Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Dubrovnik will have 135 less cruise ship arrivals this year than 2016, at least according to current statistics. Last year 630 cruise ships docked in Dubrovnik carrying with them around 835,000 passengers. But the latest reports for this year show that 495 cruise ships will arrive.

However the Director of the Port of Dubrovnik, Dario Barbaric, considers that this current number will increase and that more cruise ships will dock in Dubrovnik in 2016. “The reports for 2016 were very similar, but by the end of the year we had received three percent more cruise ships than in 2015,” he commented. Adding that the cruise ship business is very hard to forecast and the final number of cruise ships expected this year is still unknown. And with the uncertain political situation in Turkey, Greece and North Africa this could mean that Dubrovnik is seen as a safe option.

Cruise ship tourism in Dubrovnik is a subject that has both its negative and positive aspects. Last year a study entitled “The Strategic Development of Tourism and Recommendations for Cruise Tourism until 2025,” was published by the University of Dubrovnik. This lengthy document states that “Cruising tourism in Dubrovnik has until now happened and this kind of approach is unfeasible. This extremely important sector of tourism and business must be institutionally organised and must include all parties involved in the cruise ship business.”

cruise ship 15.09 5
This report has yet to be even discussed at the City of Dubrovnik council, and with the current political situation in the city it will probably have to wait a little longer. The study also states that it is important to increase the number of cruisers through the months of November to April, with an aim of at least 30 percent of the total number of cruisers coming in those months. It also adds that a better system of scheduling ships through the summer weeks is necessary. “7,000 passengers a day through the main summer season is acceptable, with 3,500 in the morning and the other half in the afternoon,” states the study.

On the 15th of January 1992 the European Community officially recognized Croatia as an independent country. On this day twenty-five years ago twelve countries that then formed the European Community declared Croatia as an independent country.

On the 25th of June 1991 Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia and the first country to officially recognized Croatia was Iceland on the 19th of December 1991. The Vatican recognized Croatia as a free state two days before the European Community, on the 13th of January 1992. By the end of January Croatia was recognized by seven more countries.

Since its independence Croatia has become a UN member state on 22 May 1992, Council of Europe member state on 6 November 1996, NATO member state on 1 April 2009 and European Union 28th member state on 1 July 2013.

Special events will be held today to mark this important page in Croatian history.

You can pretty much throw a camera in the air in Dubrovnik and get a great photo. The historic Old City of Dubrovnik is so photogenic that even the most novice photographer can take a masterpiece.

Seeing the city from a different angle is always interesting and when we got the opportunity to climb 20 metres above the stone cobbled streets we jumped at it. Who need a drone when you have a friendly crane driver! We were able to get look at the Stradun from the air, and the Robin Hood Origins set being built, an unforgettable experience.

aerial dubrovnik

above dubrovnik

aerial stradun dubrovnik

dubrovnik xmas decorations

And here is how we did it...

crane dubrovnik 2

crane dubrovnik high

As regards weather, south Dalmatia comes without a warning: in the minds of us, inland people from Frozen-like locations such as Prague, a holiday destination by the sea is inevitably encrypted like warm and sunny. (Or at least warmer and sunnier than Prague or London at any given time.) It took me several years and dozens of bitter experiences before I understood the vicious truth about local weather. Here is what I learnt:

1) Weather is a serious theme of conversation among local people. It is by no means small talk. It requires certain knowledge (what kinds of winds do we distinguish?), experience (“I remember Stradun once completely flooded, now that I call rain!”) and a trained meteorological intuition to foretell the future (“In two and a half hours, the wind will switch from north to south. Big waves. Pull out your boat!”)

2) There are about a dozen major types of winds in Dalmatia, that the locals casually identify by glancing out of the window. Even after years of living here, it can get near impossible to distinguish between a garbin and apulenat. A newcomer in Dubrovnik will be fine with knowing the difference between bura (cold and dry wind) and jugo (warm and humid).

3) What to do, when there is bura: do your laundry! Outside, it will dry in no time.

