Dubrovnik and Hvar are two of the most popular destinations in Croatia, but unfortunately there is not an easy direct route to travel between the two of them. However, it is possible to make the trip in one day using 3 different options. The following is an overview of each:
1.) Coastal Ferry: The Jadrolinija coastal ferry operates twice per week between June 1st and September 30th and runs from Dubrovnik to Rijeka (in both directions) with stops along the way in Mljet, Korcula, Hvar, and Split. You can view more information on this ferry in the following article: Jadrolinija Coastal Ferry to Operate in 2012 and can view the schedule online at: Jadrolinija Costal Ferry Schedule.
2.) Bus to Split and ferry to Hvar: Though the coastal ferry is the most direct form of transportation, it is actually faster to take a bus to Split and then a ferry or catamaran to Hvar. There are 15 bus departures per day from Dubrovnik to Split and the journey takes 4 to 4.5 hours (view schedule here). The bus leaves from the main bus station in Gruz harbor and arrives at Split’s main bus station, which is conveniently located just across the street from the ferry terminal. You do not need to book bus tickets in advance.
Once in Split there are several options for getting to Hvar:
If traveling by car you will have to take the car ferry from Split to Stari Grad (on the island of Hvar). You can view that schedule here: Off-season: Split – Stari Grad Ferry Schedule Peak-season: Split – Stari Grad Ferry Schedule. Reservations for cars should be made in advance at a Jadrolinija office in Croatia or at an authorized travel agency abroad. You can find a list of travel agencies on the Jadrolinija website.
If traveling without a car, you can take the faster catamaran service directly to Hvar town. There are a few catamarans per day from Split to Hvar. You can view the schedules here:
Off-season: Split – Hvar – Vis Catamaran
Peak-season: Split – Hvar – Vis Catamaran
Off-season: Split – Hvar – Vela Luka (Korcula) Catamaran
Peak-season: Split – Hvar – Vela Luka (Korcula) Catamaran
There is also Catamaran service from Split to Jelsa (on the island of Hvar):
Off-season: Split – Bol – Jelsa
Peak-season: Split – Bol – Jelsa
3.) Travel from Dubrovnik to Drvenik and ferry to Sucuraj (Hvar)
A slightly faster way of getting to the island of Hvar is to travel from Dubrovnik to Drvenik and then take the local ferry to Sucuraj on the island of Hvar. The ferry operates up to 20 times per day during the summer season and 6 or 7 times per day in the off-season. However, this way is best suited for those with a car. The ferry goes to the town of Sucuraj, which is on the opposite end of the island from Hvar town. There is a bus from Sucuraj to Hvar town, but I have not been able to find a reliable schedule online and I have heard that it only operates twice per week. If you have a car this is not a problem and it should work out faster than driving all the way to Split. For those traveling by bus I suggest taking the bus to Split and then traveling to Hvar by ferry or catamaran.