After having to check out at 10am we decided to do a reccy of the port in Bari so we knew where we were heading later that night for our ferry to Dubrovnik. After reaching where we believed foot passengers entered the port, we were told “no!” by a security women at the entrance. “3km” she said, pointing to our left. So off we strolled. Several miles later, we sill had no idea where to go. After over 3 miles of walking we gave up and headed back to Google directions!
After not much luck and many trip adviser horror stories about how chaotic, dreadful and unorganised Bari port was, we still had little clue on the procedure. We had however gathered that although we had an online booking confirmation, we needed to swap our reservation for a physical ticket and check-in before going through security and getting on the boat.
So after finally figuring out the (slightly ridiculous) procedure I thought I’d make an easy guide to getting the ferry from Bari. We would have loved this before our pointless trek in the heat and I’m sure the many other frustrated passengers we met would have benefited from it too!
First step (from Bari central) take the 20/ bus (not the 20 bus) from Bari train station to the Port. It’s only 1 euro and well worth it if you have heavy bags.
At the port terminal (the big blue building to the left of the entrance) you will need to wait for the free shuttle bus (with no number, which comes at varying intervals) to another terminal (a terminal which has a name but which is not written anywhere so is no help at all!)
If you are travelling with Jadrolinija the office opens at 18:00 (whether or not port staff have told you it opens at 16:00). Other companies’ offices seemed to be open earlier though, even for later departing ferries. You hand over your passports and booking reference and are handed a boarding card. This is the ‘check-in ‘ process which must be done before boarding but can only be done on the day of departure.
Next it’s a wait for the free shuttle bus back to the first terminal (the one the Italian security guard said “no!” to earlier). There you wait again until two hours before your departure.
Then finally you pass through security and board the ferry.
Easy when you know how!
One last tip: check the top bunk before jumping into bed if you have a cabin on the ferry. Ours was not attached to the wall and I nearly crushed poor Richard as it started to fall onto the bottom bunk! He then had a lot of trouble trying to explain the problem to Croatian and Italian ferry staff who either didn’t understand or didn’t care. An hour and a few videos and photos later, we did eventually can a new cabin where we could sleep safe from crushing each other! All fun aboard the ferry to Dubrovnik!