Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
The weather might not be as warm as it usually is at this time of the year, with the first day of summer just around the corner, and the sun has yet to have warmed the Adriatic Sea as it should but the sea in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County is clean and clear.
During the summer season the Public Health Institute of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County regularly checks the quality of the sea water on the 120 beaches across the county. In this second testing, carried out between the 1st and the 12th of June, 119 beaches of the 120 checked had sea water of passed the test and that complies with the standards set. Only one beach, Prižba on the island of Korčula, failed to pass the rigorous tests, however after further testing the and samples taken on the 11th of June the beach passed.
Of the other 119 beaches, the sea on 118 beaches was rated as a sea of excellent quality, and the sea on the beach of the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace was rated as good quality.
The sea might be crystal, clear in Dubrovnik but it isn’t as warm as it usually is at this time of the year. The current sea temperature is a fresh 21 degrees.
Croatia Airlines will ask the state for financial assistance to the tune of 700 million kuna, which should be enough for the company to overcome the drop in turnover due to coronavirus pandemic and for further development of the fleet in order to be competitive on the market, write Jutarnji List on Monday.
Croatia Airlines estimates that the loss at the end of the year could be around HRK 150 million. For comparison, the loss at the end of last year amounted to HRK 79.3 million. The remaining HRK 550 million, according to the recommendation of financial advisors who worked on finding a strategic partner, should be invested in the further development of the fleet.
According to unofficial information, the Government is ready to cover the losses of the national airline with state financial aid, but it will be decided how much it will be after the elections.
Although it is unprofitable, some still believe that the pandemic has shown that the national airline is an important strategic resource in crisis situations. Ownership of CA enabled the Government to mobilize its planes for the needs of emergency transport of humanitarian aid and other cargo, and its planes evacuated some soldiers from Afghanistan. Also, only CA planes flew at the time of the most restrictive measures, making it easier for Croatian citizens to return from abroad. Furthermore, one month after the easing of measures at Croatian airports, only CA planes flying on domestic and foreign routes are still present, and without them the airports would still be closed.
Although CA is announcing the gradual opening of new lines with an emphasis on departures from Split, Zadar and Pula, ticket reservations for the summer months are extremely poor. Based on current bookings, at the end of June CA will perform only 30 scheduled flights, and the drop in bookings for the rest of the summer is more than 50 percent. But CA is hoping the situation could improve somewhat as tickets are now being bought a few days before the flight, not like months ago.
Croatia can expect more than 20 billion Euros to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Nikolina Brnjac, commented in an interview with Sunday's Vecernji List.
State Secretary Brnjac empathised that the proposal of the European Commission's Recovery Package consists of two parts: a modified Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of EUR 1,100 billion and the Recovery Instrument (Next Generation EU) of EUR 750 billion, of which EUR 500 billion is a grant and 250 billion in soft loans. The recovery instrument will be financed with money that the EC will borrow from the financial markets based on the EU credit rating, and the repayment of these loans would begin in 2028 and last until 2058.
"According to preliminary calculations, Croatia can expect a little more than 20 billion euros from this package. However, the entire package must be accepted by all member states at the level of the European Council," Brnjac said.
She also confirmed that the government had collected extensive documentation on the damage caused by the earthquake in Zagreb and applied for financial support from the Solidarity Fund. The estimated value of the total direct damage is approximately 86 billion Kuna, or more than 11.5 billion euros, according to the World Bank methodology.
"We are convinced that it is necessary to use European funds for the reconstruction of Zagreb precisely because we can count on grants, not only from the Solidarity Fund, but also from other programs that will be available through the new MFF. Our goal is not to put children in debt, but responsibly address priorities through grants and soft loans,” she said.
She assessed that the pandemic in some way "kidnapped" half of Croatia's presidency of the EU Council, which is why many planned topics were overshadowed by the global crisis, but she believes that Croatia reacted excellently in completely unforeseen and unexpected conditions.
We are trying to keep your spirits up with some beautiful Dubrovnik photos from Instagram this week, even though it would seem that the worst of Covid-19 is behind Croatia, with the Dubrovnik – Neretva County not seeing a new case for well over a month, however many of our friends around the world are still struggling.
Check out our top five spirit lifting Dubrovnik Instagram photos from last week and keep sending us your own photos and videos of the region.
