internationally acclaimed conductor who has conducted leading world orchestras and has won prestigious awards such as the title of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French government, one of the greatest artistic acknowledgments in Portugal - Medal for Merit in Culture and many others. Also, the orchestra will be conducted by the famous Dubrovnik composer, conductor and author of numerous well-known songs, Delo Jusic, who, along with numerous acknowledgments, recently became a member of the Bosnian Academy of Science and Art.
The orchestra will be joined by well-known performers: tenors Dani Stipanicev and Stijepo Gled Markos, and the award-winning soprano Marija Kuhar Sos, who was loved by the Dubrovnik audience this year after performing the Orlando Opera at the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival. But that’s not all – they will be joined by the renowned jazz vocalist from Dubrovnik Maja Grgic and the vocal groups: Ragusa, Subrenum and Kase, accompanied by the young Lapad rockers - Dapal band. The whole program will be enriched with the short stories about the Christmas in the town of the art historian Maja Nodari.
Compositions that will be performed at the big Dubrovnik Christmas Concert are well known to everyone! The program will include famous Christmas songs such White Christmas, Ave Maria, Silent Night and many more.
The Dubrovnik Old City harbour is slowly but surely being cleaned of all the waste material that has clogged this ancient port over the past few days. Tonnes of waste has already been removed from the Adriatic as city services have been working around the clock, with the assistance of volunteers, to fight this ecological disaster.
A great deal of the plastic waste found in the ancient harbour arrived on gale force south winds from Albania. Plastic bottles with Albanian labels and even footballs with the Albanian national crest have been washed to shore. And Dubravka Šuica, a Croatian MEP, thinks it’s time that the European Commission responded to the huge amounts of waste arriving on Croatian shores from Albania.
"As the existing regulations are insufficient to regulate marine waste, and I am calling on the Commission to urgently take measures to save the Dubrovnik coast and the rest of the Adriatic," said Dubravka Šuica. Adding that "Although Albania is a signatory to the Barcelona Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Area of the Mediterranean, the amount of Albanian waste has not diminished and is increasingly damaging the Croatian coast, inhabitants and marine flora and fauna.”
Are you in the “Merry Christmas” 70 percent or the “Bah humbug” 30 percent? According to a survey carried out by the specialised employment website moj.posao around 70 percent of workers are expecting a Christmas bonus this year. It would appear that, riding on the back of a great tourist season, employees are more optimistic that they will receive a festive windfall as last year only 60 percent expected a bonus.
Out of the lucky 70 percent who expected a bonus the majority believed that it would be a cash payment, with the average figure around 1,600 Kuna. Whilst 17 percent thought that their Christmas bonus would be vouchers for shopping and 15 percent hoped for a hamper. Interestingly by far the most optimistic this festive season are employees of state and public authorities and institutions.
And in Dubrovnik, at least, it would appear that city employees will have a very merry Christmas. “The Mayor has made a decision as to which employees and which public services will receive a Christmas bonus. The total amount of payments has not been increased since last year,” commented the Mayor’s office last week. Employees of the City of Dubrovnik will receive a Christmas bonus of 1,000 Kuna plus an extra 600 Kuna gift for their children for St. Nicholas Day.
Workers for the Dubrovnik – Neretva County will have slightly heavier pockets this winter as they will receive 1,250 Kuna plus 600 for their children. On average the employees of other city public companies and institutions will receive between 1, 000 and 2, 500 Kuna as a bonus.
Not only does Cavtat have a rich festive program this winter but it also has free parking.
Whilst Dubrovnik is offering free buses after 5.00pm to cater for their festival goers the municipality of Cavtat has gone one step further and it offering free parking in the public car-park.
From Monday the 18th of December to the 7th of January 2018 parking in the car park is free of charge. Another good reason to visit the festive frolics in Cavtat this winter.
At the suggestion of the National Commission for UNESCO Global Geoparks, the Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy has submitted an application for establishment of a new geopark ‘’The Vis Archipelago’’ within the UNESCO Global Geoparks network.
The area of the Vis archipelago is a significant zone in the Adriatic Sea within which, in the geological past some 220 million years ago, large changes occurred due to the breakthrough of diapir, burning deep-water salt mass, which breached the surface by elevating the sediment plates formed by petrifying of sand and organism shells.
Today, pinnacles or ‘leftovers’ of this magma breach are islands of Jabuka, Brusnik, Biševo and Palagruža, as geologically the oldest island in the Adriatic, which, like the island of Brusnik, is constantly growing due to the influence of tectonic activity.
The Vis Archipelago also encompasses seven areas protected by the Nature Protection Act. The islands of Brusnik and Jabuka are protected in the category of monuments of nature (geological), Modra Špilja, Medvidina Špilja and the cave on the island of Ravnik in the category of nature monuments (geomorphological), whilst the Bay of Stiniva and island of Ravnik are protected in the category of a significant landscape.
Furthermore, the archipelago also has a great geotouristic potential, large biodiversity and landscape diversity, rich cultural, historical and traditional heritage, as well as a diverse and exceptionally valuable geological and geomorphological heritage.
The establishment of the geopark ‘’The Vis Archipelago’’, the second geopark on the territory of the Republic of Croatia (the Nature Park Papuk is the first), would contribute primarily to rising awareness of the importance of protecting geological and geomorphological heritage and recognizing geotourism as a unique tourist offer.
