Monday, 19 March 2018
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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 world’s first six-star luxury cruise ship was launched into the sea in Pula last week and now some dramatic time-lapse video has been released of the whole construction process.

‘’Scenic Eclipse’’ is a polar expedition cruise ship which the Croatian shipyard has been building for the Scenic Group from Australia. The group has already had around 20 similar ships in its fleet, but only for cruising the rivers. This will be their first cruiser for sailing in the Polar Region and the world’s first ICE-class cruise ship.

Construction of ‘’Scenic Eclipse’’ is estimated at around 200 million Euros. The ship will have 114 cabins with a balcony as well as 100 square metres large apartments, whilst the smallest cabin will spread over 30 square metres.

Check out this time-lapse video

The last state owned hotel chain in Dubrovnik will remain in the hands of the state for the time being after the announced sale has fallen through.

The Maestral hotel chain, which owns five hotels in prime position in the Lapad suburb of Dubrovnik, has been in a sale process for a few years and it was believed a private buyer had been found, the Czech J & T IB Capital Market company, however it has been announced today that the government has rejected their offer.

The Czech J & T IB Capital Market had offered 114 million Kuna for the purchase of the majority of shares in the hotel chain, however the government has rejected the offer for such an attractive location. A new tender has been announced by the government to find another private investor.


The choice of a Chinese consortium as the main contractor for the construction of the Peljesac Bridge has raised awareness in Brussels, because it would be the first time that a Chinese building consortium would have the benefits of European Union funds.

Brussels have announced that monitoring, if the Chinese get the job, will be drastic, and the possibility of part of the EU funds being withheld in case of irregularities has been mentioned. According to available information from the Croatian media, several large European construction companies have been lobbying in Brussels to prevent the Chinese from entering the Croatian market.

Croatian Roads had decided that the offer from the Chinese consortium, China Road and Bridge Corporation, was the most favourable and for the first phase of the construction of the Peljesac Bridge with access roads, and that the European Commission will finance 85 percent of the project.

Of the three bids submitted for tender of the public procurement contract, the China Road and Bridge Corporation, with a bid of 2.08 billion Kuna were selected as the most attractive and they will have a deadline of 36 months to complete their works.

However, the process was then placed on hold as the Italian, Turkish and Austrian construction companies that had placed bids for the Peljesac Bridge all lodged official complaints.

Croatia is the most desirable holiday destination for Chinese tourists this year, according to the magazine Travel and Leisure.

The Chinese version of the popular magazine named Croatia as the most sought after European destination for 2018 on the Chinese market. The results were based on choices from readers of the magazine, which is read by one than a million people in China, and at an award ceremony held in Shanghai the Croatian Ambassador to China, Bisera Fabrio, collected the recognition.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia has been steadily rising for the past five years and this award will only help to increase the interest. Chinese tourists prefer to travel to Croatia outside of the main summer season, and therefore have helped to extend the tourist season in Croatia well into the post and pre seasons.

"The award confirms the great potential of Croatia as a tourist destination on this huge and extremely important market, but also the confirmation of our estimates and decisions to enhance our presence in China through additional promotional activities and the opening of a Croatian Tourist Board office in Shanghai this year,” commented the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić.

Last year saw a rise of 57 percent in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia and a 57 percent rise in the number of overnight stays.



The Spanish low-fare airline Vueling this year, for the first time, continued to fly on two lines to Dubrovnik and during the winter flying schedule. Two lines from Dubrovnik to Barcelona and Rome (Fiumicino - Leonardo da Vinci airport) have two flights per week. Aircraft fullness on these winter lines was 64 percent, while two flights in January this year were completely sold out. This is the data for the period from October 29th last year to February 3rd this year. There were 47 flights arriving and 47 flights departing during that period, all with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Although in the summer schedule that begins on March 25thVueling has not announced any new line for Croatia, yet the planned lines will be boosted – Avioradar reports.

The two lines from Dubrovnik remain at the same number of operations in the heart of the season, which is the same as last year. For Barcelona 12 flights per week are announced, but certain flights in the heart of the season start with traffic earlier than last year when they started flying in August, while this year they are starting in July. There are 7 flights per week on the Rome line, which is the same as last year, but in the pre-season and the post-seasons 4 flights per week are planned, or one flight per week more than at the same period last year.

Split on the line from Barcelona has announced 2 flights a week more in the heart of the season, so the last year's daily flights will receive double rotation on Tuesdays and Sundays. On the line from Split to Rome, 13 flights a week were announced in the heart of the season or one flight per week more than last year. Same as in the case of Dubrovnik, the flights begin with operations earlier, as early as July. The third line, Split - Florence, remains the same as last year with one flight per week every Friday from June to September.