4) What to do when there is jugo: don’t do your laundry. (It will never dry.) Don’t open your windows. Don’t shower (any new dry clothes will get sticky and stinky in about five seconds). Don’t blame yourself for feeling blue and helpless – that’s a well-known side effect of jugo: bad mood, despair, general dissatisfaction with life and yourself. The locals call it fjaka. The only cure invented so far is getting out and drinking Plavac mali wine until you observe that you are again positive (or at least careless) about things.

5) If you are flying to Dubrovnik, be prepared to land in Split (also a very nice place to see, only a 5 hour bus ride away, though). The wind can get so strong that flights have to be diverted. I remember my first time flying to Dubrovnik heavily off season: It was early March. Not only did I land in Split. I landed in Split that resembled Glasgow in an icicle storm.

6) When checking the weather forecast, ignore the stated temperatures. Look for the Real Feel temperature: the difference can sometimes be measured in tens of degrees.

7) When checking the forecast of wind intensity, always add two or three levels to get realistic. Example: whatever the local forecasters call a “povjetarac” (a breeze) requires wearing a hat and a wind-block layer for most of us, sensitive inland people. A “jaka bura”, that is, a strong northern wind, will blow away any possessions that are not cemented to ground or balcony. Damned wind-block will not block a thing any longer. Don’t feel pathetic to wear a thick plastic raincoat instead, although it’s bright and sunny. “Olujna bura” is basically a hurricane. Don’t leave the house (or pub, if the condition catches you unprepared in the middle of a drink).

8) When travelling by car, always check the road conditions: the two points that like to get closed down on the route between Dubrovnik and Zagreb are the Tudjman Bridge and the St. Rok tunnel. Also, fallen rocks on the road are not rare during rain and wind, so watch out.

9) As much as local people are over-tolerant about wind, they panic when it comes to rain. Rain a.k.a. “kiša” has no levels here. From a few drops to a downpour, everything is just rain and it is considered undesirable and dangerous. If there is just a little drizzle outside and you go outside, you are considered irresponsible and exotic. People will be deaf if you tell them that there is no such thing like bad weather, only bad clothes. Raincoats and wellies are regarded astronaut’s gear. Snow is an extra chapter causing public and political upheaval, and requiring crisis management.

10) Good news: this is not London, so wind and rain doesn’t go on forever. Following the long-term forecast is a good psychological trick to keep one going. Also, in the most desperate months (January to March), there is always something you can be looking forward to: the carnival, St. Joseph’s day and the oyster tasting, and – well – the summer.

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Blanka Pavlovic a.k.a. the Adriatic Bride is a Czech writer. She studied law (Prague) and creative writing (Oxford). As a lawyer, she specialized in international human rights law, first working for the European Court of Human Rights, then for a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. She wrote five books, among them Total Balkans, The Handbook of the Adriatic Bride or The Return of the Adriatic Bride. She now lives with her family between Dubrovnik and Donji Brgat. More information and English translations of her work are available through www.blankacechova.com.

The winter has returned to parts of Dubrovnik! This morning the snow returned to higher regions of the Konavle hills, south of Dubrovnik, with up to 5 centimetres measured.

- On the higher grounds of Konavle the winter returned in full force overnight – commented the chief of the Konavle fire brigade Mario Magud. Adding that two snow plough were in action early this morning clearing the roads again. Drivers in Konavle need to have all winter equipment, including chains, and are advised to keep their speeds down.

A few months ago a group of investors visited in secret the city of Vrgorac in the Dalmatian hinterland seeking for a location to build a new airport in Croatia.

The group of investors who came on a behalf of a group of foreign investors from Europe and beyond were looking for suitable micro-locations for the construction of a new international airport in the region between Dubrovnik and Split. They also checked spatial plans of towns and municipalities in order to learn whether the area was suitable for the realization of their planned investment which would be bigger than the airports in Split and Dubrovnik.

On this occasion Ante Pranic the mayor of the city of Vrgorac commented, “The investors were looking for land which has at least 3 kilometres of flat land for the runway. With the vicinity of the Makarska Riviera, the A1 highway, two exits to the motorway, an international border, the A1 junction and the 5C corridor as well as the Ravca – Drvenik connecting road, we presented Vrgorac as one of the most important hubs in this part of Dalmatia’’.

