If you are planning to sail charter in Croatia, find a list of general information here. We suggest that you bookmark this URL as a resource for all your future needs.


Harbor Authorities cover the following activities:

  • Monitoring of navigation in the internal and territorial sea waters of the Republic of Croatia
  • Human and property sea search and rescue
  • Navigation safety inspection
  • Monitoring of maritime domain
  • Ship register, registration, and removal
  • Yacht registration and register removal
  • Craft inquest register, registration, and removal
  • Meteorological observation and navigation safety measurements
  • Issue of discharge articles
  • Certificates of seaman’s maritime competence
  • Issue and keeping of inquest registers for seamanship certificates
  • Other administrative, specialized and technical activities in sea navigation safety under their jurisdiction by law or other regulations.

Regional units (Harbor Authorities) are divided into the following internal departments:

  • Inspection Department
  • Department of Maritime Management and monitoring, Search and Rescue
  • Department of Legal Affairs
  • Department of Administrative Affairs

The detailed list of harbor authorities and harbor section offices is here.


The term refers to the territory stretching from the coastline to the outer line of islands that represents the width limit of the territorial sea. Foreign boats can stay within internal waters, but upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia, they are obliged to use the shortest way to enter the closest harbor with the border crossing (port of entry) and obtain a cruising permit.


This is a 12 NM wide marine belt as measured from the outer line of the internal sea waters to the economic zone. Foreign fishing boats are forbidden to fish in this belt.


All Croatian vessels, regardless of size and type of entry in inquest registers or other registers need to fly their national flag in stern section of the boat. The flag size should be adapted to the vessel size. In the case of sailing boats, club ensigns should be flown below port yard. Foreign boats have their national flag abaft, and a club burgee or perhaps a national flag of their crew members to port. The Croatian national flag should be flown below starboard yard. This courtesy flag is obligatory throughout their stay within the Croatian territorial and internal sea waters. When entering Croatia and approaching a port of entry (border crossing), foreign boats need to fly a yellow ‘Q’ flag under the Croatian flag, which is lowered after all formality checks and issue of the cruising permit.


In some places in the Adriatic Sea navigation is restricted, i.e. the cruising permit is issued under a special regime.

  • In the Sveti Ante Channel, approach to Šibenik, vessels bigger than 50 GT need to use the VHF Channel to ask permission from the Supervision and Management Centre.
  • In the Pašman Channel, the speed is limited to 10 knots, with two one-way corridors.
  • Through Mali Ždrelac the boat coming from the NE has the right of way, but not in the case of a passenger ship. Maximum speed is 8 knots, and before entering the channel, you need to announce your entry by long sound alarm. The vessel height is limited to 16 m in the seaway owing to the Ugljan-Pašman bridge.
  • Through Vela vrata (between Cres and Istria) boats below 20 m need to navigate outside the separate navigation zone, i.e. within the coastal navigation zone.
  • Navigation in the Neretva and Zrmanja rivers is also specific. The boat navigating upstream needs to give way to the one navigating downstream, and if two boats are navigating in the same direction, they should overtake to port side. The Neretva river is navigable for boats below 4.5 m draught and the Zrmanja contact Zadar Harbour Authority. Vessels bigger than 12 m (and entered in the ship register) need to ask for a cruising permit from Zadar Harbour Section Office in Novigrad.
  • Navigation in the Pelješac and Koločep Channels, parts of Srednji Kanal (channel), Murter Sea and Žirje Channel is forbidden to merchant ships bigger than 500 GT.