Air France has announced that they will fly from Paris to Dubrovnik at the beginning of July. Slowly but surely international flights are coming back to Dubrovnik as the tourist season splutters forward. Air France announced this week on its official website that it is re-launching international routes to numerous destinations in Europe and the world, including three in Croatia, reports Croatian Aviation.
Air France originally planned to introduce a second daily rotation between Zagreb and Paris (thus connecting the two cities as many as 14 times a week), but the plans were of course disrupted by a pandemic and this will not happen this year.
The company will gradually increase the number of weekly flights to destinations in Croatia.
The Paris-Zagreb line is being reintroduced, from July 1, 3 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays),
The Paris-Split line is reintroduced, from 13 July, 4 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays),
The Paris - Dubrovnik line is being reintroduced, from July 4, twice a week (Saturdays and Sundays). On the Paris-Dubrovnik route, another flight will be added per week, on Mondays, from 13 July.
Whilst this is great news for the Dubrovnik tourism industry it is only one small step in a long marathon to get tourism numbers back to the city.
Some famous faces from all over the world have visited Dubrovnik over the years, and the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum have published a few of them on their social media. From Queen Elizabeth II to Tito, the museum has released black and white photos taken at the time of official visits.
Interestingly when Queen Elizabeth II visited Yugoslavia in 1972, the same time as this photo was taken it was her first state visit to a communist country. Of course the country that she actually visited no longer exists.
“In the past, the Maritime Museum in Dubrovnik was visited by many prominent people such as kings of various European monarchies, world statesmen, naval officers, as well as many representatives of political, scientific and cultural life of the world,” commented the museum on their social media.
The Russian astronaut, Gherman Titov, visited Dubrovnik in 1962, just one year after he became only the second human to orbit the earth, after Yuri Gagarin. He was also the first person to sleep in space, the first person to film the earth from space with a movie camera and at 25 years-old he still holds the record as the youngest person ever to go to space. He died in Moscow in 2000 aged 65.
And in 1955 King Paul of Greece visited the museum. He was first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He died in 1964, aged 62, in Athens.
And singled out for this post visits from the President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito (1954), the Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi (1955), the Greek King Paul I (1955), the Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov (1962), the British Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.
The museum adds that the historic photos are kept in the photo library of the Dubrovnik Maritime Museum.
Planning on visiting Dubrovnik in the near future? Well in those post-corona times you’ll not only pretty much have the beaches and restaurants to yourself you’ll also be able to grab some great bargains. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board have published an article highlighting all the special offers that are currently available in the city, from museums, restaurants, tours and even discounted entrance prices to the iconic Dubrovnik City Walls.
And here is the special offers currently available in Dubrovnik and the wider region published by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, enjoy!
The promotional action of the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, "Beginning of Summer in Dubrovnik", includes discounts and benefits for visitors to Dubrovnik on numerous tourist services from a number of different categories, from sights, museums, galleries, accommodation providers and hospitality.
Find all benefits and discounts at www.tzdubrovnik.hr
DUBROVNIK CITY WALLS – from the 20th of May until the 30th of June 2020
- Dubrovnik City Walls - 50 Kuna
- The walls of Ston - 30 Kuna
- Sokol tower in Konavle - 30 Kuna
LOKRUM RESERVE – from the 30th of May until the 30th of June 2020
- boat transport and tickets to the Lokrum Reserve - 100 Kuna
- children up to 15 year FREE
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES - FREE ENTRY – from the 15th of June until the 30th of June 2020
- Trsteno Arboretum
- Dubrovnik Museums (Cultural and Historical Museum in the Rector's Palace, Maritime Museum in the Fortress of St. John, Ethnographic Museum in the Rupe granary, exhibitions of the Archaeological Museum in the Revelin Fortress)
- Art Gallery Dubrovnik
- The Home of Marin Držić
- The Natural History Museum