The decision on including the Vis Archipelago in the UNESCO Global Geoparks network is expected in the spring of 2019.
At present, there are 127 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 35 countries around the world.
A few days ago CNN Travel has published an article titled 'Star Wars locations that actually exist’ and Dubrovnik found its place on it. Star Wars fans couldn’t wait for the newest movie – The Last Jedi. Especially the fans from Dubrovnik, since the movie was partly filmed in our city.
-Plenty of people dream of travel to other planets. But "Star Wars" fans can actually visit locations where many of the films' most famous scenes were shot – writes CNN.
And there's no better choice than Dubrovnik, or should we say – Canto Bight. After playing King's Landing in the famous series Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is now embracing the new, out of this world role.
-The medieval walled city's well-preserved center gets a futuristic makeover to transform it into the "Star Wars" equivalent of Vegas. The Adriatic port already trades heavily on its GoT connections with some complaining the screen role has brought in too many visitors. Let's hope this additional exposure doesn't create much more of a disturbance -- in the streets, let alone the Force – writes CNN.
Just a reminder - Star Wars: The Last Jedi used Dubrovnik as a location back in March last year and various locations around the historic Old City were used. In fact the main street through the city, Stradun, was transformed into a galaxy, far, far away.
Filming in Croatia was realized through the measures of the Croatian Audiovisual Center and 286 domestic filmmakers, 10 interns and 120 extras were involved in the project. During the filming Stradun was partly closed and only the firefighters, police and emergency assistance could pass. Most of the scenes were filmed during the night and some parts were shot on the Sea Star ship.
According to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics from the beginning of 2017 until the end of October, 644 cruises of foreign ships in the Adriatic were recorded in the Republic of Croatia or 16,3 percent less than in the same period last year.
This decline in the number of cruise ships in Croatia led to a decrease in the number of passengers (892,200) or almost 13 percent less compared to last year.
The total number of sojourns in the Adriatic this year was 1,359 days or 18 percent less than in the same period last year.
The majority of foreign vessels on cruises were under the flag of Bahamas, followed by ships under the flag of Malta, Italy and Panama.
Almost 65 percent of all cruisers were registered in the area of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, where most cruise ships recorded their first entry in Croatia’s territorial sea. In addition, the Split-Dalmatia County recorded 18,3 percent out of the total number of cruises, whilst other five counties on the Adriatic accounted for the rest of the cruise ships.
Only in this October, there were 104 cruise ships in the Adriatic, or 8 percent less compared to October 2016. This only indicates that the decline in the number of cruise ships continued since March 2017. Interestingly, only February this year recorded more cruise ships than the same month last year.
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Christmas is coming so it’s time for some traditional festival food in Dubrovnik, no not turkey, it’s time for cod! This Norwegian speciality is actually a treat at Christmas in Dubrovnik. Cod is dried and shipped from Scandinavia and then given a few special twists before being served around the festive time. It isn’t a Christmas Day meal but on the lead up to Christmas its really popular.
The standard classic recipe is called “Bakalar”, which is dried cod and potatoes. It is relatively easy to make but takes a bit of preparation so you’ll need to get organised. You can find this dried cod, which normally comes from Norway, at all supermarkets in the city and the prices and usually uniform. Although it is cod that you are using, yes the same fish in fish and chips, it is dried and salted and offers a completely different flavour than you might expect.
And in this season of goodwill the Dubrovnik Tourist Board annually organises the “Codfish Days.” From the 21st to the 24th of December various restaurants throughout the city will be tailoring their menus to include a splattering of cod dishes. Yes, the restaurants involved tend to get a little creative, so apart from the Bakalar there is also cod soup, pate, foam, cream…and so on.
Nine Dubrovnik restaurants are involved in the Codfish Days this year - Gradska Kavana (City Cafe) Arsenal, restaurants Dalmatino, Glorijet, Klarisa, Magellan, Mezzanave, Orka, Orsan and in the Christmas cottage ˝Gulozarije˝ at Pile. Download the menu on this link.
Feel like making your own "Bakalar" - here is the way to do it!
Follow this to make the perfect codfish
Soak the kilo of salt cod in lukewarm water for two days, changing the water twice a day. After soaking, do not remove the skin and bones. Place cod in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt to taste, pepper to taste, 1 bay leaf, and 8 lemon slices rind removed. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until tender.
Take the cod out of the water and remove the skin and bones, and discard, but reserve the water. Break the cod into pieces. In a separate saucepan, cook the potatoes with the skin on. When tender, but not mushy, remove potatoes and peel as soon as cool enough to handle.
Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch slices or quarters and set aside. Put what remains of the 1/2 cup olive oil, 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 1 large finely chopped onion, and pepper to taste in a large skillet. Sauté garlic until soft and then add the fish, potatoes, and as much reserved cooking water as necessary to achieve a consistency that is not too dry. Cook over low heat until heated throughout and flavours have married, about 15 minutes.
Add more oil, if necessary. Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Can be eaten warm or at room temperature.
1 kg of salted dried codfish
1/2 cup olive oil
Optional: Salt (to taste)
Optional: Pepper (to taste)
1 bay leaf
8 slices lemon (rind removed)
½ Kilo potatoes
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
Optional: 1 large onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup parsley (chopped)