Croatian and foreign citizens can practice sport and recreational diving, but only with a diving permit issued by the Croatian Diving Federation (CDF). The diving permit expires one year following its date of issue. The diving permit is issued to persons with adequate diving qualifications approved by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports ( CMAS, PADI, SSI, NAUI, NASDS, YMCA, MDEA, NASE, IDEA IANTD, NSS-CDS, ANDI, TDI NACI, PSA, PDIC, SDI, FIAS, ACUC, BSAC, VDST, BARACUDA, IDD, UDI, and other international diving associations). Diving implies staying under sea surface with the use of diving equipment (scuba set, breathing apparatus). The diving location needs to be conspicuously marked: by a red or orange buoy planted in the middle of the diving zone, at least 30 cm in diameter or by a dive flag (an orange rectangle with a white diagonal stripe or a marine flag with the letter ‘A’ of the International Signal Codex, or a dive flag displayed from a dive boat). At night the buoy needs to be provided with a light beacon – an orange or white flash, discernible from distance of at least 300 meters.

Diving can be practiced for:

  • sport and recreation
  • underwater photography and personal photographs
  • underwater contests
  • diving instruction.

Besides the diving permit, every diver will be notified about prohibited dive zones and all other necessary information (emergency telephone numbers) by the CDF. The maximum permitted skin dive depth is 40 m. The Republic of Croatia approves the licenses of the following international organizations: BSAC (The British Sub-Aqua Club), CMAS (Confédération Mondiale des Activitiés Subaquatiques), IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers), NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors), PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), SSI (Scuba Schools International). It is prohibited, except with special permits, to dive in harbors and approaches, in nature reserves, nature parks, national parks and other protected submarine areas. Mljet, Krka, Kornati, and Brijuni are national parks, Bay of Lim, Bay of Mali Ston and Telašćica are, for instance, special reserves within nature parks.

Diving with special permits (Regulations on Underwater Activities, Official Gazette 47/99) issued by competent authorities is permitted in the following zones:

VIS ZONE, the area, bounded by the following coordinates:
A. Latitude (φ) 42°55’00” N; Longitude (λ) 15°40’00” E
B. Latitude (φ) 42°55’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°20’00” E
C. Latitude (φ) 43°08’00” N; Longitude (λ) 15°40’00” E
D. Latitude (φ) 43°08’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°20’00” E
(encompassing the islands of Vis, Biševo, Svetac and Brusnik, with all appertaining reefs and shoals).

LASTOVO ZONE, the area, bounded by the following coordinates:
A. Latitude (φ) 42°40’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°27’00” E
B. Latitude (φ) 42°40’00” N; Longitude (λ) 17°10’00” E
C. Latitude (φ) 42°49’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°27’00” E
D. Latitude (φ) 42°49’00” N; Longitude (λ) 17°10’00” E
(encompassing the islands of Sušac, Kopište, Lastovo, groups of islands of Donji školji and Vrhovnjaci, with all appertaining reefs and shoals).

PALAGRUŽA ZONE, the area, bounded by the following coordinates:
A. Latitude (φ) 42°22’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°14’00” E
B. Latitude (φ) 42°22’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°14’00” E
C. Latitude (φ) 42°24’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°14’00” E
D. Latitude (φ) 42°24’00” N; Longitude (λ) 16°21’00” E
(encompassing all islands of the group of islands with all appertaining reefs and shoals).

MLJET ZONE – encompassing a 300-metre wide sea belt from the coastline of the island and all other islets and reefs in the zone of 2000 meters from the island’s coastline.

JABUKA ZONE – a 300-metre wide sea belt around the island, inclusive of Jabuka Shoal.

PREMUDA ZONE – Szent Istvan wreck, a 300-metre wide sea belt around the position 44°14’88’’ N and 14°26’26’’ E.

NOVIGRAD ZONE – Coriolanus wreck, a 300-meter wide sea belt around the position 45°19’09’’ N and 13°25’25’’ E.

SV. IVAN NA PUČINI ZONE – Baron Gautsch wreck, a 300-meter wide sea belt around the position 44°56’25’’ N and 13°34’43’’ E.

PELJEŠAC ZONE – Olympia wreck, “8-57”, a 300-meter wide sea belt around the position 42°51’20’’ N and 17°30’00’’ E.

ŽIRJE ZONE – a 300 m wide sea belt around the position 43°40’00” N and 15°40’15” E.