The remaining lines of the Vueling from Zadar for Barcelona and Rome, and from Zagreb for Barcelona have the same number of flights as last year.

Game of Thrones is in Dubrovnik for the final season! The filming of the eight season started two days ago and after the apperance of Jon Snow or Kit Harington yesterday, today we had a glance at one more of the main characters of the show – Cersei Lannister or Lena Headey.

Snow and Cersei will finally meet in the King's Landing, as it seems! In this scene, we Snow is sitting down, while Cersei is standing – talking to him. Does it mean he's in charge now? Who knows!

One of the characters that could be seen is The Mountain or Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, which is not a big surprise, since he's always by Cersei's side.

Producers David Benioff and Daniel Weiss were also spotted while filming Cersei-Snow scene, looking quite casual and cheerful.

All the actors were hidden behind umbrellas and taken from the set with mini vans. Today was the first day that some extras could be seen and also, the Lannister flag was placed on the Dubrovnik Walls.

Today is supposed to be the last day of filming and it still remains to be seen if it will be prolonged. 

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Producers David Benioff and Daniel Weiss

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 Lena Headey preparing for the scene  

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Sir Gregor Clegane doesn't bother with umbrellas  

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The guy that everybody loves - Jon Snow or Kit Harington 

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David Benioff and Lena Headey seemed to have much fun at the set

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Lannister flag up high... and a few more of Queen Cersei

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All photos by Ivana Smilovic




The Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (MOMA Dubrovnik) invites everybody at the lecture of the prominent theoretician of photography Rolf Sachsse on Saturday, February 10th at 7 pm, with the presence of photographer Ahmet Ertuğ. The lecture will be in English.

Rolf Sachsse is one of the authors of the texts of the catalog of the current exhibition placed in the MOMA Dubrovnik, of Turkish photographer Ahmet Ertuğ entitled "Vanishing point", which was opened in mid-December.

In the text entitled "Non plus ultra" meaning "it can't be better", Sachsse offered readers an insight into the enchanting world of Ertuğ's photos. Rolf Saschsse's proposal to hold a lecture on architectural photography is particularly important because Dubrovnik's architecture makes Dubrovnik so unique. The simplest definition of an architectural photography is that is defined as a photographic form that uses buildings and other structures as the main subject. Although there are many definitions and classifications, architectural photography is most commonly divided in the architectural photography of the interior and exterior.




The exhibition of Ahmet Ertuğ at MOMA Dubrovnik reveals that Ertuğ is an architect by profession. This is most evident in the details of his photographs. He captured the attention of the public by photographing the most representative interiors of historic buildings in the world. After graduating in architecture in London in 1974, Ertuğ continued to work in the field of architecture, simultaneously recording photographs of ancient monuments and autochthonous settlements like those in Iran. His dedication to photography especially started after receiving the prestigious scholarship of the Japan Foundation for photos of traditional Japanese architecture. After experiencing the Far East, Ertuğ continued to follow the paths of photography capturing photographs of some of the most interesting architectural achievements of European art history, from churches, libraries and Paladinian villas to opera houses.

Rolf Sachsse will host a lecture about architectural photography as a genre and present Ertuğ's photos, allowing the audience to experience and understand his photography in a completely different way.

Sachsse is a well-known theoretician of photography who was tutored in Cologne by Karl-Hugo Schmoelz and Walde Huth. Continuing in advertising photography, photography of architecture and industrial photography, Sachs has worked in these fields for several years to finance further study. He studied art history, communication research and German literature in Munich and Bonn. He graduated in 1983 with the topic "History of Architecture Photography in Germany from 1900 to 1975".

In the late seventies, Sachsse worked as the head of a conservation campaign of the bulidins, whose interior was from the 19th century. From 1975 to 1990 he acted as an artist, photographer, curator and critic. Since 2004 he has taught the Design History and Design Theory at Saar University of Fine Arts in Saarbrücke.

He has written more than 40 books and about 300 essays on the history of photography, design, architecture and new music.


Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, commented in the European Parliament this week that, although Croatia is not yet a member of the Eurozone, it wants to contribute to further the development of the economic and monetary union and to introduce the Euro as soon as possible.

"In June 2017 Croatia emerged from excessive budget deficit and now joining the Eurozone is the strategic goal of Croatia," stated Plenković. According to him, Croatia already meets almost all of the criteria for the introduction of the Euro.

Plenkovic said that all European goals, policies and ambitions required adequate funding and underlined that the planning of the Multiannual Financial Framework should proceed from what the EU wants, highlighting more priority issues from economic growth to security and research and finance.

"The Union must also be a political player in global governance, with defence capabilities, a free trade facilitator, a leader in development assistance, environmental protection and the fight against climate change," the prime minister said in his speech in the European Parliament.

He concluded that Croatia today clearly understands all the added value and benefits that EU membership brings to the country.



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