During the first visit of the investing group Ante Pranic accompanied them to the location, and after only ten days investors returned back to the site with a team of geodesists.

“To show that they are seriously interested in our location, the investors came back for a third time to Vrgorac with a bigger team of experts and a drone with which they took footage of all of the location”, Pranic concluded.

2Cellos did it again – their new video named Game of Thrones (GOT) brings beautiful music from this famous serial combined with the scenes from Dubrovnik or, for GOT fans, King's Landing. 

This track is from their newest album 'Score', made with the London Symphony Orchestra. The video was made by Darko Drinovac and it shows the famous duo – Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, playing in the Old City of Dubrovnik.

We're sure that this is really special for them, especially for Luka, since his father comes from Dubrovnik.

Fancy starring alongside Hollywood actors in a blockbuster movie, well here is your big chance. An announcement has appeared today for casting for a “foreign movie” in Dubrovnik, although it isn’t written we can only presume that the casting is for the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster – Robin Hood Origins.

The casting call is for extras in a foreign film that will be filmed in Dubrovnik at the end of February and beginning of March. It will be held in the Hilton Imperial hotel in Ballroom A from Monday the 16th of January till Friday the 20th of January, every day from 9.00am to 1.00pm and again from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.

This is your chance to be on the silver screen alongside Jamie Foxx and Jamie Dornan. The casting, according to the information, is open to all people however women are instructed to come with minimal make-up and with their hair down.

The second part of the Robin Hood set is currently being constructed in Dubrovnik, on the main street that runs through the historic Old City. The first set, in the old harbor, has already been completed and according to the Mayor of Dubrovnik a further “two to three sets” will be constructed in the city. After Star Wars VIII, Game of Thrones and the Bollywood blockbuster Fan, Robin Hood Origins is the next in the line of major international film productions to use Dubrovnik as a backdrop.

The Mayor of Dubrovnik announced yesterday that this production will be the biggest so far with an estimated $100 million to be spent on promotion.

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The freezing polar front that caused Dubrovnik to come to a standstill over the past few days has passed; winter is over in Dubrovnik at least for the meantime. Rain fell overnight as the south wind started to blow and quickly melted any remaining snow from the region. The roads are clear and weather experts predict a few dyas of heavy rain and storms, as the ice cold snow turns to rain.

The Dubrovnik bus company, Libertas, has announced that a full bus service is back in operation. During the height of the snow storms only two bus lines could operate.

The Dubrovnik Bridge is open for all traffic and the Dubrovnik Airport is operating as normal. The temperature this morning in Dubrovnik measured 7.6 degrees Celsius, a huge increase compared to the – 5 two days ago. In fact Dubrovnik looks like going from one weather problem to another. After the polar storms it now seems that heavy rain could flood the region.

jugo dubrovnik

The sixth annual Allianz Risk Barometer has identified the Top 10 Global Business Risks for 2017. The research carried out by the leading global insurance company Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) was based on the insight of 1,237 risk experts from 55 countries worldwide.

Business companies from all over the world are preparing themselves for a year full of uncertainty due to the major political, legal and regulatory developments around the globe. There are many corporate perils that concern them as well but what troubles world companies most are actual or anticipated losses from business interruption.

According to the Allianz Risk Barometer for 2017, business interruption is the top risk for the fifth year in a row. It is followed by market developments, cyber incidents, natural catastrophes, changes in legislation and regulation, macroeconomic developments, fire and explosion, political risks and violence, loss of reputation or brand value, and new technologies.

''The biggest risks that the corporate sector in Croatia recognizes are related to business conditions and maintenance of experience from previous years. Our companies emphasize frequent changes in legislation and regulation as one of the major problems in doing business on the Croatian market'', stated Kristijan Buk, a member of the Directorate of Finance at Allianz Zagreb.

It's interesting to note that German and British entrepreneurs are most afraid of cyber attacks, the Japanese worry about natural catastrophes, companies from Greece and China fear from macroeconomic developments, the Slovaks are afraid of fire, whilst Russians and Hungarians fear from changes in legislation and regulation.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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