CAVTAT ZONE – a 300 m wide sea belt around the position 42°35’45” N and 18°12’30” E.
In national parks, diving is permitted only with prior consent of with the Ministry of Culture.
In the Brijuni and Krka National Parks, diving is prohibited.


Within the internal waters, territorial sea and the adjacent zone at the borderline with the neighboring countries, the Search and Rescue (SAR) is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Communications of the Republic of Croatia. Harbor authorities take rescue actions to save human lives and property within their scope of authority. The National SAR Headquarters for Croatia are situated in Rijeka, and it coordinates all actions either directly or through its sub-centers. These offices can be reached by phone, fax or coastal radio stations.

Maritime Rescue Coordination  Center (MRCC) – National headquarters, 51000 Rijeka, Senjsko pristanište 3
tel. +385 1 195
fax +385 51 312 254
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Rijeka radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Pula, 52000 Pula, Riva 18
tel. +385 52 27 646
fax +385 52 22 646
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Rijeka radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Senj, 53270 Senj, Obala kralja Zvonimira 12
tel. +385 53 881 301
fax +385 53 881 301
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Rijeka radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Zadar, 23000 Zadar, Liburnijska obala 8
tel. +385 23 315 758, 211 103
fax +385 23 214 325
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Split radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Šibenik, 22000 Šibenik, Obala oslobođenja 8
tel. +385 22 217 216, 217 217
fax +385 22 217 378
VHF: Ch 10, 10
Split radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Split, 21000 Split, Obala Lazareta 1
tel. +385 21 355 488, 356 969
fax +385 21 361 298
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Split radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Ploče, 20340 Ploče, Trg kralja Tomislava 24
tel. +385 20 679 088
fax +385 20 678 621
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Split radio: VHF Ch 16

Sub-Centre Dubrovnik, 20000 Dubrovnik,
Obala Stjepana Radića 37
tel. +385 20 423 386, 418 989
fax +385 20 413 222
VHF: Ch 16, 10
Dubrovnik radio: VHF Ch 16


Maritime radio stations are:

VHF radio-telephony: Ch 04, 16, 20, 24, F3E, H24
Trafic list: H+35
MF watch service: 2182 kHz

VHF radio-telephony: Ch 07, 16, 21, 23, 81, F3E, H24
Traffic list H+35 Ch 07, 21, 23, 81

VHF radio-telephony: Ch 04, 07, 16 F3E H24


The Adriatic watch service is on VHF Channel 16, and for vessels with DSC VHF radio on Channel 70.

National Headquarters – Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC)
51000 Rijeka, Senjsko pristanište 3
tel. +385 9155
fax +385 51 312 254
Rijeka radio: VHF Ch 16


Courses and abbreviations: All courses used in this article are 0–360˚, true courses (rather than magnetic courses). The top of all charts and harbor plans is always north (N). Course and wind direction are abbreviations as follows: N for North, S for South, W for West and E for East, also used to cover all other combinations such as NW for Northwest, etc.

Lights are listed in the publications of the Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia (HIRC, HHI – Hrvatski Hidrografski Institut): A List of Lights and Fog Signals (with designated PS numbers) and in the edition of Admiralty List of Lights and Fog Signals, Volume E , where they are marked by the capital letter E (international mark) and four figures. There is a description of the location, light characteristics, elevation, and bearings, together with geographical coordinates of each light.  Port lights are by IALA A system colors that are used for all waterways in the Adriatic.

WP Waypoints are not frequent in this article because their uncontrolled use, without a thorough consultation with charts, might be hazardous to navigation safety. In this respect, the Adriatic is rather challenging, and it is not recommendable to navigate solely by use of waypoints, which may frequently be found in rather imprecise electronic charts. In this article geographical coordinates of particular harbors are not main squares or geometric mean of the settlement, but rather the positions of lighthouses, breakwaters or points of significance at the entrance.

