The Jadrolinija company from Rijeka is selling the ferry Dubrovnik, which has been used to maintain the Bar-Bari ferry line during the summer months for the last few years, and Barska plovidba, which is majority owned by the state, is among those interested in a possible purchase.
Since the sale of the Sveti Stefan II ferry to scrap metal in May 2017, Barska plovidba has not had an adequate ship to maintain a regular maritime line between Montenegro and Italy. Therefore, in the last few years, it cooperated with the largest Croatian passenger shipping company, Jadrolinija.
The Bar company told Vijesti that they need the help of the state to purchase the ferry, because they don’t have their own money, and the banks won’t grant them a loan because of their debt with the Chinese Exim Bank for the purchase of two ships Bar and Budva.
Dubrovnik is offered to potential buyers at a starting price of EUR 2.85 million. The first deadline for collecting offers for the purchase of that ship, which expired at the end of October, did not result in finding a buyer, so Jadrolinija extended the deadline until March.
– We are familiar with the decision of the Jadrolinija company to sell the Dubrovnik ferry. We take into consideration all boats that are offered on the market and that meet certain criteria. Given that it is an old ship, we are checking whether Dubrovnik can meet sailing standards in the long term, as this could be one of the reasons why Jadrolinija is selling it – representatives of Barska plovidba’s management told Vijesta.
Dubrovnik was built in 1979 in Ireland, and the validity of the seaworthiness certificate, the so-called class, issued to it by the famous Bureau Veritas, expires on March 28 of the following year. How attractive the ship will be to potential buyers and whether it will continue its career in the fleet of another carrier or in the end, Jarolinija will have to sell it to scrap metal.
The ship has a class for use in the so-called large coastal navigation, and in Jadrolinija’s service, which this ferry entered in October 1996, it was regularly used on trans-Adriatic routes, connecting ports in Croatia with ports on the Adriatic coast of Italy. It has a capacity of 1.3 thousand passengers, has 473 beds in 156 cabins, and can accommodate 280 passenger cars and 26 tractor-trailer trucks.
Among the facilities on board, Dubrovnik has two restaurants, a cinema, a children’s playroom, several lounges and bars, and a duty-free shop. With its technical characteristics, Dubrovnik falls into the criteria set by Barska plovidba for the selection and eventual purchase of a used ferry, which would then restore the year-round operation of the ferry line between Montenegro and Italy, which was interrupted in 2017, but also perhaps introduce traffic to some other ports in Albania and Greece.
The management of the Bar company said that they are constantly monitoring the market of used ships in order to find a ship whose technical characteristics and capacity would meet the needs of the Bar-Bari line.
The main reason why, after the sale of St. Stephen II, a ferry that would replace it has not been acquired to date is that the company does not have the money for such a large investment, and it is already significantly burdened by obligations to the Chinese Exim Bank for the purchase of two then brand new cargo ships, local media writes.