- Homeland War Museum
DUBROVNIK CARD – special action from the 1st of June until the 15th of June and the 1st of July until the 15th of July
Weekly Dubrovnik card – buy one get one free
RED HISTORY MUSEUM
- tickets per person– 30 Kuna
- Tickets for adults – 30 Kuna
- Tickets for children 4-12 years-old – 10 Kuna
Dubrovnik Escape Room
Tickets per person – 50 Kuna
HOTELS - June 15th to June 30th 2020
Hotel Bozica - Sudurad, island of Sipan
-special offer with breakfast and dinner included in the price
-special prices for the best rooms depending on availability: 70,00 EUR / person / night / HB
Hotel Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik
Link to special offers: https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/croatia/hilton-imperial-dubrovnik-DBVHIHI/index.html
Hotel Rixos Premium Dubrovnik
Hotel The Pucic Palace
- Up to 40% discount on all types of accommodation units (hotel rooms)
- For reservations of 4 nights or more, one night free
- Free upgrade to higher category room subject to availability
- A la carte bar and restaurant of the hotel The Pucić Palace - reduced special prices with up to 50% discount
Hotel Stari Grad
- 15% discount on the standard booking option and 30% on the non-refundable booking option
Kalamota Beach House
RESTAURANTS - June 15th to June 30th 2020
Bota Oyster & Sushi Bar
20% discount on the a la carte menu
30% discount on the delivery menu
Tavern Veranda - Štikovica
- 10% discount on all dishes and Croatian wines
- Free transport by prior arrangement
Pub Dubrava - Babin kuk
- 15% discount for payment in cash
- 10% discount on the a la carte menu
- 20% discount on the final bill
Restaurant Kantenari - Sunset Beach Dubrovnik
- 20% discount on dinner reservations at Kantenari or Lounge restaurant
- 50% discount for deck chairs and cabanas
- 50% discount on all cocktails
Restaurant Lucin Kantun
- 20% discount
- 20% discount on the entire menu and drinks
A la carte bar and restaurant of the Hotel Pucić Palace - reduced promo prices with up to 50% discount
- 15% discount on the entire a la carte offer
- 20% discount
Restaurants Taj Mahal – Old City and Taj Mahal at Hotel Lero
- 20% discount on the main menu
- 10% discount on the seasonal menu
TRAVEL AGENCIES – June 15th to June 30th 2020
Ariva travel agency
30% discount on passenger transport and excursion organization
20% discount on standard and premium buggy tours
19% discount on all active online accommodation prices
Discounts of 20-30% on all stated accommodation prices, depending on the facility
Dubrovnik Coast Online - Mlini
15% discount on the following excursions:
1.Wine Tour Konavle
Discount price - 510 Kuna / 68 Euros
2. Gastronomy Tour Croatia
Discount price - 550 Kuna / 75 Euros
3. Bike & Food Bite
Discount price - 510 Kuna / 68 Euros
4. Konavle Tour
Discount price - 420 Kuna / 55 Euro
Note: This trip does not include a visit to the Vjetrenica cave.
Discount price - 400 Kuna / 50 Euros
6. Dubrovnik Panorama
Discount price - 320 Kuna / 40 Euros
Reservations: via the online booking form on the website stating the discount code JD20, reservations must be made at least 3 days before the trip
25% discount on the four best excursions in the period from the 15th of June to the 30th of June
25% discount on the following services:
- airport transfers
- private excursions
- boat rental
Discount of 20% on all services
TM Adventure - Cavtat
Discounts on prices for activities in the Cadmos Village Adventure Park:
Discounted price - 180 Kuna per person
Discounted price - 150 Kuna per person.
Discounted price - 150 Kuna per person
Tree house for 6 people
Minimum 2 nights - price for one night 600 Kuna
50% discount on the prices of the following excursions displayed on the website:
Bike excursion - https://www.epiccroatia.com/trips/1/biking-and-wine-tasting-trip/
Hike excursion - https://www.epiccroatia.com/trips/21/blue-amp-green-hiking-trail/
Hike excursion - https://www.epiccroatia.com/trips/20/old-dubrovnik-aqueduct-hike/
Bike excursion - https://www.epiccroatia.com/trips/23/dubrovnik-riviera-road-bike-trip/
Over the past 24 hours there have been no new recorded cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik -. Neretva County, in fact the last time a case was detected was back on the 8th of May.
Testing continues across the county and on Friday 14 samples were sent for analysis to Zagreb and they have all been returned as negative. Of the total number of 118 positive cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County only one person is still infected.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,280 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis. As of today there is not a single person in self-isolation in the whole county.
The headquarters of the Civil Protection of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County continues to appeal to the citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.