GPS (Global Positioning System) provides coordinates of the boat’s position by the WGS-84 system. Even if the chart does not follow the same geodetic system (HIRC charts are founded on Bessels ellipsoid), it is necessary to make corrections of coordinates that will be entered into the chart. Although the alterations will not be extensive, it is advisable to consider pertinent values. They can be found in each HIRC chart.

Sea marks used to mark the sea-lanes are by the international IALA system A. The system is based on the so-called lateral and cardinal marks. Lateral marks denote starboard or port sea-lane side the sea entrance. Cardinal marks are used to indicate isolated dangers and the safety direction relative to the vessel’s course, and not the entrance direction. The Adriatic Sea is well marked by sea marks, which are well maintained. It is important to bear in mind that owing to peculiar landscape and many islands and channels; there are the so-called sea-lanes in the Adriatic, which need to be observed, especially during the night. If you leave these sea corridors, you could be misled by the light system, which in turn may finish with unwanted and fatal consequences.

Charts that can be used are mostly issued by the HIRC (Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia), but British or German charts can also be used. Each location in this article has its designated chart number. Charts can be obtained from different specialized shops and in marinas, but if you want to have a complete range of all nautical publications, it would be best to look them up at Plovput (Penul) branch offices at harbour authorities in Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Ploče, Korčula and Dubrovnik or at the publisher’s, HIRC, Split.

Zrinsko-Frankopanska 161, HR-21000 Split
tel. +385 21 361 840, fax +385 21 347 208

Maritime safety information is provided daily by HIRC and broadcast by coastal radio stations. The information is broadcast on VHF Channels in Croatian and English, after meteorological reports. If the information is urgent, it is broadcast on Channel 16, and subsequently on radio frequencies.

Meteorological reports for the Adriatic are prepared by the Maritime Meteorological Center in Split. Coastal radio stations broadcast them according to the following timetable:
Rijeka radio VHF Ch 24, at 05.35, 14.35 and 19.35 UTC (+2 hours for local summer time)
Split radio VHF Ch 07, 21, 81 at 05.45, 12.45 and 19.45 UTC (+2 hours for local summer time)
Dubrovnik radio VHF Ch 07, 04 at 06.25, 13.20 and 21.20 UTC (+2 hours for local summer time)
Broadcasts are in Croatian and English.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Communication have regular weather forecast broadcasts on VHF Channels: Pula Ch 73, Rijeka Ch 69, Split Ch 67, Dubrovnik Ch 73.

Other coastal radio stations with weather forecast broadcasts are as follows:
Trieste: VHF Channel 25, UTC time: 01:35, 07:35, 13:35, 19:35
Venezia: VHF Channel 26, 27, UTC time: 01:35, 07:35, 13:35, 19:35
Ancona: VHF Channel 25, UTC time: 01:35, 07:35, 13:35, 19:35
Pescara: VHF Channel 26, UTC time: 07:50, 13:50, 19:50
Bari: VHF Channel 26, 27, UTC time: 01:35, 07:35, 13:35, 19:35

Radio Zagreb broadcasts marine weather forecasts several times a day, after the news at 07:00, 08:00, 13:00, 19:00 and 22:00 hours. In summer months you can hear weather forecasts in foreign languages at about 1135 on 1134 kHz (medium wave, AM) and on several FMs, e.g. frequencies 98.9; 97.3; 96.9 MHz.
Deutsche Welle broadcasts weather forecasts on work days at 1755 hours (6075, 9545, 13780 kHz). For time schedules check out www.dwelle.de.
Radio Oesterreich International broadcasts daily weather forecast at 0710 and 1905 UTC (GMT) on 5945, 6155 and 13730 KHz; www.oe1.orf.at.


Navtex is an international automated medium frequency (518 kHz) direct-printing service for delivery of meteorological warnings and weather forecasts, urgent information and other types of warnings to boats. There are 6 broadcasts during 24 hours. It is a very accurate and comfortable system providing information regardless of crew availability, time of day or people aboard or not.

Navtex Split Radio:
02:40, 06:40, 10:40, 14:40, 18:40, 22:40 UTC hours, in English.





Contact to us